U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., (left) looks over Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s (right) new Cherokee Nation photo ID citizenship card while visiting Tahlequah May 4.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., stopped in Tahlequah May 4 to tour the Cherokee Nation with Principal Chief Bill John Baker.
“The Cherokee Nation was honored to host Sen. Tom Udall in Tahlequah and show him the successes of our housing, education and health care programs,” Chief Baker said. “As a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Sen. Udall has earned a well-deserved reputation as a principled leader who has the integrity to do what is right for sovereign tribal governments. Without a doubt, Sen. Udall is one of the biggest champions for Indian Country in Congress."
The senator toured W.W. Hastings’ new emergency room and urgent care department that has shortened wait times of Native American patients. He also toured model homes from Chief Baker’s New Home Construction initiative that builds affordable homes for Cherokees who earn $15,000 or more in income per year and are first-time homeowners.
“I have been on the Indian Affairs Committee for 14 years in Congress, so I have a real perspective on tribes and how well they are serving their members, and I am very impressed today with the provision of health care, education and housing that’s being done by the Cherokee Nation,” Udall said. “I toured all three of those areas and spoke with Chief Baker, and I am just very impressed at how the tribe is providing those services to its members.”
The tour culminated with a drive around Sequoyah High School, Cherokee Immersion Charter School and the Cherokee Nation Early Childhood Unit and Child Development Center. Chief Baker gave Udall an overview of the tribe’s dedication to education starting at infancy and through college, offering $2,000 scholarships per semester for Cherokee citizens who agree to perform 20 hours of community service during the semester.
Udall serves on five Senate committees, including the Indian Affairs Committee. He has also served as a U.S. representative and as New Mexico’s attorney general.
Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896
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