CHC to present traditional Cherokee art classes

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/04/2016 04:00 PM
PARK HILL, Okla. – The Cherokee Heritage Center is presenting a series of cultural classes designed to preserve and promote traditional Cherokee art. The Saturday workshops will take place once a month and will provide a hands-on learning opportunity with traditional art forms.

Registration is open for Cherokee National Treasure Tonia Weavel’s pucker toe moccasins class on May 7 and Cherokee Nation citizen Wade Blevins’ Southeastern iconography class on June 4.

Both classes are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and cost $40 to participate with all materials being provided.

Class sizes are limited so early registration is recommended.

For more information or to RSVP, call 918-456-6007, ext. 6161 or email tonia-weavel@cherokee.org.

Woman pleads not guilty in Oklahoma State parade crash

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
05/04/2016 02:00 PM
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) – A woman accused of driving her car into Oklahoma State’s homecoming parade, killing four people and injuring dozens, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.

Cherokee Nation citizen Adacia Chambers entered her plea on May 4 in Payne County District Court after previously waiving her right to a preliminary hearing.

The 25-year-old Chambers is charged with four counts of second-degree murder and more than 40 counts of assault and battery for the Oct. 24 crash. Prosecutors said Chambers intentionally drove her car around a barricade and into spectators at the parade. Her attorney, Tony Coleman, said his client is mentally ill.

A pretrial conference is set for June 1, but Judge Stephen Kistler did not set a trial date after Coleman said he is still seeking information from prosecutors.
Adacia Chambers
Adacia Chambers
http://www.rakerknives.com

CN awards 130 fire departments $455K donation

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/04/2016 12:00 PM
CATOOSA, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation awarded 130 volunteer and rural fire departments with $3,500 checks totaling $455,000 on May 3 during its 2016 Volunteer Firefighter Awards Ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

The tribe treated about 500 firefighters to dinner and presented each station a check to help with equipment, fuel or other items that help maintain their fire stations in northeastern Oklahoma.

“Recognizing these brave men and women is one of my favorite duties as principal chief. Every unit is highly trained and skilled. These firefighters are on call 24/7, 365 days a year, and the most impressive thing is that they do all this for the love of their community and to ensure our families remain safe,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “I’m proud our tribal government sees the importance in making this annual financial commitment. Because of this money, 130 rural volunteer fire departments in northeast Oklahoma will be better equipped and better prepared when an emergency strikes.”

During the ceremony, the CN named the Illinois River Fire and Rescue in Cherokee County and Afton Fire Department in Ottawa County as “2016 Volunteer Fire Departments of the Year.”

In the past year, Illinois River Fire and Rescue increased its volunteer staff to 20 active members. The station formed a “brown water team” that partners with neighboring districts and counties to help with rescues after the 2015 spring flooding on the Illinois River.

Dart finds success with basketry

BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
05/04/2016 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – When it comes to basketry, Cherokee Nation citizen Mike Dart has had an interest in the art since childhood. In his teen years, he learned to create baskets, and as an adult he’s won awards, his most recent coming at the 45th annual Trail of Tears Art Show.

He said that award-winning basket is titled “The Burdens We Carry” and was inspired by a photo.

“It was a traditional utilitarian burden basket, which a long time ago our ancestors wore those on their back, and they use those to carry items from one place to another and to store things in sometimes. They wore a tumpline around their shoulders, carried it on their backs,” he said. “I got the inspiration from a picture. I didn’t use a pattern. I just used this picture of a basket that was on the back of a Cherokee lady in North Carolina back in the early 1900s.”

He said he’s been entering art shows ever since the Trial of Tears Art Show in 2006. “I didn’t win nothing that year. I didn’t win nothing for a couple of years, but I did sale both of my entries the first night of that show. That was very encouraging.”

