TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation is partnering with the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper to automatically extend the “Free Phoenix for All Program” to Cherokee households with at least one citizen age 65 or older.

In September, Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee Phoenix announced the program would once again offer a free, one-year subscription to Cherokee Nation citizens who opted into the program through the tribe’s online Gadugi Portal system by the Nov. 30, 2022 deadline. Around 41,000 citizens signed up for the program by the deadline, but Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner said an estimated 33,000 Cherokee elders did not use the online system to opt-in.

“We understand that many Cherokee citizens in the 65-plus age range prefer the hard copy newspaper and are also relatively less likely to access the Gadugi Portal or the online version of the Phoenix,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Our elders are also most likely to feel the absence of vital public service information uniquely provided by the Phoenix, such as Cherokee Nation public health and human services information. That’s why we worked with the Cherokee Phoenix to ensure we automatically opt-in our Cherokee elders age 65 and older this year. The ‘Free Phoenix for All Program’ has been a successful program for helping keep Cherokee citizens informed, and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and I are happy to see this program continue for another year.”

The Free Phoenix for All program was first introduced in December 2021 and provided a free one-year Cherokee Phoenix subscription to more than 200,000 Cherokee households in all 50 states across the U.S. as well as U.S. and Canada territories.

 “I’m so pleased the Council and the Administration worked together to serve our elders with the Free Phoenix for All program no matter where they live and with no action required on their part,” said at-large Councilor Julia Coates. “For many of my constituents, the Cherokee Phoenix is a vital connection to their tribe.”

Funding for the program is provided under Cherokee Nation’s COVID-19 Respond, Recover and Rebuild plan.

“Since its establishment with the first printed issue on February 21, 1828, the Cherokee Phoenix has strived to empower the lives of our Cherokee people,” Cherokee Phoenix Executive Editor Tyler Thomas said. “This continued partnership allows us to uphold that mission. I thank Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and the Council of the Cherokee Nation for their willingness to partner with our newspaper and help us provide our citizens with important information that directly impacts their lives. Together with the help of the Cherokee Nation, the Cherokee Phoenix can now ensure we provide all of our Cherokee elders age 65 and older with a hard copy of the Cherokee Phoenix for another year.”

Those who missed the opt-in deadline for the “Free Phoenix for All Program” can subscribe to the Cherokee Phoenix anytime for only $20 per year for home delivery by visiting www.cherokeephoenix.org.