NCAI Supports a Cherokee Nation Delegate in Congress

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. addresses the NCAI delegates and thanks them for their consideration at the end of his remarks. Native News Online photograph by Levi Rickert

Published November 7, 2019 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Tribes across the country support the U.S. Government honoring treaty obligations by sending a Cherokee Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The National Congress of American Indians passed a resolution on Oct. 25 with the language during its 76thAnnual National Convention in Albuquerque.

NCAI was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments. More than 170 tribal nations attended the convention.

“The Cherokee Nation now has the backing of NCAI member tribes from across the country who also believe in Congress obligating treaty rights,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “This right is not only important to Cherokee Nation, but it stands for a proposition vital to all of Indian Country which is that treaties are the law of the land and the United States government should keep its word.”

The NCAI resolution supports the Cherokee Nation’s assertion of its treaty right to seat a delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives, as guaranteed in the Cherokee Nation’s treaties of 1785, 1835, and 1866. 

“Now Therefore be it resolved, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) fully supports the exercise of tribal treaty rights, including the seating of a Delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives where promised, and calls upon the House of Representatives to fulfill its obligation to tribal nations, including the Cherokee Nation, by seating its named Delegate in Congress,” the resolution states. 

Chief Hoskin’s Congressional delegate nomination of Kim Teehee came in August, just days after he was sworn into office and is aimed at strengthening tribal sovereignty.

The Cherokee Nation delegate is referenced in both the Treaty of Hopewell from 1785 and Treaty of New Echota from 1835 between the Cherokee Nation and federal government. The Treaty of 1866 also reaffirms all previous treaties between the Cherokee Nation and United States. The tribe continues to work with Congressional leaders to move the appointment forward.

Teehee has worked for years advocating in Congress, on a bi-partisan basis, for the interests of Cherokee Nation. Before being named the tribe’s vice president of government relations in 2014, Teehee served President Barack Obama as the first-ever senior policy advisor for Native American affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council for three years. Prior to serving in the White House, she was senior advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives Native American Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Dale Kildee D-MI. 

The NCAI resolution can be found at http://www.ncai.org/resolutions/ABQ-19-024.pdf

 

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