Connors State’s Native center focuses on success, cultures

BY LINDSEY BARK
Staff Writer
02/17/2017 08:15 AM
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 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.”
Colleen Noble, Connors State College’s Native American Success and Cultural Center director, stands next to historical maps displayed in the center in Warner, Oklahoma. The center is part of a Title III grant program the school received in 2014. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Art pieces created by Cherokee artists American Meredith and Roger Cain are displayed in the Native American Success and Cultural Center on the Connors State College campus in Warner, Oklahoma. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX	Students use the computer lab at the Native American Success and Cultural Center on the Connors State College campus in Warner, Oklahoma. The center features Native American art, a computer lab, language repository and study group rooms for students, faculty, staff and the public. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Colleen Noble, Connors State College’s Native American Success and Cultural Center director, stands next to historical maps displayed in the center in Warner, Oklahoma. The center is part of a Title III grant program the school received in 2014. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Cherokee Teacher Enrichment Programs graduates 28 students

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
02/16/2017 08:15 AM
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 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.
Cherokee Teacher Enrichment Program graduate Amicia Craig, left, was one of 28 graduates who graduated from the program on Jan. 31 in Tahlequah and was congratulated by Principal Chief Bill John Baker. The graduates are now certified to teach Cherokee language, culture and history in public schools and communities. COURTESY
Cherokee Teacher Enrichment Program graduate Amicia Craig, left, was one of 28 graduates who graduated from the program on Jan. 31 in Tahlequah and was congratulated by Principal Chief Bill John Baker. The graduates are now certified to teach Cherokee language, culture and history in public schools and communities. COURTESY
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Finance site ranks Oklahoma No. 41 of most educated states

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
02/07/2017 04:00 PM
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.

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.

Corntassel focuses on Indigenous ‘resurgence’ movements

BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
02/07/2017 08:15 AM
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.

“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.
Cherokee Nation citizen Dr. Jeff Corntassel has spent the past 10 years primarily focusing on Indigenous “resurgence.” As Northeastern State University’s 2017 Sequoyah Fellow, he presented a lecture “From Mauna Kea to Standing Rock” at NSU on Jan. 30 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Dr. Jeff Corntassel speaks to a crowd during his “From Mauna Kea to Standing Rock” lecture on Jan. 30 in the Webb Auditorium at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Dr. Jeff Corntassel has spent the past 10 years primarily focusing on Indigenous “resurgence.” As Northeastern State University’s 2017 Sequoyah Fellow, he presented a lecture “From Mauna Kea to Standing Rock” at NSU on Jan. 30 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

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

Youths impact each other via Youth M.O.V.E. National

BY LINDSEY BARK
Staff Writer
02/02/2017 08:30 AM
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.
Ashley Lincoln, evidence-based intervention specialist for the CN HERO Project, back row center, meets with Sequoyah High School students on Jan. 25 at the school in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, to discuss projects and ideas to create awareness for mental health issues that youths face. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Ashley Lincoln, evidence-based intervention specialist for the CN HERO Project, back row center, meets with Sequoyah High School students on Jan. 25 at the school in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, to discuss projects and ideas to create awareness for mental health issues that youths face. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Garrett named to higher education advocacy organization

BY STAFF REPORTS
01/31/2017 12:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY – Cherokee Nation Businesses Executive Vice President Chuck Garrett was recently appointed to the Oklahoma Tomorrow board of directors, which formed after the state Legislature cut more than $153 million from higher education during its 2016 session.

The organization is expected to educate the public and the Legislature about the importance of adequately funding Oklahoma's colleges and universities.

“Oklahoma Tomorrow was created to ensure Oklahomans have opportunities to aspire higher and receive degrees allowing them to compete and contribute to our economy,” Devery Youngblood, Oklahoma Tomorrow CEO said. “If funding for higher education is not restored by the Legislature, a college degree will become inaccessible for more and more Oklahomans, limiting their ability to build successful lives. We cannot allow today's budget crisis to cripple tomorrow’s future.”

Joining Garrett on the board are Chairman Bruce Benbrook, Stock Exchange Bank president and chairman; Vice Chairman Bert Mackie, Security National Bank vice chairman; Treasurer Ed Keller of Titan Properties; Secretary Gene Rainbolt, BancFirst Corp board chairman; Craig A. Clemons, Express Employment Professionals vice president of public relations and business development; Vahid Farzaneh, FreeStyle Creative owner; Brad Gungoll of Gungoll Jackson Law Firm; Ted Haynes, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma president; Steve Hendrickson, The Boeing Company director of government operations; Danny Hilliard, Chickasaw Nation Corporate Development vice president; Paula Marshall, The Bama Companies CEO; Jane McDermott, McDermott Insurance and deVine Water owner; Richard Ryerson, Starr Lumber Company owner; Stacy Shepherd, Choctaw Nation executive officer of member services; and Avilla Williams, INTEGRIS Health Edmond president.

