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Cherokee Nation to open D.C. office

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - The Cherokee Nation has announced it will open an office in Washington, D.C.

In a press release, council member Jacky Martin said, "I support this Washington office very much. I think we've missed the boat over the last several years by not having someone there."

The council said it hopes that rather than paying lobbyists and attorneys to speak for them, members from the Cherokee Nation will speak for themselves and the interests of the Nation.

Although council members were hesitant about spending the money on an office in Washington, they said they believe it will pay off for the Cherokee people in the long run.

"The Cherokee Nation has spent a lot more money in the past on lobbying and attorneys fees and ended up with nothing to show for it," Barbara Starr Scott said. "Congressmen don't want to see lawyers, they want to see elected officials."

The idea was proposed by Chief Chad Smith and the final council vote was nine to five in favor of the office.

Council member Dorothy McIntosh said she believes the money spent on the Washington office will come back to the tribe. "Usually any money spent in Washington will come back ten or twenty fold."