SULPHUR, Okla. – More than 100 esteemed artists representing 25 Native American tribes throughout the U.S. and Canada will be featured on May 27 during the Artesian Arts Festival.
Hosted by the Chickasaw Nation at the Artesian Plaza, the festival is one of the fastest growing arts markets in the U.S.
A live paint by distinguished Chickasaw artist Mike Larsen will begin at 10:30 a.m., in the ARTesian Art Gallery. Other noteworthy artists giving demonstrations and discussing their craft include Jimmie Harrison, Venaya Yazzie, Daniel Worcester, Kimberly Ponca, Merlin Little Thunder, Buddy Parchcorn, J. Nicole Hatfield, Tyra Shackleford and Josy Thomas.
The fourth annual Memorial Day weekend event features diverse art media and various visual art such as painting, basketry, jewelry, sculpture, metalworking, bead work, photography, textiles and pottery.
Open to artists from all federally recognized tribes, a total of 116 Indian artists selected for the juried show will compete in as many as 21 categories.
Artists scheduled to participate include Chickasaw jewelry designer and California native Kristen Dorsey; national award-winning Cherokee ceramicist Troy Jackson; E. Dee Tabor, a Chickasaw artist who specializes in 3D art and is inspired by nature and her Chickasaw heritage; and contemporary Comanche artist J. Nicole Hatfield, a native Oklahoman who draws inspiration from historical photos of proud tribal women.
Artwork will be displayed in dozens of booths along the length of Muskogee Street.
Various musical entertainment is planned, as well as tribal dance demonstrations and regalia. Bands will provide continuous entertainment on two stages.
The musical lineup for the event includes a range of entertainment, including children’s music, alternative rock, pop, Latin pop, country and more.
A 10 a.m. opening ceremony and demonstration by the Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe kicks off the entertainment on the main stage, followed by performances by “Injunuity,” “Sugar Free Allstars,” “Highwater Gamble,” “John Bomboy and the Underscores,” “Boyd Street Brass,” “Tequila Azul,” and the “Conner Hicks Band.”
Bands scheduled for the Plaza stage include “Overdrive,” “Conflict of Interest,” “Church of the Saturday Saints,” “The Hideouts,” “Billy K. Band,” and “Right Place, Right Time.”
The Chickasaw Nation Stomp Dance troupe, Aztec Dancers and Magic Circle Entertainment are scheduled to demonstrate Native dances on both stages.
Several food trucks and food booths will be serving festival fare such as Indian Tacos, corndogs, barbecue, funnel cakes, roasted corn, kettle corn, fried Oreos, pie, ice cream and more.
A special area for children’s activities and a senior citizens’ arts and crafts booth are also planned for the day.
Open to the public at no charge, the Artesian Arts Festival welcomed more than 6,500 to the 2016 festival.
Cash awards will be presented for first, second and third place in each category, as well as “Best of Show.”
Festivities begin at 10 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.
For more information about the Artesian Arts Festival, call the Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities at 580-272-5520 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Artesian Plaza is located adjacent to the Artesian Hotel and Spa at 1001 W. First St.
2017 Artesian Arts Festival artists
Absentee Shawnee/Seminole?Ben Harjo, Jr.
