University security guard takes CN citizen’s ID, threatens arrest

BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
05/24/2018 04:00 PM
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. – A video by a 20-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen has gone viral after a security guard took his tribal identification card on May 6 at Marymount California University.

Nicolas Rojas, an El Camino Community College student, said he went to MCU to study with a friend who attends the university when a security guard checking IDs took his CN photo ID card and became “hostile.”

“He then told me I had to leave, yelled at me and threatened to have me arrested. He became very hostile with me, started harassing me and put his hands inside my car, during which I started to record him,” Rojas said. “He told me I had to leave, but he had taken my ID with him and refused to give it back until I left and parked at a different school nearby. The whole interrogation took over a half an hour and I had a project due that Monday. I just wanted to study with my friend, but instead was threatened to be arrested several times without reasoning.”

The ID card the security guard took is a CN photo ID card that contains a tribal citizen’s photo and citizenship information one side and Cherokee blood quantum on the other. According to CN Communications, the cards are federally recognized. And TSA.gov states the cards are Transportation Security Administration-approved for domestic travel.

Rojas said he’s used his CN ID card to apply for jobs, board domestic flights and at banks to withdraw money.
An unidentified security guard takes Nicolas Rojas’ Cherokee Nation photo identification card on May 6 at Marymount California University after he asked Rojas for identification. Rojas said the guard threatened to have him arrested and that it took more than 30 minutes before he got back his ID. AJ+ VIDEO
An unidentified security guard takes Nicolas Rojas’ Cherokee Nation photo identification card on May 6 at Marymount California University after he asked Rojas for identification. Rojas said the guard threatened to have him arrested and that it took more than 30 minutes before he got back his ID. AJ+ VIDEO
http://cherokeepublichealth.org/

4 CN employees graduate OU Economic Development Institute

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/24/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Four Cherokee Nation employees recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute held in Fort Worth, Texas.

Career Services Executive Director Diane Kelley, Career Services Special Projects Officer Hunter Palmer, Commerce Entrepreneur Development Manager Stephen Highers and Jobs Business Development Coordinator Travis Gulley graduated on May 3.

OU EDI is a 117-hour certificate program that provides advanced education for economic development professionals.

“I’m excited that the Cherokee Nation now has four new graduates from the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute,” Kelley said. “This is a prestigious program, and the knowledge and training we received will improve many of the services we provide to tribal citizens and businesses.”

OU EDI classes focus on business retention and expansion, real estate and credit analysis, as well as areas of concentration in marketing, strategic planning, entrepreneurship and managing economic development organizations. Students typically take one to two years to complete the program through a series of in-person seminars, workshops and discussion groups.

Trump administration wants tribal people to work for Medicaid benefits

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
05/24/2018 10:00 AM
WASHINGTON – U.S. Health and Human Services officials want states to settle the question of whether citizens of Native American tribes should get jobs to keep their health care after the Donald Trump administration said in April that tribes are a race rather than separate governments.

The administration contends that by classifying Natives as a race rather than organized tribal governments, they would not be exempt from Medicaid work rules. This new challenge to tribal sovereignty has sparked by an unusual split between the HHS’ politically appointed administrators and legal counsel, according to an article by Politico.com.

This issue has also raised concerns in Congress and alarmed tribes that say it reverses centuries of protections enshrined in the Constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court.

“This decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is troubling and undermines longstanding policy and law that recognize tribes as sovereign governments, not racial classifications,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “This understanding is the very basis of the laws that apply uniquely to tribes and that have been upheld by the courts time and time again. HHS is demonstrating a breathtaking lack of understanding of this fundamental and bedrock concept in Indian law. I intend to object directly to agency officials at the next HHS tribal advisory committee meeting in May.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the agency’s former general counsel, has told tribal leaders that state Medicaid administrators will be able to work with tribal governments on designing any employment requirements. Tribes had requested to be exempted from new Medicaid work rules being introduced in several states, citing sovereign status. But the Trump administration rejected the request, saying in January it amounted to an illegal racial preference.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma looks at President Donald Trump in this ASSOCIATED PRESS photo. Trump’s administration contends that by classifying Natives as a race rather than organized tribal governments, they would not be exempt from Medicaid work rules. EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma looks at President Donald Trump in this ASSOCIATED PRESS photo. Trump’s administration contends that by classifying Natives as a race rather than organized tribal governments, they would not be exempt from Medicaid work rules. EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

United Keetoowah Band discusses current, upcoming housing programs

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
05/24/2018 08:30 AM
STILWELL – The United Keetoowah Band Housing Department and tribal officials met with UKB citizens in the Flint and Goingsnake districts to distribute housing aid information and assessment surveys on May 11 at the Fairfield Community Building.