After a few years, he began winning, including first place in the 18th annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show and Sale, second place in the 2015 Chickasaw Nation Artesian Art Festival and two third place awards in the 2015 Five Civilized Tribes Museum’s Art Under the Oaks Competitive Show.
Cherokee artist Mike Dart works on a hickory, stair-stepped pattern basket at his art studio in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He said the inspiration for the basket came to him within a dream. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee artist Mike Dart’s basket titled “The Burdens We Carry” won first place and best of category in the basketry division of the 45th annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale. Dart said the basket is based on an early 1900s photo of a Cherokee woman’s basket. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee artist Mike Dart works on a hickory, stair-stepped pattern basket at his art studio in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He said the inspiration for the basket came to him within a dream. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
http://www.cherokeephoenix.org

IHCRC offers summer camp programs

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/03/2016 04:00 PM
TULSA, Okla. – The Indian Health Care Resource Center is offering various camps this summer, including a Wellness Adventures Camp, Culture Camp and Sports & Fitness Camp.

The Wellness Adventures Camp is offered to children who have completed grades 2-9. Youths participate in low and high elements of a challenge course and learn problem-solving skills, communication and teamwork, an IHCRC release states.

The Culture Camp helps expose Indian youth to Native culture with field trips to Cherokee and Osage nations as well as the Will Rogers and Woolaroc museums.

The Sports & Fitness Camp provides opportunities for physical activities, games, experiential learning and enhancing sports skills.

For more information, visit http://www.ihcrc.org/programs/summer-wellness-camps/.

First Nations to host agriculture, food sovereignty trainings

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
05/03/2016 12:00 PM
LONGMONT, Colo. – Do you have a ranching or farming operation in your community and want to move it forward? Are you looking to build a sustainable tribal ranching or farming enterprise? Do you desire to increase your business knowledge and fundamentals of running and maintaining a successful agricultural business?

Or perhaps you assist producers in your community with advice on how to grow their businesses and by helping them gain access to bigger and better opportunities.

Or maybe you are interested in helping assess the status of your community’s food sovereignty and help make it better and stronger?

If so, First Nations Development Institute has three, three-day training workshops for you. Two in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Denver are producer-focused, and one in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is intended as a train-the-trainer workshop. The fee for each training is $100, which covers the cost of materials and any meals that are included. Participants will receive copies of First Nations’ The Business of Indian Agriculture curriculum and Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool.

Day 1-2: The Business of Indian Agriculture producer-focused trainings in Green Bay and Denver are designed to help farmers and ranchers succeed in managing their businesses. It covers topics such as how to develop a business plan, how to set up bookkeeping systems, agribusiness economics and marketing and land use and management. It also covers important topics such as risk management, personal financial management and using credit wisely.

Women’s group releases rape handbook for Native females

BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
05/03/2016 08:00 AM
LAKE ANDES, S.D. – The Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center recently released its workbook for Native American females titled “What To Do When You Are Raped, An ABC Handbook For Native Girls.”

The book, Cherokee Nation citizen Pam Kingfisher said, is a resource aimed at answering questions women face following a sexual assault.

“From thinking through buying emergency contraception, to getting tested for STDS, to who to turn to for support,” she said.

Comanche Nation citizen Charon Asetoyer, who is also the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center’s CEO, said the book is a woman-to-woman, woman-to-girl, girl-to-girl community response in regards to sexual assault.

“Sharing with them, providing support, letting them know they are not alone. That this is not their fault and they shouldn’t blame themselves. The book instructs them on how to report if they choose to,” Asetoyer said. “It talks to them about going in for STD exam and also access to emergency contraceptive Plan B.”
“What To Do When You Are Raped: An ABC Handbook For Native Girls” is the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center’s woman-to-woman, woman-to-girl, girl-to-girl response to sexual assault. COURTESY
“What To Do When You Are Raped: An ABC Handbook For Native Girls” is the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center’s woman-to-woman, woman-to-girl, girl-to-girl response to sexual assault. COURTESY

Lake Andes, S. D. – ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᎠᏁᎯ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎠᏂᏱᎸ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᏲᏙᏗ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎾᏞᎬ ᏚᏂᏲᏏ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎪᏪᎳᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᏚᏙᎥ “ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏯᏛᏗ ᎢᏳᏃ ᏳᎾᏓᏐᏢᎾ, ᎾᏍᎩ ABC ᎪᏪᎳᎾᎢ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎯᏯ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᏧᏂᎪᎵᏱᏓ.”

ᎾᏍᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ, ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ Pam Kingfisher ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ, ᎾᎿ ᎬᏙᏗ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎤᏂᎾᎢ ᎤᎬᏩᏢ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏬᎯᎵᏴᎡᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎤᎾᏛᏛᎮᏢᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᎦᏕᏯᏙᏔᎢ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏥᏐᏢᏅ ᏱᎩ.

“ᏂᏛᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏩᎯᏍᏗ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ STDS, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏗᏞ ᏩᎦᏙᏗ ᎬᏩᎾᏓᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎠᏂᎧᎺᏥ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ Charon Asetoyer, ᎾᏍᎩᏍᏊ ᎡᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᎠᏂᎯ ᎠᏂᏱᎸ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᏲᏙᏗ ᎠᏰᏟ CEO, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᏯ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ, ᎠᎨᏯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᎬᏩᏂᏃᎮᏗ, ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᎬᏩᏂᏃᎮᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎬᏩᏂᏁᏤᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᎦᏕᏯᏙᏔᏅ ᏱᎩ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ.

“ᎥᏯᏙᎢᎲ ᎾᎿᎢ, ᏛᎦᎫᏍᏛᏁᎲ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏛᎧᏃᎯᏎᎲ ᎤᏅᏌ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎾᎿ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎢᏳᏅᏂᏌᏓ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ Ꮭ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎤᎾᏓᎰᎯᏍᏙᏗ ᏱᎩ. ᎯᎠ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ ᎠᏎᎯᎭ ᏯᏛᏗ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᏅᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᏚᏄᎩᏔᎾ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Asetoyer. “ᎤᏂᏃᎲᏎ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗ Ꭴ.ᎩᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ STD ᎨᏥᎪᎵᏱᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎦᎨᏥᏁᏗ ᎤᏟᏍᏗ ᎤᏅᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ Plan B ᎠᏃᏎᎰᎢ.”

Kingerfisher ᎠᎴ Asetoyer ᎤᎾᏖᎳᏛ Elizabeth Black Bull ᎠᎴ Donna Haukaas ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᏃᏪᎶᏗ ᎪᏪᎵ. Asetoyer ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎨᏳᏣᏊ ᎤᏓᎲᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎡᎯ Yankton Sioux Reservation ᎾᎿ Lake Andes ᎢᏳᏛᏗ ᎢᏳᏃ ᎤᏪᏥ ᎠᎨᏳᏣ ᏯᏥᏐᏢᎾ. Asetoyer ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏯᏓᏥ ᏱᏄᏪᏏ ᎾᎿᎢ, Ꮭ ᎢᏳᏃ, ᎤᏪᏥ ᎠᎨᏯ ᏯᏥᏐᏢᎾ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏨᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏃᏒᎾ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᎬ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎨᏒ ᎾᏃ ᎣᎵᏍᎬᎢ.

Asetoyer ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎧᏃᎮᎯ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎨᏯ ᎬᏩᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏩᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎢᏳᏩᏂᏌᏓ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎨᏒᎢ.

“ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᎲ. ᏝᏃ ᏨᏌ ᏱᎩ, ᎠᎴ ᏫᏣᎦᏙᏗ ᎬᏩᎾᏓᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

Kingerfisher ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᏥᎾᎾᏛᏁ ᎤᏅᏌᏊ ᎤᎾᏅᏛ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏧᎳ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᎢᏧᎳ Asetoyer ᎾᎿ ᎯᎠ ᎪᏪᎵᎢ ᏯᏛᎾ ᏅᎩ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ.

“ᎨᎵᏍᎬ ᎢᎦᎢ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎩᏂᎳᏗᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏗᏰᎸ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎦᏤᎵ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᎳ ᎠᏛᏍᎩ ᎠᎨᏳᏣ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏥᏐᏢᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ Ꮭ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏳᏅᏖᎢ…… ᎠᎴ ᎣᏂᏴ ᎤᏩᏌ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏓᎧᏁᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏲᏟ, Ꮭ ᏯᏆᏅᏖ ᎯᎠ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ. Ꮭ ᎩᎶ ᏱᎦᏬᏂᏍᎪᎢ. ᎯᎠ ᏦᏥᏬᏂ Ꮭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᎦᏍᎩᎸ ᏲᏥᏁ ᎠᎴ ᏦᎦᎵ ᎨᏒ ᏱᎨᏎᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Kingerfisher.

ᎤᏁᏉᎥᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎠᎴ Asetoyer, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏗᏗᏂᎳᏕᏗ ᎢᏗᏍᎦᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ ᏓᎾᏕᏯᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᎾᏍᏊᎴ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ, ᎾᎿ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏙᎯᏳᎢ.

“ᎠᏯᏃ ᎨᏒ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎢᎬᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎩᎲ ᏗᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎢᏗᎨᏯ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏙᏍᏓ ᎢᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏕᎦᏓᏠᎩᏴᎢ, ᎣᏍᏓ ᏗᎩᎵᏌ, ᏗᎦᏘᏂᏓ ᏕᏓᏓᎸᎢᏴ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏗᏍᏕᎸᏗᏱ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

ᏚᎾᏙᎵᏤᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏕᎨᏥᏐᏢᏍᎬᎢ, ᎤᏲ ᏂᎨᎬᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏏᏓᏁᎸᏊ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᏓᎾᏕᏯᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᏧᎾᏚᏓᎵ, ᏌᏊ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏭᏔᏅ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᎩ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎨᎦᏕᏯᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎸᎯᏙ, ᎾᎯᏳ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎴᏍᎧ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎠᎾᎴᏂᏙᎲ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᏃᏊ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏦᏍᎪᎯᏅᎩ. ᏌᏊ percent ᎤᏝᏅᏓ ᎤᏂᎩᏟᏲᎢᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎨᏥᏐᏢᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏁᎶᏛᏗᎢ, ᏭᎪᏛ ᎾᏃ ᏄᎾᏓᎴ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ. ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏦᎢ percent ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏂᎦᏙᎲᏒ ᎤᎾᏁᎶᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏅᎾᏛᏁᎸ ᏚᏂᏐᏈᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎴᏂᎰᎲᎢ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ.

ᎯᎠ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏕᎦᏁᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎡᎳᏓᎪᏗ ᎦᏢᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᎿ http://forwomen.org/resources/an-abc-handbook-for-native-girls/

Kingerfisher ᎠᏗᏍᎬ hardcopy ᎤᎪᏓ ᏗᎬᏓᏅᏍᏗ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎾᏞᎬ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒᎢ.

Culture

Remember the Removal Alumni Association holds first event
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Interim Executive Editor – @cp_wchavez
04/20/2016 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Remember the Removal Alumni Association hosted its first gathering on April 15 at Northeastern State University. The association is made up of cyclists who partook in past “Remember the Removal” rides that commemorate the removal of Cherokee people from their southeastern homelands.

The rides are held annually in June and began in 1984 when 19 cyclists left Cherokee, North Carolina, and rode approximately 1,100 miles through six states to Oklahoma to bring attention to the 1838-39 removal and to get Trail of Tears routes marked.

After a 25-year hiatus, the ride returned in 2009 and cyclists left from New Echota, Georgia, the former Cherokee Nation capital, to ride to Oklahoma. In 2011, cyclists from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians began joining CN cyclists to retrace the 950-mile northern route of the Trail of Tears.

During the April 15 banquet, which the Oklahoma Trail of Tears Association sponsored, alumni riders shared a meal and visited.

Alumni riders David Comingdeer, who rode in 2011, and Tress Lewis, who rode in the inaugural 1984 trip, spoke about their experiences and what the ride meant to them.

Comingdeer said he spoke for himself and two of his children, who rode in 2011.

“The main things I wanted to convey to the attendees today was the responsibility we have as individual Cherokee citizens to perpetuate our beliefs, our traditions and our history. The thing we have in common as riders is that we have a unique perspective on that route. We have a very unique perspective on the forced removal story. We have felt that trail beneath us,” he said.

He said the ride pays respect to those who walked the trail and those who did not survive it. He said Cherokee people should ensure that this history is not forgotten and that it’s passed down in families.
“I would also encourage young people to participate in this ride in the future and continue paying this tribute, which this is the most extraordinary way we can pay tribute to the people who perished on this route,” he said.

