CN Youth Leadership Council prepares tomorrow's leaders
5/26/2010 7:06:33 AM
 
Cherokee
Nation Youth Leadership Councilors in the back row, left to right, are Eric
Budder, Isaiah Soap, Corey Still, Carter Londagin and J.C. Lowe. Councilors in
the front row, left to right, are Kinsey Shade, Danielle Culp, Jackie Eagle and
Lexi Tollefsen. Councilors not shown are Christina Hanvey, Reuel Shaver and
Garrett Reed. COURTESY PHOTO
Cherokee Nation Youth Leadership Councilors in the back row, left to right, are Eric Budder, Isaiah Soap, Corey Still, Carter Londagin and J.C. Lowe. Councilors in the front row, left to right, are Kinsey Shade, Danielle Culp, Jackie Eagle and Lexi Tollefsen. Councilors not shown are Christina Hanvey, Reuel Shaver and Garrett Reed. COURTESY PHOTO
By JAMI CUSTER Reporter TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Each year 15 students ranging in ages 15-19 are appointed to the Cherokee Nation Youth Leadership Council to learn tribal history, values, attributes and governance so they may one day lead the tribe. “This experienced-based learning is focused on preparing the youth for leadership roles in their families, communities and ultimately the Nation,” Todd Enlow, CN Leadership group leader, said. “It is our goal, our focus, to prepare these young men and women to lead our Nation.” Enlow said councilors discuss operations of tribal businesses, service delivery and how to build productive citizens. He said they are also introduced to parliamentary procedures and public speaking. Dist. 3 Councilor Jason Carter Lowe said he joined to learn about tribal government. “As a result of being on this council, I have been able to travel to places from North Carolina to Montana, talking about Cherokee people, as well as speak our language,” he said. “I have learned the governmental process and have been able to provide a voice for the Cherokee youth.” Fellow Dist. 3 Councilor Jackie Eagle said the council provides learning and growing with like-minded individuals. “It’s a place to work and achieve things you never would have thought you could achieve with people who eventually become like your second family,” he said. Enlow said councilors also look for students interested in getting involved with the tribe. “We hope to inspire understanding of Cherokee history and culture, and ultimately inspire leadership,” he said. “Each member is a leader in training.” Each representative is appointed through an application process. Applications, which are due in September, are available online and sent to schools within the tribe’s jurisdiction. After the deadline, CN officials review the applications for selection. Enlow said councilors were historically elected, but the selection process now includes a committee of Youth Council alumni, group leaders and CN Tribal Councilors. If selected, students can serve two one-year terms. However, Enlow said councilors must attend monthly meetings and participate in community service projects. Currently the council has 12 members and three vacancies. Dist. 8 Councilor Lexi Tollefsen said she recommends other students to get involved with the student body. “Not only does it make the student well-versed in the fundamentals of a meeting, it gives the student a stronger sense of identity when they are encouraged to structure and present their opinions often in a group setting,” she said. Dist. 1 Councilor Corey Still, who is attending the University of Oklahoma, said serving on the council is a privilege. “I have made lifelong friends and have been able to meet a variety of wonderful youth and leaders,” he said. “I have also been fortunate to have been able to meet with leaders of our tribe to share with them the concerns that we as youth have. And in return, they have engraved in me wisdom and knowledge about, not just the future, but the past and present as well.”
jami-custer@cherokee.org • (918) 453-5560
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