Nation Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd, Tribal Council Secretary
Frankie Hargis and Tribal Councilors Keith Austin, Bryan Warner
and Shawn Crittenden cast their votes during the Tri-Council
meeting on Aug. 28 at Red Clay State Park in Tennessee. (courtesy
CLEVELAND, Tenn. Leaders from the Cherokee Nation, Eastern
Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians
gathered on Aug. 28 at Red Clay State Park for a historic Tri-Council
The event marked the first time all three federally recognized
Cherokee tribes assembled for a council meeting at Red Clay. After
Georgia passed laws displacing Cherokees and preventing Cherokee
leaders from meeting, the Cherokee capital was moved from New Echota
(now in Georgia) to just over the Tennessee state line in Red Clay.
Nearly a dozen separate council meetings were held there between
1832 and 1837.
The gathering of our Cherokee governments at this sacred
site is not only historic, but a strong reflection of our inherent
sovereignty, Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd
said. It is because of our Cherokee ancestors spirit
of perseverance that we are able to gather and conduct the business
of our people. We must always keep that in mind and protect that
right for our future generations.
The Tribal Councilors voted on several resolutions:
- Requiring all cultural or historical presenters or artisans
claiming to be Cherokee to be verified by one of the three federally
recognized Cherokee tribes,
- Recognizing, commending and supporting the efforts of the
Cherokee Language Consortium and requiring that all Cherokee language
materials distributed to the public, such as billboards, signs,
brochures, newsletters and pamphlets, be approved by at least
three members of the Cherokee Language Consortium to assure accuracy
- Recognizing the ongoing contribution of the Sequoyah Birthplace
Museum in enhancing visitors understanding of Sequoyah and
the Cherokee peoples history, and
- Affirming no change can be made to the Cherokee syllabary
without the consensus of the Tri-Council.
During Tri-Council, attendees also visited Cherokee, North Carolina,
and toured the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recently completed
$28 million justice center and the tribes $80 million hospital
under construction. Attendees also watched a performance of the
play Sliver of a Full Moon, written by CN citizen Mary Kathryn Nagle
and directed by CN citizen Betsy Richards.
Tri-Council unites the legislative branches of government of
the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes and is designed to
create a unified and federally recognized Cherokee voice dedicated
to promoting and advancing tribal sovereignty.
The CN will host the next Tri-Council meeting in 2016.