During times of great uncertainty and hardship, the Cherokee people have never shied away from standing on the front lines. We pool our resources to help in any way possible. We support our neighbors and those who need it the most, especially our children and elders.
Now in this unprecedented and extraordinarily difficult COVID-19 global pandemic, Cherokee Nation remains steadfast. We began preparing shortly after this public health crisis reached American shores and before it became evident within our 14 counties. Cherokee Nation and our businesses are working alongside local, state and federal agencies to aid in the COVID-19 battle.
Our heroic health care professionals and emergency responders are working tirelessly to protect our citizens, even at risk to their own health. Our leaders, employees and community volunteers are giving their time to ensure essential supplies and food reach Cherokees in need.
Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and I, the Council of the Cherokee Nation, and many vital government employees are continuing work to ensure the continuance of tribal services. As we do so, we are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect our people. Medical science, facts and compassion guide all of our decisions.
Thousands of Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses employees are working remotely, using social distancing measures while continuing to bring revenue into our tribe.
Many of you may not realize that CNB has grown to operate nongaming companies in all 50 states, two U.S. territories and 26 countries. CNB’s portfolio of government and commercial contracting companies has earned more than $5 billion in contract wins since 2012. This represents roughly 42% of CNB’s overall revenue, with 100% of those profits supporting the well-being of our citizens through health care, education and job creation.
This extensive, global workforce within CNB continues to stand beside us in this time of great need.
Since early March, Cherokee Federal – our collective of federal contracting companies – has included a health science team working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and military health agencies. They are now helping with surge support and emergency laboratory response, as well as providing data analysis, management and modeling of COVID-19 and related respiratory infections. Our team of highly skilled professionals will continue to work with federal agencies in their mission to defeat the coronavirus.
We all face great challenges in the upcoming days. Please know that Cherokee Nation does not, and will not, stand down. The elected leaders of the great Cherokee Nation, as well as our tribal and business employees, will be on the front lines, wherever we are located. We are in this together, and we will rise above it together.
Chuck Hoskin Jr. is the Principle Chief of the Cherokee Nation.