CherokeeNation Youth Leadership Councilors in the back row, left to right, are EricBudder, Isaiah Soap, Corey Still, Carter Londagin and J.C. Lowe. Councilors inthe front row, left to right, are Kinsey Shade, Danielle Culp, Jackie Eagle andLexi Tollefsen. Councilors not shown are Christina Hanvey, Reuel Shaver andGarrett Reed. COURTESY PHOTO
CN Youth Leadership Council prepares tomorrow's leaders
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Each year 15 students ranging in ages 15-19 are appointed to the Cherokee Nation Youth Leadership Council to learn tribal history, values, attributes and governance so they may one day lead the tribe.
“This experienced-based learning is focused on preparing the youth for leadership roles in their families, communities and ultimately the Nation,” Todd Enlow, CN Leadership group leader, said. “It is our goal, our focus, to prepare these young men and women to lead our Nation.”
Enlow said councilors discuss operations of tribal businesses, service delivery and how to build productive citizens. He said they are also introduced to parliamentary procedures and public speaking.
Dist. 3 Councilor Jason Carter Lowe said he joined to learn about tribal government.
“As a result of being on this council, I have been able to travel to places from North Carolina to Montana, talking about Cherokee people, as well as speak our language,” he said. “I have learned the governmental process and have been able to provide a voice for the Cherokee youth.”
Fellow Dist. 3 Councilor Jackie Eagle said the council provides learning and growing with like-minded individuals.
“It’s a place to work and achieve things you never would have thought you could achieve with people who eventually become like your second family,” he said.
Enlow said councilors also look for students interested in getting involved with the tribe.
“We hope to inspire understanding of Cherokee history and culture, and ultimately inspire leadership,” he said. “Each member is a leader in training.”
Each representative is appointed through an application process. Applications, which are due in September, are available online and sent to schools within the tribe’s jurisdiction. After the deadline, CN officials review the applications for selection.
Enlow said councilors were historically elected, but the selection process now includes a committee of Youth Council alumni, group leaders and CN Tribal Councilors. If selected, students can serve two one-year terms. However, Enlow said councilors must attend monthly meetings and participate in community service projects.
Currently the council has 12 members and three vacancies.
Dist. 8 Councilor Lexi Tollefsen said she recommends other students to get involved with the student body.
“Not only does it make the student well-versed in the fundamentals of a meeting, it gives the student a stronger sense of identity when they are encouraged to structure and present their opinions often in a group setting,” she said.
Dist. 1 Councilor Corey Still, who is attending the University of Oklahoma, said serving on the council is a privilege.
“I have made lifelong friends and have been able to meet a variety of wonderful youth and leaders,” he said. “I have also been fortunate to have been able to meet with leaders of our tribe to share with them the concerns that we as youth have. And in return, they have engraved in me wisdom and knowledge about, not just the future, but the past and present as well.”
LINCOLN, Neb. – Vision Maker Media will be offering summer, or fall, 10-week, paid internships for Native American and Alaska Native college students at various public TV stations.
“Providing experience for Native students in the media is vitally important to ensure that we can continue a strong tradition of digital storytelling,” Shirley K. Sneve, Vision Maker Media executive director, said. “We are grateful for the support of local PBS stations in helping us achieve this goal.”
During the internship at least two short-form videos on local Native American or Alaska Native people, events or issues for on-air or online distribution should be completed.
With major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the purpose of this paid summer internship is to increase the journalism and production skills for the selected college student. One of the major goals of the internship will be to increase the quantity and quality of multimedia reporting available to public television audiences and other news outlets.
Students interested in applying for this internship opportunity must apply online at <a href="http://www.visionmakermedia.org/intern" target="_blank">www.visionmakermedia.org/intern</a> by March 24. The application process requires submission of a cover letter, resume, work samples, an official school transcript and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member or former supervisor. Top applicants will be notified in late April with the internships spanning between May 1 and Dec. 18.
Up to 10 public television stations will be selected to host an intern and an award of $5,000 to the station will be used to provide payment to the intern, cover any travel expenses and administrative fees.
Stations that would like to be considered for hosting a public media intern must apply online at <a href="http://www.visionmakermedia.org/intern" target="_blank">www.visionmakermedia.org/intern</a> by Feb. 3.
