This is an archive story that the Cherokee Phoenix is publishing on the anniversary of the day that three prominent Cherokees were killed.
DUTCH MILLS, Ark. – On the morning of June 22, 1839, three small bands of Cherokees carried out “blood law” upon Major Ridge, John Ridge and Elias Boudinot – three prominent Cherokees who signed a treaty in 1835 calling for the tribe’s removal to Indian Territory.
Tribal Councilor Jack Baker said he believes “blood law” was the basis for the men’s assassinations.
“Although they did not follow all of the procedures, I do believe that was the basis for the executions,” Baker said. “I believe the proper procedure should have been followed. They should have been brought to trial and that was not done.”
The Cherokee General Council put the law, which had existed for years, into writing on Oct. 24, 1829.
The Public Health Innovation Award is given annually to the tribal government, individual, organization or program that best exemplifies the advancement of public health for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives.
The tribe was recognized for its efforts at the eighth annual National Tribal Public Health Summit in Anchorage.
“Cherokee Nation Health Services strives to be a leader in health care throughout Indian Country,” Connie Davis, CNHS executive director, said. “On behalf of our Cherokee Nation Health Services employees, I thank the National Indian Health Board for this honor. It’s truly humbling for our team to receive this recognition, and I commend each and every one of our employees who make Cherokee Nation Health Services a first-class department.”
The tribe’s Public Health department educates citizens on healthy eating and exercise habits, and also addresses common challenges such as alcohol and tobacco use awareness within the tribe.
ANCHORAGE, Ala. – Cherokee Nation Health Services recently received the Public Health Innovation Award from the National Indian Health Board at a national conference in June.
The Hard Rock event will be the 21st stop on the tour that begins in August at Harrah’s Casino in North Carolina. It is one of three to be held in Oklahoma.
More details about the Hard Rock circuit event, including a full schedule, will be released at a later date.
“We are thrilled to bring back the World Series of Poker to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa,” Martin Madewell, senior director of hospitality at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, said. “This year’s event was our first time to host the event, and it was a tremendous success.”
This year’s circuit winner was William Berry. The Norman resident won $180,806 in the main event that featured 574 entrants competing for $861,000. The top 63 competitors finished in the money. It marked the first time the casino had hosted the event.
CATOOSA, Okla. – Less than two months after Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa hosted its first World Series of Poker circuit event, the international tour has announced it will return to the casino on March 15-26.
“This memorandum solidifies the collaborative opportunities for both institutions. It will help to further our respective missions for developing learning opportunities and creating educational and economic success for the health and productive futures of our populations,” UKB Chief Joe Bunch. “Our tribe is honored to sign this MOU with the university. The alliance with NSU offers incredible resources, experiences and opportunities for both entities to forge new paths and grow together. The cooperative agreement with NSU, an outstanding regional university, represents new promise, hope and progress for enhancing and developing many of the important programs and services for the UKB going forward.”
UKB Assistant Chief Jamie Thompson said the UKB Tribal Council unanimously endorsed the dedicated relationship, honoring NSU’s standards of excellence, quality teaching, challenging curricula, research and scholarly activities – particularly its goal to provide immersive learning opportunities for their faculty and students in service to the local community.
“We envision the collaborative relationship to include capacity building areas of elder community services, sustainable language, kinesiology/recreation, Indian Child Welfare, child development, tribal libraries and technology and more. The tribe and university have also agreed to consider undertaking mutually beneficial, sanctioned research and grant-funded projects,” he said.
After signing the agreement, NSU President Steve Turner cited the rich educational heritage of the Cherokee people and the university’s respect for the UKB as two key elements that led to the partnership. He also acknowledged the UKB’s commitment to higher education and deep roots with the university and the Cherokee Nation.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – A new cornerstone for capacity building was put into place June 14 at the United Keetoowah Band John Hair Cultural Center & Museum with the signing of a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between Northeastern State University and the UKB.
The new requirements ask students in public, private or home schools to submit verification letters of eligibility, as well as a current college class schedules and high school transcripts. To remain eligible for funding, students must also maintain a 2.5 grade point average and complete self-help hours.
Juniors and seniors concurrently enrolled will now be eligible to receive $100 per credit hour up to nine hours, for a per semester total of $900. The previous legislation allotted $250 for three credit hours or $500 for six credit hours per semester.
