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Indian Tribes File Lawsuit Amendment (Jan 26, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Two Oklahoma-based American Indian tribes have filed another amendment to their federal lawsuit over the tribes' water rights in their historic territories in southeastern Oklahoma. Attorneys for the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations filed the legal papers Thursday in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City.

The tribes sued in August to stop the Oklahoma Water Resources Board from selling its water storage rights to Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma to the Oklahoma City Water Utility Trust without first reaching an agreement with the tribe.

The tribes' attorney, Mike Burrage, says the tribes' amended complaint does not concede the board's authority to issue permits but also does not challenge any current use of water under existing permits. Burrage says the tribes do not want to disrupt any existing permitted uses of water.

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