Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. Discussion »
The Cherokee Nation, with more than 320,000 citizens, is the largest sovereign tribal nation in the United States and the economic engine that drives growth in northeast Oklahoma. The power of tribal governments and tribally owned businesses fuel economic development in the region.
I am proud to announce the Cherokee Nation made a $1.3 billion economic impact on our state last year.
During my time in office, Cherokee Nation and its businesses have made significant investments in roads, schools, law enforcement, health care, education and infrastructure that benefit all Oklahomans, whether you're Cherokee or not. In the past year, we played a role in multiple business expansions, startups and relocations into the Cherokee Nation jurisdiction.
We strive to continually raise the level of hope in Oklahoma - hope for a better and brighter future. The Cherokee Nation plays a critical role in ensuring Oklahoma remains a great place to live and raise a family. We proudly reinvest our business profits in people, services and facilities to build a better and brighter future for today, tomorrow and the next seven generations.
Cherokee Nation and its businesses directly employ more than 9,000 people. Due to our operational and economic successes, we support an additional 5,000 jobs indirectly. And we have a concrete plan to bring even more jobs to northeast Oklahoma. Today, we have more Cherokee citizens working for our government and businesses than ever in the history of our nation.
Cherokee Nation's economic portfolio is much broader than gaming, operating in a number of diverse industries. We have successful business interests in the construction, telecommunications, aerospace, defense, advanced manufacturing, technology, real estate, and health care fields. This business portfolio continues to broaden as our economic success thrives.
Last year, Cherokee Nation Businesses had its most successful contracting year winning nearly $375 million in federal and commercial contracts contributing to an overall 9.5 percent revenue increase. We have broken all records this year in production output, dividends and number of employees resulting in more money to deliver services to Cherokee Nation citizens and all Oklahomans.
Oklahoma is our home and our success is the state's success. We are proud partners with the state of Oklahoma and hundreds of county and municipal governments. A strong Cherokee Nation means a strong Oklahoma. A thriving Cherokee Nation means more prosperity and jobs in communities within the tribe's boundaries, and all across this great state.
And we're not going anywhere. To put it simply, we are a corporate headquarters that is never leaving this state. We want to bring jobs to Oklahoma, not send them out of state. We are the Cherokee Nation and while we were once forced to leave our homelands, no one will ever force us to leave Oklahoma. We are here to stay.
The success of Oklahoma in job creation, preserving our quality of life takes all of us working together, and we are proud to continue that legacy.
Bill John Baker is the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He is serving in his first term as principal chief.
posted September 21, 2013 6:00 am edt