The changes come after a May 16 Rules Committee meeting, in which several legislators opposed dropping funding from nine credit hours to six.
“Cherokee Nation talks about education a lot, but marking out that nine and putting a six, to me, doesn’t seem to be what the Cherokee Nation is all about,” Councilor Shawn Crittenden said.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – At its June 19 meeting, the Tribal Council altered some of the Concurrent Enrollment Scholarship Act’s eligibility requirements as well as funding amounts that will be distributed to each student to assist with tuition, books and fees.
The 2005 federal law requires state driver's licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and to be issued to people who can prove they are legally in the United States. The state's latest extension expired Tuesday, but the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety says the state received the grace period as the Department of Homeland Security reviews the state's application for another extension.
Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation this spring that brings Oklahoma into compliance with the federal law, but it will take time for the new licenses to be implemented.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety says the state has received a grace period until July 10 as it works to implement new identification cards that comply with the REAL ID Act.
“The defendants’ filing today is not just the usual attempt to delay and avoid justice, it’s an attack on the very sovereignty of our Nation and our ability to protect our families from the illegal activities of these companies that are causing extraordinary harm and suffering to our people,” Hembree said.
Attorneys for McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen, CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Tulsa to declare that the CN court has no jurisdiction over the companies and to dismiss the case that alleges they are creating “an epidemic of prescription opioid drug abuse.”
“None of plaintiffs here are tribal members or tribal corporations,” the companies state. “Moreover, none of plaintiffs’ conduct at issue occurred in Indian Country.”
In April, the CN sued the pharmacies and opioid distributors in its District Court, charging them with failing to prevent the flow of illegally prescribed opioids to people in the CN.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Attorney General Todd Hembree said the six defendants in the Cherokee Nation’s case against opioid distributors and retailers attacked the tribe’s sovereignty on June 8 by asking a federal court to keep the CN from suing them in tribal court.
“It’s important to find a cure for diabetes,” said Wright, who indicated that was the driving factor for walking in the ADA’s “Tour de Cure 5k Walk” on June 3.
Normally a bicycle event, this year it was expanded to include the walk.
It was Wright’s mother, Lila Bark, who came up with the idea to participate after contacting the ADA for more ways to get involved.
“Josiah has been diagnosed for over a year, and his first year was quite a learning experience and still is,” Bark said. “I wanted us to get involved to show Josiah there are people who want to find a cure and support the cause.”
TULSA, Okla. – It’s been more than a year since 10-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Josiah Wright was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, but that didn’t stop him from recently walking a 5K and raising $875 for the American Diabetes Association.
ᏔᎳᏏ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᏦ. – ᎤᎪᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎨᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏍᎪᎯ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ Josiah Wright ᎠᏥᏃᎯᏎᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ Type 1 ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᏪᎲ, ᎠᏎᏃ Ꮭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎴᏫᏍᏔᏁ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ 5K ᎠᎴ ᎤᏩᏟᏌᏅ ᎠᏕᎳ 875.00 ᎢᎦᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎹᏰᏟ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᏁᎯ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎢᎦ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏛ ᎠᏩᏛᏗ ᏙᎯ ᎢᎬᏁᎯ ᎾᎿ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Wright, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬ ᎢᎬᏩᎾᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎬᏩᎾᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ADA’S “Tour de Cure 5k Walk” ᎾᎿ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ ᏦᎢᏁᎢ.
ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎨᏒ ᏔᎵ ᏗᎦᏆᏘ ᏓᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎪ, ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏓ ᎤᎾᎪᏔᏅ ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎪ ᏃᏊ.
ᎾᏍᎩ Wright ᎤᏥ ᎨᏒ, Lila Bark, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗ ᏚᏟᏃᎮᏔᏅ ADA ᎤᎪᏛ ᎢᎬᏩᎾᏛ ᎨᏒᎢ.
Josiah ᏣᏥᏩᏛᎡᎸ Ꮓ` ᏥᎩ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎬᏩᏍᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Bark. “ᎠᏆᏚᎵᏍᎩ ᎠᏇᎳᏗᏓᏍᏗ ᏥᎪᏩᏛᏙᏗ Josiah ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎭ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᎾᏕᎵ ᎤᏂᏩᏛᏗ ᏅᏬᏘ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏩᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᏗ.”
