TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner announced changes today to the tribe’s cabinet and administration staff and a nomination of a new Supreme Court justice.
“Deputy Chief Warner and I were so fortunate to work with so many great cabinet members during our first term,” Chief Hoskin said. “They helped lead our nation through some of the most challenging times in Cherokee history and helped us seize so many great opportunities for the Cherokee people.”
Chief Hoskin’s second-term cabinet, if confirmed by the Council of the Cherokee Nation later this month, will consist of four women and four men leading various departments across the tribes’ workforce of 4,700 government employees.
“Deputy Chief Warner and I are also grateful that cabinet members who have or will soon depart are doing so to pursue other wonderful opportunities to serve Cherokee Nation and Indian Country,” Chief Hoskin said. “We are excited to begin this new term with some new team members and some continuing team members.”
Hoskin / Warner Second-Term Nominations
- Chad Harsha, Attorney General
- Shella Bowlin, Secretary of State
- Christina Justice, Secretary of Natural Resources
- S. Joe Crittenden, Secretary of Veterans Affairs (reappointment)
- Janees Taylor, Treasurer (reappointment)
- Kim Teehee, Delegate to Congress (reappointment)
- Shannon Buhl, Marshal (not yet subject to renomination)
- Tina Glory-Jordan, Cherokee Nation Supreme Court
“Chief Hoskin and I believe in teamwork,” Deputy Chief Warner said. “Whether it is he and I working as a team, working with our team of cabinet members, or watching and supporting the amazing work of the team of thousands of Cherokee Nation employees, we know that ‘gadugi’ — the Cherokee word for ‘working together’ — is the key to success. This second-term cabinet will lead us toward even more success at Cherokee Nation because these individuals represent some of the greatest attributes of the Cherokee people: integrity, wisdom and compassion.”
The nominees will go before the Council of the Cherokee Nation on August 31 for consideration.
Chief Hoskin nominates Secretary Tina Glory-Jordan to Cherokee Nation Supreme Court
Chief Hoskin announced the appointment of Tina Glory-Jordan to the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court to fill a seat opened by the resignation of Lee Paden.
Paden announced his resignation in a letter to Chief Hoskin, citing the need to focus on his health.
Secretary Jordan has served with every chief of the Cherokee Nation since the ’80s. She was appointed by the late Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller to serve as the first district court judge of the Cherokee Nation, was a delegate to the 1999 Cherokee Nation Constitutional Convention and executive director of the Arkansas Riverbed Authority. Jordan served on the Council of the Cherokee Nation from 2007 to 2015, elected by her peers to serve as Speaker during her second term. Jordan operated her own law firm in Tahlequah for 42 years and has served as legal counsel for the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation, as well as a former gaming commissioner.
As Secretary of State, Jordan helped guide Cherokee Nation through the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery and strengthened Cherokee Nation’s relationship with a number of federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Jordan has served on the Federal Communication Commission’s tribal advisory committee during a time in which Cherokee Nation has expanded connectivity across the Cherokee Nation Reservation.
Jordan has a bachelor’s degree in business from Oklahoma State University and a law degree from the University of Tulsa.
“Secretary of State Tina Glory-Jordan is one of the most dedicated and effective Cherokee Nation public servants I have ever known,” Chief Hoskin said. “As Secretary Jordan’s résumé reflects, her education, experience and skills have put her in a position to lead across many subject areas that impact Cherokees on an individual level, personal and on a grand scale. From housing to social services to high-level issues involving complex legal analysis, such as treaty rights and federal statutes, Secretary Jordan approaches every issue by examining what is fair, just and equitable. For all these reasons, and so many more, she is the ideal nominee for the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation.”
“Secretary Jordan is well qualified for the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court,” said Deputy Chief Warner. “She will take to the bench years of legal and public service that will serve our Nation well.”
“I have dedicated my career to helping people as an attorney, as a Cherokee Nation district court judge, as a tribal councilor, and serving as Secretary of State,” Jordan said. “It is my deepest honor to be asked by Chief Hoskin to serve on our nation’s Supreme Court. And, if I am confirmed by the Council, I will execute my duties to our court and the litigants that appear before me by following the law and our Constitution with a fair hand and an open heart.”
Chief Hoskin praised Justice Paden’s career, including his service on the court.
