The NSU Event Center will be the location for the Tahlequah ceremonies. The College of Education ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. on May 5. The Gregg Wadley College of Science & Health Professions ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. on May 6, and the College of Business & Technology and College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. on May 6. Sen. James Lankford is scheduled to speak at the Saturday ceremonies.
The NSU-Broken Arrow commencement ceremony for all colleges will be held at 7 p.m. on May 8 at the ORU Mabee Center.
NSU will live stream the Tahlequah commencement ceremonies for relatives and friends who are unable to attend. Commencement videos will also be available after the ceremonies.
For more information, live stream connections and commencement videos, visit www.nsuok.edu/commencement
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Students will take to stages May 5, 6 and 8 as Northeastern State University holds spring 2017 commencement ceremonies in the NSU Event Center and the Oral Roberts University Mabee Center.
This year’s theme is “Oil and Water.” The symposium is co-sponsored in partnership with the OU’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Native American Studies Department. The event will begin at 10 a.m. in the Dick Bell Courtroom in Andrew M. Coats Hall.
Experts of Native American environmental issues will sit on two panels and give two keynote addresses. The speakers and their topics include:
Morning Panel: “The Chickasaw-Choctaw Compact in Context,” Sara Hill, senior assistant attorney general of the Cherokee Nation, and Taiawagi Helton, professor of law, University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Morning Keynote: “Water Sovereignty and Stewardship: The Historic Chickasaw-Choctaw Water Settlement,” Stephen Greetham, chief general counsel and special counsel on water and natural resources, Chickasaw Nation and Michael Burrage, managing partner, Whitten Burrage Law Firm;
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma College of Law on March 24 will host the American Indian Law Review’s annual “Indigenous Peoples, Law, and Power Symposium.”
The weeklong teacher training experience will provide foundational information about American Indians and support effective use of a new online interactive lesson “American Indian Removal: What Does It Mean To Remove a People?”
The sessions will focus on the impact of removal on Native Nations before, during and after the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830 under Andrew Jackson’s presidency. Applications are open for middle and high school educators, including classroom teachers, librarians, curriculum or content coordinators and school administrators in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee – the region most affected by removal. Applications will be accepted through April 14.
Native Knowledge 360 inspires and promotes the improvement of teaching and learning about American Indians. The summer institute is a pilot project funded through a Smithsonian Institution Youth Access Grant.
The Teacher Training Institute will take place July 10-14. Each selected educator will receive an honorarium. Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation and housing. Summer institute participants will take part in scholarly lectures and discussions, tour the museum’s collections and work with staff, Native scholars and education experts throughout the week.
WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will host a Teacher Training Institute at the museum in Washington, D.C., this summer as a part of its national education initiative, Native Knowledge 360.
Derived from a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant, school districts receive ESSA funds based on their respective numbers of enrolled Native American students.
Ron Etheridge, Education Services deputy executive director, said the dollar amount received per student equates to about $182 per student.
The Obama administration signed the act into law in 2015 as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The law mandates that “schools collaborate with the tribes” and that schools and tribes “sign off that they agree with the projected expenditures,” Etheridge said.
He said the act encompasses “every tribe in the state of Oklahoma and all school districts that receive Title VI money.”
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, the Cherokee Nation’s Education Services will start collaborating with schools inside the tribe’s jurisdiction that have high Native American enrollments on projected expenditures of Every Student Succeeds Act funds.
CN officials recently provided the Claremore Public Works Authority with $14,750 to help the city extend sewer lines to Justus-Tiawah Schools, which uses a lagoon for the treatment and disposal of sewage.
Tribal Councilor Keith Austin donated another $5,000 from the tribe’s special projects fund. Projects funded through the special projects fund are selected by the Tribal Council and Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s office, and allow the tribe to partner with communities and organizations on projects that benefit both CN citizens and non-Cherokees alike.
“Cherokee Nation remains a good partner in Rogers County for economic growth and community improvement, and no expansion project means more than one which directly benefits a local school and its mission to educate our kids for a better future,” Baker said. “Now, Justus-Tiawah Schools will be able to do more for its students and make significant upgrades to its campus for healthier, happier students.”
Austin said the tribe’s contributions would position the Rogers County school for future growth.
CLAREMORE, Okla. – An agreement between the Cherokee Nation and city of Claremore worth nearly $20,000 is helping Justus-Tiawah Schools in Rogers County abandon old sewage lagoons in favor of modernizing infrastructure.