ᎾᏍᎩ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᏅᏁᎸ ᎤᎾᏓᏢᎩ ᎨᏒ Josiah ᎤᎾᏓᏢᎩ ᏁᎳᏚ ᏯᏂ ᎠᏂᏏᏭᏫᎭ, ᏌᏚ ᏯᏂ ᎡᎳᏗᏢ ᎢᏳᎾᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎾᏃ ᏍᎩᏚᎩ.
ᎢᎦ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎩᏱᎸᏒ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᏂᎷᏨ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏒ ᎢᏧᎳᎭᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Wright.
ᎾᏍᎩ ᏏᏓᏁᏕᎸ ᎤᏂᏩᏛᎲ ᏗᏐᎢ ᎢᎬᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏩᏛᏗᎢ, ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᏗᎦᎾᏗᏅᏗᎢ, #ᎤᏓᏢᎩ Josiah T-ᏗᎾᏬ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎬᏔᏅ ᏗᎾᏬ ᏓᏂᎾᏕᎬᎢ.
Wright ᎤᏕᎶᏆᎥ ᎾᏍᎩ Type ᏌᏊ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏃᎸᏔᏂ ᏧᎧᎸᎢ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎤᏨᏍᏗ ᎤᏓᏂᎶᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏴᏢ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎼᎯ ᏙᎯ ᎠᏰᎸᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎦᎾᎦᏘ ᎤᏬᎷᏩᏛᎮᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᎵᏌᎵᏓᏁᎲ ᎤᎩᎪ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎨᏒ 324.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏃᎵᏎᎵᏓᏁᎲᎾ ᏱᎩ ᏥᎵᏎᏥ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎨᏐ ᎠᎴ ᎡᎳᏗᏢ , ᎧᎵ ᏚᎾᏙᎵᏤᎲ ADA.
Wright ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏟᏍᏛ ᏩᏥᎧᏅ Laura Chalmers of the Harold Hamm ᎣᎸᎵᎰᎹ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎠᏰᏟ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏁᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏕᎶᎰᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ.
“ᎡᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏅ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Bark. “Ꮟ ᏃᏊ ᏥᎩ ᏯᎩᏃᎮᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ Ꮟ ᎡᎯᏍᏗ ᏥᏰᎸᏍᎪᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎠᏆᏟᏂᎪᏍᎦ ᎾᎿ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ. ᎢᎦ ᎠᏍᏓᏴ ᎾᎯᏳ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᏅᏒᏗ ᏣᎧᎲ ᎠᏲᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏳᏓᏂᎵ ᏯᏕᎶᎰᏒ ᏅᏬᏘ ᏂᎦᏒᎾ ᏍᏓᏱᏳ.”
ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᎤᏂᏩᏛᎲ, ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᎾᏓᏁᏟᏴᏌ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏟᎶᏍᎬ ᎠᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏎ ᎨᏒ exercise.
“”ᏃᏊᏃ ᎠᏆᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᎨᏐ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏥᎩᏍᎬᎢ, ᎢᎦ carbs ᏥᎩᏍᎬᎢ,” Wright, ᎠᏑᏰᏓ ᎨᏐ ᎤᎩᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᎾᏂᏪᏎᎰᎢ carbohydrate ᎠᎩᏍᎬᎢ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏩᏌ. “ᎠᏆᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗ ᎨᏐ ᎠᎩᎪᎵᏰᏗ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎠᎴ insulin Ꮟ ᎾᏆᎵᏍᏓᏴᏅᏂ. ᎤᎪᏙ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏤ ᏥᎩᏍᎪ, ᎠᎦᏲᏠ ᏑᎩᏓ ᎪᏢᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ. ᎦᏁᎶᏗᏍᎪ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏆᎵᏖᎸᏂᏓᏍᏗᎢ.”
ᎤᏓᏥ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏪᏣ ᎠᏧᏣ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᏡᎩ ᎾᎿ Facebook ᎾᎿ ᎬᏩᏂᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏩᏁᏲᏗ, ᏙᎯᏳᏃ ᎠᏍᏓᏲ ᏗᏩᏛᏗ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎾᎿ Type 1 ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎯ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ADA ᎨᏒ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᏍᎩ percent ᎾᎿ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎾᎿ Type 1 ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎯ. ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎲᎢ, ᎠᏂᏰᎸ Ꮭ ᏯᏙᏢᏍᎪ insulin ᎤᏩᏌ. Insulin ᎾᏍᎩ hormone ᎯᎠ ᎠᎲᏍᎩ glucose, ᎠᏓᏟᏂᎪᎯᏍᏗᏍᎩ, ᎾᏳ ᎩᎦ ᎡᏙᎲ ᏩᏟᎦ cells ᎨᏒᎢ.
