By PRINCIPAL CHIEF MICHELL HICKS
Doyu ulihelisdodi agiwonihisdi hi gvnigesv igvndii.
The past few weeks have been very busy and exciting. I would like to share some of my experiences with you.
I, along with Chairman Jim Owle, visited Washington, D.C. to advance the policy interests of the Eastern Band. We joined Republican Congresswoman Sue Myrick (NC) for dinner and discussed the economy in North Carolina, Lumbee recognition legislation, and the upcoming Democratic Convention in Charlotte, which lies in Congresswoman Myrick’s district. The following morning, I and Chairman Owle joined a small group of tribal leaders at the office of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to meet with a group of House Republican leaders, including Speaker John Boehner (OH), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (MI), Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrel Issa (CA), Appropriations Committee Chairman Emeritus Jerry Lewis (CA), and Native American Caucus Co-Chair Tom Cole (OK).
I led the meeting with a prayer and made clear the Eastern Band’s position on Lumbee recognition, federal legalization of internet gaming, and the protection of federal appropriations for Indian programs. I plan to participate in a similar meeting with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other leading House Democrats in the near future.
I had the pleasure of attending the reception for the Health and Human Services (HHS) Consultation meeting that was held in Cherokee last week. The Health and Medical Division worked to bring tribal leaders throughout the Southeast to Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel to meet concerning how the US Government’s HHS program affects Tribal communities. HHS is required to garner input from tribal leaders and citizens regarding the effectiveness and usefulness of their programs.
This meeting gave our HMD staff an opportunity to express their concerns, likes and dislikes related to the HHS process and their programs. I would like to thank the many individuals responsible for bringing this consultation meeting here to Cherokee and for representing our community to ensure our needs are provided for.
The Cherokee Youth Center held a Grand Opening Celebration last week to celebrate the opening of two new classrooms. I had the honor of participating in the Grand Opening and I would like to thank the CYC staff for their dedication to teaching and caring for our youth. These new classrooms will provide the space and resources necessary to offer more activities for these youth and I am excited to see what the Youth Center will do with this space.
This past Friday the Native American Club at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville held a Cultural Celebration. I had the opportunity to attend the event and speak with participants regarding Cherokee history and culture. I would like to thank all the students attending UT-K that helped organize this event, it was a huge success and I am very proud of what you have accomplished.
Unelanv adatolosdi nihi.