“In the past, some things kept people from receiving services or they’ve gotten frustrated with the application process and gathering documents,” UKB Chief Joe Bunch said. “It’s really not that hard but sometimes you need guidance. We’ve got a great staff out there working.”

The meeting followed the formation of a UKB Housing Committee, Councilor Frankie Still said.

“When I first got in office there was no such thing as a housing committee, so a group of us got together to try and see what we could do to help,” he said. “We’ve come a long ways in about a year and four months to detangle all this mess. This information wasn’t getting out, it wasn’t being brought out.”

Various assistance programs were discussed, including mortgage and rental, college student rental, storm shelter and rehabilitation and emergency repairs.
Nancy McCause, United Keetoowah Band Housing Department director, right, speaks with a UKB citizen during a housing assistance information meeting on May 11 at the Fairfield Community Building in Stilwell. McCause also discussed existing and upcoming housing programs, including tiny homes for elders while passing out pamphlets detailing individual programs. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX United Keetoowah Band housing assessment surveys and information bags are distributed during a May 11 meeting at the Fairfield Community Building in Stilwell. UKB Chief Joe Bunch said data from the surveys, which would be distributed and accepted until June 29, were to be used to determine housing needs for citizens. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Nancy McCause, United Keetoowah Band Housing Department director, right, speaks with a UKB citizen during a housing assistance information meeting on May 11 at the Fairfield Community Building in Stilwell. McCause also discussed existing and upcoming housing programs, including tiny homes for elders while passing out pamphlets detailing individual programs. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Cherokee College Prep Institute registration now available

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/23/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation Foundation is accepting applications until June 1 for the seventh annual Cherokee College Prep Institute taking place on July 15-20 at Northeastern State University.

The weeklong camp will connect students with admissions counselors from across the U.S to analyze, prepare and complete college applications, identify scholarship opportunities and explore schools of interest.

Participating universities include the University of Arkansas, Bacone College, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Central Oklahoma, Duke University, NSU, University of Notre Dame, Oklahoma State University, Pomona College, Rogers State University, Stanford University, Swarthmore College, and Yale University.

CCPI’s curriculum, developed in conjunction with College Horizons and other participating university faculty, includes interactive sessions focusing on ACT strategies, essay writing, interview skills and time management.

CCPI is free to CN citizens who are preparing to enter their junior or senior years of high school. Lodging, meals and testing expenses are also provided by CNF, Cherokee Nation Businesses and NSU.
Two students gather information during the Cherokee Nation Foundation’s 2016 Cherokee College Prep Institute. This year’s CCPI will take place July 15-20 at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. The deadline to enroll in the CCPI is June 1. COURTESY
Two students gather information during the Cherokee Nation Foundation’s 2016 Cherokee College Prep Institute. This year’s CCPI will take place July 15-20 at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. The deadline to enroll in the CCPI is June 1. COURTESY

LIHEAP helps elderly, disabled with ‘summer cooling’

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/23/2018 12:30 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps thousands of eligible Native Americans yearly with their heating, and in some cases, cooling sources.

Janet Ward, Family Assistance manager and LIHEAP coordinator, said “summer cooling” aid is eligible to those who are over 60 or disabled and received a winter heating payment.

“Our summer cooling program is only for the elderly and disabled,” she said. “When we say disabled, disabled are those who are actually receiving a disability check. So if they received LIHEAP during the winter from us, like in October or November, then they would be eligible for the summer cooling and the supplemental payment that we done this year.”

She added that payments would be sent to the clients’ electric providers.