ᏐᎢ ᎩᎶ ᏙᎩᎾᏙᎵᏨ ᎤᏓᎦᏴᎵᎨ ᎣᎩᎾᎵ ᏦᎩᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎪᎵᎦ ᎨᏒ ᎩᎶ ᎤᏪᏣ ᎠᏧᏣ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎤᏠᏯ T1, ᏙᎢ ᎤᏟᎵᎸᏓ ᎦᏥᏲᎵᎦ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎯ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎠᎭᏂ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᏍᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏯᏆᏚᎵ ᎠᏆᎴᏅᏗ ᏗᏥᏟᏐᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎲᏂ ᎾᎥ ᎠᎴᏱᎦ ᎦᏥᏖᎳᏕᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎦ ᏗᎾᏓᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎳᏏ ᎠᏁᎯ ᏱᎩ.”
ᎠᏎᏃ ᏃᏊ ᎨᏒ, ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᏃᏢᏅ ᎨᏙᎰ ᎾᏍᎩ 5Ks ᎤᎪᏛ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗᎢ.
“ᎤᏬᎸᏗᏃ ᎨᏐ ᎠᎴ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏴᎯᏒ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎣᏤᏙᎮᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Bark. ᎤᏚᎩ ᎣᎬᎭ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎣᏥᏟᏏᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᎤᏔᏃᎯᏍᏗ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏴᎯᏒᎢ.”
ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏕᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᏲᏚᎵ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ, ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎬᏛᏁᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ, visit www.diabetes.org.
The House voted 78-38 on Wednesday for the measure, which would sanction "game nights" at facilities that legally serve alcohol, like restaurants, bars and social clubs. The nonprofits could hold four such events annually and award only chips — not cash — for conversion to raffle tickets.
A bill sponsor has said the law is needed because some prosecutors aren't halting these events right now even as current state law makes it unlawful to offer games of chance and betting save for the lottery, Cherokee casino and some bingo. These game nights still couldn't occur near the Cherokee casino.
The bill now goes to the Senate.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation spelling out when and where nonprofit groups can operate casino-style games for charity in North Carolina has cleared one General Assembly chamber.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —Applications for the 2017-18 Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition, as well as for Junior Miss Cherokee Leadership and Little Cherokee Ambassador competitions, are available at www.cherokee.org.
To download the applications, visit the website and click on the Cherokee Ambassadors link in the Education section of the Services tab. Applications are also available at the Cherokee First desk inside the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex.
The deadline for all applications is July 12. The Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition will be Aug. 26, with the Junior Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition on Aug. 19 and Little Cherokee Ambassador Competition on Aug. 12.
“The competitions for Miss Cherokee, Junior Miss Cherokee and Little Cherokee Ambassadors provide an opportunity for contestants to share their knowledge of Cherokee history, culture and language,” Lisa Trice-Turtle, Miss Cherokee sponsor and 1986-87 Miss Cherokee, said. “As an ambassador and messenger of the Cherokee people, the representative is a role model and is expected to exemplify the best qualities of Cherokee youth.”
Miss Cherokee contestants must be ages 17- 22 as of Aug. 26. Candidates cannot have previously served as Miss Cherokee and must be Cherokee Nation citizens living in the tribal jurisdiction.
In the past year, Miss Cherokee has attended the White House, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Oklahoma Capitol, CN events, community meetings and schools.
To run for Junior Miss Cherokee, contestants must be ages 13-18, CN citizens and reside within the jurisdiction.
For the Little Cherokee Ambassador Competition, one girl and one boy are selected from each of three age groups: 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. Candidates must be CN citizens and live within the jurisdiction.
Committee representatives will accept hand-delivered applications from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 12 in the TsaLaGi Ball Room located behind the Restaurant of the Cherokees. Faxed applications or hand-delivered applications presented after the deadline will not be accepted.