The center is part of a Title III grant program that Connors received in 2014.
“This was a $5 million dollar grant spread over five years. This particular one has two focus areas. It has the Native American Success Center area, and it also has another focus for online hybrid course development,” Gwen Rodgers, Connors Title III project director, said.
Rodgers said Connors developed a “pride model” to help Native students with retention, help them learn about their respective cultures and be “inclusive” of all cultures.
“The center is open to anybody. It is not exclusive to Native Americans. There’s a rumor going around that only Native American students can utilize the center, and we’re trying to dispel that,” Colleen Noble, NASCC director, said. “We want students, the public, faculty, staff to feel comfortable to come and learn about the history, culture, literature, artwork of the Five Civilized Tribes. That’s our focus. We are reaching out to school districts for them to come and be a part of field trips.”
WARNER, Okla. – In August, Connors State College opened the doors to its Native American Success and Cultural Center that features Native American art, a computer lab, language repository and study group rooms for students, faculty, staff and the public.
The graduation took place Jan. 31 in the Osiyo Community Room for CTE and Cherokee language teachers who participated in the program for the 2015-2016 school year. The graduates are either teachers or para-professionals who worked with Johnson-O’Malley staff to learn about Cherokee culture, language and history.
Special Projects Coordinator for JOM Tonya Bryant said the CTE program has been in place for eight years. The group that graduated on Jan. 31 is the eighth graduating class, and more than 100 teachers have participated in the program.
“We have affected 75 schools that we (JOM) work with directly. We have probably had 50 of them (schools) with a teacher in this program at some point,” Bryant said. “Once they finish this program, they can continue on to a second year, and it’s Cherokee Language Methods for Teachers where they push a lot of language. They teach the methodology of how to teach the language in schools. We have teachers that have been a part of that for three years now.”
Fifteen men and women in the language program graduated along with 13 CTE graduates.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Teacher Enrichment Program recently graduated 28 people who are now certified to teach Cherokee language, culture and history in public schools and communities.
The study by WalletHub used 11 criteria to make the findings in its 2017 Most & Least Educated States study. The survey examined the percentage of adults with at least a high school diploma and the gender gap in educational attainment.
Massachusetts came in first with a score of 80.65 of 100 possible points. West Virginia came in last with 11.99.
Oklahoma achieved the No. 16 rank in the number of students enrolled in top universities per capita and came in at No. 19 in the difference between the percentage of female and male bachelor’s degree holders.
The state ended up in the bottom 10 because only 24 percent of its adults possess a bachelor’s degree and just 8 percent have master’s or other professional degrees, The Oklahoman reported.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma ranks 41st of the most educated states because less than a quarter of adults have a bachelor’s degree and about one-tenth have a graduate or professional degree, an analysis by a consumer finance service found.
“I’ve been very critical of truth and reconciliation commissions as a way to resolve longstanding historical conflicts. I think we need more than that, and so a lot of the answers are in our own communities. We just don’t realize it. So it’s reminding people that they have that power,” he said.
Corntassel, Northeastern State University’s 2017 Sequoyah Fellow, presented his lecture “From Mauna Kea to Standing Rock” on Jan. 30 at NSU, with one topic being Indigenous “resurgence.”
“Indigenous resurgence really is about honoring and nurturing those relationships we have with land culture and community and to think about different ways to honor those deep-seeded, those complex relationships whether it’s through speaking the language, whether it’s through telling the stories related to that place, whether it’s through the songs we sing or engaging in ceremony,” he said.
Corntassel, who is the director of Indigenous Governance and an associate professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, said a recent way Indigenous people have honored relationships is when communities came together for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota to serve as “protectors” by preventing the Dakota Access Pipeline from being routed near water sources and tribal lands.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – For the past 10 years, Cherokee Nation citizen Dr. Jeff Corntassel has focused on Indigenous “resurgence” movements, believing that Indigenous people have a “responsibility” to show examples that highlight their resilience as well as their resurgence.
