Law | Trust

Citizen Potawatomi Nation sues city over detachment petition

The FireLake Corner Store in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Photo from Citizen Potawatomi Nation

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation has filed suit over a petition to detach its trust lands from the city of Shawnee, Oklahoma.

The city refused to move forward with the petition, claiming that the federal government didn't sign onto the tribe's request even though a letter from the Bureau of Indian Affairs indicated that wasn't necessary. So the tribe went to court to compel action.

“The tribe has tried to resolve these issues without litigation, but the city has failed to comply with the state and local requirements set for detachment,” Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett said in a press release, The Shawnee News-Star reported.

The petition was filed after the city said the tribe must collect taxes on the sale of goods to non-Indians. The city has since suspended the effort.

But the tribe still wants to make clear that the city lacks jurisdiction over its 1,724 acres. Besides taxation, Barrett said another issue has made the petition important.

"This detachment is all about water sales jurisdiction," Barrett told The Countywide & Sun. The tribe has set up its own water distribution system.

Get the Story:
City finds petition insufficient, tribe files complaint (The Shawnee News-Star 10/17)
CPN Goes To Court Over 'Detachment' Issue (The Countywide & Sun 10/17)

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