The specter of a constitution has again risen in Cherokee, making its way to committee for the first time in 15 years.
Tribal council last week voted to create a constitutional task force, the second step in a long process that will require discussions, debates and, should it reach the final finish line, a vote by the entire tribe on a document. If approved by the majority of the people, it would forever change their way of governing.
The idea of crafting a self-governing constitution to replace a state-imposed charter for the tribe has been floated on and off for years, at times more seriously than others. It's always proved too controversial to succeed.
This particular incarnation of the constitutional effort is being spearheaded by Terri Henry, a council member from Painttown just finishing her first term. ...
Each community club representing the six districts of the reservation will nominate two task force members. They will start drafting a document and, most importantly, says Henry, get input from the tribe's members.
“When you're talking about something that is as important as a constitutional document, what is really important is that everybody has the same understanding of what the [constitutional] principles are and what the proposed language is,” says Henry.Read the full article