On August 14, The Cherokee Nation from Tahlequah, Oklahoma will swear in several tribal officials – newly elected and returning. The inauguration ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at Sequoyah Schools’ Place Where They Play activity center.
Those being sworn in for the 2011 – 2015 term are:
- Deputy Principal Chief – S. Joe Crittenden, of Stilwell
- District 1 - Cherokee and Wagoner counties – Tina Glory-Jordan, Seat 2 and David Walkingstick, Seat 3
- District 2 - Adair, Delaware and Ottawa counties – Jodie Fishinghawk, Seat 3
- District 3 – Muskogee and Sequoyah counties – Janelle Fullbright, Seat 2
- District 4 – Mayes, Craig, Nowata and Washington counties – Dick Lay, Seat 2
- District 5 – Rogers and Tulsa counties – Cara Cowan Watts, Seat 2, and Lee Keener Jr., Seat 3
- At-Large – Julia Coates
Upon the swearing in, Crittenden will take office as Acting Principal Chief until a new election for that office is held. “For the first time in the history of the Cherokee Nation, the Deputy Chief will be sworn in before the Principal Chief,” Crittenden said. “Since the citizens of the Cherokee Nation have not yet elected a Principal Chief, the powers of the Principal Chief will devolve to me, in accordance with our Constitution, and I will serve as the interim Principal Chief until the election is held and a Principal Chief is inaugurated. It is a testament to the stability of the government of our great Nation that we can have a smooth and peaceful transition under these unusual circumstances even while the candidates for Principal Chief continue spirited campaigns.”
Crittenden, a life-long resident of Adair County, has been married to his wife, Lynda, for 42 years. Together they have two daughters, Paula Unger and Christy Stopp, two grandsons, Caden and Ty Unger, and one granddaughter, Tyler Paige Stopp.
The special election for Cherokee Nation Principal Chief is scheduled for September 24.