For more information on the Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition, call Trice-Turtle at 918-453-5000, ext. 4991. For more information on the Junior Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition, call Reba Bruner at 918-453-5397. For more information on the Little Cherokee Ambassador Competition, call Kristen Thomas at 918-525-2266.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – It has been more than a year since the last cohort for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program was announced, giving several Cherokee recipients time to reflect on the scholarship’s legacy and impact it has made on their lives.
“It was just a huge, huge blessing,” Felicia Manning said.
Manning is one of 326 Cherokees who are citizens of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes to receive the scholarship during the program’s 16-year run, according to the American Indian Graduate Center, which oversees the GMSP.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation created the program in 2000. It funds any undergraduate study area and seven graduate study areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and science.
A 2010 scholarship selection, Manning recently completed her first year of graduate study in marine science at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida.
The program also funded Manning’s 2016 study abroad trip to Mossel Bay, South Africa. While there she tagged sharks with Oceans Research, an organization dedicated to Southern African wildlife management and conservation via marine research.
“That’s a group that I had been following for a long time,” Manning said. “The fact that they actually picked my school, and I’m partnered with them and I get to do my thesis work with them, that has just been so awesome. Gates (scholarship) definitely helped pave the way for me to do that.”
The scholarship is also paving a better future for Wrighter Weavel, 20, a 2015 recipient.
“I wasn’t even going to go to college, but when I found out that I got Gates, that opened so many opportunities for me to go anywhere I want, to experience any life, any culture in the entire United States,” he said.
Weavel said he plans to transfer to the University of Oklahoma to complete his undergraduate studies in education or medicine, with an overall goal to obtain a doctorate.
“I want to get my Ph.D. and I want to be called Dr. Weavel because I have a plan,” he said. “I want to have little ones, and I want them to look at me and see where I came from and to understand that it doesn’t matter the background you have, if you want to do something, you can do whatever you set your mind to.”
Weavel said he has also benefited from the scholarship beyond financial assistance.
“They offer mentors, which the mentors are a huge help,” he said. “They really help expand your mind on exactly what the scholarship can do for you.”
Weavel’s mentor is Corey Still, 26, a United Keetoowah Band citizen who received the scholarship in 2009.
Though initially interested in business and law, Still is now obtaining a doctorate in adult and higher education at OU.
“I really began to fall in love with this idea of education and how we can help our communities through education,” he said. “I really wanted to be able to help other people and especially other students.”
Still said he looks forward to joining the few Native American men with doctorates, which he decided to pursue because of the “faith” the GMSP puts into its scholars. “Whether they know it or not, that by selecting us as scholars and putting a little bit of faith into us, we’re going to go out and make something with those scholarships and with those degrees, that we’re going to make some type of impact within our community or greater society.”
Still serves on the Gates Millennium Alumni Advisory Council as the American Indian Graduate Center liaison and said he appreciates the “communal and family ties” the GMSP creates. “You really see the impact this scholarship has, and not just within Indian Country, because the scholarship itself is for minority students in under-represented fields. And so you really see the connections that are created across cultural barriers and across the country and it really does become a family.”
Of the Cherokee recipients, 313 are CN citizens, eight are UKB citizens and five are Eastern Band citizens.
In its 16 years, the GMSP funded more than 20,000 scholars and awarded more than $934 million in scholarship funds. The program ended in 2016, but the Hispanic Scholarship Fund manages a new version.
Editor’s Note: Reporter Brittney Bennett is a 2011 Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – At the May 15 Tribal Council meeting, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Garrett swore in T. Luke Barteaux as a District Court judge after legislators confirmed his appointment.
Barteaux is completing the late Bart Fite’s term, which expires on Feb. 10, 2018.
Fourteen Tribal Councilors voted to approve the appointment, while Tribal Councilors Shawn Crittenden, Harley Buzzard and Buel Anglen opposed it.
Barteaux, 33, of Bixby, said he considers the appointment the “pinnacle” of his career.
“It’s something that I never thought would happen within this amount of time, but I’m extremely honored to have been appointed by (Principal) Chief (Bill John) Baker and confirmed by the Tribal Council. I look forward to helping protect our Nation through the legal process,” he said.
He said prior to the appointment his only experience as a judge was serving on the Oklahoma Trial Advocacy Institute.
“I’m a faculty member at the Oklahoma Trial Advocacy Institute, which trains attorneys, and I have, basically judging their performances and things like that,” he said. “I’ve been a panel member for judging the mock trial competitions for, I think it’s out of Pryor, the last two years.”
