June 29, 2018
TAHLEQUAH, OKLA. – Cherokee Nation officials met with representatives of the Kansas Police Department and Kansas Public Schools to present the keys to two surplus vehicles on Thursday.
“Our schools, communities and local governments are a priority for us as a tribe because they increase safety and resources for our Cherokee Nation citizens,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “With financial resources at an all-time low in northeast Oklahoma, it is important that we continue to show our support to our rural communities.”
The donations include a Ford Explorer and a Honda Accord from Cherokee Nation Businesses fleet.
Kansas Chief of Police Mike Wilkerson accepted the donation of a Ford Explorer for the police department and said the vehicle would fill a great need for his department.
“We are going to use this car for so many things that just increase public safety in our area,” Wilkerson said. “Our tax base is low, and on our own we don’t have the funds to afford a vehicle. Without donations like these from the tribe, we wouldn’t be able to survive.”
Kansas Public Schools Superintendent Jim Burgess said the school will use their donated vehicle, a Honda Accord, to replace their driver’s education car.
“The car we are currently using is almost 20 years old, so it means a lot to us to get this car,” Burgess said. “On our own we couldn’t afford anything like this, and we are thankful to have the support of the tribe.”
The vehicles are part of the tribe’s annual contributions to city or county governments, schools and nonprofit organizations.
“I’m thankful that we as a tribe can show our support to both of these groups today by filling needs in one of our own communities,” Tribal Councilor Mike Shambaugh said. “I know that these donations are going to be put to great use for the citizens of Kansas.”