Cherokee Nation chief says Okla. tribe is thriving
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation says the tribe is not just surviving in northeastern Oklahoma, but thriving.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker presented his State of the Nation address Saturday on the Cherokee National Courthouse lawn. Baker says that 175 years after Cherokees walked the Trail of Tears, the Cherokee Nation is the largest, most advanced tribal government in the United States.
Baker highlighted the investments the Cherokee Nation is making to benefit the Cherokee people, such as building new homes, expanding health centers and services, and increasing hope through job creation. Four Cherokee Nation Health Centers, in Ochelata, Stilwell, Sallisaw and Jay, are currently under construction.
More Cherokees are also working for the tribe. Eighty percent of the more than 9,000 Cherokee Nation employees are tribal citizens.