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New UKB Election Board officers sworn in

Tahlequah, OK -- The UKB's new election board is now officially on the job. Janie Wagnon, Kitana Swimmer-Foreman, and Tonya Hudson have been sworn in and now the acting members of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma's Election Board.

The UKB Election Board​ is an independent and autonomous agency of the United Keetoowah Band. It is comprised of three Keetoowah tribal members that are selected to uphold the integrity of the tribe and assure that candidates adhere to the UKB Election Ordinances.

Janie Wagnon’s concern was voter turnout. She hopes to use her position to get more UKB Members out to vote.

“We don’t have enough people to come out to vote,” Wagnon said. “I don’t know if it’s that they don’t care or if they’re not knowing what’s going on or what. But we It’s just been a little troubling to see that not too many people get out to vote.”

Wagnon said she hopes to make moves to promote the election as much as the

Election Board can and to expand the voter turnout this go round.

The board is funded by the UKB Council each election year in an amount sufficient to fulfill its duties under the UKB Election Ordinances. The Election Board possesses the duties and powers hereinafter mentioned and shall conduct all elections in compliance with the UKB Election Ordinances and in accordance with the Constitution and By-laws of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma.

Former Ms. Keetoowah, Swimmer-Foreman stated that her experiences wearing the Keetoowah crown was just the beginning of her motivation for wanting to serve her tribe in any capacity.

“Ever since I was Ms. Keetoowah and I witnessed the working within the tribe, it’s always brought me love and attention to wanting to do more with the tribe and the help the tribe,” Swimmer-Foreman said. “As we’ve been growing, and our tribe continues to grow, we don’t always have the help we need, so I just want to continue to help anyway I can.”

A desire to give back to her tribe is what moved Tonya Hudson to serve on the UKB Election Board.

“I’m going to do the best that I can. I’m hoping it’ll be a great election,” Hudson said. “I just want everyone to get out and vote and go with who they want in there. Their voices are important. It’s our future.”

The UKB Election will happen later this year.



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