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Cherokee Nation pays off $170M note to help build Outpatient Health Center a year early

The Council of the Cherokee Nation approved paying off a $170 million note to help build an outpatient center a year early and dedicated six acres for a new park.
Credit: Cherokee Nation
July 11, 2022

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation announced it is paying off a $170 million note to help build the Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Center a year ahead of its due date.

On Monday, July 11, the Council of the Cherokee Nation approved not only the pay-off but also establish the Principal Chief Wilma P. Mankiller Capitol Park. The park is expected to be six acres located at 18050 S. Muskogee Avenue in Tahlequah.

“Given our commitment to improving health and wellness and providing more outdoor space, it’s only fitting to establish a new park and appropriate to name it after our late former Chief Wilma P. Mankiller in honor of her service to our Cherokee people,” Chief Hoskin said. “The community can have a place to celebrate her and take in all the elements of Cherokee language, culture and traditions in the park’s design, landscaping, public art, playground and facilities.”

During the council meeting, tribal officials also praised modifying the budget to pay off construction debt early.

“The Cherokee Nation believes in self-funding the bulk of our health care expansion projects and minimizing any debt as well as paying those debts and interest off early. This places us in a strong position to carry forward as we further invest in new health care infrastructure and services that benefit our Cherokee people,” Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner said.  “As we invest $400 million into building a new Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah and in which the tribe will secure a note for less than half of the cost, we will be in a position to obtain a favorable rating on the new obligation. We will also be debt free with our immaculate Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Center which has already changed countless lives with the additional services and space to serve the health needs of our citizens.”

The Cherokee Nation opened the four-story 469,000 square-foot Outpatient Health Center in 2019, which oversees the largest tribal health care system in the country.

Other budget modifications passed by the Council of the Cherokee Nation at the July 11 meeting include:

  • Increased concurrent enrollment scholarships $160,574 to meet more student demand.
  • Increased Higher Education scholarships by $1.5 million so that all eligible Cherokee citizen applications are funded.
  • Adds $700K in funding for the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation to upgrade playgrounds and community space at low-income rental housing units.
  • Increased the Cherokee National Holiday budget by $60K to add more programming and events for this year’s in-person celebration on Labor Day weekend.

For more information, please visit the Cherokee Nation's website.

RELATED: Cherokee Nation offering clothing assistance for all Cherokee children

RELATED: Cherokee Nation citizen receives Medal of Honor from President Biden

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