‘River City Intertribal Celebration starts Sept. 30

09/29/2016 10:00 AM
MUSKOGEE, Okla. – The Muskogee Phoenix, Bacone College and Five Civilized Tribes Museum are joining forces to create synergies between new and current events to usher in the inaugural “River City Intertribal Celebration” on March 31. But to kick off the event, Native American musical group Brule will perform on Sept. 30 at the Civic Center.

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.”

Claremore Indian Hospital begins anti-flu campaign Oct. 3

09/29/2016 09:25 AM
CLAREMORE, Okla. – Claremore Indian Hospital officials want you to become a Kung Flu fighter as they start their “Flu Fighter” campaign on Oct. 3 at the hospital located at 101 S. Moore Ave.

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.

For more information, call us at 918-342-6679 or email david.bales@ihs.gov.


Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
09/29/2016 08:15 AM
PRYOR, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Zoe Chaffin, 17, is a senior at Pryor High School who spent Fridays of her summer vacation volunteering as a mediator in training for the Northeastern State University’s Early Settlement East Mediation Program.

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.
Zoe Chaffin
Zoe Chaffin

CN employees honored as Oklahoma’s Next Generation Under 30

09/28/2016 05:15 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Nation Businesses and Cherokee Nation Entertainment employees were recently named 2016’s NextGen Under 30.

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.

CN hosts 2nd annual Elder’s Summit

09/28/2016 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee elders across the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction are invited to the second annual Cherokee Nation Elder’s Summit. The Elder’s Summit will be hosted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 29 at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center.

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 kamisha-hair-daniels@cherokee.org.

Election Commission moves into new building

Media Specialist – @cp_rgraham
09/28/2016 08:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation’s Election Commission on Sept. 19 moved into its new building at 17763 S. Muskogee Ave., the former site of the Tribal Council House that was torn down in 2015.

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 The Cherokee Nation’s Election Commission has moved into its new building, the former site of the Tribal Council House that was torn down in 2015. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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

CN to host resource, benefit enrollment fair for veterans

09/27/2016 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation is hosting a resource and benefit enrollment fair for all veterans on Oct. 4, at its Veterans Center on the Tribal Complex.

“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.

Cherokee National Treasures Art Show opens Oct. 1

09/27/2016 03:00 PM
PARK HILL, Okla. – The Cherokee National Treasures Art Show opens Oct. 1 and will run through Nov. 5 at the Cherokee Heritage Center.

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.


CN helps attract 250 jobs to Nowata County

09/27/2016 12:00 PM
SOUTH COFFEYVILLE, Okla. – With the Cherokee Nation’s help, more than 250 jobs are expected to be created in South Coffeyville as Texas-based Star Pipe Products announced plans to expand its manufacturing capabilities in northeast Oklahoma.

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.”


Standingcloud’s artistic abilities span various media
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
09/26/2016 08:45 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Creativity flows from Cherokee Nation citizen Nathalie Standingcloud’s mind and fingertips as she creates artworks, whether they are temporary such as chalk or permanent such as tattoos. Through her creations she illustrates her calling in art.

Standingcloud said she started drawing as soon as she could hold a pencil.

“Being an artist as a young child, I have a lot of artists in my family so it’s kind of in my blood,” she said. “I always grew up drawing dragons and stuff, and people would tell me how good my drawings were and that I should get involved with it and really go with it. I just thought it was something good I could do. I never thought that I could create a career until I got older and realized that I don’t want to sit in an office. I’d rather just be outside drawing.”

Growing up she never took art classes, she said, and didn’t until attending Northeastern State University.

“I really haven’t become super involved in my art 24/7 everyday until maybe about two years ago when I started college because I took art classes there and really found out what my potential was,” she said.

She said at NSU she won the 43rd annual Symposium on the American Indian poster contest in 2015.

“They featured my pregnant woman on the poster, and I got to see it not only on the poster but in the newspaper, around town and on a billboard. So that was the first time I actually got to see my illustrations up and out there for the world to see,” she said. “To see that up there on the billboard, my artwork, it’s way different from seeing it in my notebook that’s for sure. It just made me feel, I don’t know, useful. Made me feel like I was making the world pay attention a little bit more, look at things and be inspired.”

