Cherokee Confederate Reunion
The Cherokee Nation (Tsalagihi Ayeli) is the largest of three Cherokee federally recognized tribes in the United States. It was established in the 20th century, and includes people descended from members of the old Cherokee Nation who relocated voluntarily from the Southeast to India Territory and Cherokees who were forced to relocate on the Trail of Tears. The tribe also includes descendents of Cherokee Freedmen and Natchez Nation. Over 299,862 people are enrolled in the Cherokee Nation, with 189,228 living within the state of Oklahoma. According to Bureau of India Affairs (BIA) head Larry EchoHawk, the Cherokee Nation is not the historical Cherokee tribe but instead a "successor in interest."
Headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation has a tribal jurisdictional area spanning 14 counties in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma. These are Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Ottawa, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagner, and Washington Counties.
The tribe has a democratically elected government, led by a Principal Chief, Deputy Chief, and Tribal Council. Bill John Baker was inaugurated as Principal Chief for a four-year term on October 19, 2011 after a special election in which Cherokee Freedmen were allowed to vote, while issues related to their membership in the nation are being resolved.
Cherokee Nation has two tribal courts, the District Court and the Judicial Appeals Tribunal (JAT). The Cherokee Nation Marshall Service polices the tribe. A wide range of tribal businesses are operated by Cherokee Nation Entertainment (CNE) and Cherokee Nation Businesses (CNB), based in Catoosa, Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation Industries (CNI), based in Stilwell, Oklahoma. The tribal newspaper is the Cherokee Phoenix. The Cherokee Nation operates Sequoyah High School and W. W. Hastings Hospital, both based in Tahlequah.