Our ability as a government to communicate with our citizens has just taken a great leap forward.
The Cherokee Nation's website - Cherokee.org - relaunched July 1. The overhaul, the first in more than eight years, creates a better user experience on the website that operates as our digital front door to the world.
A more sophisticated website has been our vision for some time now, along with the goal of making it easier for visitors to find the information that is important to them.
The revamped site includes updated content, departmental contacts and cleaner navigation so our tribal citizens can find the services they need more quickly.
For the past few months, Cherokee Nation departments have collaborated with our Information Technology and Communications offices to determine how best to update their information from our old site.
Outdated information has been removed. Program content has been reviewed, augmented and, in many cases, completely rewritten. With continued input from each department, the site's new management system will give Cherokee Nation the ability to keep the site's information fresh and relevant.
By transitioning our website to a more responsive, mobile-friendly platform, we expect it to grow as an online community, as tribal citizens and others come to rely on it for receiving information.
We've focused on the ease of navigation, along with streamlining and reorganizing important material. At the top of the page, you'll notice a section called "Find Your Way," where some of our most popular links are listed, including language, citizenship, vehicle tags and health care.
A simple drop-down menu offers easy access to all of our services, basics about our government, employment opportunities throughout Cherokee Nation and our entities, and helpful links for planning your next visit. Homepage links to our popular social media accounts make it easier than ever to find our official presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Our TV show, "Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People," our radio show, "Cherokee Voices, Cherokee Sounds," and the Anadisgoi newsroom now have direct links. The new Cherokee.org has also been optimized for viewing across your mobile devices, since we know many of our citizens now use smart phones and tablets to access the web.
Toward the bottom of the page is a colorful section, called "What's Happening," which will change regularly. What's Happening showcases program deadlines, new services and opportunities to watch live-streaming content, such as cultural presentations and Tribal Council meetings.
As always, there's going to be room for improvement. We know that, and we appreciate all feedback from tribal citizens. We'll be adding department photos, more historical and cultural information, a map of the Cherokee Nation, and other key items in the coming weeks.
Bill John Baker is principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.