Since early summer she’s been involved with chalk art after winning a chalk art competition in Wagoner.

“A family wanted me to go out and draw a portrait of their son who recently passed and we won first place. The family was happy. I was happy,” she said. “I never worked with chalk before then so there’s something about that competition that really inspired me to work with that medium a lot more.”

She said some of her latest chalk art consist of traditional Cherokee pieces.

“My first piece is a double-headed woodpecker Cherokee original, traditional design that I did,” she said. “The other one, the big circle with the two dragons, Uktena, that’s another original Cherokee design.”

She’s also drawn Pokémon around Tahlequah, which she created after the hype the mobile game Pokémon Go made.

“Pokémon’s a big thing now, so I like to draw Pokémon,” she said. “For some of the kids who don’t have a phone it’s kind of not fun to go outside and not see Pokémon, so when little kids walk by and they see Pikachu on the wall or Squirtle under the bridge it’s a little magical.”

Standingcloud said because her chalk artwork isn’t permanent it’s important to see it before it’s gone.

“My chalk work does take quite a bit of time to finish, but I think the fact that my chalk work is washable kind of makes it a little more special because it isn’t permanent. You only have a couple of days before the rain’s going to wash it away,” she said.

Standingcloud said along with painting, sketching and tattooing she likes trying new mediums.

“Being an artist, I just love to explore new mediums and hopefully chalk won’t be my last medium to explore,” she said. “I plan on becoming a full-time professional tattoo artist, so ink is another medium that I’m interested in. Just anything where I can get my creative juices flowing.”

Standingcloud said she enjoys being an artist and hopes to continue creating and getting commission work.

“I really enjoy this, and I hope that I get more commissions so my purpose of being an artist is fulfilled, and I just keep growing and learning and keeping people happy,” she said.

To view her art or to commission a piece, visit her Facebook page, Instagram at littlemisscherokee or email nathaliestandingcloud@gmail.com.


CN gets Native language education grant
09/23/2016 04:00 PM
WASHINGTON – The Administration for Native Americans on Sept. 9 awarded the Cherokee Nation a grant of $399,996 to develop a Cherokee language curriculum for Cherokee language programs.

As part of the Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, the ANA awarded four tribes and one college grants for their site-based educational programs to demonstrate evidence-based strategies that integrate Native language and educational services within a specific community.

According to an ANA press release, the language community coordination grants will support the tribes to integrate stand-alone language programs into a broader educational system that can offer a continuum of Native language instruction from pre-school through post-secondary education. Also, the cooperative agreement awards are expected to be renewed annually for a five-year project period.

“The Cherokee Nation is committed to preserving and growing our language, and grants like the one from the Administration for Native Americans help us continue that mission,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “I commend our employees for seeking out funding that supports our language efforts. With this funding, the tribe can cultivate more Cherokee speakers and enhance our language programs and resources.”

The release also states the CN would have the opportunity to create a Native language Teacher Certification program.

“I’ve visited several of our Native communities and found many have components of Native language programs for students, but they often lack the time and resources to fully implement programs,” Lillian Sparks Robinson, ANA commissioner, said. “This funding will help the Cherokee Nation develop comprehensive Native language courses that will be continued through the student’s life and ensure language preservation for native speakers.”

The Native Language Community Coordination program is a five-year demonstration project for tribes to create comprehensive education systems focused on high-quality Native language instruction, career readiness and academic success. Tribes will also have the opportunity to develop Native language certification for teachers under the NLCC program.

Its goal is to provide a seamless path for Native language achievements across generations for educational and economic success. The NLCC is a new funding program provided by the Administration for Native Americans to help Native communities achieve social and economic self-sufficiency.


Wind energy lease doesn’t make Council agenda
Staff Writer
09/19/2016 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Six Tribal Councilors voted against adding to the agenda a resolution authorizing a wind resource lease agreement between the Cherokee Nation and Chilocco Wind Farm LLC. Despite passing the legislation an hour earlier in a reconvened Rules Committee meeting, the measure failed to get a two-thirds vote during the Sept. 12 Tribal Council meeting.

