July 19, 2013
The Cherokee Nation celebrated the inaugural Charles L. Head Day on July 18, which is dedicated to honoring the memory of the late Secretary of State.
Head died Jan. 30 in a car wreck, and a month later Principal Chief Bill John Baker declared Head’s birthday, July 18, as a day of celebrating his work and life.
“Since Charles’ passing, there is still a void in the Cherokee complex. I knew he was irreplaceable, but now, after a few months, I have grown even more appreciative of what Charles did as Secretary of State,” Baker said. “Charles was a proud Cherokee man and somebody our entire nation could look to with respect. We will always honor his memory, and his legacy lives on in the work that we all do.”
Employees and citizens joined Chief Baker, the Head family and other elected officials for a ceremony at the W.W. Keeler Complex in Tahlequah. Afterward, 48 monarch butterflies were released to signify hope.
Head not only worked to build strong government-to-government relations, but was instrumental in forming the ONE FIRE Against Violence Victim Services Office and Task Force. He was determined to establish services that increase the safety for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and dating violence.
The ONE FIRE Victim Services office opened in April at 215 S. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah. Victims of sexual assault or violence can call the emergency hotline at 866-458-5399 or Cherokee Nation ONE FIRE officials at 918-453-5113.