Cherokee Nation reacts to governor's veto of Native American Day in October

Posted at 10:04 PM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 23:18:31-04

TULSA - Native Americans are reacting to what they're calling a stunning veto by the governor. 

In the middle of One Oak Field the Cherokee Nation Choir stood with pride. 

They sang the song known as a celebration of the "land of the free."

“Stunned, disappointed, extremely disappointed," said Cherokee Nation Businesses VP of Government Relations Kim Teehee. 

Even if some of the Cherokee found it difficult to feel that freedom Friday. 

“Frankly we were shocked," said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. 

Thursday, Governor Fallin vetoed House Bill 2661. 

It would've made October 8 Native American Day in Oklahoma. 

A day also known as Columbus Day. 

“It obscures the fact that there were native peoples already in North America. We did not need discovering.” 

The bill passed through the House and Senate almost effortlessly. 

However, the governor said she vetoed the bill because it would "diminish the support of November as Native American Heritage Month."

 “Somehow celebrating us in November is all we get.”

Mayor Bynum told 2 Works for You the veto won't effect Tulsa and its celebration of the day. 

"The question is whether we should continue to celebrate Columbus Day without adding the fuller context."

But regardless of what the governor does or doesn't sign, the Cherokee Nation said Native Americans will continue to celebrate the day by telling the full story of who really discovered the land where we're all free. 

Hoskin said he firmly believes legislators will bring the bill up again after Governor Fallin's term is over.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook