TULSA, Okla. – August 14, 2020 marked one year of service for Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and his administration. Under the leadership of Principal Chief Hoskin Jr. and Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner, the largest tribal nation in the United States continues to prevail and prosper even through unprecedented times.
Hoskin and Warner took office in August 2019 with a pledge to preserve, protect and defend the Cherokee Nation Constitution, while assuring tribal citizens their administration would continue to grow and promote the culture, language, heritage and traditions of the Cherokee people.
“One year ago, Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner and I were sworn into office to serve the citizens of Cherokee Nation,” said Chief Hoskin. “As we reflect on some of the great accomplishments we have made together over the past year, I want to thank Cherokee Nation citizens for entrusting our administration with the tremendous responsibility and honor of leading the largest Indian Nation in the country.”
Chief Hoskin notes his administration’s accomplishments and the success of their First 100 Days’ initiatives along with other initiatives throughout his first term. Cherokee Nation doubled its investments in career training programs, allocated $30 million to repairing homes and community buildings, dedicated $16 million to language preservation, and appointed former Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden as its first Secretary of Veteran Affairs.
Cherokee Nation continues to make great strides in protecting tribes’ rights as sovereign nations. Through the implementation of a 180-year-old treaty right, Kim Teehee was appointed as the first delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Through the landmark McGirt vs. Oklahoma case, Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill helped advocate for a Supreme Court decision recognizing that the reservations of the Five Tribes were never disestablished.
The tribe also advanced the achievements of previous administrations, including getting the automatic renewal of the Tribal-State Gaming Compact recognized for another 15 years, extending health care efforts by opening the largest outpatient facility in Indian Country, and welcoming the first class of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at Cherokee Nation.
“I could not be more proud to serve alongside Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. representing the citizens of our great nation,” said Deputy Chief Warner. “One year ago, I said that Cherokee Nation will always need balanced, grounded individuals who adhere to principles that embody democracy. I am proud to say, and I wholeheartedly believe, that the citizens of Cherokee Nation have exactly that with this administration.”
In addition to great prosperity and history-making milestones, the tribe also has experienced significant hurdles throughout the last year. The COVID-19 global health crisis has tragically taken the lives of Cherokee citizens and their neighbors alike, and it continues to endanger the health and livelihood of people across Oklahoma and the United States.
Throughout the pandemic, the tribe’s government, its businesses and its thousands of employees have remained committed to benefiting and improving lives. Along with its many important services, Cherokee Nation pioneered responsible and safe workplace operations, implemented state-of-the-art practices to track and guide the tribe’s health care system, provided more than 1 million nutritious meals to elders and those with chronic health conditions, and supplied personal protective equipment to first responders and fellow tribes, including the heavily impacted Navajo Nation.
One of the largest employers in northeast Oklahoma, the tribe also ensured that not one Cherokee Nation or Cherokee Nation Businesses employee missed a single paycheck since the coronavirus began significantly impacting and closing organizations throughout the state.
With the support of the Council of the Cherokee Nation, Chief Hoskin’s administration also began investing new federal funds into the tribe’s Respond, Recover and Rebuild plan. The spending plan offers COVID-19 relief assistance, in addition to the tribe’s other programs and services, aimed at protecting elders, supporting education for Cherokee students and keeping communities safe.