Today, we celebrate the Cherokee Nation as a partner and a friend of the state of Oklahoma. We are proud to share the details of our $2.16 billion economic impact on Oklahoma.

Cherokee Nation and its businesses remain steadfast in our commitment to growing the economy, and we have forged numerous partnerships to bring quality jobs, services and health care to the region.

Last year we broke fiscal records in production output, dividends and employment, and we proudly reinvest our profits in services and facilities that make Oklahoma a great place to live and raise a family.

Our commitment to health care extends far beyond the Cherokee people, and we are taking steps to ensure Oklahomans living in our most rural areas are no longer underserved. We are upgrading and expanding our facilities and have collaborated with OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine to establish the first medical school in the country built on tribal land.

In our capital city of Tahlequah, we have seen the rippling effects of our investment at Cherokee Springs Plaza, and we continue to attract new retail, dining and entertainment opportunities to the 154-acre business development.

While we remain the market leader in the entertainment and hospitality industry, we continue to broaden and diversify our economic portfolio throughout our businesses.

These successes provide the resources to create good, quality jobs, establish better infrastructure, improve public schools and increase access to quality health care that benefits all Oklahomans, not just Cherokee citizens.

We look forward to what the future holds, and together, we will continue to strive for the shared success that propels the Cherokee Nation, our citizens and our fellow Oklahomans.


Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner


Economic impact models estimate the economic outputs that result from a set of economic inputs. In this report, Cherokee Nation’s direct economic activity in the 14-county northeast Oklahoma region serves as inputs. These include the jobs maintained at various Cherokee Nation businesses and government offices, the labor payments to workers who live and spend in the local economy, the goods and services produced and sold by Cherokee Nation businesses, and the purchases made from local vendors. Economic outputs are measured as changes to regional employment, labor income and output.

Economic impacts are estimated in a series of multiregional input-output (MRIO) models. These models allow for Cherokee Nation’s activity originating in one county to spill over into and be captured as an impact to surrounding counties. This modeling approach provides a more complete assessment of the economic ripple effects resulting from Cherokee Nation’s activity.

While serving an important source of economic activity in nearly all counties, the economic influence of the Cherokee Nation is most acutely felt in Cherokee, Rogers, Delaware, Sequoyah and Adair counties. Each of these counties enjoys a significant direct presence of employment, production and income from Cherokee Nation operations. The density of the Tulsa economy attracts both a concentration of vendors as well as much of the spillover economic activity. Including these direct vendor purchases and spillover activities leads Tulsa County to feel acutely the economic benefits of Cherokee Nation’s activities as well.

In fiscal year 2018, the total impact of the Cherokee Nation reached almost $2.2 billion while supporting 19,203 regional jobs and $836.8 million in labor income. The operations of the Cherokee Nation continue to provide both an impressive and important stream of economic opportunities to northeastern Oklahoma.

Dr. Russell Evans
Principal, Economic Impact Group &
Associate Professor of Economics, Oklahoma City University