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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    The Cherokee Nation wants a representative in Congress

    The Cherokee Nation wants a representative in Congress, taking the US government up on a promise it made nearly 200 years ago

    By Harmeet Kaur, CNN
    Updated 2:40 AM ET, Sun August 25, 2019


    The flags of Oklahoma, the United States and the Cherokee Nation fly behind a sculpture of Lady Liberty at the Cherokee Capitol Square in Tahlequah.

    Having a delegate in the House would fundamentally alter the relationship between the US government and the Cherokee Nation, Rosser wrote in a 2005 article for the Boston University Public Interest Law Journal.
    Right now, the federal government and Native American tribes largely operate as two sovereign nations that interact with one another, Rosser said. Representation in the House would incorporate the Cherokee Nation into the US government itself.

    The two other Cherokee tribes recognized by the federal government are the United Keetoowah Band in Oklahoma, which has about 14,000 citizens, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina, which has about 16,000 citizens. It's unclear if they would have the same right to appoint a delegate.


    What power would a delegate have?


    The treaty doesn't specify whether or not the Cherokee Nation's delegate would be a voting member of the legislature. But Hoskin said the position might look something like the non-voting members that represent Washington, D.C., and five US territories.

    "I think we have to look at the roadmaps that are laid out as a suggested path to seating our delegate, and certainly the delegates afforded the territories give us an idea of what is workable in the Congress," he said.



    Deb Haaland redefines Congress: 'She'll help us see what Native Americans mean'

    There are currently six non-voting members in the House. Washington D.C. and four permanently inhabited US territories -- American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands -- are represented by a delegate, who serves a two-year term. Puerto Rico is served by a resident commissioner, who is elected every four years.

    Those representatives can't vote on the House floor, but they can vote in committees that they are on, introduce legislation and engage in debate. Hoskin said he hoped the Cherokee Nation's delegate would help advance the interests of the tribe and, more broadly, all Native Americans.


    Who will be the tribe's delegate?


    Kimberly Teehee has been nominated to serve as the Cherokee delegate.

    She is currently the tribe's vice president of government relations, and previously worked as a senior policy advisor on Native American affairs for three years in President Barack Obama's administration. For about 12 years before that, Teehee was a senior advisor to Dale Kildee, then a Democratic congressman from Michigan.


    What's the next step?


    First, Teehee has to be confirmed by the tribal council of the Cherokee Nation in a special meeting on August 29.
    Then Congress will need to take legislative action, Hoskin said. The tribe plans to continue its conversations with Oklahoma's representatives in the House and begin crafting ideas about what that legislation will look like.

    "It will be a process that I think will be a long one, but it's one we're prepared to take," Hoskin said.


    Will there be resistance to the move?


    Maybe.

    There's reason to believe that the US might not recognize its treaty with the Cherokee Nation. In the past, the Supreme Court has upheld legislation that infringes on US treaties with tribal nations, according to Rosser.


    Some organizations could mount legal challenges to the Cherokee Nation's push for a delegate, Rosser added, potentially arguing that the move gives citizens of the tribe more representation in Congress than non-indigenous US citizens.



    Why some Native Americans say it's hard to trust government08:22

    Rosser said it's also likely that the Cherokee Nation's appointment could face resistance from other tribes, particularly those who were also forced from their lands but weren't granted their own delegate through a treaty.

    Other tribes might argue that a delegate for the Cherokee Nation threatens their own relationships with the US government, according to Rosser. The Cherokee Nation's delegate could end up becoming the de facto voice in Congress for all tribal nations, raising fears that the representative might favor the Cherokee Nation at the expense of other tribes.


    Despite the potential hurdles, Hoskin said he is optimistic.


    "I can boil this down very simply for the Congress," he said. "Does the Congress intend to keep its word to the Cherokee people? If the answer's yes, then Ms. Teehee will be seated."


    https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/25/polit...aty/index.html
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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