National | Politics

Leader of Cherokee Nation hails nomination of Keith Harper

Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker praised the nomination of Keith Harper to an ambassador-rank post.

President Barack Obama on Monday nominated Harper as the United States Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council. “I couldn’t be prouder to have a citizen rise to that level of honor,” Chief Baker told The Washington Post.

The leader of the Navajo Nation also welcomed the news. "His work on key cases such as the Cobell litigation and settlement underscores his committment toward ensuring that the human rights of all are promoted and protected," President Ben Shelly said of Harper.

If confirmed by the Senate, Harper would be the first member of a federally recognized tribe in an ambassador post. Chris Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya who was killed in an attack on September 11, 2012, was a member of the Chinook Nation, a non-recognized tribe.

Harper is most well-known for working on the Cobell trust fund lawsuit since its inception in 1996. He started off at the Native American Rights Fund and joined the Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton firm before a settlement was announced in December 2009.

The United Nations Human Rights Council addresses human rights issues around the world. Prior U.S. representatives have included Eleanor Roosevelt and Geraldine Ferraro, according to Wikipedia.

Get the Story:
Obama taps top Native American fundraiser for U.N. human rights post (The Washington Post 6/13)

Related Stories:
Keith Harper, Cherokee, nominated for ambassador level job (6/10)

Join the Conversation