Lewis said she wanted people to know that the 1984 group became family during its month-long ride.

“I was a little backward and a little shy, and that trip, because it was a hard trip, it really pushed all of us, and we really had to come together as a team, work together and help each other. Because it pushed us we found out right away that we could be pushed...and that as long as we worked together and did become a family, we were strengthened,” Lewis said. “We became people we didn’t know we were. I am a natural leader. I don’t think I would have ever found that out had I not been on that trip. That’s amazing to me, the strength that’s in me that I didn’t know I had, and I think that’s true for all the riders on that trip.”

Melissa Lewis, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth, presented the results of her study about the “Remember the Removal” ride and its effects on the riders from 1984 to 2015.

She said she discovered 84 themes that riders from both groups, who rode 31 years apart, talked about.

“They’re all amazing. I could write several books about the amazing accomplishments of these riders,” she said. “Some of the things that stick out for me the most are how this program not only taught the participants how to treat each other like family, how to help each other out, how to be there for each other, but it translated to their real lives.”

She said by talking to the 1984 group she learned about “amazing changes” in the lives of the participants they attributed to the “Remember the Removal” program and its leadership component. “People were able to get into leadership positions in their jobs. Many of them decided to work for the (Cherokee) Nation. Many of them decided to work with Cherokee kids or Native American kids in particular, and they’re really strong members of their communities and strong members of their families.”

National Trail of Tears Association President and Tribal Councilor Jack Baker attended the event to present awards to the 1984 riders.

“I think the ‘Remember the Removal’ project is a very important project. We see the (19)84 riders, and they’ve been leaders in the Cherokee Nation,” Baker said. “That’s why I foresee, all of you that have been on the ride, that you will be coming back and giving back to the Cherokee Nation because it’s really a training in leadership and you understand what our ancestors went through and you understand what it is to be Cherokee, and therefore you are willing to give back to the Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee people.”

For more information about the alumni association, call Tennessee Loy at 918-864-6377 or email RtrAlumniAssociation@gmail.com.

Education

Sequoyah Alumni invited home to celebrate
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/02/2016 02:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Sequoyah Alumni Association invites all Sequoyah Schools’ graduates to its annual alumni celebration May 6-8 at Sequoyah High School.

The first weekend in May has become known to Sequoyah Schools’ alumni and staff as the annual “alumni weekend,” a homecoming for graduates and a time for anyone who has ever been a part of Sequoyah Schools to come home and see their friends, classmates and former teachers.

The Sequoyah Alumni Association has put together a host of events to give alums ample opportunities to come home, celebrate and share their memories of Sequoyah.

The weekend will kick off with an Indian taco sale and auction in the Tsa La Gi Community Meeting Room at 5 p.m. on May 6. All proceeds will benefit the Sequoyah Alumni Scholarship program. Donations of cash or good, useable items for the auction will be accepted at the meeting room from noon to 4 p.m. on May 6. The public is invited to attend the fundraising events and support Sequoyah graduating seniors.

May 7 will be filled with an alumni golf tournament at the Cherokee Trails Golf Course at 8 a.m., the annual luncheon business meeting at 11 a.m. in the lower level of Sequoyah Schools’ The Place Where They Play, and a banquet at 5 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria followed by a dance at the lower level of The Place Where They Play. Banquet tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at the door. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for the banquet.

Events will wrap up on May 8 with a breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in the cafeteria. Breakfast is $3 per person.
For more information on the golf tournament, call Jefferson Adair at 918-458-0878. For more information on all alumni events, visit www.sequoyahalumni.net. Information may also be obtained by calling Dewayne Marshall at 918-718-5850 or Wauneta Duvall at 918-822-3276.

Council

Election law legislation returns to Rules Committee
BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
04/12/2016 05:30 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Tribal Councilors on April 12 sent back to the Rules Committee Legislative Act 04-14, which amends the Cherokee Nation’s election code, after several legislators voiced concerns regarding the definition of “term.”

In March, the committee defined “term” as “consecutive full four (4) years in which the elective or appointed officer may perform the functions of office and enjoy its privileges, a term shall not include the remainder of any unexpired term or partial year.”

