Cherokee Nation approves new tobacco compact with state


Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden and Tribal Councilor Frankie Hargis congratulated Cody Parker as Principal Chief Bill John Baker recognized him for winning World Champion Bareback Rider at the Indian Nationals Finals Rodeo.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —A 10-year tobacco compact between the Cherokee Nation and state of Oklahoma was passed by the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council on Tuesday. It now goes to Governor Mary Fallin’s office for both parties to sign.

“I applaud Attorney General Todd Hembree and his dedicated staff for negotiating a deal with the governor’s office and state of Oklahoma,” said Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “It is going to be a win-win-win for all parties involved. The state will get its share, local smoke shop owners will do better than they ever did under the previous compact, and the Cherokee Nation will recapture some of the lost market share within our jurisdiction.”

The new compact enables smoke shop owners to be more competitive in the market, generating more tax revenue for the Cherokee Nation. The state of Oklahoma now also collects 100 percent of its share of tobacco tax revenue up front. There are about 50 licensed tobacco retailers within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction. The legislation can be found starting this week at

“The new tobacco compact shows our support as a government for these smoke shop owners and all the people they employ,” said Tribal Council Deputy Speaker Janelle Fullbright of Sallisaw. “Our hope is that the agreement will boost sales revenue to benefit tribal retailers and retain hundreds of jobs within the tribal jurisdiction.”

In other business during the November Tribal Council meeting:

• Chief Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden recognized Cherokee citizen Cody Parker, of Stilwell, for winning World Champion Bareback Rider at the Indian Nationals Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in early November.

• Tribal Council also passed a resolution authorizing the Cherokee Nation Family Assistance Department Senior Nutrition Program to apply for a three-year grant to help secure funds for the tribe’s 14 senior nutrition programs within the Cherokee Nation jurisdiction.

The next Tribal Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Dec. 16, at the W.W. Keeler Complex in Tahlequah.

Cherokee Nation News Release
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