Cherokee Principal Chief Bill John Baker & Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed historic hunting agreement this past summer.
Published October 26, 2015
Fall is here, which means many Cherokees look forward to the yearly ritual of hunting deer and other game for both sport and for sustenance. For decades, confusion about jurisdiction and treaty rights has lingered, meaning some Cherokee Nation citizens purchased a hunting and fishing license to exercise their inherent rights as Cherokees, rather than risk possible prosecution from state wildlife officers. Starting Jan. 1, the confusion ends.
Last summer I signed a hunting and fishing compact with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin that both upholds our inherent treaty rights to freely hunt and fish our own lands, and extends those rights across all 77 counties in Oklahoma. Cherokee Nation is the first tribe to enter into a compact with the state to properly recognize our long-held treaty rights to hunt and fish the lands within our jurisdictional boundaries and beyond.
Beginning in January, Cherokee Nation citizens 16 and over will be issued a license and receive one deer tag and one turkey tag. You will also be reinforcing your inherent, sovereign rights as Cherokees. About half of our Oklahoma Cherokees live outside our 14-county jurisdiction, so this allows Cherokees living in central, southern and western Oklahoma to freely hunt on local land.
In two months we will begin mailing Cherokee Nation hunting and fishing licenses to all Cherokees in Oklahoma over 16 years old. In order to do that, it is vital that we have your correct information on file.
There are several ways to assist in this effort. In the latest issue of Anadisgoi magazine, which should be showing up in your mailboxes soon, we’ve included an updated information form. If you do receive the magazine, please use the form to update complete information for yourself and other Cherokee Nation citizens over the age of 16 in your household.
If you do not receive the magazine or there are multiple people in your household who need updated addresses, the good news is it takes only a few minutes to update online with our registration department. Visit www.cherokee.org and click on “services,” then “tribal citizenship,” then “update information.” You can print the form, fill it out and return via mail, fax or email. You can also call the Cherokee Nation Tribal Registration Department at (918) 453-5000 to make sure your information is complete and correct.
Maintaining a current address with the Cherokee Nation registration office also ensures your household receives other important news about tribal services and programs. From time to time we will share tribal publications such as the Anadisgoi magazine and other important information like annual reports, expansion of programs and more.
We look forward to issuing licenses early next year, so that hunting and fishing remain a vital part of our survival and will continue to be a way of life for Cherokees for generations to come.
Wado and happy hunting,