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Shawnee Tribal Judicial System

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $900,000)

The Shawnee Tribe faces unique ramifications from the the McGirt decision and the subsequent lawsuits and Supreme Court actions and pending decisions. First, the Shawnee Tribe only regained federal recognition in 2000. The process of rebuilding its governmental and judicial systems is complex and ongoing. The tribal court has been re-established, but is in the early stages of developing and updating tribal codes. Now the Shawnee Tribe must respond and expand its criminal and civil codes quickly in this rapdily-evolving legal climate or risk being unable to exert its sovereign jurisdictional rights on behalf of its citizens. Second, the Tribe’s headquarters in one location and trust land nearly 400 miles across the state of Oklahoma present significant and unusual jurisdictional and logistical challenges.

The Shawnee Tribe Judicial System Project will address these challenges in that it will:

Provide court clerk staffing for tribal courts in Miami, OK, where the Tribe is headquartered, and in Guymon, OK, where the Tribe has been granted trust land;
Provide training for staff, including court clerk certification for two staff members;
Provide critical security, equipment, and furnishings for both courtrooms;
Create a Judicial Committee to assist in a complete review of existing codes and in drafting new judicial code in key areas of importance to the Shawnee Tribe and its citizens, including responses to McGirt and expanded family court law capacities;
Contract expert legal assistance in the review and drafting of new judicial code.

As the end of the 5-year project, the Shawnee Tribe Judicial System will have significantly greater capacity and legal infrastructure to respond to jurisdictional challenges and to meet the needs of its citizens. The Shawnee Tribe respectfully requests federal funding in the amount of $899,986 over a five-year project period to facilitate  these goals and objectives.

Date Created: September 21, 2022