Caddo?Wayne Earles, Chase Earles, Chad Earles, Yonavea Hawkins
Cherokee?Verna Bates, Karen Berry, Martha Berry, Eva Cantrell, Toneh Chuleewah, Melvin Cornshucker, Vivian Cottrell, Mike Dart, J. Ross Davis, Gary Farris, Matthew Girty, Bill Glass Jr., Daniel Horsechief, Troy Jackson, Dino Kingfisher, John Knotts, Tonya Lowrance, Ron Mitchell, Jane Osti, Buddy Parchcorn, Traci Rabbit, Tama Roberts, Jerry Sutton, Mary Beth Nelson-Timothy, Kristie Vann, Karin Walkingstick, Tana Washington, Jeffrey Watt, Bryan Waytula
Cherokee/Otoe Missouria?Tom Farris
Chickasaw?Steve Adamietz, Mary Ruth Barnes, Melvin Burris, Misti Butler, Larry Carter, Margaret Dillard, Kristen Dorsey, Linda Edgar, Wayne Edgar, Sr., Ellen Etzler, Sue Fish, Garry Harrison, Billy Hensley, Lisa Hudson, Tyson Hudson, Peggy Immohotichey, Elihu Johnson, Stephanie Kauffman, Brian Landreth, Paula Loftin, Dustin Mater, Doneeta Nowlin, Tyra Shackleford, Rena Smith, Vicki Somers, Jetawn Spivey, Lance Straughn, E. Dee Tabor, Richard Thomas, Ben Trosper, Jim Trosper, Joanna Underwood, Jeremy Wallace, Ashley Wallace, Ben White, Daniel Worcester
Chickasaw/Choctaw?Tracie Davis, Norma Howard
Chickasaw/Mississippi Choctaw?Nancy Johnson, Uriah Looney
Chickasaw/Pueblo Jemez?Marcella Yepa
Choctaw?Dylan Cavin, Paul Hacker, Doug Maytubbie, Candace Shanholtzer, Brenda Mackey-Musgrave
Comanche/Kiowa?J. Nicole Hatfield
Dine/Hope?Venaya Yazzie, Jicarilla Apache, Damon Neal?
Laguna Pueblo?LuAnne Aragon
Mississippi Choctaw?Randy Chitto?Gene Smith
Mississippi Choctaw/Laguna Pueblo?Hollis Chitto
Muscogee (Creek)?Leslie Deer, Johnnie Diacon, John Timothy II, Jimmie Fife(Stewart), Sandy Fife-Wilson
Navajo?Esther Belin, Norris Chee, Suzanne Hudson
Northern Arapaho?Jackie Sevier
Osage?Clancy Gray, Anna Jefferson, K (Wendy) Ponca
Otoe Missouria/Kiowa?Lester Harragarra
Otoe-Missouria?Regina Waters, Rhonda Williams
Prairie Band Potawatomi/Chickasaw?Mitch Battese
Sac and Fox?Tony Tiger?
San Felipe Pueblo?Jennifer Garcia, Ray Garcia
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.
“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.
“We seek collaborations such as this alliance with the UKB to advance or mission of helping all of our region to achieve professional and personal success in this multicultural and global society,” Turner said. “NSU continues to devote faculty and student services resources toward collaborative projects with the tribe and other American Indians that encourage, inspire and support tribal members to lead healthy and productive lives and to encourage the pursuit of post-secondary education at our institution.”
The memorandum will be supported by a joint committee comprised of individuals from both the university and the tribe who will provide oversight for the activities and projects included in the alliance.
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.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Cherokee Nation Health Services recently received the Public Health Innovation Award from the National Indian Health Board at a national conference in June.
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.
Senior Director of Public Health Lisa Pivec accepted the award and spoke about building public health infrastructure.
“The most rewarding aspect of the recognition is knowing we are honoring those who have gone before us to ensure we have this great Cherokee Nation to protect and preserve,” Pivec said. “I believe that any successes are the result of the work of so many citizens over the years, people devoted to paving the way for our next generations.”
In 2016, Pivec was also recognized by the NIHB with its area impact award. The award highlighted her impact on the tribe’s growing public health program since 1994, when Pivec helped start the tribe’s Healthy Nation program.
“Lisa led the development of public health at Cherokee Nation from its infancy, and the tribal nation is now the first Public Health Accreditation Board-accredited tribal public health system,” the NIHB said in a statement about the nomination. “Now, Cherokee citizens consider the vast number of prevention programs she developed as a part of their daily activities. Along with her staff, Lisa has created great changes in health among the Cherokee people she serves.”
In addition to presenting awards for public health innovation and area impact, the NIHB works with tribes on advocacy, training and legislation to better Native health care.
“Public health is about addressing the social determinants of health and strengthening the environments where we live, work, play, learn and worship,” Pivec said. “I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to serve and do work that doesn’t feel like a job but more like a life purpose.”
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 email@example.com
Learn more about the OFIW, visit https://ofiwpageant.wixsite.com/ofiw