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᎾᎿ ᏍᎪᎯ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᎤᎶᏒ, ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ Dr. Jeff Corntassel ᏧᏙᎩᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎦᏎᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ “ᎠᎾᎵᏖᎸᎲᏍᎬᎢ” ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎬ, ᎤᏬᎯᏳᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᏂᎲ “ᎤᎾᏚᏓᎸ” ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᏅᏗ ᎤᎾᏚᏓᎸ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏯ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᎢᎦ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᏚᏳᎪᏛ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏓᏟᏐᏗ ᎠᏂᎧᎹᏏᏂ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎪᎯᏓ ᎤᏂᎩᏒ ᏅᎵᏍᏔᏅᏅ. ᎨᎵᎠ ᎤᏂᎬᎦ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎠᏬᎯᎵᏴᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎾᎥ ᏄᎾᏓᎴᏫᏒᎢ. ᏞᏊ ᏱᏕᎵᏍᎪᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏕᏓᏓᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎲᎢ ᎤᏟᏂᎩᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Corntassel, ᎤᏴᏢᎧᎸᎬ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎦᎵᏆᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᏏᏉᏯ ᎠᏍᎦᏯ, ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏄᏩᏁᎸ ᎤᏬᏪᎳᏅ “ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅ Mauna Kea to Standing Rock” ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏃᎸᏔᏅ 30 ᎾᎿ NSU, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏌᏊ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎧᏃᎮᏗ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ “ᏓᎾᎴᎲᏍᎬᎢ.”
“ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᏓᎾᎴᏂᏏᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎠᏂᎸᏉᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᏅᎾᏕᎪ ᎯᎠ ᏚᎾᏓᏂᏴᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏙᎢ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏯᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏗᎦᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎭᏫᏂ ᎤᏂᎦᏙᎲᏒ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏓᎴ ᏯᏛᏁᏗ ᏯᏛᎾ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏗ ᏱᎩ, ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏗᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅ ᏱᎩ, ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏓ ᎠᏂᎳᏫᎬ ᏱᎩ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Corntassel, ᏗᏎᎮᎵᏙᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᏗᏓᏅᏖᎮᎵᏙᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᎵᎪᎯ ᏗᏓᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎾᎿ University of Victoria in British Columbia, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎯᏯ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏂᎸᏉᏔᎾ ᏓᎾᏙᎵᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎾᎥ ᏄᎾᏓᎴᏫᏒ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᎾᏓᏟᏌᏅ ᎾᎿ Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota ᏧᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏯ “ᎠᎵᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ” ᎠᎾᎴᏫᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ Dakota Access Pipeline ᎤᏂᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎾᎥ ᎠᎹ ᎤᏅᏙᏗ ᎤᏂᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎦᏙᎢ.
“ᎨᎵᏍᎬ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖᏍᎨ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ Standing Rock ᎾᎥ ᏄᎾᏓᎴᏫᏒ ᎤᎾᎵᎪᏗ ᏧᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎤᏂᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎠᎹ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᎡᏍᎦ ᎢᏳᏅᏁᎯ ᏱᎧᏂᎬᎦ ᎢᏳᏛᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏌᏕᎩ ᎤᏁᏍᏗ (ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Donald Trump) ᎾᎿ ᎤᏁᏨ ᎣᏏ ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᎿ Keystone (XL pipeline) ᏏᏊ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ North Dakota,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎨᎵᎠ ᎠᏆᏚᎵ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᎦᏥᏴᏁᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᎾᏂᏴᏛ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎠᎹ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏙᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ (ᎠᏂᏴᏫ) ᎾᎥ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏂᎯᏯ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᏙᏣᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎨᏐ ᎾᎿ ᏚᎾᏓᏚᏓᎸᏛᎢ.”
ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎥ ᏄᎾᏓᎴᏫᏒ ᎤᎳᏗᏢ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏄᏅᏁᎸ ᎤᏂᎫᏍᏓᎥ ᎾᎿ Standing Rock ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎭ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᏦᏎᏗ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏯᏛᎾ ᎤᏠᏯ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ “ᎡᎵᏊ ᏱᏳᏂᎭ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᏗᎬᏩᏂᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᏱᎩ ᏂᎦᏓ.”
ᏓᏂᎦᏘᎴᎬ ᏌᏊ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏩᏌ--ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᏓᎦᏘᎴᎪ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎢᎸᏢᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Corntassel ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏚᏭᎪᏛ ᏭᎷᎯᏍᏗ NSU ᎾᎿ ᎠᏅᏱ ᎧᎸᎢ ᏧᏩᏛᎯᏓᏍᏗ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ. ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎤᏛᏅ ᎤᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎧᏬ. ᎧᎸᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ 45th annual “Symposium ᎾᎿ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᎠᏁᎯ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ.”