WASHINGTON – On Jan. 9, President Barack Obama announced that the Choctaw Nation is among five areas of the United States that will be part of the Promise Zone Initiative.
The president first announced the Promise Zone Initiative during last year’s State of the Union Address, as a way to partner with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, expand access to educational opportunities and quality, affordable housing and improve public safety.
“I am very thankful that the Choctaw Nation and partners have been awarded the Promise Zone designation,” said Choctaw Chief Gregory Pyle. “We are blessed to work with many state, regional, county, municipal, school, and university partners who, along with the Choctaw Nation, believe that great things can occur to lift everyone in southeastern Oklahoma when we work together.”
Parts of the president’s plan include investing in and rebuilding hard-hit communities are to restore the basic bargain at the heart of the American story; that every child should have a fair chance at success and that if you’re willing to work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to find a good job, feel secure in your community and support a family.
“This designation will assist ongoing efforts to emphasize small business development and bring economic opportunity to the high-need communities,” Pyle said. “I am confident that access to the technical assistance and resources offered by the Promise Zone designation will result in better lifestyles for people living and working within the Choctaw Nation.”
The other Promise Zone Initiative areas are located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and southeastern Kentucky.
CLAREMORE, Okla. – After growing up on her father’s ranch, Cherokee Nation citizen Dr. Kristin Vickrey knew she wanted to become a veterinarian.
“I’ve always wanted to be a vet,” she said. “I grew up raising cows so my dad always had cows. I was always out there working, and I always loved the medicine side of things. Going out and actually helping make the animals feel better, it was just something I’ve always wanted to do. It led to where I am today.”
Vickrey attended Oklahoma State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in animal science and veterinary doctorate. In 2011, she began working at the Regional Animal Care Center in Claremore as an associate veterinarian with Dr. Jerome Yorke.
While Vickrey still attends larger animals for her family, her focus is small animals such as cats and dogs with the occasional ferret, rabbit and guinea pig.
“I think my smallest patient is a little 2-pound Chihuahua and my biggest patient is a 200-pound Bull Mastiff,” she said. “So there’s a big range difference. It makes my job interesting, going from one to the next and everybody is just a little bit different. They might have the same problem but it doesn’t always present the same.”
Kimberlee Coates, pet owner and Claremore resident, said she began going to Vickrey after being assigned to her two years ago.
“…we just really loved her and the compassion that she had for our pets and the fact that she was very personable and attentive to them and reassured us that everything was going to be OK whenever we had to have a procedure done,” Coates said. “It just gives us a lot of piece of mind to know that our pets will be well taken care of and that we don’t have to worry.”
Coates has four cats and one dog that she has brought to Vickrey.
“They can’t speak for themselves, and so as a pet parent you really feel like you need a doctor that can tune into them and can show them the compassion because there’s that gap in communication that you so much wish your pets could just talk,” Coates said. “Because if they could it would just make everything so much easier, but they can’t so you really have to have somebody that can fine tune into looking for the signs and the things that we as pet parents sometimes miss and don’t see, and she’s excellent at being able to do that.”
Regional Animal Care Center offers several types of surgeries and services such as exploratory surgery, spaying, neutering, bone surgeries, dental, vaccinations, micro chipping, amputations, general medicine, therapeutic lasers, digital x-rays, endoscopic ear exams and blood work.
“I think probably my favorite part is that I really like orthopedic work,” Vickrey said. “I like fixing the broken bones and repairing torn ACLs (anterior cruciate ligaments). Those I get the biggest reward out of because I fixed it and now it’s better. I like those big rewarding cases.”
Vickrey said the most challenging part of her job is telling owners that their animals will need to be put down.
“We’re the advocate for the animal. The animals can’t tell you what they’re going through so we have to come to the owners and tell them ‘unfortunately your animal is not going to make it or it’s suffering’ and it’s not always the easiest part because the owners love it. They want to keep it alive. They want to do everything they can for it, but at the end of the day if I don’t tell the owner that their animal is suffering and is in pain, the only thing it’s hurting is the animal,” she said. “I wish I could save them all, but unfortunately you just can’t.”
