Published August 21, 2015
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA — The Cherokee Nation is accepting applications for all 17 Tribal Youth Council seats for 2015-16.
The Cherokee Nation’s Tribal Youth Council advises the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council on issues that affect youth, and the members serve as ambassadors of the Cherokee Nation. Selected students will also attend Tribal Council meetings and help with community service projects.
Applications must be mailed only and postmarked by Sept. 11. Applications can be downloaded at www.cherokee.org/youthcouncil.
“The Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council is one of the most important investments our tribe makes, because it is an investment in our future,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “This youth council is a unique opportunity to participate in a program that will cultivate leadership skills, while meeting new people, expanding knowledge about the Cherokee Nation and developing a better sense of community service. These young people will one day take their place as the leaders of our tribe. It’s vital we help them on that journey by providing these kinds of mentoring and educational opportunities”
The 2014-15 Tribal Youth Council was active in several projects and instrumental in reforming the 17-member body’s bylaws. Among the group’s projects was the acceptance of the White House’s Gen-I challenge, which aims to remove barriers that stand between young people and their opportunity to succeed through new investments and more engagement among tribal youth and the federal government.
Several Tribal Youth Council members met with President Barack Obama during his visit to Oklahoma in July. The youth were able to meet and participate in a discussion group before the president’s speech at Durant High School.
“This is a program that’s near and dear to my heart, and it’s a vehicle to teach leadership and provide students with opportunities to enhance their development as future leaders,” said Tribal Youth Council sponsor Lisa Trice-Turtle. “Students who are selected will learn more about Cherokee culture, history, language and how to be a voice for Cherokee youth.”
The new members will be comprised of nine students from the southern half of Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdiction, which includes Cherokee, Adair, Sequoyah and portions of Muskogee, Wagoner and McIntosh counties.
Eight members will be accepted from the northern districts of the Cherokee Nation jurisdiction, including Delaware, Mayes, Craig, Nowata, Washington, Ottawa, Rogers and Tulsa counties.
Selected students will serve a one-year term. Interested students must submit a profile, write an essay on the importance of tribal sovereignty, submit three letters of recommendation and other criteria. A committee will make the selections.
To apply for Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council, students must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- be 15-22 years old on Oct. 1, 2015
- be a Cherokee Nation citizen
- have a permanent address inside the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdiction
- have a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale