Record Budget Benefits Cherokee People and Programs

hundredsGuest Commentary

Published September 21, 2015

The largest comprehensive budget in the history of the Cherokee Nation means more and better services for Cherokee Nation citizens. In the coming fiscal year, we will spend $767 million on the programs to improve Cherokee lives.

The increase of about $35 million from last year’s budget will allow us to put more Cherokees into new homes and help place more of our people in quality jobs. We have allocated more funding to assist Cherokee elders, and we will make unprecedented investments into education and health care for our families and our youth. This landmark budget includes significant increases to the programs that are making our families happier, healthier and stronger:

  • $30 million increase for Cherokee Health Services
  • $3.5 million increase for our Commerce department
  • $3 million increase for Cherokee Nation Human Services
  • $2.5 million increase for the tribe’s Career Services department
  • $1.5 million increase for higher education scholarships for college-bound Cherokee students
Principal Chief Bill John Baker

Principal Chief Bill John Baker

Through our concerted fiscal management efforts and vision for our people, we are taking tribal money and investing where it should be invested. I am so proud that we are expanding our capacity to fulfill the needs of our citizenry.

The extraordinary financial growth is directly attributable to the success of Cherokee Nation Businesses, coupled with strategic investments and a renewed effort in third-party health care billing. Additionally, our push to pursue more federal grant funding opportunities has been successful, and today we can offer our citizens even greater access to health care services in new and expanded facilities.

Our overall excellent financial stewardship means we will better serve the Cherokee people for the future, and that is something we can all be take pride in.

We have come so far. I remember when our tribal government as we know it passed a new constitution.  Back then, the entire budget was only $2 million.

It is amazing where our tribe is today in comparison to our recent past. We are blessed, and we will continue to prosper and move forward.


Bill John Baker is principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.


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