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As Chief of Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma’s delegate is used to meeting with president

Chief Bill John Baker of the Cherokee Nation met with President Barack Obama last month in Washington, D.C., to talk about tribal issues.

Now, as a delegate, Baker will get a chance to hear the president again.

Baker, 60, said he felt buoyed by the first meeting. “We really appreciate the attitude his administration has placed toward Indian Country,” Baker said.

Baker is a fourth-generation Cherokee born and raised in Tahlequah, Okla., the capital of the Cherokee Nation. His great-great-grandmother was brought there in the early 19th century after her parents died on the “Trail of Tears.”

Though Baker majored in political science and earned a teaching degree from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, he went into business as owner of Baker’s Furniture.

He said he visited Charlotte with his parents when he was a teenager. “We looked at the old houses,” he said. “We love old architecture.”

Oops. Turns out Baker visited historic Charleston. He’s not the only delegate to mix up the cities. We just hope no one ends up in South Carolina by mistake.

Elizabeth Leland

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