On Oct. 1, the event shifts to Bacone College for the traditional powwow, a gathering of hundreds of the top Native dancers from across the country will compete for cash prizes. The day also will feature an art exhibit/show and dozens of Native American vendors displaying their arts and crafts.
Event officials said years ago Muskogee was home to the Indian International Fair, which resembled contemporary agricultural fairs. Held annually in Muskogee, Indian Territory, in September or October from 1875 to about 1900, the weeklong event featured produce and domestic exhibits in a barn-like pavilion.
Officials said these displays along with horse racing on the adjacent track, a merry-go-round and commercial vendors attracted many Indians and non-Indians from the Indian Territory and nearby states.
“As a historian, I am thrilled about the prospect of joining forces with the (Muskogee) Phoenix and the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in the effort to raise awareness of the incredible underlying Native history of Muskogee,” Dr. Patti Jo King, Bacone College’s Center for American Indians director, said. “It will be wonderful to bring this history to light again, and to be able to instill that historic pride in our community and future generations.”
David Bales, Claremore Indian Hospital safety officer, said American Indians and Alaskan Natives are more likely than any other group in the general United States population to get sicker from the flu, be hospitalized and die from flu-related complications.
He said he is advising people to get the influenza vaccine and that it’s safe and people cannot get the flu from vaccine.
In the meantime, he said, people can help prevent getting or spreading the flu or colds by covering their mouths and noses when they sneeze or cough, washing their hands often, staying home if they are sick and not eating or drinking after people who are sick.
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Chaffin, who is training at the Mayes County Courthouse in Pryor, said volunteering as a mediator is helping with her goal of becoming an attorney.
“I want to go into civil rights law, and to be an attorney in the state of Oklahoma you have to be a mediator,” she said. “I went to the training for two days, and then like after that for the next two months I came to the courthouse on Fridays and we did cases.”
Chaffin said she has co-mediated six cases, consisting of civil, real estate, neighbors, consumer/merchant, landlord/tenant and community cases. She said she has volunteered for 26 hours and is just a few hours short of receiving her mediator certification in basic court.
She said training to become a mediator has helped her with solving conflicts.
The annual statewide program honors individuals who demonstrate talent, drive and service to their communities.
Fifteen employees from the tribe and its business arm received recognition across nine categories.
"These young Cherokee Nation citizens all possess an expertise in their respective career field and exhibit the values of commitment and diligence that we hold so dearly within our tribal government and business entities,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “We are very proud of them all, as they are outstanding representatives of the Cherokee Nation and CNB. It is a well-earned and deserving distinction to be named to this list. These individuals are truly the state’s best and brightest emerging leaders.”
NextGen Under 30 recognizes and encourages the next generation of innovative, creative and inspiring individuals who push the boundaries in 15 categories of endeavor.
The 2015 summit marked the launch of the tribe’s Elder Fraud Protection Initiative. Led by CN Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, the CN administration, attorney general’s office and Marshal Service joined forces, seeking to put an end to the growing problem of elder abuse. The coalition collaborates with state and local agencies to prevent elder abuse and prosecute individuals who financially exploit or otherwise abuse Cherokee elders.
“It’s our responsibly to ensure our most valuable, and in many cases our most vulnerable, citizens remain safe from abuse, whether it’s physical or financial or emotional. Our elders should be respected and appreciated for their experience and cultural knowledge. That has always been an important Cherokee value,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said “We started this awareness and education initiative last year and continue to add more content to better connect Cherokee senior citizens with programs and services that can help them the most.”
Booths will be set up at the summit locations offering information on how to spot and report elder abuse and resources if one is a victim. Elder abuse has reached epidemic proportions in Oklahoma. In 2012, Oklahoma Adult Protective Services received nearly 19,000 reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of seniors. Often elders experiencing abuse or exploitation don’t know where to turn or how to seek help.
In addition to information and resources, the Elder’s Summit will provide lunch and time for fellowship for attendees. To get an accurate attendee count, Cherokee elders 60 years of age and older are encouraged to RSVP to Kamisha Hair-Daniels at 918-453-5238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new 3,500-square-foot location is west of the tribe’s Emergency Medical Services building, where Election Commissioner Martha Calico said the commission had been located since 2003.
Calico said before 2003 the EC was located east of the Tribal Complex in what is now the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service building.
CN Management Resources razed the former Tribal Council House on July 11, 2015, after it was determined to be structurally unsound. The tribe’s legislative branch was relocated to the Tribal Complex following the July 17, 2013, discovery of several mold species in the Tribal Council House.
According to CN Communications, the estimated cost of the new facility was about $250,000, which included materials and sub-contractors used for the construction.
Election Commission Director Connie Parnell settles into her office at the new Election Commission office located on the Tribal Complex in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The 3,500-square-foot location is west of the tribe’s Emergency Medical Services building, where the EC had resided since 2003. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
“Cherokee Nation is committed to the mental and physical health of our military veterans. Hosting this special educational fair will better connect all veterans, both Cherokee and non-Cherokee, with the essential services, resources and benefits available to them from the state, federal and our tribal government,” Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, a U.S. Navy veteran, said.
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and feature informational booths and resources from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the CN and community agencies. It is open to all veterans, their family members and widows of those who served. Lunch will also be provided.
Attendees need to bring a copy of the veteran’s DD Form 214.
For more information or transportation assistance, call the Veterans Center at 918-772-4166.
The artists are held in highest regard by the Cherokee Nation for their talented work as culture keepers.
The show introduces the most recently named treasures and features the work of others. Most artwork displayed is available for purchase.
“We are beyond grateful to have such gifted citizens who are dedicated to the preservation and perseverance of Cherokee culture,” CHC Curator Callie Chunestudy said. “Our National Treasures are shining examples of how we ensure our tribal heritage thrives for generations to come.”
The Cherokee National Treasure Award was created in 1988 and is given annually to a few people during the Cherokee National Holiday. These artisans are known for their commitment to preserving and promoting Cherokee culture. Since inception, nearly 100 CN citizens have earned this distinction. Each artist boasts a minimum of 10 years experience within their field and is a master of their craft.
Star Pipe, working with the State Department of Commerce, purchased Jensen International and subsidiary Jencast, which had a manufacturing presence in Nowata County.
“The announcement by Star Pipe Inc. is good news for northeastern Oklahoma and South Coffeyville,” Secretary of Commerce and Tourism Deby Snodgrass said. “Star Pipe’s announcement to retain and bring new jobs to Oklahoma is also evidence of a great partnership between the state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation. We appreciate the efforts of the Cherokee Nation and (Principal) Chief Bill John Baker to bring quality jobs to the region and look forward to working with them in the future.”
Star Pipe will continue manufacturing and providing casting, machining, metal fabrication, assembly and production of customized cast iron and ductile iron products in South Coffeyville, officials said, and the company has plans to expand and modernize the production facility and create new jobs. Star Pipe will retain all 88 current jobs and create 260 jobs. The tribe’s Career Services will help recruit and train quality workers for the facility.
“The Cherokee Nation is dedicated to partnering with state and local governments to bring industry, jobs and economic development to northeast Oklahoma,” Baker said. “Star Pipe will infuse South Coffeyville and all of Nowata County with critical payroll and infrastructure dollars. That will improve the lives of area families for years to come. Cherokee Nation is proud to play our role in ensuring a talented workforce is recruited, trained and prepared to fulfill the employment opportunities created by Star Pipe.”