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Cherokee Nation and U.S. Department of Transportation sign historic compact

Cherokee Nation, U.S. Department of Transportation sign historic compact
A photo of U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. shaking hands after the signing of the historic compact. Provided by the Cherokee Nation's Facebook on June 8, 2022.

The Cherokee Nation now has more control than ever on how its federal transportation dollars will be spent. Officials welcomed U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Polly Trottenberg to the Nation's capitol in Tahlequah on Tuesday for the signing ceremony of a historic compact.

The Tribal Transportation Self-Governance Compact and Funding Agreement is the first of its kind.

The agreement gives the tribe the ability to plan and oversee its own road construction planning and transit projects without seeking authorization from the federal government.

Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg said she believes this agreement is the first of many to come under the Biden-Harris Administration.

"We are firmly committed to honoring tribal sovereignty, upholding our solemn trust in treaty responsibilities, and empowering tribal self-governance through agreements like this one," Secretary Trottenberg said.

In addition to the agreement, the Cherokee Nation is also receiving historic funding for tribal infrastructure, including $3 billion for the Tribal Transportation Program, $1 billion for dedicated bridge investments, and nearly $230 million in tribal transit projects.

Secretary Trottenberg said the signing of this historic agreement reaffirms once more the Cherokee Nation's sovereign right to self-determination and the government-to-government partnership.