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Newly Elected Tribal Youth Council Eager to Serve

10/15/2012
October 15, 2012

2012-2014 Tribal Youth Council members (L to R) Front row: Megan Baker, Claudia Baker, Mikal Yahola, Meagan Morrow. Second row: Elizabeth Burns, Nathalie Tomasik, Meekah Roy, Brandon Doyle, Lakin Keener. Back row: William Chaser, Eric Budder, Noah Collins, Jonathon Pilcher, Keaton Sheets, Jordan Galvan and Marissa Williams.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — A newly elected group of Cherokee students are set to begin their two-year term on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council after having won their respective elections. Tribal Youth Council is an elected board of Cherokee students living within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction and includes an at-large seat to be occupied by the current Miss Cherokee. The new youth council will be comprised of the following Cherokee students: District 1- Claudia Baker, Tahlequah; Lakin Keener, Hulbert; Nathalie Tomasik, Tahlequah; and Marissa Williams, Park Hill. District 2 - Brandon Doyle, Stilwell; Jonathon Pilcher, Westville; and Keaton Sheets, Stilwell. District 3 - William Chaser, Muldrow; Jordan Galvan, Fort Gibson and Mikal Yahola of Vian. District 4 - Megan Baker, Locust Grove; Meagan Morrow, Bartlesville; and Meekah Roy, Salina. District 5 - Eric Budder, Elizabeth Burns and Noah Collins, all of Claremore. At Large - Christy Kingfisher, Tahlequah.

The role of youth council members is to act as representatives and voice concerns regarding their age group to their respective Tribal Council members. Youth council members will also participate in monthly meetings and orchestrate monthly community service projects across the Cherokee Nation. “Ultimately, we are trying to prepare them for a role in public service,” Cherokee Nation special projects officer Patrick Hill, who coordinates the council, said. “My main focus is to get them to see the world not as citizens of a small community, but on a greater scale.”

The youth council experience is very much about experiential learning and embracing the exposure to great opportunities, Hill said. Previous youth councils have visited Washington, D.C., and New York City and have also met various congressmen and senators on those trips. Newly elected council members are excited about the opportunities presented to them by being a part of such a respected group, they said.

“I’m hoping to learn about the process of being in a leadership group that’s highly rated and committed to excellence,” said District 4 youth council member Meagan Morrow. District 4 youth council member Megan Baker said her peers are often unaware of the opportunities the Cherokee Nation offers to youth, and it is important for the council to demonstrate and educate students in local communities about those services.

 This year’s youth council elections were the first to be held online. Voter registration was left open throughout the entire election process. The youth council election had a total of 124 ballots cast online. Cherokee Nation’s Tribal Youth Council was established in 1989. Regular district council seats are held for a term of two years starting Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, and the at-large seat inhabited by the current Miss Cherokee changes on an annual basis. For more information email youth-leadership@cherokee.org.


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