Act Bars Non-Members from Tribal Positions

Aug 16, 2012

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council has passed an act that requires specific Cherokee Nation executive positions to be held by enrolled tribal citizens.

The council approved the measure Monday on a 9-8 vote.

The positions are general counsel, chief of staff, communications director, government relations director and chief executive officer of Cherokee Nation Businesses.

In a news release on the tribe's website, Principal Chief Bill John Baker vowed to veto the legislation, citing tribal Attorney General Todd Hembree's opinion that it violates the Cherokee Nation Constitution.

Tribal Councilor Dick Lay sponsored the bill. Lay said the intent is to ensure powerful tribal positions serve the best interests of Cherokee citizens.

Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd opposed the measure, saying the act could set an unwelcome precedent for the tribe.