BLUEJACKET, Okla. — Clean water is running throughout two northeastern Oklahoma communities after Cherokee Nation’s $1.2 million donation.

The Water System Improvements Plan in Nowata called for a new water storage tank.  Cherokee Nation met the need with a $1 million donation, according to a Cherokee Nation release.

In Bluejacket, Cherokee Nation ponied up over $203,668.44 for water quality projects and to assist with wastewater improvements and the installation of a chlorination system, the release states.

“The Cherokee Nation has always been there when we needed something,” said Morris Bluejacket, town councilor and sewer project manager.  “We’re greatly appreciative of them now.”

The water improvements will better the lives of 1,000 people, he said.

“I’m very appreciative to the Cherokee Nation and to the Chief for his participation, it allowed us to partner and get this infrastructure,” said Nowata Mayor Dean Bridges said. “It’s another great project that we did and it helped the county and the Cherokee Nation Reservation.”

The project impacts around 4,000 residents, the release states.

“The Cherokee Nation has dedicated millions in funding for water projects across the Cherokee Nation Reservation and ensuring both Cherokee citizens and our non-Native neighbors alike have safe, quality water systems, including the latest project here in Nowata,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

Cherokee Nation is proud to partner with Nowata for safer and cleaner water access, which will make a lasting and generational impact, he said.

The Cherokee Nation is using American Rescue Plan Act dollars and anticipates the engineering and permitting to be completed by the end of 2022 with construction starting in 2023 and wrapping up in 2025. Additional tribal contributions will come from the Wilma P. Mankiller and Charlie Soap Water Act signed by Chief Hoskin in 2021 to address water quality concerns around the Cherokee Nation Reservation.