“Justice Paden served on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court during a period of dramatic changes in both the law and the administration of our court system,” Chief Hoskin said. “His wonderful career of private and public service to Indian Country, spanning nearly six decades, beginning in the halls of Congress as an advisor on Native American affairs for the late Sen. Henry Bellmon is unprecedented.”
Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill to Depart, Leaves Powerful Legacy
Chief Hoskin announced the departure of Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill from the post she has held since Hoskin took office in August 2019.
Hill navigated the tribe’s Attorney General’s office through a period of dramatic and unprecedented change in Indian Country’s legal landscape.
“From helping us reaffirm our reservation under the McGirt case, to successfully defending the Indian Child Welfare Act, to asserting treaty rights on a scale not seen since the late 19th century, Sara Hill has been one of the most important and impactful attorneys to ever serve the Cherokee Nation,” Chief Hoskin said. “That Sara Hill led us through all of these challenges during a pandemic and during a time in which our tribal sovereignty was also under attack from powerful interests and politicians simply underscores that she was the right attorney general at the right time for the Cherokee Nation.”
Hill announced she is leaving the cabinet position to form her own law practice, which will continue to focus on representation of tribal governments.
“Under the outstanding leadership of Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner, and with the continued support of Speaker Shambaugh and the Tribal Council, I know the Cherokee Nation is prepared to face every challenge and seize every opportunity,” Hill said. “It has been an honor to serve as Attorney General, and to serve the Cherokee people in the different ways I have over the last twenty years.”
Chief Hoskin will nominate current Secretary of Natural Resources Chad Harsha to succeed Hill as Attorney General.
Chief Hoskin Announces New Cabinet Nominees
Secretary of State Nominee Shella Bowlin
Chief Hoskin has nominated Cherokee Nation Businesses executive Shella Bowlin as Secretary of State.
“Shella Bowlin’s successful business career has been fueled by a sharp mind and dedication to teamwork, and our government programs will benefit from her leadership,” Chief Hoskin said. “Shella’s success at CNB has required her to work on a global scale, building relationships across business and government. These experiences and others across her career will make her a very successful Secretary of State.”
Bowlin has worked at Cherokee Nation Businesses since 2004 and currently serves as Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Analytics under company CEO Chuck Garrett. She has a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering and management from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the Cherokee Nation,” Bowlin said. “I look forward to collaborating with all those who work so hard to serve the citizens and reservation for the next four years, to continue building a strong foundation and future for all Cherokees.”
Attorney General Nominee Chad Harsha
Chief Hoskin has nominated Chad Harsha, the current Secretary of Natural Resources, as Attorney General.
Harsha has served as the Secretary of Natural Resources since his appointment by Chief Hoskin to the post in 2019. Prior to serving in Chief Hoskin’s cabinet, Harsha worked as an assistant attorney general for the Cherokee Nation Attorney General’s office and general counsel for the Secretary of Natural Resources.
As Secretary of Natural Resources, Harsha oversaw a large expansion of tribal lands for hunting, fishing, cultural practices and recreation; implemented laws for historic preservation; expanded the tribe’s cattle and bison operations; and expanded the tribe’s green energy footprint. He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental management from Northeastern State University and a law degree from the University of Tulsa.
“Secretary Harsha has demonstrated great leadership and delivered positive results in every position he has held with Cherokee Nation,” Hoskin said. “He possesses exactly the type of keen intellect, work ethic and sense of fairness that the Cherokee people deserve in an attorney general.”
“It is a crucial time in Indian Country, and I am deeply honored to be nominated for Attorney General,” Harsha said. “If confirmed by the Council, I will continue to build on the remarkable accomplishments of past leadership, lawyers and staff in our unwavering effort to protect and promote the sovereign interests of the Cherokee Nation.”
Secretary of Natural Resources Nominee Christina Justice
Chief Hoskin has nominated Christina Justice as Secretary of Natural Resources.
Justice currently serves as the Chief Administrator of Operations under current Secretary of Natural Resources Chad Harsha. Secretary Harsha is leaving the post due to his nomination as Cherokee Nation’s Attorney General.
Justice has worked for Cherokee Nation since 2004 in a range of departments, including Grants Management to law and justice. She has worked in the Natural Resources department since 2020. Justice has a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice, with a minor in environmental management, from Northeastern State University.
