Published July 20, 2016
TAHLEQUAH – Prior to next week’s Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker endorsed Hillary Clinton to become president of the United States.
The Cherokee Nation is one of America’s largest American Indian tribes.
Citing her commitment to tribal nations, Baker says in his endorsement:
“Secretary Clinton understands Indian people must have a seat at the table with federal officials in the development of federal policies affecting our communities.”
Below is a text of his endorsement:
An endorsement for Hillary Clinton for President of the United States
Hillary Clinton is our best choice to serve as President of the United States. Having served in the roles of Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and the sometime under-appreciated role of First Lady, she has unprecedented experience in international and domestic policy, which includes tribal sovereignty. As the elected leader of the largest tribal government in America, that level of experience is invaluable to Indian Country.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker
Hillary Clinton will continue the legacy of meaningful government to government consultations between tribal nations and the United States established by Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and will build on that foundation. She truly grasps the federal trust responsibility to our tribal nations, while being empathetic to the problems facing Indian Country.
Secretary Clinton has heard the call of tribal leaders and will take action on the issues most important to our people. She will ensure the issues facing the First Americans will not be the last to be addressed.
I had the pleasure of attending a tribal leaders meeting at the White House many years ago when I served on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council and it was then First Lady Hillary Clinton who led our discussion. This was an historic moment, as there was direct engagement between tribal leaders and the White House like never before in modern history. She promised a true government-to-government relationship and a real partnership to address our unique needs and the result of that meeting was Executive Order 13175 on tribal consultation that was issued by President Clinton. Secretary Clinton understands Indian people must have a seat at the table with federal officials in the development of federal policies affecting our communities.
She has been a vocal and visionary leader for tribal citizens as a supporter of the Violence Against Women Act, tribal colleges, the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Secretary Clinton is the most qualified candidate to be president because she understands that our brightest future lies in strong relationships, especially as we strive to bring equality and economic development to Indian Country. History teaches us that failure to include the voices of tribal leaders leads to devastating results for Indian people. This dialogue is critical to productive federal-tribal relationships.
As President, Hillary Clinton will continue an active dialogue with tribal governments. She will focus a progressive agenda on the needs of our youth, our women, our veterans, our natural resources and access to quality health care for our people for generations.
I hope you join me in supporting Hillary Clinton as this race moves forward, as she is the best equipped and most experienced person in the race to become our next commander-in-chief.