Tribal Councilor Harley Buzzard said on April 12 that he could not support the act.

“I feel like the Cherokee people had a constitutional convention and had decided what they wanted in the election code…I think we’re really messing with the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation if we go to changing some of the wording of that act. I could see if this passes as it’s stated, we’re going to have some problems with further elections that come down the road,” he said.

Tribal Councilor Buel Anglen added that from what he’s read in the Constitutional Convention transcripts those involved did not want to add the word “full” when referring to one’s elected term.

“There’s a lot of good stuff in this election law that we looked over for a long time, but at this time, putting that one (definition) in there is going to keep me from supporting this act,” Anglen said.

Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor said she felt the committee discussions were geared toward making the election code clearly match the CN Constitution. “And so, I feel like our intent was to match the Constitution, which says in several areas a term is four years. If the Constitution can stand on its own, I’m not opposed to taking out “EE” (the section in the legislation defining term), but I just want to clarify that our intention was to firm it up and match the Constitution.”

Tribal Councilor Dick Lay offered a friendly amendment to remove the section defining “term,” and Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez initially accepted it. She later revoked the friendly amendment and motioned to send the legislation back to Rules Committee. That motion passed with no opposition.

Legislators also unanimously authorized the “approval of a loan agreement and limited waiver of sovereign immunity” as part of the Indian Health Service Joint Venture expansion in Tahlequah.

According to the legislation, the CN will accept and execute a general obligation credit facility loan agreement “with a group of lenders to be arranged by BOKF, NA dba Bank of Oklahoma” and approved by the CN in a principal amount of $170 million to finance construction of the Cherokee Nation Tahlequah Outpatient Facility.

The body also passed an act creating the Cherokee Nation Judgment Fund, which “governs all judgments, inclusive of attorney fees and interest, entered against the Cherokee Nation or any department, agency or subdivision thereof.”

According to the act, “all monies accruing to the credit of the fund are hereby appropriated, and shall be budgeted and expended by the Treasurer for the payment of eligible claims.”

Legislators also approved the three initial members of the Cherokee Immersion Charter School board: Rufus King, Melvina Shotpouch and Russell Feeling.

According to CN Communications, all three are Cherokee speakers and will serve five-year terms.

“Through the Cherokee Immersion Charter School, the Cherokee Nation is cultivating a new generation of Cherokee speakers,” Council Speaker Joe Byrd said. “The revitalization of our language is of the utmost importance, thus making this board extremely vital. We need governing school board members who not only speak our language, but understand the seriousness of the mission of our school.”

The Tribal Council also:

• Authorized interviews and research within the CN by the National Institute of Justice Regarding Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault regarding violence against Indian women;

• Amended Title 21 of the CN code annotated relating to offenses against property;

• Authorized the name change of Sallisaw Creek to National Cherokee Nation Park;

• Allowed CN to lease tribal trust land to the Kenwood Rural Water District for a water treatment plant, tank, pump station and wells; and

• Supported the deployment of the F-35 Lightning II Fighter Aircraft to the 138th Fighter Wing.

Legislators also amended both the capital and operating budgets for fiscal year 2016.

Health

Mammogram unit to visit Gadugi on May 5
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/28/2016 02:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On May 5, the Oklahoma Breast Care Center’s Mobile Mammogram Unit will be at the Cherokee Nation’s Gadugi Health Center offering mammograms to those who are eligible.

Mammogram screenings are available to CN employees who carry insurance.

According to a release, the American Cancer Society recommends that women over the age of 40 have a mammogram yearly.

When receiving a mammogram it is important to wear a two-piece outfit so it is easy to undress from the waist up. It is also recommended to not wear deodorant or powder because is can show up on the scan.

For more information or to schedule a mammogram, call 918-207-4911.

Opinion

OPINION: Strengthening American Indian Arts and Crafts Sales Act is important
BY BILL JOHN BAKER
Principal Chief
05/02/2016 04:00 PM
Cherokee artisans are some of the most talented in Oklahoma and across all of Indian Country. They preserve our culture and heritage through their work across various mediums. It’s critical for us as Indian people to ensure Indian art is truly created by enrolled citizens of federally recognized tribes.

