TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.’s cabinet and Congressional delegate nominations were unanimously confirmed by the Council of the Cherokee Nation during a special meeting Thursday.
The cabinet confirmations included Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, the tribe’s former Deputy Chief from Stilwell. The new cabinet-level office was proposed in a legislative act Thursday and approved by the Council before Crittenden was confirmed for the post. Other cabinet confirmations included Secretary of State Tina Glory Jordan, of Hulbert; Attorney General Sara Hill, of Tahlequah; Treasurer Tralynna Scott, of Bixby; and Chad Harsha, of Mounds.
Hill will serve a term of five years as the Attorney General. Crittenden, Jordan, Scott and Harsha will each serve a four-year term in their respective offices.
Marshal Shannon Buhl and Chief of Staff Todd Enlow make up the rest of Chief Hoskin’s cabinet.
“The members of this cabinet have an impeccable record in their respective field when it comes to advocating for the Cherokee people. Each cabinet member possesses the strong leadership and core values that will help continue to move our Nation forward,” Chief Hoskin said. “The Council’s confirmations of my nominations speaks to the expertise, professionalism and skill set each one of them bring in their respective role and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together for the Cherokee people.”
In addition to cabinet confirmations, the Council also confirmed Chief Hoskin’s nomination of Cherokee Nation Government Relations Executive Director and Cherokee Nation Businesses Vice President of Government Relations Kim Teehee as the first-ever delegate to the U.S. Congress. The Congressional delegate post is afforded by two treaties between the tribe and federal government and affirmed by a third.
“Ms. Teehee has a wealth of experience working in Washington, D.C. with representatives from both sides of the aisle. She also has a storied career of advocating and working on issues for both the Cherokee Nation and Indian Country in general. These two attributes make her appointment as the first-ever delegate an easy decision and I am happy to support her nomination and Chief Hoskin’s efforts to exercise our treaty rights,” said Deputy Speaker of the Council Victoria Vazquez.
In other business, the legislative branch passed Chief Hoskin’s proposed Housing, Jobs, and Sustainable Communities Act of 2019. The act is part of Chief Hoskin’s First 100 Days in Office initiatives and will invest $30 million of Cherokee Nation Business’s profits into the repair of hundreds of Cherokee homes, remodel and modernization of community buildings inside the 14-county jurisdiction as well as create construction jobs all across northeastern Oklahoma.
“The waiting list for home rehabilitation projects has grown more and more over the years and it was time that our tribe aggressively addressed it. This legislation proposed by Chief Hoskin and passed by the Council allocates $30 million for the repair of hundreds of Cherokee homes as well as the remodeling of community buildings inside our jurisdiction,” District 7 Councilor Canaan Duncan said. “I commend Chief Hoskin for not only realizing the need, but acting swiftly in proposing this legislation that will give Cherokee Nation citizens and communities the hand up they need to live in safe and healthy homes as well as have the best community gathering places possible.”
The Council of the Cherokee Nation also confirmed the reappointment of Frankie Hargis, of Stilwell, as the registrar of the Cherokee Nation. As registrar, she is charged with managing the tribe’s registration department and overseeing the processing of Cherokee Nation citizenship applications and Certificate Degree of Indian Blood certifications. Hargis previously served seven years on the Council of the Cherokee Nation before being appointed to the tribe’s registrar position last November.
The next Council of the Cherokee Nation meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah.