Calling for Continued Accountability in Cherokee Government and More Homes for Cherokee Families
Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA – Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden kicked off his re-election campaign for another term as Deputy Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation with a call for continued clarity and accountability in all corners of tribal government.
“Over the past three and a half years, we have made great strides and the Cherokee government has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure our programs and businesses are more transparent and serve all Cherokee citizens,” Crittenden said. “When Cherokee people truly believe in their government, we can operate successfully and strive every day to improve the lives of Cherokee people.”
Crittenden is a sixth generation resident of the Cherokee Nation since the Trail of Tears. He took office in 2011 after eight years on the tribal council, and became an advocate for some of the most successful initiatives in Cherokee government, including the Cherokee Nation car tag expansion, the construction of new state-of-the-art health care centers, and the restoration of the Cherokee Nation’s new home initiative.
One of the Deputy Chief’s deepest passions is ensuring Cherokee military veterans are recognized for their service and have all their essential needs met. He helped ensure the Cherokee Nation’s Veteran’s Center was completed and opened, so that military men and women who served the United States always have a place of honor at the tribal headquarters.
“Seeing the Cherokee Nation thrive again and create new opportunities for Cherokee families is the greatest blessing of this job,” Crittenden said. “That sense of renewed hope and possibility gives us all more optimism for a brighter future for our people.”
“The Deputy Chief became one of my most trusted allies back when we were both on the tribal council,” said Chief Bill John Baker. “Every Cherokee from every county in the nation, throughout Oklahoma and across the country knows that Joe Crittenden is fighting for them. He’s always been willing to tell the hard truths, even when it was tough to hear. But his unflinching integrity and passion for the job is inspiring to everyone he meets. He ran for office with the mantra of “doing the right thing for the right reason” and he executes that theme every day in every way.”
Crittenden graduated from Stilwell High School and Northeastern State University. Crittenden served in the Navy from April 1964 until August 1967 and is a Vietnam veteran. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service until his retirement in 2004 following more than 30 years of public service. He and his wife of 45 years, Lynda Poppino Crittenden, a retired educator, have two daughters and three grandchildren.