TULSA, Okla. — Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill was named to Time magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people, which was unveiled Tuesday.
“Humbled and honored to be included in the 2020 #TIME100 list!” Hill said in a Facebook post.
Hill is the first Muscogee (Creek) citizen to be included and only Oklahoman on this year’s list.
In July, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the treaty-established Muscogee (Creek) reservation spans a large part of Oklahoma and Congress needed to uphold the promises established. As a result, much of Eastern Oklahoma remains “Indian country” when it comes to crimes involving tribal citizens.
The McGirt v. Oklahoma decision reshaped the the way tribal citizens are looked at under the law and how they are prosecuted.
Since the landmark decision involving Indian land and tribal sovereignty, hundreds of cases being prosecuted in state court have been dismissed and transferred to either tribal or federal court.
“Native people have continued the fight that our ancestors started in upholding our sovereignty as tribal nations in many ways, and in 2019, Principal Chief David Hill and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation took that fight to the Supreme Court and won,” Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids wrote.
Davids, who is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation wrote in Time magazine the McGirt decision has broad implications for all of Indian country.
“Principal Chief Hill has led his people through a truly landmark victory and has continued to protect his nation’s sovereignty from state encroachment after the decision,” Davids wrote. “When you know you have to do what is right for your people, you just keep pushing forward.”