MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 21, 2013

Holiday day of service for Cherokee leaders


— STILWELL — Principal Chief Bill John Baker and members of his cabinet spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day painting the interior of a 1,300-square-foot home that will soon be occupied by a Cherokee family.

About 15 Cherokee Nation leaders spent MLK Day as a service day.

“Our administrative staff decided to come out and help this housing project along,” Baker said. “There are eight new homes in rural Adair County, and the quicker we can get them completed, the quicker we can get Cherokee families moved in. We encourage everyone across the nation to find a way to give a helping hand to someone in need.”

Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Secretary of State Charles Head, Treasurer Lacey Horn, Attorney General Todd Hembree, Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation Executive Director Gary Cooper and Marshal Service Executive Director Shannon Buhl were among those who volunteered Monday.

The home under renovation is among 30 the Cherokee Nation has built in the past year as part of Baker’s New Home Construction Program.

A total of 1,303 Cherokee citizens have signed up under the program, which aims to build at least 300 new homes in the tribe’s 14-county area per year.