The Pryor Times

January 2, 2013

CN administration: communication, transparency

— The Cherokee Nation is kicking off a new initiative designed to better communicate with its citizens. A year-end report to the Cherokee people and accompanying website mark the first steps in a comprehensive effort to improve the way information is disseminated, with a focus on communicating electronically.

“Transparency and openness are extremely important to my administration, and the best way to achieve those goals is to communicate directly with our citizens,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Communicating in the digital age provides so many new opportunities that were not available just a few short years ago. Not only is it direct and instantaneous, in the long run it saves us the costs of printing and postage.”

For many years, the Cherokee Nation has issued annual reports and various other tribal information in print and DVD formats, both via U.S. Mail and at Cherokee Nation events. This marks the first time, however, that a concerted effort has been made to communicate directly and electronically with citizens.

“Our citizens want and need this type of information. Without good contact information, it is difficult, if not impossible, to directly and effectively inform them of the services available or how our government is utilizing its resources,” Baker said.

An evaluation earlier this year found the Cherokee Nation had correct contact information for less than 40 percent of its citizens. A survey taken at Cherokee National Holiday discovered less than 20 percent were aware of many new services, such as the new housing program.

“We are an open and transparent government, but too often our citizens have to seek out information about our services and programs without the slightest idea where to start,” Baker said. “By launching a new era of openness and delivering information directly to our citizens, we hope they feel more informed at the end of the day and, most importantly, will avail themselves of the ever-growing services and programs open to them.”

The annual report detailing the programs and services offered by the Cherokee Nation will be delivered to households this week. In addition to the printed piece, citizens can register to receive future updates and information electronically from the Cherokee Nation at Those who sign up will receive email alerts and direct information on programs and services. As an incentive to register, various prizes will be given away. All information collected will be kept private and confidential.