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TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA Freshly painted windows and the Cherokee Capitol building's cupola restored to its 1928 glory served as the backdrop for Principal Chief Bill John Baker's State of the Nation address Saturday. The Principal Chief's address is the cornerstone of the Cherokee Nation's annual Cherokee National Holiday, which is attended by more than 100,000 visitors every year.
“Today I am pleased and proud to report that the state of our Cherokee Nation has never been stronger,”
“We will fulfill all these promises because it's the right thing to do and the Cherokee people deserve it the Cherokee people deserve homes, health and hope.”
Chief Baker told a crowd of thousands the progress made under his administration in upgrading tribal health centers, expanding homeownership opportunities and giving Cherokees near and at large a renewed sense of hope.
The Cherokee Nation is the first tribe to enter into a compact with the state of Oklahoma to allow Cherokees in all 77 counties to buy a Cherokee Nation license plate. Another million dollars was added to a $9.4 million college scholarship budget. And more than 20,000 Cherokee citizens half from other states have secured the extremely popular photo ID citizenship cards.
“We will not slow down, and we will not let up in what we do for Cherokee people. We will not go back to days before these programs that serve so many so well. I love the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee people. I will spend the next two years tirelessly, passionately and proudly serving you, your families and our great Nation.”
Chief Baker said.
In addition to the Principal Chief's annual State of the Nation address, Cherokee National Holiday also features one of Oklahoma's largest powwows, a parade through the heart of Tahlequah; an all-Indian rodeo; cultural games, arts and crafts; a car show; and much more.
posted September 3, 2013 6:00 am edt