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Obama Names Cherokee as Native Policy Adviser

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  • Obama Names Cherokee as Native Policy Adviser

    President Obama announced the appointment of a Cherokee Nation woman as the new senior policy adviser for Native American affairs Monday during a taped speech delivered to the National Congress of American Indians.

    Kimberly Teehee will fill the position that Obama promised to create while campaigning for the presidency. Teehee will serve on the White House Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House and offers advice to Obama.

    "Kim Teehee will be a tremendous asset to our team as we work to strengthen and build on the nation-to-nation relationship between the United States and tribal nations," said Obama. "She is rightly recognized as an outstanding advocate for Indian Country, and she will provide a direct interface at the highest level of my administration, assuring a voice for Native Americans during policy making decisions."

    Obama also announced Monday that the White House will hold a Tribal Nations Conference later this fall.

    Passionate Advocate'

    "President Obama has made an excellent choice in Kim Teehee," Kildee said in a news release Monday. "I have worked with Kim for over a decade, and I have always found her to be a thoughtful, dedicated and passionate advocate for our Native American population. The president has made it clear that he is committed to strengthening the relationship between the United States and tribal nations and I am confident that Kim will be instrumental in achieving that goal."

    As senior adviser to Kildee, Teehee advised the more than 100 members of the bi-partisan Native American Caucus. She wrote speeches, testimony and legislation relating to Native American issues and worked closely with House leadership and Senate staff. She also coordinated with tribal leaders and organizations from across the country.

    Teehee comes from a Cherokee-speaking family and grew up in Claremore, Okla. She was born in Chicago, where her parents moved as part of a federal relocation assistance program for Indians.

    Teehee joins an impressive list of Native leaders appointed to serve within the Obama administration: Larry EchoHawk, assistant secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs; Yvette Roubideaux, director of the Indian Health Service; Mary Smith, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice; Hilary Tomkins, solicitor of the Department of Interior; and Jodi Gillette, a member of the White House Intergovernmental Affairs staff.

    Obama also announced Monday that the White House will hold a Tribal Nations Conference later this fall.

    Obama Names Cherokee as Native Policy Adviser | Reznet News

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