The Interrogation of Hummingbird: A Qualitative Overview of Traditional Systems Oppression of the Oklahoma Indians

Robb Elton, Arthur Been


Historical analysis of Oklahoma traditions and policies relating to the various tribes reveals a theme of willful malice, organized systematic oppression, theft from, and killing of Indians. This tradition is grounded in racism and greed. Today, this philosophy continues — even after Supreme Court decisions McGirt v. Oklahoma (2020) and Sharp v. Murphy (2020) elucidated the historical harms and apt legal framework. These cases acknowledged Oklahoma Indian territory had always persisted. Through discussion about these cases, related legislation, historical events, including the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, this paper connects Oklahoma’s law-breaking customs imposed on the Indians to its founding.

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