With the 1999 Cherokee Constitution now in full effect, the Nation’s Council form of government is undergoing major changes including the addition of two at-large councilors, term limits on elected officials and the appointment of a marshal and attorney general.

Under the new governing document, members of the Tribal Council elected their first speaker at their June meeting and are now seeking candidates for two at-large council positions.

Meredith Frailey, who represents Mayes County, was elected the first speaker. Chuck Hoskin, representing Craig and Nowata Counties, was elected deputy speaker.

Frailey and Hoskin will hold the positions temporarily until the Council can elect a permanent speaker and deputy speaker within 60 days.

Up until now the 15-member Council has been overseen by Deputy Principal Chief Joe Grayson, who acted as Council president.

According to the Constitution the Council speaker will vote on matters before the Council and will be third in line of succession, behind the deputy chief, to serve as acting principal chief in case of removal, death, resignation or disability of both the principal chief and deputy principal chief until the disability be removed or a successor shall be elected.

In a public notice posted to the official Cherokee Nation Web site, www.cherokee.org, the Nation also alerted eligible citizens that two “at large” positions will be appointed to temporarily represent Cherokee citizens residing outside the historical jurisdiction until the general election of 2007, when the two positions will be elected.

Those interested in being appointed at-large to the Tribal Council must be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation by blood, 25 years of age, not be convicted of a felony or a crime under the laws of the Cherokee Nation that committed in some other jurisdiction would be a felony or proof of a pardon of said crime from the appropriate jurisdiction, and not hold any office of honor, profit or trust in any other tribe of Indian Nation, unless approved by the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council.

Applicants can send proof of the qualifications listed above, resumes, and any other information they deem pertinent to Speaker Frailey at the Council headquarters in Tahlequah.

The new Constitution also calls for staggered terms for the Tribal Council. It imposes term limits on the Council, the principal chief and deputy principal chief. Elected officials will not be able to hold any office for more than two consecutive terms. The Justices clarified that the term limits will apply to officials elected during the next election.

The creation of two new appointed posts — marshal and attorney general.— are also provided for under the new governing document.

The name of the Cherokee Nation’s highest court is now “Supreme Court” and increases the size of the Supreme Court from three to five members.



Interest in at-large

Council positions?

Contact: Todd Hembree, (918) 453-0101.

The deadline for submission of resumes is noon, June 29. Candidates will be interviewed 1 p.m. June 29.

Learn more: www.cherokee.org



rules meeting. A recommendation for appointment will be taken up by the Tribal Council at the 5 p.m. meeting on the same day.

A decision will be made at the July 10 special Rules meeting and confirmation at the July General Tribal Council meeting.