Home News The Economic Impact of Cherokee Nation on Oklahoma Exceeds $3 Billion

The Economic Impact of Cherokee Nation on Oklahoma Exceeds $3 Billion

The Economic Impact of Cherokee Nation on Oklahoma Exceeds $3 Billion

Cherokee Nation now drives more than $3.04 billion annually into the Oklahoma economy. The tribe and its businesses continually expand opportunities and advantages throughout northeast Oklahoma by supporting education, growing industries, providing jobs, improving health care, building infrastructure, and more.

“Today, we gather to recognize the tremendous economic impact that Cherokee Nation has on northeast Oklahoma. From job creation to infrastructure development, Cherokee Nation plays a vital role in driving the region’s economic growth and prosperity,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “The economic impact of Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma cannot be overstated. Through our businesses, educational offerings, health care expansion and community partnerships, we continue to enrich the Oklahoma economy and enhance the quality of life of our citizens, as well as our friends and neighbors.”

An economic impact report by Dr. Russell Evans, principal of the Economic Impact Group and executive director of Economic Research and Policy Institute at Oklahoma City University, shows the tribe remains one of the state’s biggest economic drivers through investments, employment, labor income, and production of goods and services.

In an addendum to the report, research shows Cherokee Nation’s COVID-19 relief funding has generated an additional $2.07 billion economic impact in Oklahoma. To date, the tribe has used $826.9 million of its federal COVID-19 relief funding to provide direct assistance payments to Cherokee citizens affected by the pandemic, including $552 million made directly to Cherokee citizens residing in Oklahoma.

The study shows Cherokee Nation either directly or indirectly supports more than 18,900 jobs and $975 million in wages throughout northeast Oklahoma. The tribe’s direct economic footprint includes more than $1.96 billion in purchases, operations, and activities.

Tribal officials joined Russell in presenting his team’s findings during a forum breakfast held at The University of Tulsa with business executives, educators, industry leaders, and several state, county, and local officials in attendance. During the forum, officials announced a partnership between the Cherokee Nation, University of Tulsa’s Collins College of Business and Stichcrew that will offer a Native American Women Entrepreneur Accelerator to Cherokee women this fall.

“As a proud Cherokee, we at TU are grateful for the significant impact the Cherokee Nation has on the Oklahoma economy,” said TU President Brad R. Carson.

Cherokee Nation, the largest sovereign tribal government in the U.S., provides an array of services, including health care, career services, human services, education, and housing. The tribe makes investments in roads, bridges, transportation, housing, public water, and sanitation systems.

During 2021, the fiscal year studied by the economists, the tribe built or repaired nearly 91 miles of road, installed 17.1 miles of water lines, and completed 672 water improvement projects. Cherokee Nation also delivered more than 146,000 meals to elders, provided 3,155 low-income households with heating and energy assistance, provided $19.6 million in scholarships to students, and provided $7.4 million in contributions of car tag revenues to public schools across northeast Oklahoma.

Cherokee Nation Businesses has a diverse portfolio. CNB owns companies in federal contracting, tourism, hospitality, and entertainment, while also serving as drivers of community development and cultural preservation. In the past two years, the continued success of CNB led to more than $316 million paid as a cash dividend to CN for tribal services and programs.

The remainder of CNB’s income is reinvested into job creation, as well as business development and diversification.

Latest posts