ᎤᎪᏓ ᎠᏆᏚᎵ ᎠᏆᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏃ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗᏓᏊ, ᎤᏚᎩ ᎠᏋᎭ ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏐ ᏓᎾᏑᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ, ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎤᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᎤᏂᏩᏛᏗ ᏗᎬᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᏗᎦᏂᎳᏕᏗᎢ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᏯᏛᎾ university ᎠᎴ ᎤᏣᏘᏂ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Canada ᎡᎯ ᎠᏣᎳᎩ , CORNTASSEL ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ‘ᎤᏢᏡᎯᏍᏗ” ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᎤᏪᏘ ᏦᎦᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᏓᏄᎪᏔᏂᏙᎲ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ. ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎩ ᎦᏛᎬᎢ ᏱᏅᏛᏁᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏙ ᎬᏗ ᏯᏛᏅᏗᎢ ᎾᎣᎩ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏥᏂᎦᏛᏁᎰᎯ ᏧᏙᏓᏡ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎦᏙᏱᎦᏛᎦ ᏱᏥᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎠᏊᏣ ᎠᎨᏳᏣ ᏍᎪᎯ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ. ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎢᎦ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏍᏓᏯ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎤᏣᏘᏂ ᏱᏮᏙᎢ ᎦᏁᎶᏗᎰ….. ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏈᏣ. ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᏫᎦᏥᏩᏛᎯᏙᎰ ᏗᎩᎬᎢ. ᏫᎩᏙᎰᎢ ᏌᏊ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎵᎭ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏗ ᏑᎶᏘᏴᏓ ᎢᏳᏓᎵ. ᎣᏣᎵᏍᎩᏍᎪ ᎢᏦᏗ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏗᏮᎾ ᎢᎦᏥᎪᏩᏘᏍᎪ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎧᏁᏉᎪ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏖᏗ. ᎢᎩᏅᏏᏓ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏦ ᏂᏛᏆᏓᎴᏅ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎦᎵᎡᎵᎪ ᏗᏋᏆᏕᏲᏗ ᎨᏒ ᏂᎦᏛᏁᎲᎢ.”
– Translated by Anna Sixkiller
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Discover your family history and Cherokee ancestry at the Cherokee Heritage Center’s 16th annual Cherokee Ancestry Conference June 9-10 at the Tribal Complex.
The event provides participants with the tools to research their ancestry with Cherokee historical records and features a variety of discussion topics, including historical events before and after the removal, inter-tribal relationships and advancements in social media and its effect on genealogy research.
Participants will also learn about various CN records available online as well as resources available in their local area for Cherokee ancestry research.
A discount is given to those who register before June 3. Pre-registration is $60 for Cherokee National Historical Society members and $75 for nonmembers. The deadline is June 3. Registrations after June 3 are $70 for CNHS members and $85 for nonmembers.
The Cherokee Ancestry Conference will be held in the Osiyo Room at the Tribal Complex. It is located at 17725 S. Muskogee Ave. in the same building as Restaurant of the Cherokees.
For more information, including accommodations and registration, call 918-456-6007, ext. 6162, or email email@example.com
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation HERO Project, in partnership with Sequoyah High School, created the first Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience National chapter in Oklahoma.
The chapter’s aim is to teach youths how to become leaders and impact their communities by creating policies and developing procedures on issues that affect them.
“Youth M.O.V.E National has been around for a while working and developing youth in our communities all across the nation to help youth to become empowered to make a difference in their communities,” Juli Skinner, CN HERO Project director, said.
Skinner said the CN HERO Project started in January 2016 to apply and get a Youth M.O.V.E National chapter started because officials liked the organization’s idea and mission.
She said the CN HERO Project is able to teach youths leadership skills and advocacy they can use to help make necessary changes and impact the lives of other youth and families.
Every Wednesday after school, Ashley Lincoln, CN HERO Project evidence-based intervention specialist, meets with eight to 10 SHS students who are chapter members.
“Some of the activities that we work on they’re really youth driven, so we asked ‘what are activities that you want to work on? What are issues that affect you today?’ and they said nobody talks about mental health, especially youth mental health. So de-stigmatizing that, starting a conversation, and finding out where they can access services and who they can talk to,” Lincoln said.
The group call itself the Native Youth M.O.V.E. HEROES.
