Tribal Council creates school board for Cherokee Immersion Charter School


(L to R) Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden; Principal Chief Bill John Baker; Cherokee Nation citizens Hominy Littledave, Clint Ballou and Wade Tackett; Cherokee artist Bill Glass Jr.; Tribal Councilor David Walkingstick and Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council voted Monday to create a new three-member school board for the Cherokee Immersion Charter School to represent parents and advise school administrators on important language and mission decisions.

Cherokee Nation citizens Rufus King, Melvina Shotpouch and Russell Feeling, who are all Cherokee speakers, were nominated by Principal Chief Bill John Baker. The Tribal Council approved all three nominations during April’s Tribal Council meeting. Each appointee will serve a five-year term.

“Through the Cherokee Immersion Charter School, the Cherokee Nation is cultivating a new generation of Cherokee speakers,” said Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd. “The revitalization of our language is of the utmost importance, thus making this board extremely vital. We need governing school board members who not only speak our language, but understand the seriousness of the mission of our school. These three tribal citizens are champions for our language, and I know they will take every step necessary to ensure our Immersion students have the best resources available to learn and grow our language.”

The Cherokee Immersion Charter School serves more than 100 students from preschool to eighth grade.

In other business, the Tribal Council honored Cherokee Nation citizens Hominy Littledave, Clint Ballou and Wade Tackett for volunteering to build a chapel on the campus of Sequoyah Schools in 1995.

The Tribal Council also passed the following legislation:

• A resolution authorizing changing the name of the Cherokee Nation-owned Sallisaw Creek Park in Sequoyah County to National Cherokee Nation Park.
• A resolution authorizing the Cherokee Nation to lease tribal trust land to the Kenwood Rural Water District for a water treatment plant, storage tank, pump station and wells.
• A resolution supporting the deployment of the F-35 Lightning II Fighter Aircraft to the 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard located at the Tulsa Air National Guard Base.

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

Cherokee Nation News Release
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