ᎠᏰᎵᎤᏙᏢᎡ

Our Government

The Cherokee Nation is the sovereign government of the Cherokee people. It operates under a ratified Constitution with a tripartite government with executive, legislative and judicial branches. Services are administered under the Executive Branch through the Principal Chief and Deputy Principal Chief and their cabinet members. Laws are enacted by and financial oversite managed by a 17-member legislative body, the Tribal Council. Cherokee Nation Tribal Courts are open to every person or entity within the 14-county jurisdiction of the Cherokee Nation in northeastern Oklahoma unless specifically limited by statute. Cherokee Nation’s District Court handles civil, criminal and juvenile matters, while the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court hears cases of appeals and other matters, as may be conferred by statute.

The positions of Principal Chief, Deputy Principal Chief, and Tribal Council representative are popularly elected by the citizens of the Cherokee Nation and serve four-year terms. Supreme Court justices and District Court judges are nominated by the Principal Chief and confirmed by the Tribal Council.

Executive Branch

The Executive Branch implements Cherokee Nation laws, establishes tribal policy and is responsible for daily operation of tribal programs and enterprises.

Judicial Branch

The courts serve as the forums to hear and resolve disputes which arise under the laws and Constitution of the Cherokee Nation.

Legislative Branch

The Tribal Council of the Cherokee Nation is comprised of a representative body of 17 Cherokee Nation citizens, elected to serve staggered terms.

Cherokee Nation Constitution

Drafted in 1999 and ratified in 2003 by popular vote, Cherokee Nation’s Constitution provides the framework for our tripartite government and tribal laws.

Office of the Attorney General

The attorney general represents the Cherokee Nation in all cases in the courts where the Cherokee Nation is a named party.

Secretary of Natural Resources Office

Natural Resources are the bedrock for the overall health of our tribal citizens, our local wildlife and our native plant species.

Environmental Protection Commission

The Cherokee Nation Environmental Code establishes a five-person board called the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) to oversee environmental programs.

Election Commission

The Election Commission carries out Cherokee Nation law for the purpose of conducting all Cherokee Nation Elections.

Gaming Commission

Gaming Commission is responsible for implementing the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the Cherokee Nation gaming ordinance.

Tax Commission

The purpose of the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission is to raise revenue that enables the government to provide needed services to Cherokee Nation citizens.

Institutional Review Board

The mission of the Institutional Review Board is to ensure the protection of the rights and welfare of tribal members involved in proposed research projects.