Principal Chief Bill John Baker
Published September 15, 2016
TULALIP, WASHINGTON – The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) honored Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker with the prestigious “Enough Good People” award on Tuesday during the 18th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip, Washington.
Baker was awarded the The award honors individuals who have made a significant impact on AIANTA and contributed to the overall success of tourism in Indian Country.
“I am honored to receive the Enough Good People Award from AIANTA, an organization Cherokee Nation is proud to support. AIANTA plays such a critical role in growing and sustaining tribal tourism efforts in America and does it while honoring the traditions and values of so many indigenous cultures,” Baker said. “At Cherokee Nation, we work diligently to retain our traditional lifeways through education and preservation, and we strive to share our heritage every single day with visitors from around the world.”
Baker is a longtime supporter of AIANTA and has been instrumental in leading efforts to support congressional legislation for the tribal tourism and hospitality industry. His emphasis on tourism stems from his family’s roots in education and his passion for sharing the history and culture of the Cherokee people.
As Principal Chief of the nation’s largest tribe, Baker has overseen the renovation and preservation of multiple cultural projects, including the Cherokee National Capitol, the Cherokee National Prison Museum, the John Ross Museum and the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum. He is an avid supporter of the Cherokee Heritage Center, which is home to historical art, archival records and an authentic re-creation of a Cherokee village from the early 1700s. Most recently, Baker supported efforts to purchase Sequoyah’s Cabin from the Oklahoma Historical Society. The state of Oklahoma was no longer able to operate the national historic landmark and popular tourist attraction due to state budget cuts. The investment helps ensure that the legacy of Sequoyah and his development of the Cherokee syllabary are preserved for generations.
“AIANTA has been honoring tribal tourism champions from across the country with the Enough Good People Award since 2012,” said Camille Ferguson, AIANTA executive director. “We are thrilled to present Chief Baker with this year’s prestigious award, recognizing his strong partnership with AIANTA and his deep commitment to the preservation and sharing of American Indian culture through tourism.”