Cherokee Messenger
June 1995

Presenting Statements from some of the Candidates for
Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation


Mary Elizabeth Birmingham
1206 South Maple Ave
Tahlequah, OK 74464
(918) 456-2859


Mary is full-blood Cherokee, age 57 and has a Bachelor of Science Degree: Business Administration, minor in Psychology from Notheastern State University - Tahlequah, OK. Her goals and objectives include an aggressive approach for jobs creation through economic development by utilizing special tax incentives, promoting skilled and trainable labor force, and lending technical and financial assistance to tribal entrepreneurs. Identification of new markets and new enterprises, nationally and internationally. She wishes to emphasize programs that will strengthen the family circle, the primary cultural focus, to address the needs of our elders and those raising families. She wants to provide technical expertise to local leaders to meet the specific needs of their communities. To work closely with the Council Members to ensure the needs the Cherokees are met within the communities in which they live.


Joe Byrd
305 S. Muskogee
Tahlequah, OK 74464
(918) 458-9595


Joe is a full-blood, bilingual Cherokee with a Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree in Education from Notheastern Oklahoma State University in Tahlequah. In the months ahead Cherokee people will be facing challenges that require strong leadership, experience and compassion to assure that our people can have access to health care, housing, education and good jobs that have a future. "With your support, now we can work together to become the self-sufficient people that our ancestors were". Joe has worked with Senators and Congressmen in Washington D.C., on tribal self-governance compacts that enable Cherokees to decide how federal funds should be spent and he has worked extensively on housing issues so that our Cherokee people can have decent, safe and affordable housing.


Charles "Cowboy" Juby
P.O.Box 537
Sperry, OK 74073
(918) 288-6805


Charles, age 63, attended the University of Arkansas and Bacone college after serving in the U.S. Army for over three years during the Korean conflict. He retired in 1992. His platform is to work toward continued tribal sovereignty for our people. Our goal should be to be more self-sufficient with less government intervention and we should demand that all of our signed treaties be upheld. Better education for our children is essential and health care for young and old must continue to be a top priority. Cherokee people deserve financial assistance in small business ventures so they may become independent. Charles will also publish a quarterly financial statement of our tribal budget for you to review.


Chad Smith
P.O.Box 1767
Tahlequah, OK 74465
(918) 458-9322


Chad has served the Cherokee Nation for over seven years under two chiefs in the capacity of Attorney, Cherokee Nation Prosecutor, Director of the Justice Department, Advisor to the Tax Commission, Director of Planning, and Legal Historian. In his private practice, he is involved with Civil Rights, Commercial Litigation and Indian Law. He received his law degree in 1980 from the University of Tulsa. Chad has a strong belief in the Cherokee people and culture. He has a clear vision for the future of the Cherokee Nation. He wants to make certain that the Cherokee Nation becomes self-sufficient in order to stand on its own in this changing world. He wants the Cherokee Nation to be here for all our relations, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to come. Chad believes the Cherokee Nation can make great contributions to the world if we have the courage, foresight, experience, belief and pride in the abilities of the Cherokee People to accomplish these great things. It is time to reclaim our system of government for the Cherokee People!

Chad says "Tribal sovereignty is the right (paid for with millions of acres of land and thousands of lives in wars and through treaties with the federal government) to determine our own destiny. A strong tribal government is the only protection individual Cherokees and their unborn generations have from harsh and unfair federal and state governments. Only wise exercise of tribal sovereignty will allow the Cherokees to continue to exist as a distinct people."

Chad has put down in contract form what he proposes to do within the first six months of his term.

  1. Create jobs for rural Cherokees
  2. Protect the elders and young Cherokees
  3. Strengthen families in need
  4. Develop a friendly tribal work environment
  5. Regain our language, heritage and culture
  6. Communicate better with Cherokee citizens
  7. Build community participation
  8. Preserve our treaty rights
  9. Improve health care
  10. Provide law enforcement protection in Cherokee communities
  11. Work for territorial expansion


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