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Chuck Hoskin Jr.: Shaping the Future of the Cherokee Nation

by | People

Chuck Hoskin Jr.: A Legacy of Leadership and Vision

Chuck Hoskin Jr. is a name shared across national airways concerning Cherokee and Native American affairs and locally, in the state of Oklahoma, a name associated with an exciting period of growth within the Cherokee Nation. More recently, we hear a great deal of Hoskin Jr. as he is building on a storied career as Secretary of State for the Cherokee Nation in running an engaging campaign to become Principal Chief in the upcoming June 1 election. Looking back on the man’s story, it seems to be a journey destined from the beginning.

Born at Claremore Indian Hospital, Hoskin Jr. was raised in Vinita by loving parents with his sister. Initially, his father was an ironworker, and his mother was a homemaker. However, through the course of his childhood, Hoskin Jr. was able to witness progress through hard work from both of his parents. His father became a letter carrier to work his way through college to become a teacher. Likewise, his mother worked hard through school while managing a family to become a Registered Nurse. These examples undoubtedly nourished the work ethic that has become synonymous with Hoskin Jr. throughout his career. A career that started at Braum’s when he was younger, where he would meet his future wife, January.

After graduating high school, Hoskin Jr. went to the University of Oklahoma, where he would obtain his Bachelor’s Degree and complete his studies at the OU College of Law. While he had always had an interest in politics, it was then that Hoskin Jr.’s father, who seems to be ever-growing in his own life, served on the Cherokee Council from 1995-2007, which proved to be influential.

Through his desire to serve, and the inspiration and influence of his father, Hoskin Jr. became involved in attending meetings regarding modernizing the Cherokee Constitution. In 1999, while still in law school, Hoskin Jr. was invited to be a part of the Constitutional Convention that led to the modern Cherokee Constitution. “It was an honor,” he said, regarding being involved in such a historic moment. This moment was when the young Hoskin Jr. began to be recognized for the benefits of his natural talents, the merits of his humility, and his work ethic.

Revolutionizing Healthcare and Economic Development in the Cherokee Nation

After practicing law for some time after graduation, Hoskin Jr. served on the Council of Cherokee Nation from 2007-2013. Through this time of service, his experience in Federal and Tribal Law and accomplishments in many initiatives and roles within the Tribal Council led to his nomination as Secretary of State by Principal Chief Bill John Baker in August 2013.

In the years that have passed, Hoskin Jr. has accomplished quite a bit in his role as Secretary of State. In 2013 he worked on a census concluding, at the time, that there were 320,000 Cherokees nationwide, with current numbers now approaching 370,000. When asked what has contributed to the massive growth, he said the numbers are “driven by the availability of resources. We’ve made room for directing funds to community organizations.” When it comes to keeping Cherokees connected nationwide, Hoskin Jr. said, “it’s a challenge.” And it is a challenge he has taken head-on.

Social media, cultural events, and the creation of twenty satellite organizations nationwide providing urban resources and connections have effectively brought Cherokees together. Moreover, during his time as Secretary of State, Cherokees have begun to receive photo IDs proving membership. The local administration spends ten months out of the year traveling nationwide to engage and connect with tribe members.

In terms of infrastructure, Hoskin Jr. has seen the creation of a 480,000-square-foot outpatient medical clinic in Tahlequah, to be completed this September. Hoskin Jr. and the Cherokee Nation lobbied the federal government in the most significant Indian Health Service joint venture in history for 100 million to aid in the build-out, with the Cherokees covering 200 million. The facility is expected to create 850 jobs, further creating a path for young Cherokees to become doctors, nurses, and medical professionals. To this end, the Cherokee Nation has created another joint venture with Oklahoma State University, which is building a medical school in Tahlequah.

Moreover, in addition to facilities at the four-story outpatient hospital featuring a full range of medical care for Cherokees, the build-out pays attention to art and form as a place representing Cherokee culture. Once completed, it will be the most significant medical facility of any tribe in the United States. It is a monumental moment for the Cherokee Nation and a sign of their prosperity and the forward-thinking of their leadership.