“Christina brings nearly two decades of valuable experience to the task of leading one of the most impactful departments at Cherokee Nation,” Chief Hoskin said. “We will benefit from both the continuity that her continued work in the department will bring, but also the opportunity for new ideas in natural resource stewardship.”
“The preservation of our natural resources is the cornerstone of quality of life for the nation and its citizens,” Justice said. “It is my great honor to be nominated for Secretary of Natural Resources and, if confirmed, I will build upon the work of my predecessors and strive to implement innovative and forward-thinking strategies to ensure the preservation of our most precious resources.”
Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden Nominated for Reappointment
Chief Hoskin will reappoint Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden for another term leading the tribe’s veterans’ services department.
“Joe Crittenden is one of the finest public servants I have ever known,” Chief Hoskin said. “It is a blessing to have him continue leading our veterans department, which has grown stronger under his leadership.”
Crittenden has served in various capacities with Cherokee Nation across five decades. His service includes two terms on the Council of the Cherokee Nation, two terms as Deputy Principal Chief and a stint as acting Principal Chief.
Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner created the Secretary of Veterans Affairs post in 2019. The Council of the Cherokee Nation unanimously approved the position and of Crittenden’s nomination.
Crittenden holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
“I am honored to continue serving our brave Cherokee veterans in this capacity,” Crittenden said. “Cherokee Nation has a proud history of valuing and caring for our military men and women, and I remain committed to upholding that legacy. We also provide services for families of veterans, as well as non-Cherokees who served. Going forward, I hope to find new opportunities that support the mental and physical well-being of those that have defended our country.”
Treasurer Janees Taylor Nominated for Reappointment
Hoskin will nominate Janees Taylor to serve a new term as Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation, where she manages more than 100 employees in the Office of Financial Resources and related departments and oversees an annual budget of over $3 billion.
A former member of the Council of the Cherokee Nation, Taylor served two consecutive terms representing the citizens of District 15. Taylor, who chaired the Council’s Executive & Finance Committee, has a degree in accounting from Northeastern State University and is a certified public accountant with experience in both the private and government sectors.
“I am pleased to announce the reappointment of Treasurer Taylor, whose unwavering commitment has significantly improved the lives of Cherokees throughout the country,” Hoskin said. “Through her steadfast dedication and financial acumen, our sovereign government has witnessed transformative changes, empowered families and uplifted our tribe as a whole.”
Taylor’s leadership role also included a tenure as secretary of the Council, and she was appointed to the Special Commission for the Protection of Cherokee Nation Sovereignty, established to prepare the Cherokee Nation for historic changes resulting from the U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling. Taylor is a 2023 recipient of the Tulsa League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa Madame President award.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to continue as treasurer. My firm grasp of our programs, our workforce and the needs of our citizens enables our department to work seamlessly with the Administration and the Council of Cherokee Nation to prioritize the efforts that preserve our culture and build up our communities,” Taylor said. “I’m proud of what we have achieved in my tenure as Treasurer and look forward to the future for Cherokee Nation.”
Delegate to Congress Kim Teehee Nominated for Reappointment
Hoskin will nominate Kim Teehee to continue as Cherokee Nation’s Delegate to Congress.
Under the Treaty of 1835 between Cherokee Nation and the United States, and reaffirmed in the Treaty of 1866, Cherokee Nation is “entitled to a Delegate in the United States House of Representatives when Congress shall make provision for the same.” Cherokee Nation’s Constitution, approved by the Cherokee people in 1999, requires that the delegate post be appointed by the Principal Chief and confirmed by the Council of the Cherokee Nation.
Cherokee Nation is the exclusive tribal nation to those treaties. Under Chief Hoskin’s leadership, the nation has been pressing Congress to keep the promise of seating a delegate. Chief Hoskin testified before the U.S. House Rules Committee on the subject in November 2022.
“Kim Teehee has already made history as the first Cherokee Nation Delegate to Congress,” Chief Hoskin said. “There is more history to be made. We must keep pressing Congress to meet its clear obligation to seat her. There is no one more qualified than Kim Teehee to serve as Delegate to Congress.”
Teehee has a decades-long career working in the public and private sectors advocating for Indian Country. Teehee has worked on Indian affairs on Capitol Hill and in the White House, where she served as the country’s first advisor on Native American Affairs. Since 2015, she has served as the Executive Director and Vice President of Government Relations for Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses.
