(L-R): Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Shella Bowlin, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and Chief of Staff Dr. Corey Bunch outside the existing structure being razed and replaced with a new state-of-the-art office space.


TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation is creating approximately 75,000 square feet of new space for offices and multipurpose rooms to house more employees in the heart of Cherokee Nation. The new building will expand the Nation’s service capabilities and accommodate for state-of-the-art office spaces while also allowing room for future growth.

Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, Chief of Staff Dr. Corey Bunch and Secretary of State Shella Bowlin visited the construction site to announce the project on May 8. The construction project includes demolition of the former restaurant, gift shop and motel space that was originally built in the 1960s, located east of the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex and the tribe’s Office of Veterans Affairs.

“For more than 50 years, this former gift shop, restaurant and motel structure has provided a number of services to assist Cherokee citizens,” said Chief Hoskin. “It has served its purpose well, but we cannot be content in standing still as we move into the future. It is time to take the next step in how the Cherokee Nation can serve the Cherokee people in the next 50 years, and we will do that in part by razing this facility and replacing it with a new, state-of-the-art building that will provide a path to progress and expansion for the Cherokee Nation and those it serves each and every day.”

Postcard photo of the existing motel building from the 1970s

The $35 million project is funded from the American Rescue Plan Act. The project is just one of many projects within the tribe’s overall $1.17 billion in capital investment construction projects ongoing throughout the 14-county reservation.

“If we look at where we are today and where this building has gotten us to, we can see it’s time to prepare for a new beginning,” said Deputy Chief Warner. “We’re looking to modernize while also keeping that which links us to our past. I’m excited to see what we have in store for this new project.”

Construction of the new tribal office space is scheduled to be finished by early 2026.

Rendering of the expanded office space that will replace the existing structure.

The government arm of the Cherokee Nation currently has more than 5,300 employees, many of whom work in the tribe’s W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex or out of several satellite offices in and around the Tahlequah area. Construction of the new office space will help the tribe consolidate some of its nearby satellite offices into a more central area, benefitting employees and citizens.