The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest public health crisis facing the Cherokee Nation and our tribal citizens in generations. To mitigate the long-term damage, the Cherokee Nation launched the COVID-19 Respond, Recover and Rebuild relief plan in May 2020.
From the Principal Chief & Deputy Chief:
The COVID-19 pandemic was a global crisis for most of 2020 and will continue well into 2021. Cherokee Nation has certainly felt its tragic effects. We can’t think of a scarier time in modern history. For the health and welfare of our citizens, this has been the greatest crisis of our lifetime.
From the beginning of this pandemic, we have pledged that Cherokee Nation’s response would be guided by facts, science, and compassion. The global crisis has presented multiple challenges: maintaining an overburdened healthcare system, fighting food insecurity, supplying adequate PPE, continuing to educate our students and combating the technology gap, addressing economic impacts, and preserving our culture, as Cherokee first language speakers are among the most susceptible. Even though each hurdle presents enormous challenges for our people, we will persevere.
We have learned so much from these experiences and trying months. We have worked closely with Congress to ensure we have direct access to federal dollars, and our Administration, working closely with the Council of the Cherokee Nation, have made certain that our relief funds helped our Cherokee citizens stay safe, stay working and have the basic essential needs such as food, shelter, health care, clothing, and utilities to get through this pandemic.
We are extremely proud to have served more than 130,000 citizens with direct assistance using the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund and thousands more through other essential programs and services we’ve offered.
Through the Respond, Recover and Rebuild spending plan, we were able to offset unexpected expenses, protect employee paychecks and benefits, increase infrastructure, expand programs for the most vulnerable Cherokees, and invest in communities to expedite recovery. We’ve continued to roll out new programs and harness new ideas to help Cherokee Nation citizens through the pandemic. These programs will also improve the economic health of our entire region, because rebuilding the economy is essential to recovering from COVID-19, as well as protecting our individual mental and physical health.
This endeavor will shape Cherokee Nation for years to come, and we are continuing to find innovative ways to serve our citizens. At Cherokee Nation, we are putting the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to work for our people. We had to fight for those dollars, and as a government we are utilizing those funds responsibly and effectively.
Our government is a force of good in northeast Oklahoma. We remain encouraged by the steps we have taken, and together, we will emerge from this chapter in history stronger than ever.
Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.
Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner
COMMUNITIESMake Cherokee communities stronger; meet emergency needs of Cherokee families
The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected the Cherokee Nation, just as it has impacted the rest of the world. However, Cherokee Nation is actively responding in ways that make our tribal government stronger.
JOBSCherokee Nation protects and creates jobs for Cherokee citizens
During this chapter of history, a time of great uncertainty and hardship, the Cherokee Nation government and businesses never shied away from standing on the front lines with our employees. We allocated vital resources to help in any way possible.
FOOD SECURITYCherokees rely on emergency food relief programs for survival
Early on during the pandemic, Cherokee Nation launched an emergency food distribution program that prioritized our elders and those with chronic health conditions.so they could shelter in place and stay safe without worrying about access to food. Week after week the emergency food program continued to grow.
HEALTH CAREEvery health care decision informed by facts, medical science and compassion
Cherokee Nation remains on the front lines in battling this public health crisis. We have had great access to testing, medications and critical information throughout the pandemic.
HOMESImprovements and investments keep youth and elders protected
Whether helping them become new homeowners or helping our elders with new roofs or heating and air conditioning assistance, Cherokee Nation strived to assist with emergency housing needs.
EDUCATIONEmpowering Cherokees to stay connected in evolving virtual educational landscape
The academic year we are in has been like no other in history, and the Cherokee Nation rapidly transitioned to virtual education, assisting families as they adapted to new school and education routines.