United Keetoowah Band Assistant Chief George Locust and UKB Chief George Wickliffe were presented gifts by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker at Tri-Council.
CATOOSA, Okla. —Leaders from all three federally-recognized Cherokee tribes met at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on Friday for the 2013 Tri-Council meeting.
The Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in N.C., and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, collectively claim about 355,000 citizens. The three tribes are the only federally recognized Cherokee tribes in the United States. The chiefs and legislative bodies met for the second straight year to approve acts vital to protecting Cherokee culture, identity and sovereignty.
“This is a historical gathering with all three bodies coming together to explore and address critical issues common to all of our Cherokee people,” Cherokee Nation Speaker Tina Glory-Jordan said. “It’s important that each year we unite together to remain strong.”
About 30 Tribal Council members from all three tribes approved four resolutions Friday, including a new working committee that will have three members from each tribe’s council that will hold quarterly communication and exchange information on issues common to all three tribes.
They also approved a resolution of support for the historic and culturally significant Nikwasi Mounds, about 40 miles from Cherokee, N.C. be reclaimed to the Eastern Band, to maintain and preserve it.
Two other resolutions dealt with supporting identity. The three tribes approved adopting a policy to ensure that Cherokee Days at Red Clay State Park, Tenn. is presented authentically. The three Cherokee tribes plan to send Cherokee representatives each year.
The tribes also approved support for a more transparent and efficient process for tribal recognition from the U.S. Department of Interior, without lessening the standards. The resolution will be sent as consultation to the DOI.
Tri-Council was a weeklong gathering hosted by the Cherokee Nation, with tours of the Cherokee Heritage Center and Saline Courthouse, fish fry and other events. It will be hosted by the United Keetoowah Band in 2014.
“I appreciate everyone coming to the table. If we are all not here, we are not whole,” said Bo Taylor, who represents the Big Cove community in Cherokee, N.C. “As Cherokees we have overcome so much; overcome removal, drought, disease and we will always overcome and get back up.”
Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896
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