The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council during a meeting Monday approved two renominations to the CN Tax Commission and a variety of donations, and authorized the Bureau of Indian Affairs to revise its inventory of transportation facilities.
The councilors confirmed the renominations of Michael Doublehead and Steve Wilson to the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission.
Donations to various schools and organizations within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction were approved. The tribe donated a metal frame building from the Wilma P. Mankiller Stilwell Clinic to the Zion School in Adair County; an alarm system, filing system, set of pharmacy cabinetry, and several dental chairs were donated to Grand Lake Mental Health Center; an assortment of cabinets, tables, chairs and other office supplies were donated to Native American Fellowship, Inc.; a 2004 black Chevy 2500HD was donated to the Rural Community Initiative Foundation in Sequoyah County; five bulletin boards were donated to the Elm Tree Baptist Church in Cherokee County; and a generator, Chevy engine, and transfer switch were donated to Maryetta School in Adair County.
The council approved a resolution authorizing the Bureau of Indian Affairs to revise and update the tribe’s inventory of tribal transportation facilities to include 35 new roads totaling 134.95 miles in Nowata and Washington counties.
In his state of the nation address, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said he is returning to New Orleans today, Tuesday, for a keel-laying ceremony for the U.S. Navy ship, the USNS Cherokee Nation. Hoskin, councilors, and administration officials recently visited the city for a court hearing in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act to advocate for its constitutionality.
“I just want to impress upon the council and reassure you and the public that we are working aggressively to defend the Indian Child Welfare Act,” said Hoskin. “It’s important to Indian nations in this country and the Cherokee Nation that that law withstanding, frankly, the assault on its constitutionality.”
The tribe has recently begun urging its citizens to participate in the 2020 Census, as a more accurate count can help ensure various tribal programs are federally funded. Hoskin said the tribe estimates that for each citizen who does not participate, it loses around $50,000 that could go toward things like housing allocations and health services.
Hoskin also touched on the new seven-member workgroup formed to study and analyze the use of hemp and cannabis in fields such as commerce, health care and agriculture.
“I know that we all get questions from time to time about what the best strategy is for the Cherokee Nation, what sort of businesses we should be in, what effect does this have on our health system, and how can we knock down barriers of our citizens to engage in what everyone else gets to engage in, in terms of commerce – in terms of better health,” he said. “So we are going to study it.”
The next regular meeting of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council is March 16, 6 p.m., at the W.W. Keeler Complex.