Private-sector leaders concerned about Oklahoma’s shortage of nurses, information technology workers and other science, technology, engineering, and math professionals founded Oklahoma Tomorrow because of their beliefs in higher education being critical to a skilled workforce.

Scholarship provides Everhart study-abroad opportunity

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
01/26/2017 08:15 AM
ARLINGTON, Va. – Cherokee Nation citizen Ian Everhart is encouraging Cherokee college students to consider studying abroad and applying for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

The U.S. State Department sponsors the scholarship, which is designed to enhance the diversity of American students by traveling and studying abroad.

Everhart said it focuses on students of underrepresented minority groups, students with modest family resources and students at community colleges.

He said receiving the scholarship was “a life-transforming opportunity.” He received a $6,000 grant to enroll at the National University of Singapore during the 2013 fall semester.

“While there, I had the privilege of studying subjects unavailable at my home university, taking classes about Association of Southeast Asian Nations, politics and economics, Asian theater, and I also learned basic Vietnamese. In the process, I made lifelong Singaporean and other international friends and expanded my professional network,” he said. “Since the country is so central to Southeast Asia, I was also able to travel to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia as a tourist, only possible because of the Gilman Scholarship.”
Cherokee Nation citizen Ian Everhart visits the Chinese-style Zheng He Mosque in Surabaya, Indonesia, with a Chinese-Indonesian family he befriended during the time he studied abroad with the help of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. COURTESY Cherokee Nation Citizen Ian Everhart tours the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site, Borobudur, the world's largest Buddhist temple constructed in the ninth-century near Yogyakarta, Indonesia, during the time he studied abroad in 2013. His trip was made possible by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. COURTESY
Cherokee Nation citizen Ian Everhart visits the Chinese-style Zheng He Mosque in Surabaya, Indonesia, with a Chinese-Indonesian family he befriended during the time he studied abroad with the help of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. COURTESY

UALR calling for American Indian/Alaska Native student interns

BY STAFF REPORTS
01/25/2017 11:00 AM
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Each summer the Sequoyah National Research Center hosts three tribally affiliated student interns during June and July.

Interns are required to work a minimum of 25 hours per week in the center conducting basic archival and research work under the direction of SNRC staff.

The SNRC at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock houses the papers and special collections of tribal individuals and organizations and holds the world’s largest archival collection of newspapers and other periodicals published by tribal individuals and organizations.

The Native American Student Internship Program’s goals is to provide students an experiential learning environment in which to acquire an understanding of the value of archives and the research potential of the collections of the center and to engage in academic research and practical archival activities related to tribal culture, society and issues.

Interns are expected to demonstrate the value of their experience by either a summary report of work, finding aids for collections, or reports of research or other written work that may be shared with their home institutions.

NSU Sequoyah Fellow lecture set for Jan 30

BY STAFF REPORTS
01/24/2017 11:45 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Dr. Jeff Corntassel, recently named Northeastern State University’s 2017 Sequoyah Fellow, will present a public lecture at 2 p.m. Jan. 30 in the Webb Auditorium on NSU’s Tahlequah campus.

His lecture, “From Mauna Kea to Standing Rock,” will focus on pathways to Indigenous resurgence and land-based pedagogies.

The Sequoyah Fellow program provides the opportunity for the NSU College of Liberal Arts to recognize an outstanding scholar in the field of Native American studies. During their fellowship year, recipients are given the opportunity to share their expertise with the NSU community. Past Sequoyah Fellows have included former Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee Nation Senior Policy Advisor Dr. Neil Morton and University of Arkansas Dean of Law Stacy Leeds.

Corntassel is an associate professor and director of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria and received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Arizona in 1998. His research and teaching interests include sustainable self-determination and Indigenous political mobilization. His research has been published in “Alternatives,” “Decolonization,” “Human Rights Quarterly” and “Social Science Journal.”

His first book, “Forced Federalism: Contemporary Challenges to Indigenous Nationhood” (2008, University of Oklahoma Press), examines how Indigenous nations in the U.S. have mobilized politically as they encounter new threats to their governance from state policymakers. His next book is an edited volume in collaboration with Kanaka Maoli – professor in Indigenous politics at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa – is titled “Everyday Acts of Resurgence: People, Places, Practices.”

