Justice Shawna S. Baker was nominated to the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court by Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. and confirmed by a vote of the Tribal Council on August 27, 2020. She is the first LGBT member and only the third woman ever confirmed to the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. Justice Baker’s first written opinion was In re: Effect of Cherokee Nation v. Nash & Vann v. Zinke, CNSC-2017-07, published on February 22, 2021, wherein the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court unanimously held that any “by blood” citizenship references found in the 1999 Cherokee Nation Constitution, Cherokee Nation Tribal Code, and or accompanying rules, regulations, policies or procedures are void ab initio per the 1866 Treaty between the United States and the Cherokee Nation. This groundbreaking decision grants full rights of citizenship to Freedman descendants. Justice Baker is also the managing attorney of Family Legacy and Wealth Counsel, PLLC, and a Trustee for Oklahomas for Equality.
Being Queer and Indigenous: What it Means to Decolonize Gender and Sexuality