With Tribal Councilors Harley Buzzard and Rex Jordan absent, Tribal Councilors David Walkingstick, Dick Lay, Jack Baker, Shawn Crittenden, Don Garvin and Buel Anglen voted against adding the wind farm legislation to the agenda.

According to the resolution, the Tribal Council had previously authorized Cherokee Nation Businesses to obtain “grant funding to support feasibility studies as to the development of wind energy within the jurisdiction of the Cherokee Nation.” It also states that it would be “economically advantageous” for CN to create wind energy resources in Kay County on its Chilocco trust property.

“We’re looking for alternative energy,” Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd said. “It’s on the heels of the Dakota pipeline issue where we protect our land, we protect our resources.”

Byrd said some Tribal Councilors were not in favor of building a wind farm in the Chilocco area and wanted to keep the land untouched.

“After a few years, it will be a mess to clean up,” Garvin said. “We’re trying to protect our land, and I don’t think that’s good use for the our land. I think (we should) leave it like it is, try to be good neighbors to the people (that live) up there around it.”

The legislation also calls for a limited waiver of sovereign immunity if the entity seeking to bring suit against the CN is Chilocco Wind Farm LLC or its successors or assigns; the claim is for breach of contract and seeks only actual or liquidated damages, including attorney fees, resulting from the Nation’s noncompliance with the Wind Resource Lease Agreement; and that any action can only be brought in the United States for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

The resolution is slated to be on the October agenda because it passed the Rules Committee.

However, Tribal Councilors did pass a resolution supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

The resolution states the Standing Rock people have an “inherent right” to protect their lands, historic and sacred sites, natural resources, drinking water and families from “this potentially dangerous pipeline.”
“The good thing is, is Indian Country is coming together and we are many. Together we are strong,” Walkingstick said.

Tribal Councilors also authorized the development of a three-year plan for Public Law 102-477 activities that includes the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, the Job Placement and Training program, the Adult Education Program and the Self-Governance Vocational program. The tribe’s current plan expires Sept. 30.

Legislators also amended the fiscal year 2016 comprehensive operating budget by adding $2.1 million for an authority of $684.8 million. The increase stems from grants received and increases in the General Fund, Department of Interior-Self Governance, Indian Health Service-Self Governance and Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act budgets.

Legislators approved the tribe’s $277.7 million capital and $656.4 million operating budgets for FY 2017 with only Tribal Councilor Shawn Crittenden voting no.

“There’s some good things, some really good things in here,” Crittenden said. “I said I’m going to give it a year and I’m going to see my roadblocks. Like I said, there’s good things in here, and I’m confident in the year to come that some of those we can work together to get through those roadblocks. I promise myself I’d do that and I feel confident in the year to come. I’m going to say no on this.”

Tribal Councilors also authorized the CN as a National Congress of American Indians member with Principal Chief Bill John Baker as the designated representative. In his absence, he would appoint one of 42 people as an alternate delegate, which includes Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, all 17 Tribal Councilors and various CN officials.


CN Behavioral Services fighting opioid overdoses
Senior Reporter – @cp_wchavez
09/27/2016 08:15 AM
This is Part 1 of a multiple-part series about the opioid epidemic.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The United States is undergoing an opioid epidemic, and Oklahoma is near the top of a nationwide list for drug-poisoning deaths.

Cherokee Nation’s Behavioral Health defines an opioid as an umbrella term for a natural or synthetic drug derived from or related to the opium poppy plant. Opioids attach to receptors in the central nervous system reducing pain signals to the brain.

According to takeasprescribed.org, a website provided by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, in 2012 Oklahoma had the fifth-highest unintentional poisoning death rate in the nation (18.6 deaths per 100,000 population). Prescription painkillers were involved in nine out of 10 prescription drug-related deaths, with 460 opioid-involved deaths in 2012 alone.

Anyone can be at risk of overdose if prescription drugs are not taken as directed and with a valid prescription, said Sam Bradshaw, CN Prevention “Partnership for Success” Project director, who is with a Behavioral Health group working against prescription drug abuse.