Vickrey, along with Yorke, also work with a nonprofit animal rescue group called Zoi’s Animal Rescue, which is a no-kill animal rescue with locations in Claremore and Navasota, Texas.
Regional Animal Care Center, which is located at 1201 N. Lynn Riggs Blvd., also offers grooming and a full indoor and outdoor boarding facility. For more information, call 918-341-5551.
MUSKOGEE, Okla. – The Jack C. Montgomery Veteran Affairs Medical Center will hold its annual creative arts competition on Feb. 2-3 for enrolled veterans.
The competition includes 51 categories in the visual arts division this year that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are 100 categories in the performing arts pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama, and creative writing.
Nationwide, VA medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. Each year, veterans treated at VA facilities compete in a local creative arts competition.
A national selection committee chooses first, second and third place winners among all of the entries. Select winners will be invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, which will be held Oct. 12-19 at the Durham VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
For registration information, call Deborah Moreno at 918-577-4014. For information about the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition and other VA special events, visit VA’s Adaptive Sports website: <a href="http://www.va.gov/adaptivesports/" target="_blank">http://www.va.gov/adaptivesports/</a>.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The new 114th Congress counts more minorities and women than ever, although lawmakers remain overwhelmingly white and male in the Republican-controlled House and Senate.
A record 104 women are in the new Congress, and for the first time, African-American members of both genders and representing both parties are among the ranks on Capitol Hill.
The number of female lawmakers is up slightly from 100 at the close of the last Congress, but represents about 20 percent of the total in Congress. It's far less than the nearly 51 percent of the U.S. population.
A total of 96 racial minorities will serve in Congress, about 18 percent.
There are 100 senators and 435 seats in the House.
The House will have 246 Republicans and 188 Democrats. One seat is vacant following the resignation on Monday of Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., who pleaded guilty to a felony tax evasion charge.
The Senate will have 54 Republicans and 44 Democrats, plus two independents - Maine's Angus King and Vermont's Bernie Sanders. Both caucus with Democrats.
A total of 84 women will serve in the House, compared with 80 in the last Congress. The new lawmakers include Elise Stefanik, a 30-year-old New York Republican who is the youngest woman ever elected to the House. Also making history is Mia Love, 38, whose election to a suburban Salt Lake City district made her the first black female Republican to win a seat in Congress.
Forty-four African-Americans are in the House, including Love and another black Republican freshman, Will Hurd of Texas. Hurd made news last month as he was named chairman of an Information Technology subcommittee on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, an unusual distinction for a freshman.
There are 34 Hispanic lawmakers, including 10 Republicans, as well as 10 Asian-Americans and two Native Americans, both Oklahoma Republicans.
The number of women in the Senate remains at 20, following the election of Republicans Joni Ernst of Iowa and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and the defeat of Democrats Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. (Re-elected were Republican Susan Collins of Maine and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.)
Two African-Americans serve as senators - Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina and Democrat Cory Booker of New Jersey. There are three Hispanic senators: Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas and Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
Democrat Mazie Hirono of Hawaii is the only Asian-American in the Senate.
Fifty-eight House freshmen join the ranks - 43 Republicans and 15 Democrats. Three other members are new to Congress but are considered veterans of a few weeks. Reps. Dave Brat, R-Va., Donald Norcross, D-N.J., and Alma Adams, D-N.C., took the oath shortly after November's elections to fill the seats of lawmakers who had left Congress.
The Senate welcomes 13 new members - 12 Republicans and one Democrat, Gary Peters of Michigan.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration is considering improvements on Highway 82 in Cherokee County that would begin near East Allen Road in Tahlequah and go north to near Gideon, according to reports.
The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 27 in the University Center Ballroom at Northeastern State University.
ODOT held a meeting in 2013 regarding the highway, and following that meeting the state performed studies on the corridor. ODOT officials said within that study they evaluated upgrading the existing highway. They plan to discuss their findings from the studies during the meeting.
The meeting is open to the public and will be an open-house format. It will allow for some discussion with engineers and planners for the potential project.
For more information, call Frank Roesler III at 405-521-2350 or email <a href="mailto: email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>.