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Northeast Oklahoma's Cherokee Nation continues push for Congressional delegate

Kimberly Teehee

The clock is ticking on the lame duck session in Congress and the Cherokee Nation is holding out hope to get a vote on seating their non-voting member this year. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

If approved by Congress before the lame duck session ends on January 3, Kim Teehee would have a similar non-voting role in Congress, similar to the representative of the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the US Marshall Islands and other US territories.

Unlike other Congresspeople who are elected, Teehee was nominated by the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation Chuck Hoskin Jr who has spent a significant amount of time recently in our nation's capitol advocating for the vote. Recently Teehee was a guest of NBC’s Face The Nation, she was about the historical significance of seating a Cherokee delegate.

“First of all it gives Cherokee Nation a seat at the table in formulating laws that impact us, but impact other tribes too. It give us an opportunity, a unique opportunity to educate members about tribes in this country, about ways in which we need to adequately address the great needs of Indian Country.”

If passed by Congress, the Cherokee representative would have to be approved by Congress every two years. The US government promised the Cherokee Nation a Congressional delegate after both parties signed a treaty in 1835. For 89 9 KRPS, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch krps.org to an NPR style news and information website.
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