News from the Cherokee Nation
Copyright © 2008 CNO
TAHLEQUAH, OK - The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council has taken another step toward supporting the recognition of a separate nation for the Delaware Tribe of Indians. The measure ratifying the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Cherokee Nation and the Delawares was passed unanimously during a special Cherokee Nation Tribal Council meeting on Thursday, October 23, 2008.
“We are pleased with the constructive method that the Delaware administration has taken on an issue that has divided us for a number of years,” said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “This collaborative agreement protects our concerns about Cherokee Nation sovereignty and allows the Delaware their separate recognition.”
The MOA both recognizes the consultative, inter-governmental relationship between the two Nations and preserves and protects the Cherokee Nation’s territory and jurisdiction.
“Today is a very significant day for the Delaware Tribe,” said Jerry Douglas, Chief of the Delaware Tribe of Indians. “After years of hard work by Cherokees and Delawares alike, this agreement paves the way for the restoration of the tribe’s separate federal recognition and resolves decades of uncertainty for both tribes. The tribe looks forward to continuing to work with the Cherokee Nation cooperatively and as allies under the framework embodied in the MOA.”
The resolution, sponsored by Tribal Council member Bradley Cobb, compliments H.R.6786, a piece of federal legislation, introduced by Congressman John Sullivan (R-Okla.,) on August 1, 2008. While introducing the bill, Congressman Sullivan stated the legislative intent of this bill is to restore the federal recognition of the Delaware Tribe of Indians.
“But [it] also incorporates mechanisms for the Delaware Tribe of Indians and the Cherokee Nation to resolve issues between them in Eastern Oklahoma amicably,” Congressman Sullivan said in a floor statement on August 1, 2008. “I am pleased to see not only Delaware restoration but also accord and cooperation between the two tribes.”
Co-sponsors of the bill include Oklahoma Representatives Dan Boren, Tom Cole, Mary Fallin and Frank Lucas.
Cherokee Nation representatives, including Secretary of State Melanie Knight, worked closely with Delaware officials to negotiate the proposed agreement defining the inter-governmental relationship between the two nations. Highlights from the MOA include: agreements on jurisdictional boundaries, administration of governmental programs and provisions for 8(a) contracting.
This legislative action follows Resolution Number 86-06 that was enacted by the Tribal Council of the Cherokee Nation on August 21, 2006, to approve and support legislation for separate federal recognition of the Delaware Tribe of Indians.
Cobb, who represents Washington and Tulsa Counties on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council, said he was thankful for the collaborative spirit of the Tribal Council during the discussion of the resolution and that these efforts would directly affect a significant portion of Cherokee citizens.
“I thank both Cherokee and Delaware administrations and their legal staffs for their hard work on this MOA,” said Cobb. “We are inherently aware and respect the difference in cultures of our two tribes and I am extremely pleased that we are able to come together and hammer out an agreement that will benefit both our tribes and our citizens in the long run.”
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Mike Miller, Cherokee Nation|
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Larry Daugherty, Advertising Manager
Steven Swogger, Agriculture Liaison|
Natural Resources Department
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Bradley D. Peak, Cherokee Nation