March 27, 2012 was officially recognized as Cherokee Nation Legislative Day at the State Capitol. Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and Senate Democratic Leader Sean Burrage co-authored Senate Resolution 45 honoring the tribe, which is the second largest federally recognized tribe in the nation, and the largest in the State of Oklahoma.
“From before statehood on, members of the Cherokee Nation have risen to national and international prominence; Will Rogers, Sequoyah, Wilma Mankiller, Wes Studi are among the many outstanding individuals with deep roots in the Cherokee Nation and in Oklahoma,” said Burrage, D-Claremore. “Those roots are intertwined—the Cherokee Nation helped define Oklahoma’s past and continues to shape this state’s identity today.”
In addition to the Senate’s action, Gov. Mary Fallin declared March 27, 2012 as Cherokee Nation Day in Oklahoma. Pro Tem Bingman noted the Cherokee Nation is recognized on the Oklahoma State Seal and praised the tribe’s steadfast commitment and economic contributions.
“We were pleased to welcome Chief Bill John Baker to the floor for the passage of this resolution,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “It is important to honor those close ties, and pay tribute to the Cherokee Nation’s spirit of survival and perseverance.”
Chief Baker said it was an honor to be in the Senate, and told members he had himself served as a page in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate
“We’re up here today to tell you how much we appreciate your partnership with the Cherokee Nation,” Baker said. “We’re just honored and blessed to be here today, and God bless each and every one of you.”
Other guests from the Cherokee Nation included Government Relations Director, Jim Gray; Miss Cherokee, Sidney Kimble; Little Miss Cherokee, Sierra Fields; and Little Miss Cherokee Ambassador, Lilli Jordan.