Tahlequah – The Constitution Convention Commission of the Cherokee Nation will host a series of Education Forums throughout the Cherokee Nation and across the United States in preparation for the upcoming Constitution amendment and ratification vote in May and July.
The Commission was organized by Tribal Legislation after the 1995 vote of the People called for the organization of a Convention to examine the current 1976 Constitution of the Cherokee Nation. Within the Constitution is a requirement to ask the Cherokee Citizens if a Constitution Convention is to be called at least once every 20 years. This question was overwhelmingly passed during the 1995 General Election.
Since that time, a Commission was formed to hold public hearings, organize a Constitution Convention, and work with the Election Commission to place that document before the Cherokee People. A new Constitution was written and adopted by the 79 Delegate Convention held in Tahlequah in March of 1999. Efforts to obtain BIA approval of the document have occupied the work of the Commission since 1999.
Cherokee Citizens will be asked to vote on an amendment question during the May 24, 2003 General Election. This amendment will seek to remove “federal approval” requirements from the 1976 Constitution. If that question is passed, the 1999 Constitution, written by the Convention will be placed on the July 26, 2003 run-off election ballot for ratification.
In preparation for these Constitution votes, the Commission is holding a series of Education Forums to inform and prepare voters for the upcoming elections. All Cherokee Citizens are invited to participate in these Education Forums. The meetings are free of charge and open to the public. Commissioners will host the meetings and provide handouts containing both the 1976 and 1999 Constitutions. The primary focus of the meetings will be to clarify the differences between the two documents.
The Education Forums will be held:
June 28th, 2003
Tahlequah - Cherokee Capitol Building -101 S. Muskogee
Vinita - Cherokee Nation Housing Authority, 900 McNelis, #31-B, Tom Buffington Heights
Stilwell - First United Methodist Church, 3rd & Division
South Coffeyville - Old City Hall, 207 W. Broadway
July 12th, 2003
Bartlesville - Keeler Heights, 1003 S.W. Virginia
Marble City - Community Building, Main & Cherokee
Jay - Community Building, Hwy. 59
Belfonte - Community Building, Hwy. 101
July 19th, 2003
Claremore – Senior Citizen Center, 116 N. Missouri
Fort Gibson – Community Room, 200 W. Hickory
Webbers Falls – City Hall, River Street
Pryor – Grand Community Building, 6 N. Adair
If your community or group is interested in the Commission conducting an education forum in your community, contact the Commission Office.
For more information on the upcoming ratification vote, contact the Constitution Convention Commission office at P.O. Box 1931, Tahlequah, Oklahoma 74465 or by calling 918-456-0671, extension 2570. More details can be found at www.cherokee.org or by emailing your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may review the Consitution comparison. in streaming video, Audio, and .pdf formats.