Oklahoma

Cherokee Nation pledges $5 million to help local boys’ and girls’ clubs in Oklahoma | KSNF/CODE

Cherokee Nation is providing capital project funding for nine programs over the next two years

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma — Cherokee Nation has donated nearly $15,000 to the Delaware County Boys and Girls Club to expand programs for children and address food insecurity issues.

The $14,873.33 donation was presented Monday when Principal Chief Chuck Hoskins Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner met with Boys and Girls Club officials and unveiled plans to donate $5 million over the next two years to Boys and Investing in Girls Club programs on the Cherokee Nation Reservation.

“This is important to all of us,” said Mike Shambaugh, council spokesman and former board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware County. “We’re doing this to further the programs that we have for our children, and it’s not just about our Cherokee children, but if there’s something we can do that’s positive for every child.”

Shambaugh said he learned a lot about what it means to be in a safe learning environment through the work of the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Cherokee Nation leaders met with representatives from local boys and girls clubs Monday as Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner unveiled plans to spend an additional $5 million in boys and girls club programs over the next two years to invest.

In the past four years, the Cherokee Nation has donated nearly $1 million to the boys’ and girls’ clubs on the Cherokee Nation Reservation.

Of the $5 million in funding, Cherokee Nation will provide $2.7 million for a child care pilot project that supports local boys and girls club programs on the reservation with grant opportunities that allow for vacation and summer programs to be funded could.

Other boys’ and girls’ clubs within the Cherokee Nation reservation that received funds were:

  • Tahlequah, $96,535.73
  • Adair County, $67,384.00
  • Chelsea, $14,935.95
  • Sequoyah County, $11,773.41
  • Nowata, $5,761.46
  • Bartlesville, $5,417.02
  • Green Country, $3,319.10

Cherokee Nation will also donate $100,000 each to nine programs for food security initiatives and an additional $100,000 to nine clubs for capital projects over the next two years.

Funds can be used to support existing food programs or create new programs to help students and their families through food donations, ration cards, nutrition classes or other similar programs, and provide grants to support maintenance and equipment projects.

“When it comes to the boys’ and girls’ clubs, these programs do important work,” Chief Hoskin said in a prepared statement.

Cherokee Nation is always looking seven generations ahead and thinking in generations, and of course we’re looking at the young people across the reservation, he said.

“So much of what we want to do for young people, our local boys’ and girls’ clubs are already doing,” Hoskin said. “We cannot measure what it means for a young person to have a place to go after school during those crucial hours, or to have a place to find nutrition programs and healthy meals.”

These new investments will yield untold results for Northeast Oklahoma for years to come, he said.

Additional investment in boys’ and girls’ clubs in the area was recommended by the Cherokee Nation Early Childhood Task Force, established by Chief Hoskin in March 2022 to identify areas of opportunity and areas of unmet need for early childhood care within the reservation identify the Cherokee Nation.

The Early Childhood Task Force was assembled under the Verna D. Thompson Early Childhood Education Act. It is investing up to $40 million to replace or rehabilitate all of the tribe’s Head Start centers.

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