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Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation Health Services Cancer Programs (A Former EPA CARE Project)

The summary given below provides a description and documentation of a Cherokee Nation project that received a Level I Cooperative Agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program in 2006. These case studies serve as historic references, and conditions since the project was funded may have changed.

The resources developed for this project provide communities with information about ways that other communities have addressed environmental issues. Communities can use these project results to reduce environmental impacts, understand risks and become stewards of their own environment.


Cherokee Nation
Health Services Cancer Programs
Tahlequah, Oklahoma 
EPA Region 6

The Cherokee Nation (CN) is the recipient of a Level I CARE Cooperative Agreement. Nestled in the northeast corner of Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation boasts the mountainous terrain of the nearby Ozark Mountains, as well as commercial and recreational waterways provided by the Arkansas and Illinois Rivers, within its 14-county jurisdiction. The richness of the physical environment is undoubtedly a factor for the growth of industry within the Cherokee Tribal Jurisdiction. Under the CARE Cooperative Agreement, various communities within the Cherokee Nation plan to collaborate and focus on identifying sources of toxic exposure, risk reduction approaches, and environmental improvement. Preliminary discussions have led one group to focus on addressing the problem of polluted runoff from the poultry farms in Delaware County, and another group is already focused on addressing the problem of methamphetamine pollution, and particulate matter, in Sequoyah County. 

Prospective CARE Partners:  University of Oklahoma College of Public Health, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, various agencies within the Cherokee Nation, including Cherokee Nation Community Services, Cherokee Nation Environmental Programs, and Cherokee Nation Anti-Meth Coalition.