August 13, 2013
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council authorized a plan to move forward with an expanded car tag compact that will allow Cherokee citizens in all 77 Oklahoma counties to buy a Cherokee Nation license plate.
The Tribal Council approved the plan for new car tag compacts with the state of Oklahoma at Monday night’s regular Tribal Council meeting. One addresses at-large citizens statewide, and another addresses citizens within the tribe’s 14-counties. Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin are set to sign the compacts on Friday at the State Capitol. More details will be revealed at a press conference on Friday, Aug. 16 at 1:30 p.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
“These compacts reflect a dramatic expansion in Cherokee car tag sales,” said Tribal Council Deputy Speaker Chuck Hoskin Jr. “For the first time, Cherokees across the state will be able to have a Cherokee tag. It will be a source of pride for thousands of Cherokees and will increase revenue by millions of dollars each year. I applaud Chief Baker and Attorney General Hembree for months of hard work on these compacts.”
The Tribal Council also passed legislation Monday to add $1 million to college scholarship funding to help more students.
“It is impossible to know exactly how many Cherokee students will apply for scholarships,” Hoskin Jr. said. “Since 2011 we have increased the scholarship award and stepped up student outreach efforts. The result has been skyrocketing participation, which is a good problem to have. It was important that we act quickly and I'm pleased we were able to pump more than a million dollars into the program with no impact on other services.”
The increase is designated to ensure that everyone who applies for Cherokee Nation scholarships in 2013-2014 will receive an award, Hoskin said.
Cherokee Nation College Resources had 646 more freshmen apply in 2013, and the modification for fiscal year 2013 will provide funding for 850 Cherokee college students.
The additional funding will be transferred from unused funds in the Cash Match for Grants account, and should allow for all applicants to receive their awards earlier to avoid late fees at their college institution.
The council also passed the following resolutions:
• A change in process through which the Delaware tribe, with whom Cherokee Nation has an agreement dating back to 2008, receives federal funding, no longer requiring it to be transferred through the Cherokee Nation.
• A grant submission to build a Native Center for Health research to focus on active living, healthy eating, high-quality clinical and other preventive services.