indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
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:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tribes rest easy as Supreme Court wraps up a surprising session (6/24)
Tribes in northern California take action to protect salmon runs (6/24)
Aaron Payment re-elected as chairman of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe (6/24)
Gun Lake Tribe hosts annual Sweet Grass Moon Powwow in July (6/24)
Native Sun News: First Native hockey referee 'Butchy' passes on (6/24)
Delphine Red Shirt: Lakota people denied voting rights on our land (6/24)
Ruth Hopkins: Saving sacred Bear Butte from a massive biker bar (6/24)
Terese Mailhot: Becoming a better ally after the Orlando shooting (6/24)
April Youpee-Roll: Elizabeth Warren owes more to Indian Country (6/24)
Another land-into-trust fix reportedly being drafted in the Senate (6/24)
Federal charges filed in kidnapping of girl on Fort Peck Reservation (6/24)
Non-Indian charged for trespassing at Nambe Pueblo in New Mexico (6/24)
St. Croix Chippewa Tribe warned not to launch marijuana operation (6/24)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe breaks ground on $34M expansion at casino (6/24)
Non-Indian gaming firm loses challenge to law for new tribal casino (6/24)
Grand Ronde Tribes to finish demolition work at site of old racetrack (6/24)
Supreme Court deadlocks in closely-watched tribal jurisdiction case (6/23)
Matthew Fletcher: 'Huge win' for Mississippi Choctaw court system (6/23)
Native American Basketball Invitational draws top talent to Arizona (6/23)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe almost done with long-awaited theater (6/23)
Susanville Rancheria thanks lawmakers for help with land-into-trust (6/23)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on three bills (6/23)
Supreme Court backs affirmative action policy in long-running case (6/23)
Native Sun News: Senate committee takes on Indian Health Service (6/23)
Mark Trahant: A Republican plan to terminate Indian Health Service (6/23)
James Giago Davies: Welfare for corporations but nothing for tribes (6/23)
Peter d'Errico: Justice Clarence Thomas critiques federal Indian law (6/23)
Two charged for beating and setting woman from Crow Tribe on fire (6/23)
White House defends fracking regulation imposed on Indian lands (6/23)
Mescalero Apache woman hosts fundraiser for Miss United States (6/23)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to collect sales tax on entire reservation (6/23)
Seneca-Cayuga Nation ordered to conduct another council election (6/23)
Poarch Creek land-into-trust bill could help casino effort in Florida (6/23)
Cherokee Nation enters deal to run commercial casino in Arkansas (6/23)
Tohono O'odham Nation told to turn over casino-related documents (6/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee debates marijuana & sovereignty (6/22)
Major trust reform bill supported by Indian Country signed into law (6/22)
President Obama signs land-into-trust bill for Susanville Rancheria (6/22)
Chairman Jim Boyd from Colville Tribes passes away at age of 60 (6/22)
Tribes take more control of their land with HEARTH Act regulations (6/22)
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community adds another 128 acres (6/22)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge Reservation graduates celebrate (6/22)
Native Sun News: Year of Reconciliation sees another anniversary (6/22)
Former Fond du Lac Band chairman Peter Defoe passes on at 77 (6/22)
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.