Barteaux said he has been licensed and acting on his own as an attorney since 2012, with his legal career officially starting in 2009.
“My legal career started back in 2009, and I think around 2011 I started basically practicing under the supervision of another attorney here at my current firm (Fry & Elder),” he said.
Barteaux also addressed concerns about discrepancies on his résumé with dates regarding his time acting as an attorney.
“My current position, I believe it said the dates were June of 2011 to current, and underneath it it said attorney or trial attorney, and there was a question regarding whether or not I was an attorney that entire time,” he said. “The reason it had been worded that way, and kind of stepping back, the jobs underneath were done the same way and it was just the main job. I work at Fry & Elder now and those are the dates that I have worked here, and the position underneath it is the main job I’ve had and the current job. So it was more of me trying to fit a resume on one page and someone brought up, I guess, wanting more of a full job history instead of just what the final job or main job while I was there.”
Legislators also unanimously authorized the establishment of a CN conservation district.
Bruce Davis, management resources executive director, brought the resolution to the May 15 Resource Committee meeting after a trip to the United States Department of Agriculture where he and others learned of 47 programs available to the tribe and its citizens that are not being utilized.
“The first thing we’ve got to do before we can apply for these programs are pass this resolution to start our own conservation district, the Cherokee Nation Conservation District, before we can apply for these monies,” he said.
According to the Oklahoma Conservation Commission’s website, a conservation district serves “as the primary local unit of government responsible for the conservation of the renewable natural resources.”
Bryan Shade, CN chief special project analyst, said the resolution would “authorize” Principal Chief Bill John Baker to establish the conservation district that would allow tribal citizens to visit it rather than the state’s conservation district. He added that establishing the district would help the tribe “streamline” certain operations.
“It’s the exact same thing the state of Oklahoma’s doing, but this district will exist in our 14-county area,” Shade said. “By taking on this function, right now the Cherokee Nation has to go through those state offices, get our lands put in the database, in the system, before we can take advantage of these programs. By establishing this conservation district we’ll be able to do this ourselves and help us streamline things.”
In other business, legislators:
• Increased the tribe’s fiscal year 2017 concurrent enrollment fund by $87,000,
• Increased the FY 2017 capital budget by $857,848 to $279 million,
• Reappointed Amber Lynn George to the Cherokee Nation Foundation board,
• Approved Wilfred C. Gernandt III to the Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Care Agency governing board,
• Reappointed Dan Carter as a Cherokee Nation Businesses board member,
• Approved a resolution for Tribal Council to receive a confidential report monthly of all charitable donations and surplus equipment donations from all CN subsidiaries,
• Granted a right-of-way easement on an existing natural gas line to the Oklahoma Natural Gas Company for Cherokee Heights Addition in Pryor, and
• Authorized a sovereign immunity waiver for software agreement between Sequoyah Schools with Municipal Accounting Systems.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Health officials say mosquitoes found in Oklahoma County have tested positive for the potentially fatal West Nile Virus.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department reports that experts confirmed mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus, however there are no reported human cases of the virus.
Agency Public Health Protection Director Phil Maytubby says recent rain and warm weather created an environment favorable for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
Oklahoma State Department of Health records show no deaths in the state due to the virus last year, but 10 deaths were recorded in 2015 and a record 15 deaths occurred in 2012.
The virus is spread primarily through the bite of the Culex mosquito and symptoms include fever, headache and body aches.
Some Cherokee Phoenix readers may have seen the “Remember the Removal” bicycle riders out on local roads the past two months training for the upcoming ride from New Echota, Georgia, to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, through seven states. I am one of 14 riders from the Cherokee Nation who will take part in this year’s ride.
For those of you not familiar with the ride, it is done annually to commemorate the forced removal of our Cherokee ancestors from their homelands in 1838-39. Most of our people left in the fall of 1838 in 13 organized detachments and endured a harsh winter in 1839 before reaching Indian Territory.
I was part of the group that did the first 1,000-mile ride in 1984, which was meant to educate people along the route about the forced removal and give students like me hands-on experiences that would foster leadership qualities, instill confidence and improve our self-esteem. A man named Michael Morris thought a bike ride from the old Cherokee homelands would be a good way to give us those experiences. He was right.
