– Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker praised efforts to establish a cabinet level position dedicated to Native American affairs in the governor’s office.
Authored by Rep. Chuck Hoskin (D-Vinita), who also serves as Cherokee Nation chief of staff, House Bill 1305 would create an executive branch cabinet area embracing “the functions of all executive agencies, boards, commissions and institutions related to Native American issues and state and tribal relations.”
The cabinet secretary of Native American Affairs would be designated the Oklahoma Native American liaison.
“With 39 tribal nations in Oklahoma, communication and cooperation between tribes and the governor’s office are essential, so the Cherokee Nation supports this measure to improve that relationship,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Tribes are a major contributor to the economy and culture of our state. When tribes do well, so does Oklahoma. The Cherokee Nation alone had an economic impact of $1.3 billion on our state in 2012, and other tribes have a similar story. The establishment of a cabinet level position to address Native issues in Oklahoma would increase collaboration between the tribal nations and the state, which positively impacts all Oklahomans. I urge our legislators to swiftly pass House Bill 1305.”
Cherokee Nation News Release
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