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Press Release

Release Date: October 11, 2022
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

OKLAHOMA CITY — Leaders of the five largest tribes in Oklahoma announced today they officially endorse State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister as Oklahoma’s next Governor, citing her respect for tribal sovereignty and her commitment to work with the state’s nearly 40 federally recognized tribes for the betterment of all Oklahomans.

Leaders of the Five Tribes – including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Muscogee, Choctaw and Seminole Nations – announced their endorsement of Hofmeister during a press conference at the Petroleum Club Event Center in Oklahoma City.

The Five Tribes represent a total of more than 800,000 citizens of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Muscogee, Choctaw and Seminole Nations living around the country.

“As a gubernatorial candidate, Joy Hofmeister recognizes that we all want the same things: safe communities, a strong economy, a stable workforce, well-funded education, investments in our infrastructure, and a continued focus on health and wellness, family, and community. When it comes to working with the tribal nations in Oklahoma, she understands our sovereignty is not a partisan issue or a threat, but instead is a chance to forge new partnerships while strengthening those that already exist because Oklahomans thrive together when we all work together. This year’s Oklahoma gubernatorial election is the most important in generations for all Oklahomans, and that’s why leaders of the Five Tribes are endorsing Joy Hofmeister to be Oklahoma’s 29th Governor,” the Five Tribes leaders said.

Leaders of the Five Tribes said the following of their endorsement of Hofmeister:

“The Cherokee people have long believed that laying the groundwork to a great education instills confidence and empowers our citizens. As early founders of education in this region – starting the first institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River and still today investing millions into our public schools- we live by this same strong drive and commitment to education as Joy Hofmeister.  Joy is as dedicated to ensuring our public-school classrooms have the tools that our children need to better compete and succeed in life. Joy also supports our teachers and growing these dedicated men and women to serve in the classroom helping shape our future workforce and leaders across this great state.  Joy believes in ‘gadugi,’ the Cherokee word for ‘working together.’  For all of these reasons, and more, Joy Hofmeister has our full endorsement for governor,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said.

“The 39 federally recognized tribes in Oklahoma collectively make a significant impact on the economy, health, education, and infrastructure of this state. It’s important that our elected officials recognize this impact, as well as respect and understand the sovereign status of our governments. The Governor of Oklahoma should value the importance of tribal sovereigns, who are beyond capable of self-governance. Joy Hofmeister values tribal sovereignty and views us as equals, with a willingness to advance our partnerships for the good of all Oklahomans. Any governor that postures and attempts dominion of tribes, is detrimental to the tribes and the state. We look forward to a bright future where collaboration, not division, is the standard. To achieve this, we must let our voices be heard with a strong presence at the polls,” Muscogee Nation Principal Chief David Hill said.

“Throughout her career, Joy Hofmeister has always been a dedicated public servant who has demonstrated Oklahoma’s conservative values,” “She shares our Tribal values of doing what is best for all communities and families, and showing her faith. She supports extending an olive branch to unite everyone, rather than always creating divisiveness,” Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton said. 

"Joy Hofmeister has long demonstrated a consistent commitment to collaboration and cooperation with tribes in Oklahoma. She understands that access to quality health care in rural communities is needed to help sustain the significant role that agriculture, tourism, and local businesses play in the growth and development of our local and state economy. Her commitment to cooperation and collaboration among tribal, state, and federal governments enhances our ability to offer more affordable access to quality health care, promote healthy lifestyles, and reduce health care costs for all Oklahomans,” Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said.

“Oklahoma deserves a Governor who will respect and represent all Oklahomans,” Seminole Nation Chief Lewis J. Johnson said.