The Cherokee Nation is a sovereign tribal government. Upon settling in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) after the Indian Removal Act, the Cherokee people established a new government in what is now the city of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. A constitution was adopted on September 6, 1839, 68 years prior to Oklahoma’s statehood.

Today, the Cherokee Nation is the largest tribe in the United States with more than 370,000 tribal citizens worldwide. More than 141,000 Cherokee Nation citizens reside within the 14-county tribal jurisdictional area that covers most of northeastern Oklahoma. Services provided include health and human services, education, employment, housing, economic and infrastructure development, environmental protection and more. With approximately 11,000 employees, Cherokee Nation and its subsidiaries are one of the largest employers in northeastern Oklahoma. The tribe had a more than $2.16 billion economic impact on the Oklahoma economy in fiscal year 2018.


The Cherokee Nation is committed to protecting our inherent sovereignty, preserving and promoting Cherokee culture, language and values, and improving the quality of life for the next seven generations of Cherokee Nation citizens.

What's Happening

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2020 Census

The Cherokee Nation is kicking off its #CherokeeNationCounts 2020 Census campaign, urging tribal citizens to complete the Census completely and accurately to help ensure the tribe receives key funding for programs including Indian Health Service and housing allocations through Housing and Urban Development.

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Hunting and Fishing Licenses

For the fifth consecutive year, the Cherokee Nation is mailing hunting and fishing licenses to Cherokee citizens residing in Oklahoma. The licenses come on the heels of the 2020 compact renewal, and eligible Cherokee Nation citizens should expect to receive hunting and fishing licenses in the mail soon.

Licenses for Cherokee Nation citizens who received a compact license in 2019 have automatically renewed for 2020. Although the Nation is currently in the process of mailing paper licenses, tribal citizens eligible for a renewed license can receive an electronic version of their 2020 license from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation website or “Go Outdoors Oklahoma” smartphone app.

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Free Tax Preparation Service

Beginning Feb. 3, the Cherokee Nation will offer its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to help eligible families prepare and file their 2019 state and federal income tax forms for free.

The VITA program has prepared and submitted nearly 18,000 tax returns in the past 10 years, helping taxpayers receive nearly $24 million in tax refunds, including earned income tax credits. Last year alone, the tribe’s VITA program helped more than 1,900 taxpayers by saving preparation fees averaging $225 that are normally charged for those services.