Adults aged 35-54 had the highest death rate of any age group for prescription- and nonprescription-related overdoses, and men are more likely to die of an opioid-related overdose than women, according to takeasprescribed.org.

“It’s a national epidemic. I think it’s really important to share that. It’s not just in northeast Oklahoma or a Cherokee problem. This is a national problem that is affecting our state and our 14-county Cherokee Nation service area,” Bradshaw said.

He said when prescription drug abuse prevention is discussed, people in his field talk about opioids.

Opioids are painkillers, and Bradshaw said many people live with chronic pain and need the painkillers. Commonly used opioids are oxycodone, morphine, codeine, heroin, fentanyl, methadone, opium Demerol, Percocet, Lortab and hydrocodone.

“Now, there’s a whole bunch of different ones, but the most prescribed opioid is hydrocodone. The United States is the number one consumer of hydrocodone (99 percent) in the world,” he said.

More overdose deaths involve hydrocodone or oxycodone than all illegal drugs and alcohol combined, said CN certified prevention specialist Coleman Cox, who educates people about opioid drug abuse in Wagoner County.

National Vital Statistics System data from 2015 indicate that deaths in Oklahoma attributable to opioids have exceeded the national rate with rapid increases since 1999. In that period, death rates attributable to painkillers in at least half of the 14 counties in the CN’s jurisdiction exceed the state rate of 8.7 per 100,000. Those counties are Cherokee (13), McIntosh (11.6), Mayes (11.1), Muskogee (11.1), Rogers (8.9), Sequoyah (12.3) and Wagoner (12.5).

Opioid overdose signs include no response to stimuli, shallow or stopped breathing, person can’t be woken up, unusual snoring or gurgling sounds, blue-grey lips or finger tips and floppy arms and legs. It is recommended to not assume a person is asleep if you cannot get a response from him or her and to not let a person at risk “sleep it off.” Also, with a suspected overdose, do not leave the person alone and do not give the person anything to eat or drink or induce vomiting.

“People believe that medication that comes from a doctor is less harmful. So, what happens with that is that people become accidentally addicted,” Bradshaw said. “It is really important to say this is a non-discriminatory destroyer. It doesn’t matter what your economic background is, your social class doesn’t matter or race. It’s an equal opportunity destroyer. Anybody can get addicted.”

Addiction sometimes occurs after a person has surgery and is prescribed an opioid painkiller, he added.

Bradshaw said he is wary of how he talks about prescription painkiller addiction because he has had “some push back from people in chronic pain” that rely on prescribed painkillers to relieve their pain.

“We are not trying to take them away from people who legitimately need these medications. We have to have a balanced approach. We recognize and know that there are people in chronic pain that need their pain medication,” he said. “They should not feel like they are being profiled as a drug addict to get what they need to survive. What we are tying to prevent is misuse and abuse and dependency of opioid painkillers.”

He said painkillers should be used appropriately or “taken as prescribed.” Problems and addictions can occur when people take more than the amount prescribed.

“If you can’t get through the day without it, you’re dependent. That’s what we see. The people that are overdosing and dying are usually dependent on them,” Bradshaw said. “They’re taking 10 to 40 to 50 Lortabs a day, and that’s not a stretch.”

There is no single indicator for when opioid abuse became a problem, but the epidemic claimed 28,647 lives in 2014, a four-fold increase in opioid overdoses since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To combat the epidemic, the CN received a $1 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant to strengthen drug misuse prevention efforts. A Department of Health and Human Services release states the grant program wants state and tribal entities to target prescription drug misuse, raise awareness about sharing medications and address the risks of overprescribing. It also seeks to raise community awareness and bring prescription drug misuse prevention activities and education to schools, communities, parents, prescribers and their patients.


DIETITIAN’S CORNER: Benefits of shopping at farmers markets
Dietetic Intern
09/01/2016 02:00 PM
With summer in season, Saturday mornings are quite popular for local farmers to come to the community and sell their produce. Oftentimes foods that are likely to be found at local farmers markets are vegetables and fruits. At this point, you may be thinking “what’s the difference between buying it at the farmers market versus a big chain supermarket?” There are many benefits and here are the reasons why.

