- 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.
More Stories Like ThisNative News Weekly (January 29, 2023): D.C. Briefs
7-Year-Old Boy Dies from Dog Attack on Fort Hall Reservation
Navajo Nation Elects Its First Female Speaker
WATCH: Indigenous Chef Crystal Wahpepah on Native Bidaske
Indigenous Food Chef Crystal Wahpepah on This Week's Native Bidaské
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW), the attacks on tribal sovereignty at the Supreme Court and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Please consider a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10 to help fund us throughout the year. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.