Jacob Smoke, a United Keetoowah Band citizen and sophomore, said he wants to help “de-stigmatize biased statements about mental illnesses” such as anxiety and depression.
“I, myself, am battling them currently. And I just feel like everything biased that’s being stated around it is wrong, and you never know who all has these mental illnesses. I want to be there to support them and help them through it because I didn’t have nobody try and help me,” he said.
Smoke said he learned that more youths suffer from metal illness than he initially thought.
“I figured it would just be them quiet kids that has it, but no, even the kids walking through the hallways with the biggest smiles on their face could have the saddest thoughts inside them. And that just makes me want to do something about it. I want to empower them and help them,” he said.
Josephynne Cheatwood, a Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen and senior, said joining the group was a way for her to socialize.
She said a project the group is working on is getting suggestion or “trust” boxes put in the counselor’s office and other areas of the school for students dealing with issues such as bullying to use as a safe way to bring attention to the issue.
“You just have a little piece of paper, write down a problem you’re having and you put it in the box. You don’t have to sign it. It’s 100 percent anonymous. One of our school counselors will read it and will address the problem appropriately,” Cheatwood said.
Liliana Rojas, CN citizen and freshman, said joining the group has taught her patience.
“I think I really have to learn to be patient with the others. We all have our own different ideas and viewpoints and it really teaches us tolerance and how to listen to others’ ideas and teamwork,” she said.
Lincoln said she enjoys working with youths and helping them to expand their ideals so their voices can be heard.
“I think it takes a certain person to work with youth. I really enjoy it. You have to be genuine. You have to be invested. And they’re really good at reading people. They know if you really care about their input,’” Lincoln said.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Tribal Councilors on Feb. 21 unanimously voted to accept an apology from the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region for damages to a Trail of Tears site in the Cherokee National Forest near Coker Creek, Tennessee.
In July 2015, U.S. Forest Service cultural resource managers notified higher-ranked Forest Service officials that they had discovered damage made in 2014 to a site on a Trail of Tears section. The damage consisted of holes dug by a bulldozer and other heavy equipment.
“At that site, 35 large holes were dug into the historic Trail of Tears to create large, earthen berms,” Sheila Bird, Cherokee Nation special projects officer, told the Cherokee Phoenix in 2016. “They used bulldozer and other heavy equipment, and this earthmoving resulted clear and extensive damage to the historic national trail.”
She added that Forest Service employees did the work and claimed that it was done for erosion control and to prevent areas of the Trail of Tears from washing out.
“This is a well-known and mapped Trail of Tears path, but it was not marked because it was privately owned. This land was purchased by Conservation Fund and held for the U.S. Forest Service,” she said. “The District Ranger failed to follow federal laws requiring consultation with Indian tribes. The Forest Service has acknowledged fault and committed to restoring the site.”
According to a Feb 21 resolution, the U.S. Forest Service-Southern Region “recognizes the cultural and historic significance held by the Cherokee Nation regarding the Trail of Tears historic site and extends an apology for the unfortunate and adverse effects that have occurred.”
It also states the “Cherokee Nation agrees to consult on a government to government basis with the U.S. Forest Service-Southern Region regarding the restoration and mitigation of these adverse effects to this Trail of Tears sacred site.”
It adds that as a “Good Faith Effort” and to commit to jointly pursue meaningful mitigation the Tribal Council accepts the apology.
Also during the meeting, Tribal Council voted 17-0 to support the nominations of Michael Doublehead and Steven Wilson as commissioners to the Tax Commission. They also voted Ceciley Thomason-Murphy onto the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.
Tribal Councilors voted to donate three surplus vehicles from the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service to the Nowata Police Department and Muskogee and Delaware counties sheriff’s offices.
Three CN citizens were also honored with the Cherokee Medal of Freedom – John Thomas Cripps III, who served in the U.S. Army, and John Paul Atkinson and Jesse James Collins, who served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard and were activated in 2011 to the RECON 1-279th 45th Infantry to Afghanistan.
Two budget modifications were also passed. The comprehensive capital budget was increased by $1.8 million for a total capital budget authority of $279.6 million. The tribe’s operating budget was also increased by $2.1 million for a total budget authority of $666.6 million. The changes consisted of a decrease in the general fund by $92,000 and increases in the indirect cost pool, motor vehicle tax, Department of Interior Self Governance and IHS Self Governance and budgets.
