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President Barack Obama talks with Kim Teehee, Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs, in the Oval Office, April 26, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Cherokee Nation picks former Obama adviser as first U.S. House delegate

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The Tribal Council of the Cherokee Nation has unanimously approved the newly elected chief’s selection to be the tribe’s first-ever delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based tribe says its 17-member council approved Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.’s pick of Kimberly Teehee during a special meeting on Thursday.

Hoskin announced earlier this month he intends to exercise for the first time the tribe’s right to a congressional delegate, which is outlined in treaties with the federal government.

A Cherokee Nation citizen and former adviser to President Barack Obama, Teehee currently oversees government relations for the tribe and its business arm.

Legal experts say the path to secure a tribal delegate would likely require congressional approval and be similar to those of island territories like Puerto Rico.

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