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Cherokee Nation Taps Salesforce to Help Distribute $785M in Direct COVID-19 Assistance to Its Citizens

Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation, one of the largest tribes in the U.S., has chosen Salesforce as its technology platform for its Gadugi (“working together”) Portal – a grants management portal that the Cherokee Nation tribal government is using to engage its citizens. It is also using the portal to manage updated addresses and house the application supporting the distribution of $785 million in direct COVID-19 assistance payments to Cherokee citizens from funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

What’s the impact: The Gadugi Portal, which is a foundational pillar to Cherokee Nation’s Respond, Recover, and Rebuild plan, allows eligible Cherokee Nation citizens to submit an application to receive a $2,000 payment to help recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Since its June 2021 launch, the Gadugi Portal has:

  • Hosted 80,000 registrants on its first day alone 
  • Had more than 200,000 registrants to date
  • Supported nearly 150,000 applications


  • Citizens log in via an online portal built on Experience Cloud where they are guided through the application process, which includes answering eligibility questions and confirming Cherokee citizenship and relevant personal information like their current address.
  • That information is captured in a personalized, profile-like record in Service Cloud, which government employees use to review the person’s information, confirm eligibility, and issue the direct relief funding.
  • Citizens can log back in at any time to see the status of their application, answer questions, and plan accordingly.
  • The Gadugi Portal will also give Cherokee Nation the ability to improve experiences for its citizens in the future through the digitization of other services, such as future COVID-19 program applications and permitting for tribal vehicle license plate tags and other services. 

What they’re saying: “The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst public health crisis in generations and has impacted every Cherokee Nation citizen in some way, whether it was losing a loved one, losing a job or feeling more economic strain. There are also challenges at home with health, school, food security and feeling isolated. The Cherokee Nation wants to ensure we have the programs in place with our American Rescue Funding to help every citizen. The Gadugi Portal and Salesforce technology is helping us get to our citizens quicker by streamlining the application process, and enabling us to have updated records that are online and easily accessible to our citizens to truly help them recover in their greatest time of need,” said Chuck Hoskin Jr., Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. 


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