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Cherokee Nation seeks input on Mankiller-Soap Water Act

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Cherokee Nation is asking citizens to give them input on how they can deliver clean water.

Many residents living within the 14 counties that make up the Cherokee Nation still lack access to clean drinking water. In 2021, Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. signed the Mankiller-Soap Water Act to try to eliminate barriers to a safe water supply within the reservation.

The tribal nation is now seeking citizen input on how to deliver it.

The Mankiller-Soap Water Act is named after former Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller and her husband Charlie Soap, both of whom helped build the Bell Waterline Project, which brought drinking water and revitalized small towns within the Cherokee Nation.

One piece of the legislation requires citizen input to help Hoskin Jr.'s administration understand which homes are experiencing water quality issues. Citizens can access the survey by going to the Gadugi Portal, and select 'Applications,' then 'Water Survey.'

The act brings $2 million dollars to help those whose water supply is limited to wells and develop better strategies to bring water to rural parts of the reservation.

"Chief Hoskin and I wanted to name this legislation in honor of the legacy of former Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller and former Executive Director of Community Service Charlie Soap, who worked to create and improve water access in Cherokee communities in Adair County," said Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner. "I am proud that we are refocusing our attention on bringing clean and safe water supplies to Cherokees throughout the reservation. I hope you’ll take the time to participate in this short survey."

Allison Herrera covered Indigenous Affairs for KOSU from April 2020 to November 2023.
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