Culture

First Nations to expand Native Arts Initiative
BY STAFF REPORTS
02/10/2017 12:00 PM
LONGMONT, Colo. – First Nations Development Institute, a national Native American nonprofit organization that works to improve Native economies and communities, on Feb. 2 announced it has received a $2.7 million grant for a three-year Native arts project.

This award will position First Nations to expand its Native Arts Initiative, formerly known as the “Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative,” into 2019.

Launched in early 2014, the purpose of the Native Arts Initiative is to support the perpetuation and proliferation of Native American arts, cultures and traditions as integral to Native community life. It does this by providing organizational and programmatic resources to Native-led organizations and tribal government programs that have existing programs in place that support Native artists and traditional arts in their communities.

Since 2014, First Nations has awarded more than $600,000 in grant funds to various eligible Native-led nonprofit organizations and tribal programs in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin to bolster the sustainability of their organizational and programmatic infrastructure as well as the professional development of their staff and leadership.

Under the expansion, First Nations will continue to offer competitive funding opportunities to Native-led nonprofit organizations and tribal programs in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. First Nations will begin to offer competitive funding opportunities to Native-led nonprofit organizations and tribal programs in two new regions – the Southwest, including Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California, and the Pacific Northwest, including Washington and Oregon.

First Nations expects to release a request for proposals in the coming days and will award approximately 45 Supporting Native Arts Grants of up to $32,000 each over the next three years to eligible Native-led nonprofits and tribal government programs in these regions.

NAI recipient organizations and programs will utilize their grants to strengthen their organizational and programmatic infrastructure and sustainability, which will reinforce their support of the field of Native American artists as culture bearers and traditional arts in their communities. In addition to financial support, the NAI will offer individualized training and technical assistance opportunities for grantees as well as competitive professional development opportunities for staff members of eligible Native-led organizations and tribal programs.

For a list of current and former NAI grantees, visit http://www.firstnations.org.

Education

Winning essay contest benefits all of SHS
BY ROGER GRAHAM
Media Specialist – @cp_rgraham
01/18/2017 03:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Through the efforts of Sequoyah High School senior Maddie Lamb, she and her fellow students received a DJ’d dance party and taco festival on Jan. 9.

This past fall, the 17-year-old Muskogee (Creek) Nation citizen entered an essay contest through the Get Schooled Foundation’s “2016 Homecoming Court.” After her essay made the top 20, Lamb received the most online votes.

“You had to enter 150 words about how to prevent bullying in your school,” she said.

She is the Junior Miss Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and bullying prevention is a part of her platform, which she said made her decide to enter the essay contest.

“My platform is teen dating, violence, abuse and awareness. And so I told how that tied in with bullying,” she said. “And so I ended up winning… that’s crazy!”

For winning, Lamb received $100, a Microsoft surface Pro 4 and DJ dance party for the entire high school and $5,000 worth of food from Taco Bell, which was one of the contest sponsors. Lamb and Sequoyah Schools also won one more prize – money to create a mural in the old SHS gym.

“We got a call about a week after I won,” she said. “They (Get Schooled Foundation) said, ‘well we got some extra funding, and we’ve never done anything like this, but do you know any artists?’”

Being an artist herself, Lamb said yes, and as she put it, “It just kind of worked out.” With the assistance from renowned artists Dana Tiger and Daniel HorseChief, Lamb created a mural and a method in which each high school class could contribute to creating the mural.

“Once we drew the design on the wall, we divided it into sections. The freshmen had a section, then the sophomores, juniors and seniors. The whole goal of it was just to let everyone in the entire school help out with it,” she said.

Get Schooled Foundation’s Director of Strategic Partnerships Naomi Jefferson, who came from the Get Schooled New York City office, explained the foundation’s mission.

“We at Get Schooled really stand for empowering students and supporting them to fill their passions and to make sure they have the resources, support and tools they need to pursue their education to the highest degree,” she said. “Maddie Lamb and Sequoyah High School are great examples of what student leadership looks like.”

For more information on the Get Schooled Foundation, visit getschooled.com.

Council

Tribal Council amends capital, operating budgets
BY LINDSEY BARK
Staff Writer
01/26/2017 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – During its Jan. 16 meeting, the Tribal Council unanimously amended the tribe’s fiscal year 2017 capital and operating budgets, increasing both funds.

With Tribal Councilors Curtis Snell and Wanda Hatfield absent, legislators added $76,837 to the capital budget for a total budget authority of $277.8 million. Officials said the increase came from a carryover environmental review for roads projects.