Teehee has a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University and a law degree from the University of Iowa.
“I'm honored that Chief Hoskin has once again placed his trust in me to serve the Cherokee Nation in Congress,” Teehee said. “Indian Country is facing critical challenges today, and it's more important than ever that we have a voice at the highest levels of the federal government. That's why it's so important that the House move swiftly to finally honor the promise that was made in the 1835 Treaty of New Echota and seat the Cherokee Nation's delegate.”
Chief of Staff Corey Bunch to Continue at Post
Chief Hoskin announced that Chief of Staff Corey Bunch will continue in his position.
“Corey Bunch has ably served as Chief of Staff during a time of growth and change, leading transformational initiatives in our workforce,” Chief Hoskin said. “Continued progress simply requires Corey’s continued leadership.”
Bunch has worked in the education field his entire career, including as executive director of Cherokee Nation’s education department and as a public school teacher and administrator.
Bunch serves on the Haskell Indian Nations University Board of Regents. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern State University in education and will graduate this fall with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University.
“Cherokee Nation has a workforce of over 4,700 dedicated employees who do their best to serve the needs of our citizens each and every day, and it is a pleasure doing my part in leading them,” Bunch said. “The Hoskin-Warner administration is among the most progressive in all of Indian Country, and I am honored to continue serving them by implementing their shared goals of improving the lives and building the capacity of all Cherokees for the next seven generations."
Though considered part of the Chief’s cabinet, the chief of staff position is not subject to confirmation by the Council of the Cherokee Nation
Marshal Shannon Buhl Continues Longtime Service
Longtime Cherokee Nation Marshal Shannon Buhl continues in his role in the midst of an unprecedented third appointed term. Marshal Buhl was first appointed in 2012 and reappointed again in 2017 by former Chief Bill John Baker, and in 2022 by Chief Hoskin for a five-year term.
“We are fortunate to have Shannon Buhl leading the Marshal Service during these challenging times,” Chief Hoskin said. “Marshal Buhl has helped us seize the opportunities under the McGirt ruling, expanding our Marshal Service and strengthening relationships with our law enforcement partners.”
Marshal Buhl is an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Northeastern State University and has a bachelor’s of psychology from Langston University and master’s degree in criminal justice from NSU.
Buhl, a military veteran with 22 years of experience in law enforcement, said he appreciates the confidence that Chief Hoskin, Deputy Chief Warner and the Council of the Cherokee Nation has shown in the Marshal Service.
“I have the privilege of leading some of the finest men and women in law enforcement on our daily mission to protect and serve everyone residing on the Cherokee Nation Reservation,” Buhl said.
Chief Hoskin Announces Additional Leadership Positions
Canaan Duncan, Taralee Montgomery Promoted to Deputy Secretaries of State
Chief Hoskin announced that two top aides — Taralee Montgomery and Canaan Duncan — will take on added responsibilities and the title of Deputy Secretary of State.
Deputy Secretary Montgomery will focus on policy evaluation and development across government programs and continue to be the Administration’s primary liaison with the Council of the Cherokee Nation on legislation and intra-branch relations.
Deputy Secretary Duncan will focus on community engagement, working with Cherokee Nation departments on grassroots organizing efforts and local problem solving. Duncan also leads a team of community liaisons working in Cherokee Nation communities.
“Taralee Montgomery and Canaan Duncan have been key members of our team, and I am looking forward to working with them both in the coming term,” Chief Hoskin said.
Todd Enlow remains Senior Advisor, leads Housing Programs
Chief Hoskin announced that Todd Enlow will continue in his role as Senior Advisor and Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Cherokee Nation.
Enlow, former Chief of Staff under Chief Hoskin, has served in his current role since January 2023.
“Todd Enlow has brought such incredible enthusiasm to our housing efforts,” Chief Hoskin said. “We are seeing real results due to Todd’s focus on teamwork.”
Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner were re-elected to office on June 3 to lead the Cherokee Nation, the largest tribe in the United States with more than 450,000 citizens. Inaugural ceremonies for Chief Hoskin, Deputy Chief Warner and newly elected and re-elected members of the Council of the Cherokee Nation will be held on August 14 in Tahlequah. The cabinet nominees will be submitted to the Council of the Cherokee Nation for confirmation later this month.