TAHLEQUAH, OK – The Council of the Cherokee Nation recently elected its new officers including Councilor Mike Shambaugh of District 9 as the new Council Speaker. Victoria Vazquez of District 11 was elected to continue serving as Deputy Speaker of the Council, and Dora Patzkowski of District 12 was elected Secretary.
“I’m truly humbled to be selected by my colleagues to serve as the Speaker of the Council,” Shambaugh said. “I look forward to my new role and will work hard representing the Council and the Cherokee people. I have some big shoes to fill, but I really feel comfortable knowing this Council will be here making good decisions for the betterment of our great Cherokee Nation.”
The Constitution of the Cherokee Nation specifies that the Council elect officers to officiate its meetings.
“I’m extremely humbled and proud to have the confidence of my peers on the Tribal Council to once again elect me as the Deputy Speaker,” Vazquez said. “I cannot stress how excited I am to get back to servicing my constituents and the Cherokee Nation. I see nothing but positive things in the future for our tribe.”
Patzkowski said she looks forward to the coming years and her new role. “It is an honor to be voted Tribal Council Secretary by my peers,” Patzkowski said. “It is an honor that I take seriously. I am committed to serving the Council as well as the Cherokee people.”
The Council’s standing committee chairs and co-chairs include the following:
Community Services Chair Daryl Legg and Co-Chair Melvina Shotpouch; Health Chair Mike Dobbins and Co-Chair Dora Patzkowski; Rules Chair Mike Shambaugh and Co-Chair Joe Deere; Culture Chair Victoria Vazquez and Co-Chair Candessa Tehee; Education Chair Shawn Crittenden and Co-Chair Wes Nofire; Executive and Finance Chair Keith Austin and Co-Chair Joshua Sam; Resources Chair Rex Jordan and Co-Chair E.O. Smith.