One Group Member's Experience with the Tribal Council - Kathleen Lockwood

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The legal clinic was a great honor and learning experience for all of us, and some of us were treated even more when we got a chance to sit in on a Tribal Council meeting. While we were in between clients, Judge Saunooke offered to take five of us to a Tribal Council meeting so we could observe the Eastern Band Cherokee government at work. The Tribal Council is a group of twelve representatives. Representatives are elected based on townships with two each coming from Yellowhill, Big Cove, Birdtown, Wolftown, and Painttown and one each from Snowbird and Cherokee County community. They form the legislative body of the government and their regular meetings at the Tribal Council House are open to the public and broadcast live on a local television station.

EBCI Tribal Council Meeting

When we arrived at the meeting, Judge Saunooke ushered us into a seat near the middle the room. Council members sat facing one another on a stage at the front of the room while cameras on each wall captured their every move for broadcast. Tribal Treasurer Cory Blankenship was discussing enterprise investments with the Council. It was clear that members were very passionate about making safe investments that benefited the Tribe and the greater community. They are also focused on keeping spending low and making careful, wise investments. As the Council was about to take a break, Judge Saunooke stood up to announce our presence to the Council. Without much notice, the five of us went before the council (and the cameras) to introduce ourselves and thank the Cherokee for the opportunity to visit.

Judge Saunooke then introduced us to Chief Michael Hicks. He took us into his office and thanked us for our service. I felt lucky to be given the opportunity to get such a personal view of the Tribal government.

Group visit to the Tribal Council

Posted by Kathleen A. Lockwood on Sat. January 12, 2013 9:58 AM
Categories: Winter Break Trip 2013

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