Cherokee Nation Claims $1.3 Billion Impact on Oklahoma's Economy

Sep 17, 2013

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker addresses the audience Tuesday at the unveiling of the tribe's economic impact study.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

Cherokee Nation unveiled this afternoon a new study showing the tribe's economic impact in the state: $1.3 billion in economic output and support for nearly 14,200 jobs.

Leaders said the tribe's total economic impact was up 20 percent from fiscal year 2010.

Principal Chief Bill John Baker called Cherokee Nation the "engine that drives economic growth" in northeastern Oklahoma. Cherokee Nation government and business operations take place in 14 counties.

Tulsa and Rogers counties topped the list where Cherokee Nation generates the most total economic output, combining for nearly half of the $1.3 billion total. 

Cherokee County was where the tribe supported the most total jobs, with 4,239.

Total numbers are the combination of direct output or jobs and indirect benefits or jobs attributed to Cherokee Nation activities.

Normally, direct economic output is calculated using gross sales. Because the Cherokee Nation government doesn't generate sales figures, the study used its contributions to agencies within the 14 affected counties.

The tribe commissioned the report, which was produced by Russell Evans and Kyle Dean, the executive director and associate director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute at Oklahoma City University.

State, county, local and tribal leaders attended the study unveiling at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.