CN gets $5.3M in grants from Labor, Justice departments
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation in October received grants totaling more than $5.3 million, including six from the U.S. Department of Justice that account for the most number awarded to any tribe in Oklahoma.
The six Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation grants from the DOJ total nearly $3.1 million, and will allow the CN to provide services to elderly crime victims, improve the response time of tribal marshals, reduce youth delinquency and assist recently incarcerated citizens as they reintegrate to civilian life.
“These federal dollars provide the Cherokee Nation with new and improved resources for assisting many of our most vulnerable citizens,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “Funding will allow those working in our justice system to partner with a number of local and state agencies to improve public safety within the 14 counties of the Cherokee Nation, in large part through community policing efforts, new equipment and additional training. Improving public safety is beneficial not only to Cherokees, but to everyone who lives in and visits northeast Oklahoma.”
The tribe also received a $2.2 million grant from the Labor Deparment’s Disability Employment Initiative to help 150 adults with disabilities develop career skills in health, business, construction and tourism/hospitality.
“We know that a skilled workforce ensures a stronger economy in the Cherokee Nation,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Now, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor and our local partners, the Cherokee Nation can direct more of our citizens toward a stable career where they and their employers can succeed.”
Officials said the grant funding would strengthen the tribe’s justice system and expand service programs for citizens throughout the jurisdiction. The seven grants awarded to the CN are:
• Career Services received more than $2.2 million to provide adults with disabilities who live within the tribe’s jurisdiction access to vocational training, work experience, career development skills, supportive services and on-the-job training.
• Career Services also received about $750,000 to expand its Coming Home Re-entry Program, which helps recently incarcerated tribal citizens reintegrate into civilian life. Career Services will partner with CN Behavioral Health and Northeastern State University.
• Human Services received about $450,000 to aid victims of elderly abuse. Human Services will partner with the CN attorney general’s office and state and district courts to strengthen working relationships and legal services for victims of elder abuse.
• Human Services also received about $350,000 to develop a tribal youth delinquency reduction program in Adair and Cherokee counties. The program will provide skill-building and support, case management, pro-social activities for youth, community awareness activities and parent-education services.
• The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service received about $565,000 to improve response times and address public safety issues within the tribe’s service area. Funds will allow for the purchase of patrol vehicles and for deputy marshals to train for search and rescue.
• CN received about $75,000 to create a strategic plan for the tribe’s justice system. The tribe will create a workgroup comprised of members from departments involved in the CN justice system.
• ONE FIRE, which provides services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, received about $898,000 to expand its services. ONE FIRE will provide support services to victims of domestic crimes, including emergency groceries and supplies, transportation and costs of transitional housing.