When shopping at farmers markets, you are showing support as a community to your local farmers. Farmers often tend to grow these things for a living and only want to provide you with the best products that they have available. With the products that farmers are providing you, you will get the best, freshest and tastiest produce available because those products are sold to you directly from the farm. However, if you purchased it from a big-chain supermarket, those products are shipped from hundreds and maybe even thousands of miles away. It’s always a positive thing to you and your body to know where and how these products are coming from, and purchasing locally is always a great way to support your community. A fun fact is that with the local farmers, they would be happy to explain where their produce came from. You may even get a good story out of it.

Another good reason to shop at your local farmers market is because it allows you to enjoy the produce that is in season. For example, during the summer you will more than likely not see farmers selling pumpkins. That will be in the fall, which is the peak of pumpkin season. Also, did you know that your local farmers have some delicious recipes? For the produce that is being sold by your local farmers, they usually will have an idea of what you can do to incorporate their products in a meal. For example, zucchini is a great vegetable to grill in the summertime, but did you also know that you can make lasagna with zucchini? All you have to do is replace the noodles with thin slices of zucchini and it makes a delicious (and healthy) meal.

Did you know that if you qualify and are approved for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program you could be eligible to purchase goods with those benefits at the farmers markets? Different states have different requirements for eligibility for this, and luckily Oklahoma does participate in this as long as the state offers equipment that will process those SNAP transactions and the market participates in it. However, if the farmers or the market don’t have the equipment to process these payments, you can also request for manual vouchers from your EBT processor to use at local farmers markets as long as they accept them. With this process and the exception that the farmers market does take manual vouchers, you as the customer would have to sign the voucher for the purchase amount and then the market would then have to mail it in to the EBT processor for reimbursement. So technically you’re able to trade some of your EBT benefits for vouchers to support and shop at your local farmers markets.

There are many great reasons to shop at your local farmers markets. Not only will you be provided with great service, you’ll be able to nourish your bodies with great produce that these farmers work hard to provide for you.


Limore appointed NAFIS Region V director
09/20/2016 04:45 PM
WASHINGTON – At the recent National Association of Federally Impacted Schools’ board of directors meeting in Buffalo, New York, Jeff Limore, superintendent of Dahlonegah Public Schools in Oklahoma, was appointed the organization’s Region V director.

Limore, a Cherokee Nation citizen, will serve with 14 other school district officials from around the country as a board member for NAFIS, a national association that works to ensure the needs of federally connected children are met through adequate federal funds.
“We are excited to welcome Mr. Limore to the NAFIS board of directors,” NAFIS President Sandy Doebert said, “as we know he brings with him significant expertise in impact aid to his board position, and we look forward to working with him.”

Limore’s career spans more than 30 years as a teacher, counselor and administrator. He has taught elementary students, gifted and talented education, alternative education and adult education.

“My educational values are rooted in my parents’ relentless push toward higher education for their children as a way out of poverty, something neither of them attained,” Limore said. “They did, however, achieve their goal through their four children, and I’m happy to begin the important work as a NAFIS board member.”

Limore serves on the board of education of Sequoyah Schools, a Bureau of Indian Education-contracted school with the CN. In addition, he sits on the National Indian Impacted Schools Association board of directors, currently as secretary.

Limore earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. In addition, he has completed post-graduate work at Oklahoma State University and the University of Arkansas.

As the Region V director, Limore will help establish and review major policy and plans of the association and will have specific legal and fiscal responsibilities to the members of the association that represent federally impacted school districts across the country.
NAFIS Executive Director Hilary Goldmann shared Limore’s excitement and anticipation.

“I am looking forward to working with Jeff,” Goldmann said. “He brings with him a wealth of experience and ideas from which I know our association will benefit.”

NAFIS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of school districts from throughout the United States. NAFIS is organized primarily to educate Congress on the importance of impact aid and to make sure school districts affected by a federal presence receive the resources necessary to provide a quality education program for their students.
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