Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Talks Tribe Goals In Annual State Of The Nation Address

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said protecting tribal sovereignty continues to be one of his major goals.

Monday, September 6th 2021, 5:20 pm



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Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. is fighting challenges against the Supreme Court's ruling on tribal jurisdiction.

"We will oppose any attempt to undermine our jurisdiction anywhere across our reservation,” said Hoskin.

Hoskin said protecting tribal sovereignty continues to be one of his major goals.

It’s something he discussed in detail during his annual state of the nation address over the weekend.

Hoskin's speech comes as the nation celebrates their national holiday.

Because of COVID-19, his speech was virtual, but focused on several issues.

The big one – Gov. Kevin Stitt's challenge to the Supreme Court's McGirt decision, which determined reservations in eastern Oklahoma were never disestablished at statehood.

That means the state cannot prosecute major crimes involving Native American victims or suspects.

"Let me be clear, my administration will protect our hard-fought gains for our sovereignty under McGirt," said Hoskin.

Both Stitt and the attorney general's office have been outspoken in their opposition to the ruling.

The state is currently suing the federal government for its interpretation of the ruling, specifically taking away its mining jurisdiction.

"The governor's ill-informed insistence that McGirt is a crisis that needs to be solved will be met with the fierce and determined opposition of the Cherokee Nation," said Hoskin.

Besides McGirt, Hoskin also spoke about the challenges of COVID-19 and new economic initiatives.

The nation received $1.8 billion in COVID-19 recovery funds from the federal government earlier this year.

Hoskin also addressed the loss of native Cherokee language speakers.

"We are in a race to save our language and we are up against our greatest foe: the passage of time," said Hoskin.

Hoskin proposes opening a new immersion school in Adair County to teach the language to more people.

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