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First name: Joe photo
Last name: Byrd
E-mail: joe-byrd@cherokee.org
Web site:

20095 W. Wedgewood Dr.
Tahlequah, OK 74464
(C) 918-316-9463

Joe is a full blood Cherokee raised in Belfonte/Nicut , Oklahoma and the father of three children, Joseph, Candice, and Julia. He is currently serving his 3rd term on the Council of the Cherokee Nation for District #2, Cherokee County. He was nominated as Speaker of the Council in September of 2015. Joe formerly held the position of Chief of the Cherokee Nation and was the first bilingual Chief of the tribe in 200 years. In that capacity, and today, he has diligently worked for preserving Native American sovereignty, rights, culture and furthering educational opportunities.

Joe was appointed by former Oklahoma Governor Keating to the Oklahoma Native Culture Board, where he served two terms. He has held an appointment to the Planning Committee of the National Indian Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He has served as Vice-President of the Cherokee Nation Higher Education Foundation, the only Cherokee Council Member to represent the tribe at the first White House Conference on Indian Education, a tribal delegate to the National Congress of American Indians, and a member of both the National Indian Education Association and the Oklahoma Association for Bilingual Education. Joe also co-founded the “Tsa-La-Gi” Trail of Tears Awards for Excellence in education.

Joe is a senior advisor at the Watts Partners, where he directs economic development projects for the firm with a special emphasis on Native American tribes. Joe is currently President of Native American Partners, LLC, a firm specializing in business development and financing hotels, retail and entertainment ventures for Native American tribes. Joe is also the Chairman of the National Native American Chamber of Commerce.

Joe remains active in the community; he is on the Board of Directors of the Native American Diabetes Association, and he has served as a Board Member for Cherokee County Little League Baseball as a local, state and national advocate for Drug Free Youth.