TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation welcomed a new chief, council, and deputy principal chief on Wednesday.
Newly elected Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said his biggest priority is caring for those in need.
"We know that there are elders and that there are disabled Cherokees and just folks that kind of live in the shadows that need the help of their fellow Cherokees and that's what the Cherokee Nation government ought to do. So initially we're investing in housing for elderly and disabled Cherokees," he said.
The principal chief is replacing Bill John Baker, and is ready to hit the ground running with his number two, Hoskin and Bryan Warner are considering everything from preserving their culture to the economy.
"I encourage each of you today to lift one another in prayer and remember that we have the ability to respond to the issues with patience, kindness, and civility," Warner said.
The newly elected chief is also facing uncertainty over gaming compacts which Governor Stitt hopes to renegotiate. That's something Principal Chief Hoskin doesn't take lightly.
"Look at how the Cherokee Nation governs and what priorities we set and I think the state will be in better shape. But the state should not look to the Indian Nations that have done so much and frankly were here before there was a state of Oklahoma to bail it out of fiscal irresponsibility of the last decade," he said.
The packed house at Cherokee Casino Tahlequah greeted the new ideas with applause and hope for the future.
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