Additionally, Hoskin Jr. has been a national spokesperson for the Cherokee Nation and Native American affairs nationally and internationally. He gave testimony concerning the Cherokee Nation to the United Nations. Recently, when a story surrounding Senator Elizabeth Warren inspired a national discussion on what it means to be Cherokee, Hoskin Jr. was the voice sought after to bring reason and understanding to the issue. “Anytime we can talk about what it means to be Cherokee and its positive influence on the world, I am glad to do it, he said. Through these accomplishments, and many more, coupled with his character, it is no wonder that Hoskin Jr. is the front runner to become the next Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Sitting Chief Bill John Baker has stated, “Chuck Hoskin, Jr. is the most qualified, hardest-working person ever to run for Chief of the Cherokee Nation.” And while his accomplishments have certainly been historical, they are coupled with Hoskin Jr’s vision for the future, creating great excitement surrounding his campaign.

If elected, some top priorities are health care, noting elderly care and reduced wait times, language, and economic growth. He aims to continue improving health care and making the recruitment and development of doctors, nurses, and medical professionals more robust. Along this vein, he has initiatives to inspire young Cherokees to learn. Ever envisioning a path forward, Hoskin Jr. has the vision to help young people go to college and create jobs they can enter upon graduation. This vision is vital within the medical field. Still, Hoskin Jr. is setting his sights on bringing solid economic growth to smaller towns as well. The Cherokee Nation is mainly found in small towns, and “we don’t want to see them die on the vine. We find winning strategies that look at obstacles towns have, and that’s how we win”, he said.

Cultural Preservation and Environmental Advocacy: Priorities for the Future

In developing new generations of young Cherokees to go into the medical field and help turn the corner on job growth, preserving the Cherokee language is paramount among educational initiatives. Currently, there is a complete immersion program at a Cherokee-only school for K-6th grade students in Sequoyah. Otherwise, there is a further development of adult immersion and language programs at NSU to accomplish this endeavor.

Hoskin also said he wants to “tackle environmental issues concerning the water, the air, and the land. To be wise stewards of the land and be a part of the solution.”

Hoskin Jr. has chosen Bryan Warner as his running mate to become Deputy Chief to make these accomplishments an ever-growing reality. Warner has a storied background as an educator, teaching chemistry, biology, microbiology, and botany, and is currently the Campus Director at Carl Albert State College. He was elected to the Cherokee National Tribal Council in 2015. His extensive recognition and accomplishments speak to his heart for service, leadership, and initiative. He and his wife raise their three children in Sallisaw, where he has significantly impacted civic involvement and volunteer work. Hoskin Jr. has said of Warner that he is “brilliant and creative. I know we will work well together because we already have worked well together.”

Another great partnership Hoskin Jr. was sure to speak to was his family. “January and the kids keep me centered,” he said. He said about her hard work and passion on behalf of the Cherokee people, “She [January] has been intricately involved with me and on her own. She takes time to ensure our children get involved in Cherokee culture.”

Voting occurs on June 1. For information regarding the election, you can visit the Cherokee Nation Election Commission at

For more information on Chuck Hoskin Jr. and his campaign, you can visit or follow the campaign on Facebook at

Lee Brennan

Lee Brennan


Lee Brennan has worked across a broad spectrum in his career ranging from journalism, culinary arts, ministry, and living the life of an entrepreneur. Currently residing in Tulsa, OK, where he is raising his beloved daughter and enjoying life with his friends and family, Lee is driven by a love for people and a passion for telling great stories.


  1. Ruby Bibbs

    Excellent article.

  2. Durbin Feeling

    Hard working men; prepared for the jobs already!


    Najlepszy sposob na osiagniecie sukcesu w zyciu to postepowanie wedlug rad, ktorych udzielamy innym.


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