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Cherokee Nation expanding access to health resources

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 14, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — $2.15 million in grants are now available to Cherokee Nation members within the reservation and at large.

It’s an effort to help tribal members gain better access to health and wellness gyms, walking trails and other options.

“Exercise is the key to a longer life and it’s the key to a fitter life where you are able to do things more and keep active as you age,” said tribal member, Joyce Rock.

She said she is thrilled with this new concept to help people like her get fit.

“Different illnesses need different physical activities like physical therapy. I had both knees replaced and I went to the gym a lot in the last year. We have family members that have autism, and they might not feel comfortable in a large group and so you have that,” she said.

Principal Chief, Chuck Hoskin Jr. said everyone is looking for a way to get physically fit and center themselves mentally, and also in a setting that is comfortable within their community.

“It could be for gym equipment, or it could be for remodeling a community building or it could be helping subsidize a gym membership. We’re going to let them get creative and tell us what they want to do in terms of wellness and we’re going to provide the resources for them,” said Hoskin Jr.

We live in a society where everything is vying for our time, and Rock said this will help put precious, minutes back on the clock.

“If you have to drive an hour to get to the gym, you’re not going to go,” said Rock.

86 Cherokee community organizations can apply for up to $25,000 each.

“People should understand that these 86 organizations exist mostly in rural areas that don’t have access to the amenities that a lot of people may take for granted and they’re often the hub of really small communities and in some cases, they are groups of Cherokees that live across the country,” said Hoskin Jr.

For Cherokee organizations looking to apply, they can contact the Cherokee Community and Cultural Outreach Department.

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