Legislators also increased the FY 2017 operating budget by $132,762 for a total budget authority of $664.5 million. Officials said the increase stems from grants received and authorized carryover reconciliation, new funding awards and an ending grant.

In other business, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden honored three Cherokee veterans with Cherokee Warrior Awards for their military service.

Dale Leon Johnson was drafted in 1967 and sworn into the Army at Fort Polk, Louisiana. In 1968 he was transferred to Fulda, Germany, serving with Company C 19th Maintenance Battalion USAUR as a tank mechanic. He was honorably discharged as Specialist 4 in 1973. He and his wife Patricia have been married for 51 years and he recently retired from AEP/PSO after 37 years working as a lineman.

Shad Nicholas Taylor enlisted in the Oklahoma Army Guard in 1983 while still in high school. After basic and advanced training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he spent almost 10 years working at Camp Gruber near Muskogee. His duty included tours to Panama and Jamaica for hurricane relief. In 2003 he was deployed for 12 months to Fallujah, Iraq, for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Days before being sent home from Fallujah, he was wounded, sent to Bagdad, Kuwait, and Germany before finally going Fort Sill in Lawton to heal. He said he takes pride in all the commendations he has received and was honored to receive the awards and medals for his 20-plus years of service.

Jimmy Donald Quetone is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He served as a teacher and basketball coach for East Central High School in Tulsa before being drafted by the Army in 1954. He was stationed at Fort Knox in Kentucky and Fort Sam Houston in Texas. He served in the 97th Machine Record Unit where he was responsible for keeping records for personnel and equipment in the 4th Army Area. He was honorably discharged in 1956 and returned to the education field. He retired working as the CN director of Education in 2001. Quetone is also an inductee of the NSU Athletic Hall of Fame and continues to serve others by volunteering at the Tahlequah Senior Citizens center.

In reports, Cherokee Nation Businesses CEO Shawn Slaton recognized the CNB and CN Entertainment Community Impact Teams for raising $21,406.67 for the “Heart of a Nation” campaign, which will be used to help buy needed medical equipment for tribal citizens.

A check was presented to Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Crittenden for the campaign.

“All across the board we’ve got a very giving company both in terms of time and money,” Slaton said. “What it’s intended to do is impact in a positive way, helping Cherokee people.”

Health

Claremore Indian Hospital to host ACA fair
BY STAFF REPORTS
02/15/2017 04:00 PM
CLAREMORE, Okla. – The Claremore Indian Hospital will host an Affordable Care Act Outreach and Enrollment Fair from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 1 in Conference Room 1.

“We will be hosting another ACA Outreach and Enrollment Fair here at Claremore,” Sheila Dishno, patient benefit coordinator, said. “Even though members of federally recognized tribes have a special monthly enrollment status, it is important for American Indian and Alaska Native individuals and families to learn about their insurance options. Whether it’s purchasing insurance through the Marketplace or qualifying for SoonerCare, knowing that you have quality coverage provides peace of mind.”

Dishno said people who attend the fair should bring their Social Security cards, pay stubs, W-2 forms or wage and tax statements, policy numbers for any current health insurance and information about any health insurance they or their families could get from an employer.

Also Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Oklahoma will attend to assist patients with signing up for free-to-low-cost health insurance.

The hospital is located at 101 S. Moore Ave. For more information, call 918-342-6240, 918-342-6559 or 918-342-6507.

Opinion

OPINION: Creating new Cherokee speakers
BY BILL JOHN BAKER
Principal Chief
02/01/2017 12:15 PM
The Cherokee language is one of the most vital elements of our tribal culture. We have invested in preservation efforts and youth education endeavors, including the Cherokee Immersion Charter School, which is a renowned global example for developing youth speakers.

Today, there are an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 fluent Cherokee speakers, and many others who are conversational second-language learners of Cherokee. While we have elders who are fluent and the emerging youth who will be, there was a void in the development of young adults.

That is why, two years ago, we launched the Cherokee Language Master-Apprentice Program. The goal of this program is to create new adult Cherokee language teachers. We selected four young adults to be the first class, and I am proud to say two of the students recently graduated and one of them will soon be teaching at the Immersion School.

When the selected students came into the program, they had little to no knowledge of the Cherokee language. However, upon graduating two years later, they have achieved high conversational levels. That is truly amazing.

