1. So what’s it like, being the first lady of the Cherokee Nation?
It’s great because I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many people for the better. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this more challenging. But in the age of social media, there are still ways to connect.
2. You studied political science at The University of Oklahoma. Why did you choose that route?
I’ve felt that major would give me a broad education to make a positive difference in the world. Critical thinking about public policy is needed in our society more than ever, so I encourage young people to study these subjects.
3. Describe to us some of the work you’ve done in the past, and your interests early on.
I believe there is honor in all work. I’ve worked fields alongside migrants, construction and cleanup, fast food, retail and on political campaigns. I’m proud of work I did on union-organizing projects in various parts of the country, including the Justice for Janitors campaign in Boston in 2002.
4. Aside from being the chief’s wife, you’re an activist in your own right. What are the issues you’re most passionate about?
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, human trafficking, racial justice, drug treatment and foster care are among my top issues. All of these are intersect with issues important to Cherokee Nation.
5. Specifically related to the tribe, what do you and your husband hope to achieve before you leave office?
My platform includes educating our people about ICWA and recruiting foster parents here and across the country. I’ve been working with Cherokee Nation Marshal Shannon Buhl to identify more precise data on human trafficking and develop prevention strategies within Cherokee Nation’s jurisdiction. I’m also very concerned with protecting our environment, especially our water. Drugs are an epidemic, and I hope to see a treatment facility that accommodates adults with their children, as well as an emergency shelter for those fleeing domestic violence.
– Kim Poindexter