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Citizen Potawatomi Nation alleges retaliation in dispute with city

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma, has been closed since March 2014 due to extensive damage caused by a water line break. Photo from CPN

A long-running battle between the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and the city of Shawnee, Oklahoma, is heating up again.

The tribe wants to ban all Shawnee Municipal Authority employees, when acting in their official capacity, from its properties. The dispute centers on the flooding of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center in March 2014.

The tribe was forced to close the facility, which suffered more than $1.2 million in damage due to a water line break. An exclusion petition filed in tribal court alleges authority employees purposely tampered with the water system after the tribe announced plans for its own utility system, The Shawnee News-Star reported.

The city commission has hired a law firm to mediate the matter, the paper reported. Separately, the authority has filed a lawsuit over the tribe's operation of a water district.

The water dispute comes as the tribe continues to oppose attempts by the city to impose a 5 percent sales tax on tribal trust lands. The tribe filed to a petition detach its trust lands from the city but the request was denied.

Get the Story:
Tribe seeks to ban SMA employees (The Shawnee News-Star 6/4)
SMA challenges CPN: Lawsuit to determine legal status of water entity (The Shawnee News-Star 5/1)

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