A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Julia Coates currently serves as Councilor for the Cherokee Nation's Legislative Branch. She was born in Pryor, Oklahoma, and raised in California’s Redwood country. She is the daughter of Glen Coates and the late Janis Coates Rea. Julia has a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, and for over six years was the Project Director and lead instructor for the award-winning Cherokee Nation History Course, which brought her into personal contact with most of the employees of the Cherokee Nation, along with thousands of Cherokees in northeastern Oklahoma communities and throughout the country.
Julia has fifteen years of experience in Indian affairs, including work on issues of treaty rights, religious rights protection, and environmental justice. As a delegate to the 1999 Cherokee Nation Constitutional Convention, Julia was instrumental in organizing a coalition to gain tribal council representation for at-large Cherokees (those living outside the Cherokee Nation's jurisdictional service area). As Professor of Native American Studies at the University of California at Davis, she has been conducting interviews and research with at-large Cherokee citizens for more than ten years. Julia has assisted in establishing numerous organizations across the country. She presently divides her residence between Tahlequah, Oklahoma and Woodland, California. [Source: Council of the Cherokee Nation]