The new president of the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation is appointing for the first time a delegate to the United States House of Representatives, a move that is believed to be codified in a 200-year-old treaty between the tribe and the federal government.
Tulsa World is one of many media outlets that have reported on the historic development, saying:
In a letter Thursday to the speaker of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. requested a special meeting of the council later this month to consider confirming Kimberly Teehee, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, to the position. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter on Friday.
Hoskin, the tribe’s former secretary of state, was elected leader of the 370,000-citizen tribe, the country’s largest, in June with almost 58 percent of the vote.
In a statement released by the tribe, Hoskin said the Cherokee Nation’s right to a congressional delegate was reaffirmed by two separate treaties with the federal government and reflected in the tribe’s constitution. He also said it was important now because native issues “continue to rise to the forefront of the national dialogue.”
“At Cherokee Nation, we are exercising our treaty rights and strengthening our sovereignty,” Hoskin said. “The announcement next week is simply the first step in a long process, having a Cherokee Nation citizen seated as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. We are eager to work with our congressional delegation from Oklahoma to move this historic appointment forward.”