Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation principal chief

Tribal Leaders Meet With Obama; The Cherokee Nation Lobbies Strong

Jenni Monet

As many as 18 tribal leaders from across Indian country met with President Barack Obama last week in a Native American Roundtable discussion held in Washington, DC. The July 18th summit lasted an hour and took place at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Details of who attended the event and what issues were discussed remains unclear. A press release issued by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma announced the tribe’s Principal Chief, Bill John Baker and CN Attorney General Todd Hembree were present at the talks.

According to the Cherokee Nation, Baker and Hembree used their time with the president to raise concerns involving the reimbursement of millions of dollars the Cherokee Nation says is owed to them by the federal government. Their claims follow last month’s United States Supreme Court ruling, Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter — a case under which Congress failed to fully appropriate funds for a host of tribal “self-help” programs linked to services like healthcare and education. Hundreds of tribes stand to reap the benefits of the high-court decision believed to be estimated at $1 billion. The Cherokee Nation says its expects to be repaid as much as $50 million.

Baker could not be reached for comment, but days after the June 18th ruling in Salazar v. Ramah, he was quoted in the Cherokee Phoenix, calling the 5-4 decision a “tremendous victory for the Cherokee Nation.” The Cherokee Nation says Baker was the only tribal leader to present a white paper to Obama outlining concerns on how the money should be returned to the tribe. Baker and Hembree are also said to have gifted to Obama a Native-designed business card holder with their business cards tucked inside. In a press release statement, Baker called the event “a good day of government-to-government relations.”

Days earlier, Baker reportedly lobbied with Senate Democrats during a weekend retreat and fundraiser at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Hosted by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, invitation to the event requires attendees pay $30,400 in political contributions to the organization. According to an article in the Tahlequah Daily Press, some tribal citizens are questioning Baker’s recent trip and whether it received council approval. A review of the Cherokee Nation’s Tribal Council PAC subcommittee records does not show how the tribe paid for Baker’s attendance and a spokesperson for the tribe could not be reached for further comment.

In 2008, the Cherokee Nation, under Principal Chief Chad Smith, did not seek councilor approval when it contributed $50,000 to support the inauguration of President Obama. Baker, then a member of the tribal council, was among those who spoke out against the secret donation.

