Sisters Mia Jordan and Bella Rucker create powerpoint presentations using the computers at the tribe’s first Connected Learning Center.

CATOOSA, Okla. -- The Cherokee Nation worked with AT&T to open the tribe’s first Connected Learning Center®, a dedicated space providing internet access and educational tools to Native citizens and community members who face connectivity barriers.

The Connected Learning Center at the J.W. Sam-Gadusi building in Catoosa is now open with a full-time digital navigator who can provide one-on-one digital skills training and app and device support. The learning center also provides computer and internet access for the public.

Within the Cherokee Nation Reservation, especially in rural tribal communities, it’s estimated at least 6,000 Cherokee citizens do not have access to internet or computers at home.

This is the first Connected Learning Center for the Cherokee Nation with AT&T, and the 28th Connected Learning Center that AT&T has opened nationally. The company plans to launch more than 50 total centers across the country by mid-2024.

“It’s exciting to open our first digital learning center with AT&T to ensure connectivity and access remain a priority within the Cherokee Nation Reservation,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Having someone dedicated to help our citizens manage the technology and tools they need will provide better access to employment opportunities, school, health care and services for our people. Deputy Chief and I and will continue to eliminate gaps, build more cell towers and bring high-speed internet and cell service to more Cherokee communities over the next three years.”

The hours of operation for the Cherokee Nation AT&T Connected Learning Center are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and is open to both tribal citizens and non-Native citizens.

(L to R): Deputy Secretary of State Taralee Montgomery, Deputy Secretary of State Canaan Duncan, Chief of Staff Corey Bunch, Council of the Cherokee Nation for At-Large Johnny Kidwell, Speaker Mike Shambaugh, AT&T President of Broadband and Connectivity Initiatives Erin Scarborough, Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, AT&T Oklahoma State President Steve Hahn, Council of the Cherokee Nation for District 13 Joe Deere, Council of the Cherokee Nation for District 11 Dora Patzkowski, Council of the Cherokee Nation for District 15 Danny Callison, Council of the Cherokee Nation for District 14 Kevin Easley Jr., Oklahoma Senator for District 3 Blake Stephens and Rogers County Commissioner for District 3 Ron Burrows.

“Our investment in the AT&T Connected Learning Center on Cherokee Nation is the latest example of how we’re helping to close the digital divide and get more tribal communities connected across America,” said Steve Hahn, State President, AT&T Oklahoma. “The center will give local families access to free internet connectivity, educational, and mentoring resources to help them succeed in digital school and job environments.”

The Cherokee Nation built a cell tower in the Cherokee community of Kenwood earlier this year and worked with AT&T to offer services. For the Connected Learning Center, AT&T provided a $50,000 contribution.

“Cherokees across the world are constantly engaging online in an effort to stay connected to our community, culture, heritage, and language. Increasing access to broadband is absolutely one of the most important things we can do at this time,” Deputy Chief Bryan Warner said. “We’ll always be able to ensure communities become one of the first to get the latest, greatest access instead of being last and this Connected Learning Center is another step in that direction.”

The Cherokee Nation has continued to expand its broadband focus.

In 2020, Cherokee Nation was awarded a federal broadband grant to evaluate broadband expansion within Cherokee communities, awarded through the U.S. Department of Interior’s Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development. The tribe was also recently awarded nearly $400,000 from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance to hire a full-time digital navigator to provide focus on digital equity efforts through the tribe’s reservation.

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for affordable, reliable connectivity became extremely amplified. In late 2020, to support citizens during the pandemic the tribe deployed 35 drive-up WIFI locations and deployed nearly 11,000 hotspots.

For more information on the Cherokee Nation AT&T Connected Learning Center call 918-772-4224 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..