Story at a glance
- The Cherokee Nation reached 400,000 citizens on Tuesday.
- Cherokee Nation officials said there was a significant increase in applications after Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. announced $2,000 COVID-19 assistance payments to enrolled Cherokee citizens.
- People approved for citizenship in the tribal nation by June 2022 will also be eligible for relief payments.
The Cherokee Nation reached 400,000 citizens on Tuesday as citizenship applications have significantly increased since May.
Cherokee Nation officials said there was a significant increase in applications after Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. announced $2,000 COVID-19 assistance payments to enrolled Cherokee citizens as well as people approved for citizenship in the tribal nation by June 2022.
“In the coming months, Cherokee Nation Registration will be adding thousands more tribal citizens whose applications are already pending and awaiting verification, making the Cherokee Nation the largest tribe in the United States,” Hoskin said in a statement.
Roughly 140,000 of the 400,000 tribal citizens live in the Cherokee Nation reservation boundaries in northeastern Oklahoma.
“Reaching 400,000 Cherokee Nation citizens has really put the tribe’s Registration Department to the test, but we are determined to provide this important service so that our citizens can obtain the COVID-19 relief assistance they need during this pandemic and continue to stay engaged with their tribe,” said interim registrar Derrick Vann in a statement.
The tribe said that its registration department is working through a backlog of thousands of applications, which have been pending since the nation announced COVID-19 relief payments, and noted that the department has received upward of 2,000 applications per week.
Cherokee Nation just enrolled it’s 400,000th tribal citizen and continues to process a record number of citizenship applications. Wado, to our Registration department employees! pic.twitter.com/ieer9HUpoc— CherokeeNation (@CherokeeNation) September 28, 2021
“Our Cherokee Nation employees continue to show strength to reach amazing milestones in the midst of a pandemic and to help our citizens with citizenship, support and recovery and rebuilding their lives from COVID-19,” Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Bryan Warner added. “I’m truly proud of this achievement.”
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