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STATEMENT: Heck on SCOTUS McGirt Decision

Jul 10, 2020
Press Release

OLYMPIA Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma:

Treaties exist in perpetuity, and the government has an obligation to honor the sovereignty of Tribal nations. The McGirt decision correctly affirms this obligation, and the Supreme Court’s ruling is a victory for not just the Creek Nation, but for all of Indian Country. In Washington state, we’ve seen the harmful affects of abrogating our treaty responsibilities during the Fish Wars, an error set right by the judiciary in the Boldt Decision. Similarly, the Supreme Court has now stepped in to enforce our treaty obligations and defend the rights of Tribes. This ruling is a milestone in the long path toward addressing the injustices done to our Native American brothers and sisters.

Congressman Heck represents Washington's 10th Congressional District, where four of the state's 29 tribes are located. In the past year, Congressman Heck introduced the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination (NAHASDA) Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 5319); the Tribal Access to Homeless Assistance Act (H.R. 4029); the Aiding Development of Vital Assets in Native Communities and Environments (ADVANCE) Act (H.R. 3664); and the Remove the Stain Act (H.R. 3467).