“Summer cooling usually goes to their electric,” she said. “The elders and disabled that received the winter heating, they will have gotten a letter in the mail for them to return a mail showing who their electric vender is. And then they get that information off there with their account number, and then it will be mailed directly to the vendor.”
Anthony Pritchett, Human Services property management technician, loads a window air conditioning unit into the back of a truck. The Cherokee Nation’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides window units to qualifying Native Americans who are 60 and older or disabled. ARCHIVE
Anthony Pritchett, Human Services property management technician, loads a window air conditioning unit into the back of a truck. The Cherokee Nation’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides window units to qualifying Native Americans who are 60 and older or disabled. ARCHIVE

Cherokee Nation working on 5 water access projects

BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
05/23/2018 08:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation’s Environmental Health & Engineering program is working on five projects to provide better water access to CN citizens living in Delaware and Muskogee counties.

Environmental Health & Engineering Director Billy Hix said in Delaware County the program is working on a waterline extension for Rural Water Dist. 11, constructing a water treatment plan in the southern part of the county and working on a water loss project near Kenwood.

RWD 11 waterline extension

Hix said the project consists of constructing approximately 19 miles of 6-inch, 4-inch and 2-inch waterlines near Leach, Rocky Ford, Teresita and Kansas.

He said the waterlines would be in communities that haven’t been previously served and would connect to approximately 125 homes, 75 of which are Cherokee households.
The Cherokee Nation’s Environmental Health & Engineering program is working on the Southern Delaware County Regional Water Treatment Plant in the Flint Ridge community near the Illinois River. It is one of five projects the program is working on in Delaware and Muskogee counties. COURTESY
The Cherokee Nation’s Environmental Health & Engineering program is working on the Southern Delaware County Regional Water Treatment Plant in the Flint Ridge community near the Illinois River. It is one of five projects the program is working on in Delaware and Muskogee counties. COURTESY

CN hosts inaugural ‘Sequoyah Day'

BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
05/22/2018 04:00 PM
AKINS – Visitors to the first “Sequoyah Day” event held May 20 experienced all things Cherokee such as art, music, lectures, performances, demonstrations and National Treasures all on the grounds of the historic Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum where the Cherokee syllabary creator lived.

“This is a chance to celebrate Sequoyah’s life and his legacy,” Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Director Travis Owens said. “We’ve had a flute-playing performance, the Cherokee National Youth Choir performed. We had the Girty Family Singers and presenters on our language today.”

Others attending the event included Cherokee National Treasures Lorene Drywater and David Scott, as well as Cherokee artists Roy Boney, Jeff Edwards and Mary HorseChief. Tribal Councilors Bryan Warner and E.O. Junior Smith, and 2017-18 Miss Cherokee Madison Whitekiller also attended.

Another highlight was the Traditional Native Games competition. CN citizen and games coordinator Bayly Wright said “Sequoyah Day” was a great place to hold Cherokee marbles, cornstalk shoot, horseshoes, blowgun, a hatchet throw and chunky competitions.

“Today is the second of the five competitions leading up to the championships, which will be held on Aug. 25, the weekend before the Cherokee National Holiday,” she said.
Video Frame selected by Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Marcus Thompson competes in the Traditional Native Games’ chunky competition held May 20 the Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum site. The competition was part of the tribe’s first “Sequoyah Day” held in Akins. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Marcus Thompson competes in the Traditional Native Games’ chunky competition held May 20 the Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum site. The competition was part of the tribe’s first “Sequoyah Day” held in Akins. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Sequoyah High School Summer Food Program begins May 29

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/22/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Sequoyah High School is once again participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Program. It will run May 29 through June 28, Monday through Thursday, at the SHS cafeteria.

The program provides nutritious meals at no charge to children during summer vacation.

Children aged 18 and under regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability are eligible to receive meals. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and lunch will be from noon to 1 p.m. Adults may eat breakfast for $2.25 and lunch for $4.

The cafeteria is at 17091 S. Muskogee Ave. For more information, call 918-453-5190.

Culture

CN hosts inaugural ‘Sequoyah Day'
BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
05/22/2018 04:00 PM
AKINS – Visitors to the first “Sequoyah Day” event held May 20 experienced all things Cherokee such as art, music, lectures, performances, demonstrations and National Treasures all on the grounds of the historic Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum where the Cherokee syllabary creator lived.

“This is a chance to celebrate Sequoyah’s life and his legacy,” Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Director Travis Owens said. “We’ve had a flute-playing performance, the Cherokee National Youth Choir performed. We had the Girty Family Singers and presenters on our language today.”

