Delegate to Congress

In August 2019, in one of his first major acts as the duly elected leader of the Cherokee Nation and as specified in the Cherokee Nation Constitution, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. appointed Kimberly Teehee to serve as the Cherokee Nation’s first Delegate to Congress

Chief Hoskin exercised its treaty right to a Delegate to Congress.

Cherokee Nation’s right to a delegate in the House of Representatives is affirmed by all three of the Nation’s treaties: the 1785 Treaty of Hopewell, the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, and the Treaty of 1866. Most expressly, the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, our removal treaty, states that:

The Cherokee nation having already made great progress in civilization and deeming it important that every proper and laudable inducement should be offered to their people to improve their condition as well as to guard and secure in the most effectual manner the rights guaranteed to them in this treaty, and with a view to illustrate the liberal and enlarged policy of the Government of the United States towards the Indians in their removal beyond the territorial limits of the States, it is stipulated that they shall be entitled to a delegate in the House of Representatives of the United States whenever Congress shall make provision for the same.

Cherokee Nation’s Treaty of 1866 expressly reaffirmed all previous treaties between the Cherokee Nation and the federal government, leaving the entitlement to a delegate undisturbed.

As the largest federally recognized Indian tribe in the United States, with more than 385,000 citizens across the country and spanning more than 7,000 miles across northeastern Oklahoma, Congress has a legal and moral responsibility to uphold treaties between the United States and the Cherokee Nation.

Since that time, Cherokee Nation has worked diligently with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to urge support for its treaty right and to encourage the House to seat its Delegate Kim Teehee.

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