Council reconfirms Hoskin as state secretary

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
03/15/2016 04:30 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. takes his oath while his wife, January, holds a Bible as Supreme Court Justice John Garrett swears him into his second term as secretary during the March 14 Tribal Council meeting in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd leads the March 14 Tribal Council meeting at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. At the meeting, councilors reconfirmed Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. to a second term. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez reads a resolution concerning the separation of the Education and Culture Committee, creating a respective committee for each. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – At its March 14 meeting, the Tribal Council approved the renomination of Chuck Hoskin Jr. as the Cherokee Nation’s secretary of state.

He has served as state secretary since 2013 and officially began his second term following his confirmation and oath of office. Hoskin, who served as a Tribal Councilor from 2007-13, thanked Principal Chief Bill John Baker and the legislators for the “confidence” they have in him.

“I appreciate the confidence that each of you have, and I will do my best to continue in good service to the (Cherokee) Nation,” he said. “We've got great challenges ahead, and I’m glad to be on the part of the team that is taking that on, and I do appreciate working with you and all of your colleagues, Mr. Speaker (Joe Byrd).”

Hoskin’s wife, January, held the Bible as Supreme Court Justice John Garrett swore him into his second term.

Councilors also separated the Education and Culture Committee, creating a respective committee for each. Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez said one of the best ways to continue preserving the Cherokee culture is to give it its own committee.

“It’s very important to highlight the culture and the opportunity that we have to carry forward the Cherokee legacy of culture, art and language. It’s my theory that it can best be done by having a separate Culture Committee instead of having it as part of education/culture,” she said.

They also authorized the tribe to lease trust lands to Burgher Haggard LLC “for the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Mustang Program.” Tribal Councilor David Walkingstick voted against the resolution, but Tribal Councilor David Thornton said it is important to help the horses.

“The thing I think of when I think of horses is the Trail of Tears and I think about our people coming across from North Carolina, Tennessee all that way. And people, there’s some of them that would have never made it if it hadn’t been for a horse,” he said. “I think this is a great time to bring these horses here to this land because in time of need. We needed them and now they need us.”

According to legislation, the horses would have trust land set aside in Adair and Delaware counties for five years beginning Oct. 1. There is also an option for a renewal of five additional years at a price that is set forth by the BLM.

Tribal Councilors also amended wording within the Employment Rights Act. According to legislative details, Title 40, subsection 103 was amended to include “if a business is owned by a trust, it must be held in trust with over 51 percent of Indian trustees and 51 percent and more of the beneficiaries of the trust must be Indians to maintain majority Indian control of the business.”

Another ERA amendment included “if the business is a trust owned business, the business must certify Indian trustees and beneficiaries and TERO (Tribal Employment Rights Office) will then” determine if the business would be given Indian preference within the TERO section of the act.

Legislators also passed a resolution supporting Oklahoma House Bill 2261, which changes the definition of who can sell “Indian art” under the American Indian Arts and Crafts Sales Act of 1974.

The proposed measure, which passed the House 90-0, defines “American Indian tribe” as any Indian tribe federally recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and “American Indian” as a citizen or enrolled member of an American Indian tribe.

Councilors also authorized the acceptance of five tracts of day school land in fee. The lands consist of the former Cave Springs School in Cherokee County, Mulberry Hollow School in Adair County, Oak Hill School (Piney) in Delaware County, Ballou School in Mayes County and Redbird Smith School in Sequoyah County.

Councilors also authorized the BIA to update the tribe’s Inventory of Tribal Transportation Facilities to include the Rocky Mountain School Road extensions 1 and 2 in Adair County.

They also increased the fiscal year 2016 operating budget by $878,981 to $657.6 million. In it the DOI-Self Governance received an increase of $56,200. The remaining $822,781 came from grants.

In other business, legislators:

• Revised the tribe’s 2016 Indian Housing Plan to provide rental assistance for Native American veterans who qualify,

• Amended the Motor Vehicle Licensing and Tax Code to include items manufactured homes, commercial trailers, farm trailers and CN vehicles to the license plates section,

• Authorized the CN to negotiate and/or advertise for bid to lease tribal units on fee or trust land for grazing and farming, and

• Reconfirmed Jack L. Spears to the Environmental Protection Commission and Johnnie Earp to the Economic Development Trust Authority board of directors.

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