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Cherokee Nation Breaks Ground on Senior Community Center

Cherokee Nation Breaks Ground on Senior Community Center

TAHLEQUAH, OK – Cherokee Nation and Federal Home Loan Bank leaders came together to break ground on a new community center for Cherokee elders at the Sequoyah Heights Housing Addition south of Tahlequah. The groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of construction on a new facility that will provide the community with a place to hold meetings, host families and learn about Cherokee culture and language.

“What has always sustained the Cherokee Nation throughout our history is that we are a Nation that started from the bottom; we built ourselves from the bottom,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “This new community center will be a place where our people come together and it’s an investment that will create a safe place for our elders to come together and a place for community. If we continue to create these spaces for our citizens, I believe we will continue to build the Cherokee Nation from the bottom into the next century.”

The building will include an outdoor meeting space for residents, restrooms, a commercial kitchen and a community storm shelter. In addition to the community center, a maintenance building and park will be constructed and improvements will be made to site drainage, sidewalks and roads.

“There is nothing better than coming together to break ground on another community building, especially one that will be located in a residential neighborhood for Cherokee elders,” said Vice President Bryan Warner. “The Cherokee Nation is fortunate to be in a position that allows us to work with our friends and organizations to advance our Cherokee values ​​and create stronger communities.”

The Sequoyah Heights Community Center is primarily funded by the Native American Housing Block Grant Fund under the American Rescue Plan Act, but was also made possible by a $500,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka (FHLB) through the Native American Housing Initiative (NAHI), sponsored by the Chickasaw Community Bank.

The NAHI Grant Program provides tribes and tribally designated housing organizations with access to grant funds to build communities and provide housing support for tribal citizens within the FHLB Topeka area. The program supports tribal organizations working at the grassroots level to identify and address tribal needs.

“FHLBank Topeka was proud to support the construction of the Sequoyah Heights Community Center with a $500,000 Native American Housing Initiatives grant,” said FHLBank Topeka President and CEO Jeff Kuzbel. “The NAHI grant program, now in its second year, provides grassroots support to deliver seamless financing in partnership with our member financial institutions. We appreciate the work Chickasaw Community Bank did as a sponsor of this grant.”

The Sequoyah Heights rental units were constructed in 2019 and include 14 separate rental units on the property where the community center will be built. Blue River Architects is overseeing the project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2025.