Others attending the event included Cherokee National Treasures Lorene Drywater and David Scott, as well as Cherokee artists Roy Boney, Jeff Edwards and Mary HorseChief. Tribal Councilors Bryan Warner and E.O. Junior Smith, and 2017-18 Miss Cherokee Madison Whitekiller also attended.

Another highlight was the Traditional Native Games competition. CN citizen and games coordinator Bayly Wright said “Sequoyah Day” was a great place to hold Cherokee marbles, cornstalk shoot, horseshoes, blowgun, a hatchet throw and chunky competitions.

“Today is the second of the five competitions leading up to the championships, which will be held on Aug. 25, the weekend before the Cherokee National Holiday,” she said.

For more information on cultural events, visit www.visitcherokeenation.com or call 1-877-779-6977.

Education

Cherokee College Prep Institute registration now available
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/23/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation Foundation is accepting applications until June 1 for the seventh annual Cherokee College Prep Institute taking place on July 15-20 at Northeastern State University.

The weeklong camp will connect students with admissions counselors from across the U.S to analyze, prepare and complete college applications, identify scholarship opportunities and explore schools of interest.

Participating universities include the University of Arkansas, Bacone College, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Central Oklahoma, Duke University, NSU, University of Notre Dame, Oklahoma State University, Pomona College, Rogers State University, Stanford University, Swarthmore College, and Yale University.

CCPI’s curriculum, developed in conjunction with College Horizons and other participating university faculty, includes interactive sessions focusing on ACT strategies, essay writing, interview skills and time management.

CCPI is free to CN citizens who are preparing to enter their junior or senior years of high school. Lodging, meals and testing expenses are also provided by CNF, Cherokee Nation Businesses and NSU.

Applications are available at cherokeenation.academicworks.com.

For more information, email Jennifer Sandoval at j.sandoval@cherokeenationfoundation.org or call 918-207-0950.

Council

Smith, Golden honored with CN Patriotism medals
BY STAFF REPORTS
03/20/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation honored U.S. Army and Navy veterans with the tribe’s Medal of Patriotism during the March 12 Tribal Council meeting.

Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden acknowledged Fields Smith, 84, of Vian, and Kenneth Golden, 68, of Stilwell, for their service to the country.

Sgt. Smith was born in 1933 and drafted into the Army in 1955. He completed basic training at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas and trained to become an infantryman. Later, he completed Fire Directing Control School and was sent to Fort Polk in Louisiana where he spent the remainder of his two-year service term. During his service, Smith completed non-commission school and received a sharpshooter medal for his rifle skills. Smith received an honorable discharge in 1957.

“I want to thank the Chief, the Deputy Chief and the Tribal Council for all of the good work that they do for our people,” Smith said.

Sgt. Golden was born in 1949 and enlisted in the Navy in 1968. Golden completed basic training in Chicago. After basic training, he was transferred to the Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida, where he served as an aviation boatman mate. During his service, Golden was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and received an honorable discharge in 1972.

Each month the CN recognizes Cherokee service men and women for their sacrifices and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which the tribe holds all veterans.

To nominate a veteran who is a CN citizen, call 918-772-4166.

Health

Sequoyah High School Summer Food Program begins May 29
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/22/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Sequoyah High School is once again participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Program. It will run May 29 through June 28, Monday through Thursday, at the SHS cafeteria.

The program provides nutritious meals at no charge to children during summer vacation.

Children aged 18 and under regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability are eligible to receive meals. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and lunch will be from noon to 1 p.m. Adults may eat breakfast for $2.25 and lunch for $4.

The cafeteria is at 17091 S. Muskogee Ave. For more information, call 918-453-5190.

Opinion

OPINION: Is it time for a technology detox?
BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
05/01/2018 02:00 PM
According to a recent Time magazine article, every day we check our smartphones about 47 times – about every 19 minutes – while spending approximately five hours on them.

It states there’s “no good consensus” about what that does to our “children’s brains” or “adolescents’ moods.” It also states the American Psychological Association has found that 65 percent of people believe “periodically unplugging would improve our mental health,” and a University of Texas study has found the “mere presence of our smartphones, face down on the desk in front of us, undercuts our ability to perform basic cognitive tasks.”