Because the ride was grueling and had never been attempted before, the 19 riders formed bonds that are still strong today. We survived two-lane mountain roads in North Carolina and Tennessee where some large trucks did not like sharing the road with us. I rode my bike into some weeds and bushes before a dump truck could nudge me into them on a mountain in Tennessee. We survived racism in Illinois and the patchy and hilly roads of Missouri before riding into northern Arkansas and taking on the Ozark Mountains. By then we were stronger. Our thighs were noticeably larger and much darker than that had been three weeks earlier, and we were confident we were going to finish strong.
I remember during the trip being excited about what view was over the next hill while riding with my small group of four riders nicknamed the “Coaster-Barelies” because we weren’t the fastest group, and we may have coasted a little too much going down hills when we had the opportunity. Jeff, Clayton and Marvin were like brothers to me when we finished, and it was hard to finish and go our separate ways.
For me the trip gave me confidence, and it showed me I am capable of a lot mentally and physically. It also gave me a hunger to seek out adventures, which has lasted to this day.
So, when I was asked last January if I would be the first official CN “Mentor Rider,” my sense of adventure wrestled with my common sense. I am now 50 and being around the bike ride the past few years I know the training is tough even for a 20-year-old. I thought about it for a couple of days and believed I could do it. My mind was going to drag my body along on another adventure. It has been great and tough as I imagined it would be. My legs seemed to remember what it is like to ride a bike for most of a day, but my left shoulder has been less cooperative. So, I keep a container of Icy Hot handy and hope the aroma of the liniment isn’t too strong for the other cyclists.
I’ve also had the pleasure of training with a good group of young people. These people from throughout the CN volunteered to take part in this ride, to put themselves through the pain riding a bicycle an average of 60 miles a day. They have already grown and changed during training, but they will grow and change even more before the ride is over. It happens every year. They might have varied reasons for doing the ride, but they all understand the most important reason is to honor our ancestors. Our tenacious ancestors. They would not give up on the trail and when they arrived here 178 years ago to rebuild.
Every year the riders are told they will not make this trip on their own. No matter how strong they are they will need the support of their fellow riders. It’s true, and we also need the support of the Cherokee people, so keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
I feel fortunate that I get to travel the trail again with some good people, and even though I’ve been down it before, I get to see what’s over the next hill with older and different eyes.
DURANT, Okla. – Former Junior Miss Cherokee Chelbie Turtle was recently crowned Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma by the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women and will spend the next year as a goodwill ambassador for Oklahoma tribes.
The Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma competition was held in conjunction with the annual Miss Indian Oklahoma Scholarship Pageant in Durant.
As Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma, Turtle will promote the OFIW mission fostering friendship among Oklahoma’s Native American women, preserving culture and heritage, promoting education and uplifting younger Native women. Her platform is “The Value of Higher Education.”
“I believe education is important. Math, English, science, reading and writing – those core subjects – are important to younger children and really establish their future and how they view the world. I want to promote to kids that education is important,” Turtle, who served as the 2014-15 Junior Miss Cherokee, said.
Turtle said she learned the values of being a tribal ambassador from her mother, who is a former Miss Cherokee, Miss Indian Oklahoma and Miss Indian USA.
“It’s a great feeling to be honored with the title of Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma, and I’m especially honored to represent Cherokee Nation and every other tribe in Oklahoma,” Turtle said. “I look forward to promoting and sharing about the Cherokee Nation and our culture. During the Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma competition, each contestant learned a lot from each other. I look forward to doing more of that this year as I travel around to represent OFIW, and I appreciate the Cherokee Nation for the support and opportunities it has provided.”
This year’s OFIW pageant theme was “Honoring Our Indigenous Women Warriors: Protecting All That is Sacred.” Turtle competed against three other contestants who were judged on a written essay and personal interview with judges along with onstage presence, including a tribal introduction, tribal dress, talent, platform, contemporary dress and impromptu questions.
Turtle received her crown from Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma 2016 Chyna Chupco, who also attends Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah.
Turtle, 16, is the daughter of Jeff and Lisa Trice Turtle of Tahlequah. She will begin her 10th grade year at SHS in the fall.
The Cherokee Nation and Choctaw Nation were platinum sponsors for OFIW’s 2017 events.
To schedule an appearance by Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma, contact Faith Harjo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about the OFIW, visit https://ofiwpageant.wixsite.com/ofiw