September 13, 2017
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council approved an $895 million comprehensive budget for fiscal year 2018 during its monthly meeting Monday.
The tribe’s new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
The budget included a $1.4 million increase for health services, for a $279 million total for health spending, and a $47,800 increase, or $77,800 total, for the One Fire Victim Services Office that can help more victims of assault and domestic abuse.
Also included in the fiscal 2018 budget is $8 million in tribal and grant funds that will be used for preservation and protection of clean water in the coming year.
“As the chair of the Executive and Finance Committee, it is important to me that each Tribal Councilor fully understands each section of the budget,” said Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor, of Pryor. “We took our time going over every department, and, in the end, the budget was passed without opposition. The full support of the council is an indication of this body's desire to continue to serve the Cherokee people in the spirit of unity. I am proud of our ability to work together for the good of all of our citizens.”
In other business, the Tribal Council authorized the Cherokee Nation to become a member of the National Congress of American Indians. NCAI is the largest and oldest native advocacy organization in the United States. Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd currently serves as vice president of the eastern Oklahoma NCAI region.
The next Tribal Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah.