indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Indian Law Online Master Degree
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Todd Hembree: Cherokee Nation respects sovereignty of UKB

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: bia, bill john baker, cherokee, george wickliffe, land-into-trust, oklahoma, todd hembree, ukb
   

The following is the opinion of Todd Hembree, the attorney general for the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.


Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree. Photo courtesy Cherokee Nation

Recently, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Chief George Wickliffe released a statement concerning the relationship between the Cherokee Nation and the UKB. In that statement he said that Principal Chief Bill John Baker broke promises to work with the UKB by filing an injunction to prevent the UKB from gaining land into trust.

I respect Chief Wickliffe as a Cherokee Elder and as a leader of his people. However, there are certain points that must be made clear.

The Cherokee Nation is a constitutional government with separate and distinct branches and specific constitutional offices, each with its own duties and responsibilities. One such office is that of Attorney General, which I have the honor to hold. The paramount duty of the Attorney General is to represent the Cherokee Nation and make all legal decisions for our nation. The office of Attorney General is purposely set out in our Constitution to be an independent office, free of political influence.

Therefore, when Chief Wickliffe says that Chief Baker made the decision to oppose the UKB land into trust issue, he is incorrect. This decision was made by me, the Attorney General. The decision to defend our sovereignty and jurisdiction was made based upon the facts, the law and what is best for the Cherokee people. Under our Constitution, I am duty bound to uphold jurisdictional integrity.

When the UKB casino closed, Chief Baker immediately offered jobs to any displaced Cherokee employee with no strings attached. Chief Baker also notified our departments to find ways to help Cherokee citizens in need of assistance because of these events. The Cherokee Nation continues to have a standing invitation to any UKB leader to sit together and negotiate a resolution that can best serve all Cherokees without costly litigation.

Throughout his life of service, Chief Baker has proven himself time and again to be a friend to the Keetoowah Cherokee and an advocate for all Cherokee people. Litigation between the Cherokee Nation and the UKB has been ongoing for more than 30 years. However, as stated earlier, all litigation is directed by the Attorney General, not the Principal Chief.

Political influence and campaigns bear no weight in my decisions. It is my hope, as well as that of Chief Baker, that the Cherokee Nation and the UKB can come together to resolve all issues in a way that preserves the sovereignty and dignity of both nations.

Related Stories:
George Wickliffe: United Keetoowah Band fights for its rights (1/30)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Activists take annual swim to Alcatraz Island (10/21)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Natives ready for conference and election (10/21)
Chelsey Luger & Gyasi Ross: From slow suicide to slow healing (10/21)
Bill John Baker: Addressing breast cancer in our communities (10/21)
ICT interview with Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn of BIA (10/21)
Navajo Nation court still mulling decision in presidential case (10/21)
Column: Billy Mills still inspires 50 years after Olympic victory (10/21)
Editorial: Winnebago Tribe's business makes a big contribution (10/21)
Lincoln Indian Center adopts permanent alcohol ban after party (10/21)
Suquamish Tribe shares fish from hatchery at annual giveaway (10/21)
Editorial: Bad move by Northern Arapaho Tribe on joint council (10/21)
Wisconsin court to hear appeal over Oneida Nation waste plant (10/21)
Closure of Chukchansi Tribe's casino affects reservation water (10/21)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe considers casino on ancestral Ohio site (10/21)
Town meeting for Lac Vieux Desert Band off-reservation casino (10/21)
North Fork Rancheria won't give up off-reservation casino plan (10/21)
Tohono O'odham Nation was looking for off-reservation casino (10/21)
Poarch Creeks won't confirm or deny talks for gaming compact (10/21)
Tim Giago: Deaths of Native men in Rapid City remain unsolved (10/20)
Charles 'Chuck' Trimble: Let Crazy Horse's spirit rest in peace (10/20)
Mark Trahant: Races come down to turnout in three key states (10/20)
Native Sun News: Billy Mills wows youth at Black Hills Powwow (10/20)
Cedric Sunray: Tribes abandon traditional aspects of inclusion (10/20)
Dustina Gill: Vote for Rick Weiland to protect our sacred waters (10/20)
Ousted Project Runway contestant reaffirms Puyallup heritage (10/20)
White House Tribal Nations Conference takes place December 3 (10/20)
Bryan Brewer: Park helps Oglala Sioux Tribe protect its culture (10/20)
Robert Porter: Don't let tribal issues fall prey to partisan politics (10/20)
Gabe Galanda: Abramoff's playbook still used in Indian Country (10/20)
Jay Daniels: Let BIA make changes to rights-of-way regulation (10/20)
Mike McBride: Sovereign goodwill at a low in tribal tax dispute (10/20)
Top Navajo Nation court holds hearing in presidential dispute (10/20)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe to open resort at ancestral site in Ohio (10/20)
Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas selects Lester Randall as new leader (10/20)
Editorial: Address safety concerns about tribal hunts at night (10/20)
Chukchansi Tribe sends layoff notices to most casino workers (10/20)
Rivals raise nearly $16M to block North Fork Rancheria casino (10/20)
Judge won't let BIA proceed with compact for Pojoaque Pueblo (10/20)
Candidates discuss Menominee Nation's off-reservation casino (10/20)
Opinion: Suckers help Chumash Tribe finance casino expansion (10/20)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe buckles to pressure on park (10/17)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.