By PRINCIPAL CHIEF RICHARD G. SNEED
I have had the opportunity to meet with many individuals from many different areas these past two weeks.
I had the great honor of updating our elders at Tsali Manor regarding the tribal budget and budgeting process. Many do not realize the scope of our tribal budget or how the budgeting process works, leading to a lot of confusion and misconceptions regarding services and the future direction of the Tribe. I will be putting out a video describing the same subject on social media in the next week.
My team and I visited Robbinsville Elementary School to meet the students and distribute bracelets and pencils to the youth. I am proud to support all of our enrolled members that are in school. I appreciate the leaders, teachers and students at Robbinsville being so welcoming. I thoroughly enjoyed our visit and look forward to visiting again soon.
I’ve had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Blue Ridge Parkway to discuss future signage on the Parkway. I am always thrilled to share our Cherokee history and culture, especially when we can reach the broad cross-section of individuals that drive the Parkway. I look forward to seeing this project roll out in the years to come.
The National Forest Service officials invited me to meet with them at the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard. I had the pleasure of meeting USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Jim Hubbard and USDA Interim Chief for the US Forest Service Vicki Christiansen. Several stakeholders regarding Forest Service activities were also in attendance to discuss their perspective of public forest resources and their organization’s interaction with the Forest Service. I was able to provide the tribal perspective and the unique relationship we share with the US Forest Service. I would like to thank Joey Owle and Tommy Cabe for their continued to work with the USFS.
Finally, I ended the week participating in the Opioid Reduction Task Force press conference in Asheville. This task force included partners from the Cherokee Police Department, the Department of the Interior, the Drug Enforcement Association, NC Highway Patrol, the US Attorney’s office, along with several state and local law enforcement officials. I applaud the Cherokee Police Department’s effort on this initiative. I would like to thank all the officers that put their lives on the line to make this operation a success, and I want to thank their families for their support of our law enforcement.
I hope everyone enjoys the Cherokee Indian Fair. I look forward to seeing you there.