OPINION: Database management upgrade will increase Cherokee Nation efficiency during COVID-19 and beyond
To streamline personal information management for Cherokee Nation citizens, we recently launched the “Gadugi Portal.” Here, Cherokees can manage or update their essential information with the tribe, including things like a new mailing address, name change, date of birth or veteran status.
Once citizens register and make their personal updates, the collected information will be accessible by key CN departments, such as Registration and the Cherokee Veterans Center. The CN’s tag offices, Education Services, Housing Authority, Health Services and other critical areas will soon be connected and able to access the database, ensuring that the information is uniformly available to these departments when citizens need services.
The new portal also empowers every tribal citizen. Because it is centralized, the database allows CN citizens to take charge of their personal information, ensuring it is correct and up to date with just a few clicks.
In the past, it’s been up to each citizen to provide their personal information at every department they coordinate with, creating confusion and even causing problems accessing services at times. For instance, an address change made at one of our health centers didn’t automatically share to any other health center or department. The individual services’ databases didn’t connect or “talk” with each other, making duplicate updates necessary with each department. It wasn’t the most efficient way to do things, and we know it was time consuming for our citizens to have to update their address with their tag office, health center and registration individually. Many of our citizens were not even aware that they needed a separate update with each department.
I am proud we have now established a better way to communicate that both empowers our citizens and helps us be a more responsive government. I also want to reassure you that we have taken every step possible to secure your information. You can be confident that your information is safe.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the need to create changes on our end that help us to expedite services to you and to eliminate duplicate information held in dozens of separate databases. We have explored how to strategically use technology in the management and sharing of citizen data. Ultimately, the Gadugi Portal will allow us to use the information in a way that enables us to do more for our people.
When we launched the Gadugi Portal, we invited our CN veterans and those who are serving in the armed forces to be the first to update their information. Veterans can now register their branch of military and years of service and upload their military service documents. This lets us connect those veterans in the Cherokee Warriors Database to the critical services they need and rightly deserve. The data is verified by our Office of Veteran Affairs, and citizens are then identified across all CN departments as veterans.
The Cherokee word “gadugi” describes one of our most important Cherokee values. It means working together to improve our tribal community. The portal signifies our Cherokee spirit and the dedication of every CN employee working together for the betterment of our citizens, beginning with our veterans. We hope it makes accessing services here at the CN just a little bit less complicated. I want you to know we understand and value your time.
If you are a CN citizen, take time to visit the portal and update vital information: https://gadugiportal.cherokee.org/