By Tyler Thomas
After 37 years of dedicated service to his tribe, Bud Squirrel retired from his position as the Manager of Family Assistance Department with the Cherokee Nation.
Squirrel served during five different principal chief administrations while at the Cherokee Nation and is now trading in the 8-5 work day for the retired life. However, there will not be a large amount of relaxing if Squirrel has his say. With 10 grandchildren and an avid love of the outdoors, he hopes to always have something to occupy his time.
“I really love to hunt and fish and work in the garden. I just hope I have good enough health to stay busy,” Squirrel said.
In his 37 years of service, Squirrel served in many capacities in various departments, including Cherokee Nation Health Services for 12 years, from 1979-91. He headed up the construction phase of the Redbird Smith Health Center in the early 1990s.
Dedicated individuals like Squirrel are the lifeblood of the Cherokee Nation. Their passion and service keep the programs that serve and enhance the lives of thousands of Cherokees thriving. The food distribution program, health services and other Cherokee Nation services and programs continue the prosperous growth of the Cherokee Nation and will keep our people, culture and way of life here for generations to come.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker credits Squirrel’s diverse skill set and knowledge for the success the programs with which he has been involved have experienced throughout the years.
“Bud has been a fixture at the Cherokee Nation since almost the beginning,” Chief Baker said. “He will be sorely missed, and everyone’s job will now be a little more difficult by not having his experience and knowledge readily available.”
Squirrel said it has been a great opportunity to contribute to the progress of the Cherokee Nation. He encourages younger generations to be active within their tribe and serve passionately.