The Cherokee Nation Calls Upon the House of Representatives to Fulfill its Obligation to the Cherokee Nation by Seating Delegate Kimberly Teehee in Congress
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|2020-03||Off the Floor||The Cherokee Nation Calls Upon the House of Representatives to Fulfill its Obligation to the Cherokee Nation by Seating Delegate Kimberly Teehee in Congress||X|
2020 Winter Convention
RESOLUTION #2020 – 03
“THE CHEROKEE NATION CALLS UPON THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO FULFILL ITS OBLIGATION TO THE CHEROKEE NATION BY SEATING DELEGATE KIMBERLY TEEHEE IN CONGRESS”
We, the members of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants rights secured under Indian Treaties, Executive Orders, and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and constitution of the United States and several states, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise to promote the welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution:
WHEREAS, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) are representatives of and advocates for national, regional, and specific tribal concerns; and
WHEREAS, ATNI is a regional organization comprised of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and tribes in the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Northern California, and Alaska; and
WHEREAS, the health, safety, welfare, education, economic and employment opportunity, and preservation of cultural and natural resources are primary goals and objectives of the ATNI; and
WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States, through Treaty, Commerce, Supremacy, and Apportionment Clauses and the 14th Amendment, recognizes the inherent sovereignty of Indian Tribes and Nations established prior to the United States; and
WHEREAS, through treaties, statutes, executive orders, and other legal agreements and laws, the United States took on many legal and moral obligations to Indian people in exchange for hundreds of millions of acres of land; and
WHEREAS, since its founding, ATNI has urged the United States government to fulfill treaty obligations and uphold the federal trust responsibility; and
WHEREAS, Article 7 of the Cherokee Nation’s 1835 Treaty of New Echota with the United States states, “The Cherokee Nation having already made great progress in civilization and deeming it important that every proper and laudable inducement should be offered to their people to improve their condition as well as to guard and secure in the most effectual manner the rights guaranteed to them in this treaty, and with a view to illustrate the liberal and enlarged policy of the Government of the United States towards the Indians in their removal beyond the territorial limits of the States, it is stipulated that they shall be entitled to a delegate in the House of Representatives in the United States whenever Congress shall make provision for the same;” and
WHEREAS, in addition to explicit language in Article 7 of the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, the Cherokee Nation’s first treaty with the United States, the 1785 Treaty of Hopewell, also includes the right to a congressional deputy in Article 12 and the 1866 Treaty with the Cherokee Nation, affirms the Cherokee Nation’s right to a delegate in Article 31; and
WHEREAS, in 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the rights and obligations established under the 1866 treaty remain in effect for the Cherokee Nation and the United States; and
WHEREAS, Section 12 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution requires the Principal Chief to appoint a Delegate to the United States House of Representatives and that Delegate is to be confirmed by the Council of the Cherokee Nation; and
WHEREAS, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. exercised the Nation’s treaty right by appointing its first Delegate, Kimberly Teehee, to Congress; and
WHEREAS, the Council of the Cherokee Nation unanimously confirmed Kimberly Teehee as Delegate to Congress; now
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that ATNI does hereby support the Cherokee Nation’s action to exercise its treaty right and calls upon the House of Representatives to fulfill its obligation to the Cherokee Nation by seating Delegate Kimberly Teehee in Congress.
The foregoing resolution was adopted at the 2020 Winter Convention of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Portland, Oregon, on January 27-30, 2020, with a quorum present.
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