Chickasaw Nation and Oklahoma agree to tobacco and vehicle license tag compacts

This article appeared in the February 2024 edition of the Chickasaw Times

The Chickasaw Nation and the State of Oklahoma have agreed to tobacco and vehicle license tag compacts that will continue current programs for another decade. The new tobacco terms improve upon and implement what the Chickasaw Nation proposed last summer for avoiding a substantive impasse over jurisdictional disputes in prior talks, while the vehicle license tag compact terms implement a simple update and renewal of existing terms.

Oklahoma’s entry to the compacts, which is controlled by state law and has been a matter of some controversy over the years, has been addressed consistent with existing statutory provisions as well as the Chickasaw Nation’s presentation to the Oklahoma House, offered during an interim study last summer. (Report here []). Accordingly, the parties will submit the vehicle license tag compact to the Oklahoma Joint Committee for State-Tribal Relations for final approvals pursuant to 74 O.S. Section 1221 (74 O.S. Sec. 1221 []), while the tobacco compact was formed pursuant to 68 O.S. Section 346 (68 O.S. Sec. 346 []) and requires no further state action for the agreement to take effect.

“The Chickasaw Nation is pleased to announce we have worked with Governor Stitt’s office to continue these important compacts for another 10 years. We built on areas of agreement without waiving or limiting the rights of either party or requiring either party to yield on matters where there may still be legal dispute,” stated Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby, “and we appreciate the Oklahoma Legislature providing us additional time to work on these agreements.” Governor Anoatubby added, “It has long been our policy to exercise sovereignty and pursue sound intergovernmental agreements. This work, done properly, strengthens the Chickasaw Nation and Oklahoma. We believe our new agreements are good examples of what can be done when we work together, and we are glad they will benefit all of us who call Oklahoma home.”