As many of us gather with family today — a “holiday” that people in our communities understand as a deeply problematic celebration of colonialism and genocide — I’ll choose to highlight a recent victory for Native America. You may recall that, a few months back, we asked you to help the Cherokee Nation seat a congressional delegate. Here’s the good news. About a week ago, after nearly two centuries of delay, Congress held its first ever hearing on the subject — and it went very well!
Watch the video and share this action: Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. of the Cherokee Nation sat down with us to discuss the importance of seating Kimberly Teehee as the Cherokee Nation’s first congressional delegate.
To be clear, it isn’t a done deal. However, as NPR accurately reports, last week’s House Rules Committee hearing represents by far the biggest step the federal government has ever taken toward fulfilling a promise it made to the Cherokee way back in 1835’s Treaty of New Echota. And while we can’t celebrate prematurely, the U.S. government making progress toward doing what it said it would for any Native nation is historic and a reason for optimism.
So now what? Let’s keep the pressure on. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin gave Lakota Law an informative interview about why it’s time to seat Kimberly Teehee as the Cherokee delegate to the House of Representatives, and that discussion is available to watch on our action page. If you have not already done any of the following, I urge you to make the time to watch the interview, send a message to your reps, and use the social media buttons on our action page (and perhaps dinner table conversation) to share this timely advocacy with your circle.
Given the tenor of the Rules Committee hearing and the outpouring of support by people like you, Chief Hoskin is confident the Cherokee can make history for Native representation in the halls of power as soon as this calendar year. Let’s help him make it happen!
Wopila tanka — thank you, and I wish you a good day of connection.
Chase Iron Eyes
Co-Director and Lead Counsel
The Lakota People’s Law Project