It further states that it’s not just us being weak for not getting away from our screens; our brains are being engineered to keep looking. Silicon Valley’s business model relies on us looking at their apps and products. The more “eyeball time” we give, the more money they make by selling our personal data. The article states we “are not customers of Facebook or Google, we are the product being sold.”

This is persuasive technology, the study of how computers are used to control our thoughts and actions. It “has fueled the creation of thousands of apps, interfaces and devices that deliberately encourage certain human behaviors (keep scrolling) while discouraging others (convey thoughtful, nuanced ideas),” the article states.

The article adds that Facebook “designers determine which videos, news stories and friends’ comments appear at the top of your feed, as well as how often you’re informed of new notifications.” The goal is to keep us looking longer, thus getting more personal info on us to their real customers – companies that buy this information.

It also states when our brains gets an “external cue, like the ding of a Facebook notification, that often precedes a reward,” there’s a burst of dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter linked to the anticipation of pleasure.” This “trigger, action and reward” process strengthens the brain’s habit-forming loop.

“If you’re trying to get someone to establish a new behavior…computer engineers can draw on different kinds of positive feedback, like social approval or a sense of progress, to build on that loop,” the article states. “One simple trick is to offer users a reward, like points or a cascade of new likes from friends at unpredictable times. The human brain produces more dopamine when it anticipates a reward but doesn’t know when it will arrive…Most of the alluring apps and websites in wide use today were engineered to exploit this habit-forming loop.”

Pinterest works slightly different. It features pictures arranged so that users see partial images of what’s next. This piques the curiosity and has no “natural” stopping point, the article states, while offering endless content.

Not too many years ago, I could go most places without my cell. Nowadays I usually have it with me. Am I going to miss a call or text? What’s happening on Facebook? I need to text my buddy about the game I just saw, or that photo I just took needs posting.

Recently I read an article (again in Time) about a museum that annually holds an exhibit in which famous pieces of art are recreated with flowers. The museum considered banning cell phones because people would push and shove trying to get pictures. One woman said she felt guilty for simply looking at the art because she thought she was in the way of people trying to take pictures with their phones.

I don’t want to be one of those people who views life through a smartphone or tablet. Nor do I want my kids to be. But I can’t tell them to put down the screens if I can’t do it. I guess it’s time for a “tech detox” as Time magazine called it. I’ve decided to limit my screen time and start getting the bulk of my news again from print. (I can’t stand TV news.) I subscribe to Time, Runner’s World, Men’s Health and will most likely go back to a daily newspaper. I like the feel of pages between my fingers. I like how I can read it at any pace, set it down and come back to it. True, it’s delivered at a slower pace than digital news, but it’s usually more in-depth with better design.

I need to unplug for a while. I think my kids are at that point, too, and probably my wife. Maybe it’s time for a lot of us to re-evaluate our screen time and break those habit-forming loops.

People

4 CN employees graduate OU Economic Development Institute
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/24/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Four Cherokee Nation employees recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute held in Fort Worth, Texas.

Career Services Executive Director Diane Kelley, Career Services Special Projects Officer Hunter Palmer, Commerce Entrepreneur Development Manager Stephen Highers and Jobs Business Development Coordinator Travis Gulley graduated on May 3.

OU EDI is a 117-hour certificate program that provides advanced education for economic development professionals.

“I’m excited that the Cherokee Nation now has four new graduates from the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute,” Kelley said. “This is a prestigious program, and the knowledge and training we received will improve many of the services we provide to tribal citizens and businesses.”

OU EDI classes focus on business retention and expansion, real estate and credit analysis, as well as areas of concentration in marketing, strategic planning, entrepreneurship and managing economic development organizations. Students typically take one to two years to complete the program through a series of in-person seminars, workshops and discussion groups.

“OU EDI is the premier organization dedicated to training economic development professionals,” Mary Ann Moon, dean, said. “These graduates represent some of the finest economic development practitioners in the U.S. working to support their local communities. My congratulations to them.”

OU EDI began in 1962 and is celebrating its 56th year of service to the economic development community. Fully accredited by the International Economic Development Council, the program has trained more than 5,000 graduates and remains the world’s leading economic development teacher.
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