Cherokee Nation names first ever delegate to Congress

Article Image

The Cherokee Nation has named an official representative to Congress for the first time.Kimberly Teehee, executive director of government relations fo...

Posted: Sep 3, 2019 5:19 PM
Updated: Sep 3, 2019 11:30 PM

The Cherokee Nation has named an official representative to Congress for the first time.

Kimberly Teehee, executive director of government relations for the Cherokee Nation, was approved by the Council of the Cherokee Nation as a delegate to the US House of Representatives on Thursday, fulfilling a promise made to the tribe in a nearly 200-year-old treaty with the federal government.

A former senior policy adviser for Native American Affairs during President Barack Obama's administration, she was nominated by Chuck Hoskin Jr., chief principal of the Cherokee Nation. She is also a former senior adviser to the US House Native American Caucus Co-Chair former Rep. Dale Kildee and has held various positions within the Cherokee Nation.

The treaty doesn't specify if Teehee would be a voting member of the legislature, and her appointment requires congressional approval. But Hoskin said her role may be similar to those who represent Washington, DC, and five US territories -- Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the US Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana islands -- who can't vote on the House floor but can introduce legislation, vote in their respective committees and debate on the floor.

Teehee said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday she is 'humbled' to be nominated for an 'extraordinary responsibility' and is grateful for an opportunity to serve the Cherokee Nation.

'This journey is just beginning and we have a long way to go to see this through to fruition,' she said. 'However, a Cherokee Nation delegate to Congress is a negotiated right that our ancestors advocated for, and today, our tribal nation is stronger than ever and ready to defend all our constitutional and treaty rights. It's just as important in 2019 as it was in our three treaties.'

Teehee's historic nomination stems from a 1835 Treaty of New Echota in which the Cherokee were forced to leave their homes in the Southeast and go to present-day Oklahoma in exchange for money and other compensation. Nearly 4,000 citizens of the tribe died from disease, starvation and exhaustion on the journey known today as the Trail of Tears. As a way to compensate the tribe, the US government promised them a delegate in the House of Representatives.

Hoskin Jr. said Teehee is 'extremely qualified' for the position and, through her nomination, the Cherokee Nation is 'exercising our treaty rights and strengthening our sovereignty.'

'We know this is just the beginning and there is much work ahead, but we are being thorough in terms of implementation and ask our leaders in Washington to work with us through this process and on legislation that provides the Cherokee Nation with the delegate to which we are lawfully entitled,' he said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday.

Victoria Vazquez, deputy speaker of the council, said Teehee's political experience made her confirmation as delegate an 'easy decision.'

'Ms. Teehee has a wealth of experience working in Washington, DC with representatives from both sides of the aisle. She also has a storied career of advocating and working on issues for both the Cherokee Nation and Indian Country in general,' Vazquez said. 'These two attributes make her appointment as the first-ever delegate an easy decision and I am happy to support her nomination and Chief Hoskin's efforts to exercise our treaty rights.'

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34830

Reported Deaths: 2143
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9900581
Lake3639190
Allen166269
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph128634
Hendricks117171
Hamilton116293
Johnson1115109
Madison59359
Porter54328
Bartholomew51535
Clark50541
LaPorte43824
Howard41528
Tippecanoe4143
Jackson3921
Delaware38539
Shelby37322
Hancock34027
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Vanderburgh2822
Morgan28024
Montgomery24517
Noble23721
White2378
Clinton2331
Decatur22431
Grant21323
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18411
Greene16925
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Warrick16628
Monroe16612
Lawrence16524
Kosciusko1501
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Jennings1304
Orange13022
Scott1203
Marshall1112
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Carroll932
Daviess9216
Wayne855
LaGrange842
Steuben842
Wabash792
Fayette787
Newton7810
Jasper681
Jay530
Washington521
Clay511
Fulton491
Randolph483
Rush472
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley433
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Perry330
Brown331
Wells320
Benton310
Huntington282
Knox280
Blackford262
Tipton251
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Adams171
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35984

Reported Deaths: 2207
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5933271
Cuyahoga4508241
Hamilton2698151
Marion266828
Lucas2277248
Pickaway208637
Summit1453176
Mahoning1438178
Butler90931
Columbiana87552
Stark73692
Lorain69259
Montgomery68416
Trumbull58250
Belmont43513
Warren37821
Miami35830
Tuscarawas3493
Medina34624
Ashtabula34035
Delaware33713
Portage32757
Lake30913
Clark2956
Wood29547
Geauga28632
Fairfield2806
Wayne27750
Licking24910
Mercer2167
Clermont2135
Allen21233
Richland2013
Erie17514
Darke17422
Madison1557
Washington11819
Crawford1154
Morrow1071
Ottawa10316
Greene1035
Putnam9314
Sandusky8111
Monroe7914
Ross722
Auglaize723
Hocking695
Jefferson672
Hardin610
Huron601
Williams551
Muskingum520
Union521
Hancock501
Fulton440
Clinton431
Shelby433
Holmes431
Wyandot422
Coshocton400
Fayette400
Logan390
Preble391
Guernsey361
Defiance342
Carroll313
Lawrence300
Brown291
Champaign281
Highland251
Knox251
Vinton212
Seneca202
Ashland200
Scioto180
Perry181
Athens181
Henry160
Jackson140
Paulding140
Adams101
Harrison100
Gallia81
Pike80
Meigs60
Noble60
Van Wert60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 87°
Angola
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 82°
Huntington
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Decatur
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Van Wert
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 81°
Scattered Storms Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events