HULBERT, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation is providing an eco-friendly boost to the Hulbert Cherokee Community Association through the installation of rooftop solar panels on the community organization’s building, which is expected to offset energy consumption by 95 percent and save the community group more than $200,000 over the life of the system.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Secretary of State Tina Glory-Jordan, Secretary of Natural Resources Chad Harsha and District 1 Tribal Councilor Rex Jordan joined Francis Solar officials and members of the Hulbert Cherokee Community Organization Monday afternoon to celebrate the installation of the final of 76 solar panels on the building.
“Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and I proposed the $30 million Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act in 2019, which ultimately received support from the Council of the Cherokee Nation,” Chief Hoskin said. “Along with providing millions of dollars to help elders and Cherokees with disabilities with home repairs or in some cases replacement homes, we were also able to direct crucial funds into Cherokee community buildings by installing solar panels and energy-efficient appliances. Earlier this year, we expanded the Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act with a historic $120 million commitment, a portion of which is once again supporting our community groups. I am proud of the progress we continue to make under this Act, including the ongoing effort to provide energy-efficient options for more of our Cherokee community groups like the Hulbert Cherokee Community Organization. Projects like this allow us to answer the sacred responsibility we have of investing in strong communities and a clean, healthy environment.”
Installation of the 76 solar panels in Hulbert will provide the equivalency of taking six vehicles off the road, planting more than 19,600 trees, and saving nearly 1,800 barrels of oil.
“The Hulbert Cherokee Community Organization is a great example of how local Cherokees get together and work from the grassroots level to serve their communities and fellow citizens. Providing them with this type of energy-efficient infrastructure will allow them to save significant funds in the coming years that can now be used in serving their Cherokee community,” Councilor Jordan said.
The Cherokee Nation’s solar panel project is distributed through the Community & Cultural Outreach sustainability grant created to fund green energy-friendly efforts and other cost-savings technology in Cherokee community buildings.
“We are so thankful Cherokee Nation gave us the opportunity to invest in our community center,” said Janet Meredith, secretary of the Hulbert Cherokee Community Center. “You can look out here, you can see the efficiency houses that were built for Cherokees, you can see the Cherokee Nation PPE manufacturing facility, all the good stuff that is going on in our community right now. We’re so thankful to the Cherokee Nation for giving us the chance to build something even better.”
The Hulbert solar panel project is the eighth solar panel installation for Cherokee groups in the Cherokee Nation Reservation. The Cherokee Nation has also assisted Mid County Community Organization in Adair County; Native American Fellowship Inc. in Nowata County; Washington County Cherokee Association in Washington County; Tri-Community Association in Cherokee County; Neighborhood Association of Chewey in Adair County; Rogers County Cherokee Association in Rogers County; and Spavinaw Youth & Neighborhood Center.
Today, nearly 70 organizations belong to the Cherokee Nation’s Community & Cultural Outreach (CCO) network of grassroots community organizations, including over 40 within the reservation and 25 at-large organizations. To date, the CCO funding opportunities have helped with nearly 90 sustainability and construction projects across 37 organizations inside the reservation.
Earlier this year, Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner announced a plan to expand the tribe’s highly successful Community Impact grants with more than $1.6 million. The new grants add to existing CCO programs, providing up to $25,000 per participating organization for community efforts addressing food security; public outreach and membership drives; surveys of critical needs; overhead costs; or support for volunteer in-kind assistance for community members in need.
For more information on CCO programs, visit https://www.cherokee.org/all-services/community-cultural-outreach.