|Intro||Cherokee political advisor from Oklahoma, currently serving on the United States Domestic Policy Council|
|Is||Politician Political advisor|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||1966, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA|
Kimberly Teehee is an American attorney, activist, and lobbyist on Native American issues. She is a Delegate-designate to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Cherokee Nation. She served as senior policy advisor for Native American affairs in the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2012. In February of 2020, she was named by Time as one of their 16 top activists fighting for a "More Equal America."
Early life and education
A member of the Cherokee Nation, she was born on March 2, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Claremore, Oklahoma, where she and her family are fluent Cherokee language speakers.
Teehee is a graduate of Northeastern State University, where she was graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1991. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1995. She was awarded a Bureau of National Affairs Award.
Teehee served as the first deputy director of Native American Outreach for the Democratic National Committee and director of Native American outreach for President Bill Clinton's 1997 inauguration. Starting in 1998, she then served as Senior Advisor to Democratic Congressman Dale Kildee of Michigan, who was a co-chair of the Native American Caucus in the House of Representatives.
In the Obama administration she served on the White House Domestic Policy Council. Beginning July 2009, she assumed the new position of Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs and advised the president about issues pertaining to Indian country.
In 2012, she accepted "a position with the Mapetsi Policy Group, a small legal and lobbying firm founded by tribal advocate, Debbie Ho, with the aim of preserving tribal sovereignty."
During her tenure at the White House, she played a major role in securing re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In 2015, after leaving the White House, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians honored her for her work on VAWA, especially as it related to prosecuting non-natives who abuse native women on tribal lands.
In 2014, Teehee joined Cherokee Nation Businesses, where she served as vice president of special projects for the tribe's holding company.
Delegate-nominee to Congress
In August 2019, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. appointed Teehee as the Cherokee Nation's first-ever delegate to the United States House of Representatives. Her appointment was approved by the Cherokee Council on August 29. The Nation's right to send a delegate to Congress was provided for in the Treaty of Hopewell of 1785 and the Treaty of New Echota of 1835; however, the right was not exercised until 2019. The U.S. House of Representatives will have to vote to seat Teehee as a delegate similar to those representing the U.S. territories. If accepted, her role will be non-voting, similar to those of representatives from Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands. As of October 2020, the Cherokee Nation was still attempting to have Teehee be seated.