Vazquez relays Cherokee Nation’s economic impact for Craig County
Dist. 11 Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez talks to Cherokee Nation citizens about the economic impact the tribe has on the Craig County area at a community meeting on Dec. 10 at the Vinita Health Center. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Around 150 attend the Dist. 11 community meeting held by Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez on Dec. 10 at the Vinita Health Center. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
VINITA – Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez on Dec. 10 informed her constituents of the Cherokee Nation’s economic impact as a whole and in Craig County at a Dist. 11 community meeting.
Vazquez handed out information specifically addressing Craig County and said similar information and graphics would be provided at future community meetings in the CN, initiated by Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.
“We are the first county where…he is starting this discussion. So he’s going to go to all 14 counties and every county will have its own page that tells how much impact Cherokee Nation’s dollars have,” she said.
According to the handout and on cherokeenationimpact.com, the CN has exerted a total economic impact of $14.1 million, 312 jobs and $12.4 million in labor income in Craig County.
“We want everyone to know what an impact the Cherokee Nation has on Oklahoma,” Vazquez said.
Standing in for Hoskin was his wife January, who reiterated the chief’s initiatives for the tribe since taking office, including rehab for Cherokee homes and community buildings through the Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act, an employee minimum wage increase, an appointment of the first CN delegate to Congress and an initiative to save the Cherokee language.
“One thing that Chuck always says is that no matter how many casinos we have or how great our medical facilities are, none of it matters if we lose what makes us Cherokee, and that’s our language,” January said.
The tribe has created the Durbin Feeling Language Preservation Act and is investing $16 million for language preservation.
Vazquez said Vinita has the largest base of citizens in her district. About 150 people attended the meeting, which included a meal, door prizes and program information from different CN departments.
She said she hopes to soon create an active nonprofit organization for CN citizens.
“Also, we are, as a community, we are so proud to have a chief from my hometown, from this area, and he is making us all so proud,” she said.