- By Native News Online Staff
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation extended the suspension of its business enterprises, including all 10 of its gaming and hospitality destinations, cultural museums and retail operations, through May 1 to help stop the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The extension was announced by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. on Thursday.
The business enterprises were shut down on March 16. During the suspension of operations, all regular full-time and part-time employees will continue to receive full pay and benefits.
“We are working closely with local, state and federal officials, alongside tribal health experts and business leaders, to make the best decisions we can during these uncertain times,” Hoskin said.
“Our top priority is the health, safety and well-being of our employees, and so far no employee has had to use sick or vacation time during this closure. We will continue to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and will announce further plans as we approach May 1.”
Since the shutdown of the tribal business enterprises on March 16, the Cherokee Nation has distributed more than 2,500 food packages to elderly and disabled Cherokees citizens. Volunteers cleared the shelves of the casino pantries and utilized emergency funds of more than $350,000 to help prevent food insecurities.
The Cherokee Elder Food Hotline can be reached by calling 918-316-1670. Callers should be sure to have elders' names, phone numbers and addresses when calling.
Celebrating 10 years of Native News...
We launched Native News Online back in February 2011 with the belief that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope it inspires you to celebrate our first decade with a gift of $10 or more to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.