The Master-Apprentice Program is an everyday effort. The students perform general, everyday activities but speak nothing but Cherokee. No English is spoken all day. They cook, look for wild onions and mushrooms and have general daily conversations in Cherokee. The approach is to do the everyday things, simple activities that are second nature to speak about in English, but do so only in Cherokee. The Cherokee language immersion environment is eight hours each day, five days per week.

The students are paid an hourly wage to attend the program and are selected through an essay and interview process. The students are referred to as apprentices, and these activities and classes are led by fluent, first-language speakers called masters. The program tries to identify young adults and older learners.

This method has been adopted by many tribes in California and has proven to be effective in producing fluent second-language learners. The evidence-based strategy integrates the Cherokee language and our staff has secured multiple grants to help fund the Master-Apprentice Program. Our success in the past year reinforces this effective learning method. Language immersion may be difficult and disorienting initially, but through perseverance and patience, students begin to grasp and learn Cherokee communication structures. Our mission is to develop Cherokee speakers who will have the knowledge to continue learning and teaching throughout the student’s life and ensure language preservation.

A third class of eight participants was selected in late 2016, bringing our total to 16 students. Increasing our number of speakers means preserving our unique culture. Our goal is to provide a seamless path for Cherokee language achievements that result in cultural preservation and eventually finding employment utilizing the Cherokee language.

With this effort, coupled with our Cherokee Immersion Charter School and the work of our Cherokee translation department, which has helped develop the Cherokee language for new technology that our citizens can use to text and email in Cherokee, we have set the bar for what it means to invest in language development. Cherokee Nation is a leader in Indian Country, and we are committed to preserving and growing our language. The tribe is proving we can cultivate more Cherokee speakers and enhance our language programs.

For more information on the Master-Apprentice Program, contact the program’s manager, Howard Paden, at Howard-Paden@Cherokee.org.

People

Water Spider Creations: Preservation through creation
BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
02/14/2017 08:15 AM
MUSKOGEE, Okla. – During the past several years, Cherokee Nation citizen Jules Brison has tried to preserve Cherokee culture through her art. That preservation has evolved into a business that shares culturally significant art to people from all over.

Brison owns and operates Water Spider Creations. She makes textiles art such as finger-woven belts, moccasins, ribbon shirts and tear dresses.

“I originally started doing art at a very young age. In some areas I’m self-taught, and some others I’ve had great influence from various other artists. My uncle Robert Lewis was probably my biggest influence along with my grandmother,” she said.

Lewis started her focus in textiles, she said. With regards to her sewing, both of Brison’s grandmothers were seamstresses, and they both shared their knowledge with her, which allowed her to create and wear items she had a hand in making.

“When I was Miss Cherokee and Junior Miss Cherokee, I actually helped create my tear dresses. When I ran for Miss Indian Summer my cousin Terri Fields and I and Cierra Fields actually helped make my entire regalia set to compete,” she said.

With influence from others she decided to sell her artwork. She began working as a paid artist two years ago, and each piece commissioned or created for show is unique.

“Each new piece of art I create is not exactly the same as another piece. So each individual piece is original. You’ll see artists that can duplicate things a million times, and that’s not exactly one of my fortes. I feel like that each piece of art has its own character or its influences drawn from other things,” Brison said.

She said it’s not uncommon for her to have multiple projects going at once. For this story, she was working on beaded moccasins, a finger-woven belt and a feather cape for her wedding.

“It kind of gives me a way to express myself in various different forms all in one setting,” she said.

Brison, who has sold pieces to people as far as England and Japan, uses different media to sell her art. Etsy.com – an online marketplace of individual sellers/creators of handmade or vintage items, art and supplies – is one of which she said is a great tool for artists.

“I encourage more artists to use that because that gets your art on a global scale. Anybody from, you know, Ukraine, China, Japan, England – anybody can get on there, see your work and order it,” she said. “I’ve actually sold things all across the globe.”

Brison is also available on Facebook at Water Spider Creations, where she said she enjoys working with customers most because it can be more personal that way.

On April 3, the Cherokee Phoenix will draw a winner for her finger-woven belt that she donated as part of the newspaper’s quarterly giveaway.

“Finger weaving is one of our oldest traditional arts, and it’s also one of the arts that is finally seeing a revitalization,” she said. “The finger-woven belt that I actually did for the Phoenix is purple, cream and maroon. It took me about six hours to complete and is an average waste length, but the colors essentially pop.”

Readers can get one entry in the drawing for every $10 spent with the Cherokee Phoenix. For more information, call 918-207-3825 or 918-207-4975.

To contact Brison for more information about her art, find her on Facebook or email her at usdigvna@icloud.com.
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