ATLANTA, Ga. – Community-based and individual-level prevention strategies are effective ways to reduce alcohol use among American Indian and other youth living in rural communities, according to a new study supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse also provided support for the study.
“This important study underscores our commitment to finding evidence-based solutions for alcohol problems in American Indian and other underserved populations,” said NIAAA Director George F. Koob “This study is one of the largest alcohol prevention trials ever conducted with an American Indian population, and the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of screening and brief counseling intervention in significantly reducing youth alcohol use at a community level.”
Although American Indian teens drink at rates similar to other United States teens, they have early onset alcohol use compared to other groups and higher rates of alcohol problems. Rural youths, including those who are a racial minority relative to their community, are also at increased risk for alcohol misuse. Early prevention is critical in these populations, but both American Indians and rural communities have been underrepresented in studies aimed at finding effective solutions for underage drinking.
To address this gap, researchers led by Kelli A. Komro of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta worked with the Cherokee Nation, the second-largest tribe in the U.S., to implement a rigorous research trial of two distinct strategies to reduce underage drinking and its consequences.
Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol is a community-organizing intervention designed to reduce alcohol access, use and consequences among underage youths. The second strategy, called CONNECT, is an individually delivered screening and brief intervention delivered in schools. The study was conducted within the 14 counties of northeastern Oklahoma that comprise the CN jurisdictional area, which is home to about 40 percent of the tribe. While CN citizens constitute a significant proportion of the population, whites and other racial/ethnic minorities also live within this area. Results of the trial are reported in the March 2017 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
“Community organizing has been used effectively in multiple other health intervention trials and appeared to be an optimal strategy to engage diverse citizens in these multicultural communities,” explained Dr. Komro. CMCA involves training teams of adults to implement policies and take actions to reduce youth access to alcohol through social and commercial sources. In the school-based intervention, a school social worker conducts a brief one-on-one health consultation with each student each semester to encourage healthy behavior change related to alcohol consumption. Students who report high risk drinking attend follow-up sessions and are referred to specialty treatment when appropriate.
Six communities, each served by a single high school, participated in the study. The student population in these communities was nearly 50 percent American Indian. The study population consisted of students who were in ninth or 10th grade when the study began and followed over three years through 11th or 12th grade.
By random assignment, students in two communities received both the community-organizing intervention and the individually delivered intervention. Students in two different communities served as controls, and received neither intervention. One of the remaining two communities used only the community-organizing intervention while the other used only the school-based individually administered intervention.
Over the course of the study, researchers found that self-reports of alcohol use, including any use and heavy drinking episodes (five or more drinks on at least one occasion) in the past 30 days, was significantly reduced among students receiving either or both interventions, compared with students in the control communities.
“The two distinct interventions alone and in combination resulted in similar patterns of effect across time,” said Komro, “but, interestingly, we found no evidence that the two interventions combined had significantly greater effects than either alone.”
Komro and her colleagues conclude that, while alcohol use among high school students remains a serious public health problem, and rural and American Indian youths are particularly vulnerable populations, the specific community and school-based interventions they examined are effective approaches for addressing alcohol problems in these diverse communities.
Additional alcohol research information and publications are available at: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov
I'm going to share some “feels” with you. I'm not going to weep all over the page, but I will share with you what this job has meant to me, what it’s done for me and how I come to spend nearly 10 years doing it.
This job has shaped not only my career but also my life. I wasn’t one of those kids who had their tribal heritage shared with them as they grew up. I mean my story isn't that different from a lot of people. I was Cherokee. I knew that, but I missed out on the cultural aspect of being a tribal citizen. This job gave me the opportunity to not only grow and establish a career, but I grew to understand my culture, where I came from and what the Cherokee people have overcome. I learned of a tumultuous history that my ancestors faced as well as a personal history regarding my direct ancestor, Anderson Springston. I even wrote a column about it explaining the roles my people played in the killing of three prominent Cherokees: Major Ridge, John Ridge and Elias Boudinot. I also learned of the connection the son of that ancestor, John Leak Springston, had with the Cherokee Phoenix. He was known to be an Indian activist, an interpreter, newspaper editor, attorney and Keetoowah revivalist.
There have been so many stories that have left a mark on me. I’ve covered countless meetings, several tribal elections, as well as your basic health, education, cultural and people stories, and they all served a purpose of educating, entertaining and informing the Cherokee people.
