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This article examines disputes over surface mining jurisdiction on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation post-McGirt and the larger implications for sovereignty and environmental justice in Indian Country that follow. Part II summarizes the history of federal, state, and tribal relations and provides an analysis of the McGirt decision and its potential impacts on natural resource issues. Part III offers an examination of jurisdictional uncertainties post-McGirt through an in-depth discussion of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and the State of Oklahoma v. United States Department of the Interior case. Drawing from the examination of surface mining regulation, Part IV looks more broadly at the implications for sovereignty and environmental justice in Indian Country. This article concludes by advocating approaches for strengthening tribal sovereignty and promoting tribes as producers of extractive and energy resources.



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