That’s why Cherokee Nation, along with the leadership of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole Nations, is supporting Oklahoma House Bill 2261, which is being considered now in the Oklahoma State Senate after passing the Oklahoma House of Representatives by a 90-0 vote. The bill is authored by Rep. Chuck Hoskin (D-Vinita) and Sen. John Sparks (D-Norman), Cherokee Nation citizens, and proposes a change in the definition of who can sell Indian art.

The proposal defines “American Indian tribe” as any Indian tribe federally recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and, further, defines “American Indian” as a citizen or enrolled member of an American Indian tribe.

This issue is important for us because it ensures people who falsely claim tribal citizenship will not be able to market themselves and their crafts as Native. Oklahoma should take a strong position in preserving the integrity and authenticity of American Indian arts. As the home of 39 federally recognized tribes and more than 500,000 tribal citizens, Oklahoma should be the pacesetter for protecting tribal culture. Each of the 39 tribes in Oklahoma is a sovereign government with a unique history and culture and has been acknowledged and confirmed by the U.S. Constitution, treaties, federal statutes, executive orders and judicial decisions.

Today, the sale of American Indian art and craftwork in Oklahoma is regulated by both federal and state laws, and strengthening our state laws guarantees the integrity of Native American art and the artists themselves.

Oklahoma Indian artisans are renowned worldwide for beadwork, jewelry, basket weaving and fine arts like painting, pottery and sculpture. As the popularity of Indian art expands, so does the sale of items misrepresented as authentic American Indian products. Purchasing authentic American Indian art and crafts in Oklahoma from an enrolled citizen of a federally recognized Indian helps preserve our rich and diverse cultures, and it significantly increases entrepreneurship and economic development in Indian Country.

H.B. 2261 will provide a direct economic benefit to Cherokee artists by helping to decrease the availability of fraudulent Cherokee art in the market. Additionally, if the availability of fraudulent items decreases, the demand for authentic art will increase.

Closing the loophole about who can sell Indian art will protect not only the artists but individual consumers, galleries, art collectors and museums, especially smaller museums with fewer financial resources. Nothing in H.B. 2261 prevents individuals who claim to be tribal descendants from selling arts and crafts in Oklahoma. However, the claim “Indian made” or “Indian art” simply would not apply.

I strongly encourage you to contact your state senators and ask them to support H.B. 2261.

People

Hendricks selected for Udall internship
BY LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON
Special Correspondent
04/15/2016 08:30 AM
PAWHUSKA, Okla. – Jeni Hendricks will not be spending her summer at home this year.

Instead, the Pawhuska native will be in Washington, D.C., as a Udall intern working for the Department of Justice in its division of environmental and natural resources.

A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Hendricks is one of 12 recipients nationwide for the highly competitive federal internship program for American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate, graduate and law students interested in tribal policy.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking, but this has been on my radar for two years,” she said. “I’ve wanted to do this and knew if it was meant to be, it was meant to be.”

A Native American studies and anthropology junior at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, Hendricks found out about the program two years ago while interning for U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). Some of the other interns in the Chickasaw Nation citizen’s office were Udall interns and raved about the program, which also provides housing assistance, a regular stipend, travel assistance to and from Washington and an academic scholarship.

To be considered for a spot, Hendricks had to fill out an application, including an essay on the legacy of the program’s namesakes, former Rep. Morris Udall (D-Arizona) and his brother, former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall.

“The essay is the most important part,” she said. “You talk about your interpretation of their work. That essay is what gets circulated among the offices to determine who you’re matched with.”

Hendricks said she does not know yet all of the specifics of what she will be doing this summer. Among the duties she has already been appraised of is that she will be sitting in on congressional hearings on different topics and writing up briefings about those sessions. She will also be expected to track the progress of certain pieces of legislation.

With plans to head to law school after Dartmouth and focus on government-to-government relations, Hendricks said she sees this as a golden opportunity to get to build relationships with other Native students with similar aspirations, as well as with more seasoned Beltway veterans.

“The program’s emphasis is on Native policy, but it provides excellent outlet for networking,” she said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know other Native youth who want to make an impact, plus networking with different professionals up on the hill.”

– REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM BIGHEART TIMES
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