For almost two years, our tribal government made the hard choice to suspend official in-person gatherings with Cherokee communities. We did this to protect the health and safety of Cherokees during the worst of the pandemic. Now that vaccines are widely available and infections have dropped dramatically, the time is right to bring these back. I am excited to resume face-to-face visits across our reservation and the country.
We learned a lot over during this very trying time in world history. Going forward, we will keep some virtual components that we have learned work well. A hybrid model that features both in-person and online meetings will likely be the norm. The challenges of the past years have improved how we conduct our tribal businesses and communicate with our citizens.
While our staff did an outstanding job shifting to virtual routines, there is nothing like in-person communication. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we followed the official guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As we resume face-to-face gatherings in a responsible way, we are continuing to follow all federal recommendations and safety protocols.
Community meetings hosted by members of the Council of the Cherokee Nation are already happening across our reservation. These are opportunities to gather, enjoy a meal, collect information on a wide array of Cherokee Nation programs and learn about the latest news and issues from our government. They also provide citizens without internet access a chance to engage with their tribal government.
Soon we will again be traveling to visit Cherokees across the country. As Principal Chief, these are some of my favorite opportunities to hear from individuals, share a laugh or two and break bread with my fellow Cherokees. With such a large population across the country – more than 413,000 citizens – it is important we keep all Cherokees as informed and up to date as we possibly can. In the coming months, we will be travelling throughout our reservation and to our 27 Cherokee at-large communities officially registered with the Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach Department.
Along with Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, I am proud to be a part of an administration that is devoted to strengthening our tribe, protecting our families and hearing directly from Cherokee people, who have always been the strength of our tribal nation no matter where they live. Visits to Cherokee citizens is always a reminder of what we work for every day within the tribal government. We are all bound by our Cherokee values: family, community and culture.
I look forward to seeing you and visiting you soon.
The tentative dates for our upcoming at-large trips nationally:
- April 22 - Bakersfield, CA
- April 23 - Fresno, CA
- April 24 – Napa, CA
- June 4 – Atlanta, GA
- July 16 – Albuquerque, NM
- July 17 – Denver, CO
- August 20 – Portland and Eugene, OR
- August 21 – Seattle, WA
- August 23 – Oklahoma City, OK
- September 17 – Austin/San Antonio, TX
- September 18 – Houston, TX
- October 15 – Riverside, Anaheim, Los Angeles, CA
- October 16 – San Diego, CA
Chuck Hoskin Jr.