Joyce Fourkiller Hawk recently announced her candidacy for the office of secretary for the United Keetoowah Band of Indians in Oklahoma. Hawk is seeking a second term after replacing the late Liz Littledave.
“It was a big responsibility, but I was committed to serving my people,” she said. “I was also fortunate to have the professional staff Liz had trained: Jessica Macdonald, Amanda Stopp and Georgia Mauldin. It was my intention to continue to serve the UKB people with the same commitment, enthusiasm and heart that Liz had always brought to the position.”
Hawk immediately cross-trained her staff to improve the office’s service to tribal members. She also shared her philosophy that everything should be a team effort.
“Like a football team, while some highlight the importance of the quarterback, it is really the front line that allows him to do his job,” she said. “And in the same way, the tribal secretary is only as good as the employees in the office, on the front lines.”
The UKB enrollment office has also become the main point of contact for inquiries the tribe receives from child welfare departments all over the U.S. Enrollment employees determine and report whether the child is of Keetoowah descent on each case, and corresponds with that agency accordingly.
“The staff in enrollment and the secretary’s office is a top-notch, professional and committed group of employees who care about our tribal members and perform their jobs well,” said Hawk.
The secretary’s office also has a new computer software program, “Laserfish,” which has allowed employees to scan and store all resolutions, past and present, and anything passed in council is now easily accessible and in digital form, as well as retaining the original, hard copies on file.
Before becoming secretary, Hawk served as the Goingsnake District representative for one four-year term and was two years into her second term when she was asked to assume the office of secretary.
“While I was hesitant to move out of the position as Goingsnake District representative because of my commitment to the Goingsnake District members, I have always been willing to help our tribal members in any way I can, and knew that I would be in a better position to serve more members as secretary,” said Hawk.
Hawk is the daughter of the late Grover and Polly Fourkiller. She is the granddaughter of the late Felix and Flora Fourkiller, and the late Eli and Marie Wilson. Her great-grandfather was Judge Fourkiller.
She is married to Kenneth Hawk. Together, the couple has six children, Chris, Jason and Starla Walker, and Colby, Kaycee and Karra Fourkiller.
“I also serve on the education committee, on the tax commission, and I am the secretary to the Keetoowah Gaming Economic Authority Board,” said Hawk. “As a people, the Keetoowah Cherokee have always taken care of their own. I am very committed to our youth and our elders. Everything I have done during the past eight years would not have been possible without prayer. With my dad being a deacon, I learned that you have to pray every day to guide you through.”