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husbandofmoonlight's picture
Submitted by husbandofmoonlight on
If 'my memory' does not fail me;(and it doesn't) the Cherokee 'and a few other tribes' (LOL) were considered by the 'Anglo/European Invaders' (AEIs) as "civilized tribes";mainly because they acted almost exactly 'like' the AEI's---with salves and all that the institution implies---as well as a departure from their pluarlistic society's where the women and the men shared power and control of the precontact Native People's society. This still did not serve them very well since they were "violently evicted" from territory that the Constitution of the USA as well as the Supreme Court "verified/confirmed"--were their's by treaty. Therefore the "president" who ordered the forced removal--became a criminal;and true to the 'good ole USA' who now has his 'likeness' printed on the $20 currency note---they gave him --- "honor". Indeed, most of the rest of the world---recognizes the USA as a criminal nation. It seems to me that far too many of the Native Peoples of the USA are more likely to continue to supplant their own best interests by placating the miserably corrupt USA,its largely "criminal" population, and its Government with the same methods that have proved a failure in the past. The Native Peoples of the Americas--North South and Central are at war and have been at war since 1492 with the AEI's and they will remain in that condition until they begin to try "other methods" FOR resolution to the problem. OR; they will become extinct. Until all of the Native Peoples ALL OVER THE WORLD stand in "unity/solidarity"; they will remain by and large,'POWs' in their ancestral lands; and that especially applies to Native North Americans who should be the leaders of the "world's Native Peoples"----by their actions alone. "Our" (Native American) 'DNA' reveals our presence here in N. America to be a minimum of 15K years----only the "Africans"and the Asians can show anything close to the same antiquity. As for the Native Peoples of North America our history should be our guide; the failures of the present are a direct result of repeating the same mistakes when dealing with the USA--its mostly corrupt and criminal population(*), and its totally corrupt government. Decide for yourself. The USA has a total population of 300 +/- million; which does not include the 'illegal aliens'---who are supplying the slave labor that the USA was founded upon; and maintained for over 90 years---then they faught their bloodiest war over (and yes the Cherokee participated in that one---so they could keep THEIR slaves---in Oklahoma AFTER they were forcefully removed.) So now the USA will admit to the following: 2.5 million people incarcerated in county, state and federal AND 'private/corporate' prisons; mostly for proerty or drug crimes-or 'organized crime'. 5.6 million on parole or probation for the above crimes. AND---a "war on drugs" that they spend 50 billion on each year (that they will admit to) where they only "interdict" an admitted 10% of the "traffic". If they were "gamblers" at any "Indian Casino"---they would be welcomed guests with a 'win rate like that'. (hey 'complimentary' Champaign too) The billions of dollars in "drug money" that 'leaves' the USA each year, is a direct result of the millions of Americans who are willing to go to prison in order to "have their buzz at whatever the price"----and they could care less about the consequences for anyone else. Their "elected leaders" from the lowest rank to the "top" are international criminals---some of them have even written books and made their confessions in public forums; of most of the same crimes they have "invaded other nations" for an executed THOSE leaders for. Now they brag about "extra judicial executions of their fellow citizens; and anyone else standing around them when the "Drone strkes target"-----women,chldren elderly---any other living "things". They have "started" illegal wars all over the planet since they invaded the terrioty they "bought from France" ---"west of the Mississippi"---and they still have not WON any of those illegal wars they started; even the one this author participated in in SE Asia--40 years ago. (I know it was stupid of me but I have worked hard to overcome that stupidity---indeed I have been responsible for no less than 23 young men and women NOT volunteering to serve the USA's military--since then---and ----I like that). They are loosing the ones they are "fighting now"; to a bunch of fighters with only dedication and small weapons and homemade explosives----(kinda reminds me of those bows and arrows they could not beat either). The USA does not keep its treaties with the Native Peopels--but then they still have not complied with the treaties they signed with N. Vietnam---almost 40 years ago. In fact the USA does not "make peace" with those they can "defeat"; ask the Japanese who were the only people in history to have been "struck" with Nuclear weapons---twice---against KNOWN civilian populations----and that of course was the USA who did it. Their government shows ever decreasing levels of corruption, and incompetence; their economy is in a shambles, their credit rating lower than it has ever been; and they "worship" absolute mediocrity at almost every level. They are presently in illegal possession of more than 60% of their geographic territory---in "possession stolen property"---------------BIG time. AND; please remember that they owe the MOST of their "debt" (money they borrowed on their "excellent reputations" by the way); to Communist China (wow, 40 years NO ONE would have imagined that possiblity--------------------------------NO ONE) THAT---is just a shortened version of the explanation of how "Criminal" the USA is in all its ugly reality. SO WHY WOULD ANYONE THINK THEY ARE HONORABLE ENOUGH TO "MAKE A DEAL WITH"? They never were-----and they most likely never will be. Native America---in unity/solidarity--- should act accordingly. "If the USA were any other criminal nation the 'Americans' would invade the USA to keep the world safe; and they would be justified." When dealing with a criminal nation the concept of an 'honorable resolution'----is a mockery of intelligence; and an impossibility. Why would anyone expect different results with the same failed approach that the past has proven to be a waste of time? Hey, Native America; never before has your destiny been so close to your own control as it is each new day. HOW you direct the results depends upon the methods you choose to use. Try some new ones for a change. If nothing else they will result in NEW mistakes; this repitition is boring. And, by the way,---"feeding a dead horse will not make it stand up". (old Comanche wisdom) Thanks for your time. HusbandofMoonlight Comanche,Kiowa,Choctaw (Mississippi), and Scottish (of Clan McGregor thank you)

bwaikiki's picture
Submitted by bwaikiki on
and this Great Black White Father out-lies them all.