Cherokee Nation Announces New Funding For Health, Wellness Programs

The Cherokee Nation's funding will create new health opportunities, especially in small towns.

Friday, June 14th 2024, 8:30 pm



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The Cherokee Nation announced new funding for health and wellness programs for community centers on Friday.

The Cherokee Nation has its community groups meeting in Catoosa this weekend.

All can get a piece of $2.1 million in new funding to encourage healthier living.

There are 86 groups represented to help deliver the resources provided by the Cherokee Nation.

Abby McLemore, from Chewey, works in a town without many other resources.

"If we need anything, Kansas, Oklahoma, is the closest place, or Westville," Abby said.

The Cherokee Nation's funding will create new health opportunities, especially in small towns.

"People should understand these 86 organizations exist mostly in rural areas that don't have access to the amenities that people often take for granted and they're often the hub of very small communities," Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said.

In Marble City, citizens can use fitness equipment in the new community center that just opened.

The new $21 million center in Kenwood has workout space, along with courts and playing fields for traditional and modern games.

"So you have young Cherokees who maybe for the first time are getting connected to a traditional game like stickball, and they're getting physically fit, but they're just there to have fun but it's a winner for the whole community," Chief Hoskin Jr. said.

The Cherokee Nation will provide $25,000 to each community group, and let them decide how to spend it.

The Cherokees are building new clinics, like this one in Vinita, but also spending more on prevention to decrease smoking and encourage physical activity.

"They come in and talk to us about eating healthy and healthy recipes," Whitmire said.

The chief said the new $25,000 grant will be annual.

They're also going to start paying electric bills to help community groups build up their capacity to help their neighbors.

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