Cherokee Nation

Posted: May 22, 2024 5:56 AMUpdated: May 22, 2024 6:24 AM

Cherokee Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr and Councilwoman Dora Smith-Patzkowski on COMMUNITY CONNECTION

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Tom Davis
Cherokee Nation is large and growing, with more than 460,000 citizens making us the largest tribe in America. The nation has undertaken the largest single capital investment in their history, with almost $1.2 billion allocated to more than 60 construction projects.
Appearing on COMMUNITY CONNECTION with Cherokee Councilwoman Dora Smth-Patzkowski, Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation Chuck Hoskin Jr said, "The comprehensive investments show our holistic approach: $551.1 million in health; $194.4 million in education; $124.2 million in government infrastructure; $83.4 million in wellness; $76.5 million in human services; $67.8 million in community projects; $63.2 million in language initiatives; $10 million in career services; $3.1 million in infrastructure; and $2.7 million in law enforcement.
Last week, with the help of Cherokee Councilwoman Dora Smth-Patzkowski, Cherokee Nation donated funds to complete repairs at the main building at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Hoskin said that the Cherokee Nation is also contributing nearly half a million dollars total to 136 northeast Oklahoma rural fire departments with each receiving $3,500 as part of the tribe’s contributions.
The Cherokee Nation recently signed an agreement with Rogers State University Wednesday committing up to $4 million to support construction of the proposed Center for Science and Technology on the RSU campus in Claremore. 
On June 15 of this year, Cherokee Nation voters will have an opportunity to call for a review of our entire Constitution, and potentially change it. The decision is consequential.
The Constitution of the Cherokee Nation, adopted by a convention of citizens in 1999 and fully implemented in 2003, requires elected officials to work together to periodically place a single question before the voters: Should we convene a convention to review and possibly change the Constitution?
A “yes” vote on June 15 means you want the entire Constitution reviewed and potentially changed at a convention. That rewritten Constitution would then be returned to the ballot for approval or disapproval by the voters at a later date.
A “no” vote on June 15 keeps their Constitution in place as is.
Both Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr and Councilwoman Patzkowski stated on the program that they will vote "no" on the issue.
Hoskins said, "We do not need a constitutional convention to amend the Constitution, which is another great feature of our current Constitution. The Cherokee people can call for changes and so can the Council (by sending a single amendment to voters). So, if our current Constitution needs amending here or there, we the people have the power to do that as we see fit at any time." He added, "To me, it comes down to the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Our Constitution is not broken. Any issues that may exist in our Constitution can be repaired by individual amendments through a vote of the people, not wholesale changes. A convention invites mass changes where mass changes are not needed."

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