It’s been nearly 10 years since I started here, and I have loved having the opportunity to work for such a historic newspaper. I’ve met some great people and made lasting relationships, but my most favorite aspect of working in this capacity has ultimately been helping people by both informing them of what their government is doing, as well as giving our Cherokee people a voice - something that has been taken from them time and again.
My concern for the Cherokee people and their involvement in the goings-on within their government is something that during the past several years I’ve noticed is most important. So I’ve tried to do that. It’s important to become educated in your government. You should want to have a say in what happens within your tribe. We’ve seen in our history what happens when we allow others to decide for us, and we’re a stronger people than that. I personally missed out on being involved with my tribe while growing up, but that will not be the case any longer and neither will it be for my children.
I buried the lede with this one friends, but on purpose, because once I’ve written it and once you’ve read it, it’s real. I have tendered my resignation from the Cherokee Phoenix effective April 8. I have accepted a job with the city of Tahlequah. Although I’m sad, scared and nervous for what is coming I know this is the best move for me.
This change will afford me the chance to reach for goals that working for the tribe will not allow. Although those goals may be far down the road, I need to give myself a true shot at accomplishing them. But new is always scary.
I hope the Cherokee Phoenix, a newspaper that has been at the forefront and example for excellent tribal journalism, will continue to be what it was created to be, what it should be – a true voice of the Cherokee people. One that stands up for what is right by its citizens and one that the Cherokee people can count on to be a real representation of the what happens within our tribe, not just what you need to know.
You are the Cherokee Nation. No voice is too big or small and at the end of the day the Cherokee Nation is not a thing, it’s a people and those people should be treated with respect and love like all people.
I wish all my fellow staffers, current and former, the best. You made me better, smarter and definitely more quick-witted.
So with that said, I bid you a fond farewell. Much love to anyone who played a part in the stories I’ve told over the years. This isn’t goodbye. If I can be of any help to someone in the future, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
SALLISAW, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Justin Pettit grew up with a passion for radio broadcasting after listening to sports on the radio during his early years.
Pettit said he grew up listening to broadcasts of the University of Oklahoma Sooners and University of Arkansas Razorbacks basketball teams.
“Now, I do my own stuff. I do basketball or game of the week here on 105.1 (KXMX in Sallisaw). I do the play-by-play, the color (commentary), all my own stats, everything,” he said.
He initially thought about going into the radio broadcasting business in 2010 while working as realtor in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
“I always had a passion for radio, and I got a note from one of my friends about doing broadcasting school, and it was all online so I was able to do it,” Pettit said.
In 2011, he graduated from the American Broadcasting School and started with Cumulus Broadcasting Inc. in Fayetteville. While there, Pettit honed his skills as a radio broadcast host by covering local and college sports.
In 2015, he became a host at Mix 105.1 FM with a show called “JP in the Morning.” He is also the station’s sports director.
“I’m on the air 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. having a good time, getting people ready for the morning, getting them ready for their job or school or whatever it is they got going on,” Pettit said.
He said one of his favorite aspects of the job is interacting with listeners and fans.
“I love the interaction. That’s probably my favorite part. We’re a local radio station. We’re not owned by any big company. We get to do whatever we want. So if there’s a big event happening across town that involves the kids or anything, we’re there. We go out and interact with all the people. They love us,” he said.
He said the radio station provides more than just a show to its listeners.
“We play a mix of music. We play country, rock, Christian, all of it. They know any type of music they like they know they can listen to us and we’ll have it there for them,” he said. “They know if they need any kind of breaking weather, if there is any news happening in and around the area they tune to us. We’re live on the air. A lot of radio stations aren’t live anymore. So if there’s an accident or a road’s blocked off or anything, the people know they can tune to us or call us and we’ll let them know where to be and where not to be.”
He said to work in radio his personality has to come through in his voice.
“In radio you got to have a big personality, and a lot of guys have a radio voice. I don’t really have one. I don’t put it on because when I go out with the public, we have a lot of interaction. People say ‘well you sound just like you do on the radio.’ Well I don’t put the big…radio voice on so that’s kind one of my trademarks,” he said.
Pettit said though the radio station is only 3 or 4 years old, the ratings “are up there with the guys” who have been in the radio broadcasting business for 30 or 40 years.
His fellow employees praised Pettit for his work ethic.
Delanna Nutter, sales director, said Pettit steps up when they need him to do extra voice work and that he is “always right on point.”
“I’m just a normal guy working the job that I love and living the dream,” Pettit said.