Nofire takes Dist. 3 seat on Cherokee Nation Tribal Council

BY D. SEAN ROWLEY
Senior Reporter
09/01/2019 02:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Wes Nofire
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee residents of the Tribal Council’s Dist. 3 now have a new representative who earned recognition as a successful athlete from high school through the professional boxing ranks.

Voters elected Wes Nofire in the July 27 runoff balloting for the seat vacated by David Walkingstick, who termed out after eight years.

“I have always been interested in our ever-changing government, but when I moved back home four years ago, I saw many of our citizens in need,” Nofire said. “I had the desire then to help change our tribe for the betterment our people.”

Dist. 3 consists of much of southern Cherokee County, including the Woodall, Zeb, Keys, Pettit, Welling, Tenkiller and Dry Creek areas. Nofire said he started receiving encouragement from Dist. 3 residents when discussing ideas to improve and enhance services offered by the Cherokee Nation.

“After expressing my concerns and addressing how we could solve some of our tribal governing problems, citizens started suggesting I run for office,” he said.

Though he only joined the Tribal Council on Aug. 14, Nofire believes the top priorities are obvious to councilors and CN citizens.

“Better health care, building of new homes and education,” Nofire said. “The Council also needs to address election reform. During the process of our last election, I saw the need to clarify our laws that govern our Election Commission.”

Nofire is a licensed realtor and active in the community. His campaign bio mentions his advocacy of healthy living through diet, exercise and maintaining mental health, as well as his efforts to communicate his message through visits to area schools. He also supported the Sequoyah High School anti-bullying program as part of his work to foster awareness of mental health among SHS and other schools. The bio also stated his participation in local events and projects, including the “Warriors for Freedom” angling tournament.

However, Nofire is probably remembered and recognized by many for his athletic career. He helped guide the SHS boys basketball team to the Class 3A championship in 2003, but his profile increased to an even greater magnitude when he entered boxing.

“I attended Northeastern State University before pursuing a career as a professional boxer,” Nofire said. “I first pursued an amateur boxing career, making it to Golden Gloves in 2009 before turning professional in 2011.”

As a boxer, Nofire said he took pride in representing the CN and Native Americans as a whole. His boxing moniker was “The Cherokee Warrior,” and he eventually served as president and CEO of his own boxing promotion company.

Through 2011-18, Nofire compiled a professional record of 20-2 in the heavyweight division, winning his first 19 fights. His victories came by three knockouts, 11 technical knockouts, two corner retirements and four unanimous decisions. His final bout was June 10, 2018, in Lancaster, California, against Gerald Washington, who had fought a WBC title fight in 2017. Nofire lost the 10-round bout by decision.

Nofire, 33, was born at W.W. Hastings Hospital to Annette and Sherman Nofire. He was reared in Welling and attended the Rocky Mountain School before enrolling at SHS. He credits his family, including his wife Molly and daughters Isla and Norah, for backing him on his decisions and interests.

“I am so thankful for my wife, who blesses me every day with her support, my family who never stopped believing in me and to the citizens who make our Cherokee Nation,” he said.
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