water rights Essay

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Water is essential to life. By being so important it is crucial to keep it maintained and preserved. Our water supply is affected by environmental, economic, and legal issues. In Oklahoma water is very sacred to its people especially to Native Americans. Both Choctaw and Chickasaw nations are suing the state of Oklahoma for the regulatory authority over Sardis Lake and the water resources it holds. The Choctaw and Chickasaw nations deserve the rights over Sardis Lake because it is their main water supply and they own the rights through the treaty of the Dancing Rabbit Creek of 1830.
Sardis Lake is located in the southeastern part of Oklahoma. Since the lake is in both Choctaw and Chickasaw territory, both tribes have the right to sue. The surface area is 13,610 acres and the water supply storage is 296,200 acre-feet. "In 2010, Oklahoma City claimed to have bought 90% of the rights but the Choctaw nations was not apart of the transaction and believes the state did not have the right to purchase or sell the water" (Sardis Lake). The case was filed on August 18, 2011 and is still in dispute.
Through the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek of 1830, the Choctaw nation originally owned rights to all the land in Oklahoma. This treaty has been violated as well as the Choctaw's sovereignty, which leads to the question why are Native American land rights always being challenged? The "Dancing Rabbit Creek treaty" states that the "United States exchanged about 11 million acres of the original Choctaw tribe's land in Mississippi for about 15 million acres in Oklahoma" which became the Mississippi Natives new home(article 1). Then once Oklahoma had become a state, the government implemented "The Dawes Act," which "divided up the Choctaw Nation into individual lands that tribal members could claim" (section 1). From this act, actual land ownership has been lost or unclaimed, which leads us to the lawsuit that is going on right now. The lake holds the Choctaw and Chickasaw's main water supply by providing an environment with clean, healthy rivers...

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