February 23, 2018
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation officials are teaming up with the Washington County Cherokee Association on a community building project.
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. and District 12 Tribal Councilor Dick Lay recently presented representatives of the Washington County Cherokee Association a $21,000 check to help with construction of the community building.
“Partnerships like these give us the opportunity to make a difference in our communities,” Hoskin said. “We are looking forward to the planning stages of what will prove to be a great addition to Washington County for Cherokees and non-Cherokees alike.”
Planning and design are in the beginning stages for the multiyear project, and funds are expected to come from the tribe’s special project budget.
“I am looking forward to this partnership and what it means to my district,” Lay said. “I have pledged the remainder of my special projects budget while I am in office to this project, because I think it will benefit not only the Washington County Cherokee Association, but our surrounding communities.”
Washington County Cherokee Association President Steve Brewer said the project will provide several area communities with a place to fellowship and enjoy cultural presentations.
“The WCCA envisions the community center being used as a meeting place for monthly meetings, a gathering place for the twice yearly special cultural events, Cherokee language classes, a location for Tribal Council representatives to hold community meetings and a gathering place for other special events,” said Brewer. “The building will also serve to house the equipment used by WCCA members to maintain five local cemeteries, dating back to before statehood, which have interred a majority of Cherokee people.”
The Washington County Cherokee Association has partnered with the tribe on several community projects throughout their existence.
Projects funded through the special projects fund are selected by Tribal Council and Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s office and allow the tribe to partner with communities and organizations on projects that benefit both Cherokee Nation citizens and non-Cherokees alike.