Courtesy Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and the Tribal Council recognized Barbara Williams, a prevention specialist for her health advocacy work among teens. Williams, of Tahlequah, has worked 36 years for the tribe.

Tribal Council Strengthens Contracting Preference for Cherokees

Cherokee Nation Release
2/15/14

The Cherokee Nation has strengthened a tribal law that will help put more citizens from all three federally recognized Cherokee tribes to work.

The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council passed an amendment to the Cherokee Nation Employment Rights Act during its regular council meeting February 10. Prior to the amendment, businesses owned by Cherokee Nation citizens received first preference for tribal contracts, followed by businesses owned by citizens of all other Native American tribes.

The act now establishes a preference tier, placing businesses owned by Cherokee Nation citizens first, followed by a second tier preference for businesses owned by citizens of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees and Eastern Band of Cherokees. The third tier of preference includes all other Native-owned businesses, and the fourth tier includes non Indian-owned businesses.

The amendment also provide for the tribe’s TERO office to terminate the contracts of employers that fail to abide by the Indian preference provisions of the Act.

"This reform will put more Cherokees to work, give our contractors more opportunities to earn business and give Cherokee Nation Businesses the flexibility it needs to compete for more federal contracts,” said Tribal Council Secretary Jodie Fishinghawk of Stilwell. “We're now putting into law that Cherokee Nation and CNB must go the extra mile to find Cherokee applicants. We've already boosted Cherokee employment at CNB to record highs, and I expect that number to go higher."

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