CATOOSA, Okla.—Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner announced Friday up to $2.15 million in grants available to help more Cherokees within the reservation and at-large with access to health and wellness gyms, walking trails and other options to help citizens achieve wellness.

During the tribe’s 2024 Annual Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach Conference at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa, Chief Hoskin announced the new Public Health and Wellness Grants.

The tribe’s 86 Cherokee Community Organizations - located within the 7,000 square-mile Cherokee Nation Reservation and across the country - can each apply for up to $25,000 in grants to purchase exercise equipment for their community buildings, add walking trails, fund basketball, pickleball or tennis courts, stickball fields, greenhouse and gardens, subsidize gym memberships for organization members and other activities and programs to encourage moving and getting outdoors.

Under Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner’s Administration, the Cherokee Nation has prioritized the overall public health and wellness of Cherokee citizens by building more wellness centers and wellness spaces, adding walking trails at health centers and more behavioral health treatment and resources. Now these options can also be available in even more rural areas of the Cherokee Nation and at-large. 

The grants are funded through Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner’s Public Health and Wellness Fund Act.

The Public Health and Wellness Fund Act of 2021 earmarks seven percent of the tribe’s third-party health revenue for public health and wellness initiatives such as behavioral health programs, physical fitness programs and serves and infrastructure such as walking trails and wellness centers.

“With this historic investment, Cherokees can prioritize their personal health and mental wellness no matter where they live — whether it’s within the Cherokee Nation Reservation or one of our at-large communities,” Chief Hoskin said. “When we have access to the right kind of fitness equipment and technology coupled with strategic wellness programs, we can make the kind of systematic changes needed for healthier communities and families and improve the lives of our people.”

Applications for the new CCO Public Health and Wellness Grants will be available in the coming months exclusively for the 86 CCO participating non-profit organizations.  The grants will be available on an annual basis.

During the three-day conference Chief Hoskin also announced the CCO Community Building Cost Share Initiative. It will be for the 42 community buildings Cherokee Nation owns and leases to CCO organizations. Cherokee Nation will cover 50 percent of their utility cost for the year. It will cover water, gas, sewer, electric, and trash service.

“This will help our community organizations have more in their budgets for fellowship, dinners and activities to build networking, safety and stronger communities. Our Cherokee organizations are the very definition of Gadugi, and now they can focus more on doing more where more is needed,” Deputy Chief Warner said. 

A number of Cherokee Nation leaders joined the hundreds of attendees at the conference.

“The CCO conference is one of my favorite events because it brings together so many great grass roots leaders across the country to learn from each other,” said at-large Councilor Johnny Jack Kidwell.  “I am particularly excited that at-large organizations are included in the new Public Health and Wellness Fund grants.  Those organization may not operate community buildings, but they can put their creativity into wellness programs and activities that work for them.”

The Cherokee Nation has more than 460,000 Cherokee citizens with about 140,000 living in the Cherokee Nation Reservation and 320,000 living outside the reservation and at-large.

This year’s annual CCO Conference was themed “Gadugi: Working Together for the Greater Good,” and offered a diverse mix of learning for Cherokee Community organization members including on history, language and organizing efforts as well as networking opportunities. 

For more information on CCO, visit