CNE officials said work crews would remove tent-like structure on the northeast side of the property during the next month and that a new structure would replace an 18,000-square-foot section built in 2002 that has served as the country and western-themed portion of the casino.
Officials said about 275 of the nearly 400 electronic games from the area would be relocated to other parts of the casino during construction, primarily on the second floor in and near the Grand Hall of the Cherokees.
Details on the expansion will be announced at a later date, officials said.
Since opening the first casino resort destination in Oklahoma in 2004, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa has gone through many transformations, officials said. In that time, two additional hotel towers have been added, along with a 2,700-seat concert venue, multiple restaurants and entertainment venues, a nonsmoking gaming area with a food court and sports bar, 23,000 square feet of convention space and a parking garage.
CATOOSA – Cherokee Nation Entertainment officials have announced that the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is making way for a new expansion by beginning demolition of the resort’s oldest structure on April 12.
Tickets start at $29 and are on sale now.
“Time” Magazine named him one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America, and the Harris Poll named him one of the Top Ten Favorite Television Personalities.
Lopez remains a hit with television viewers with his comedy series, “Lopez,” on TV Land. Starring and produced by Lopez, the series explores how he struggles between his two worlds and crises that are often of his own making. He also hosted “Lopez Tonight,” a late-night television talk show on TBS that represented Lopez’s return to series television after co-creating, writing, producing and starring his sitcom, “George Lopez,” which ran for six seasons on ABC. “George Lopez” remains among the top five comedies and top 20 weekly programs in syndication.
For more information on Lopez, visit www.georgelopez.com
CATOOSA – Grammy-nominated comedian, actor and author George Lopez is bringing his stand-up comedy tour on June 16 to The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
Tickets start at $55 and go on sale April 5.
McBride’s show comes as part of the second annual Hard Rock Country Gold Series that’s bringing country music legends to The Joint this summer.
More than 18 million Martina McBride albums have been sold to date, thanks to her 20 Top 10 singles and six No. 1 hits like “Concrete Angel,” “A Broken Wing,” “This One’s for the Girls,” “My Valentine” and “Independence Day.”
McBride has earned more than 15 major music awards, including four for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association and three for Top Female Vocalist from the Academy of Country Music. She’s also been awarded 14 gold records, nine platinum honors, three double platinum records, and two triple platinum awards.
CATOOSA – One of country’s biggest stars, Martina McBride, is set to take the stage at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on Aug. 10.
Tickets start at $75 and go on sale March 22.
Fogerty became a household name as lead singer and guitarist of Creedence Clearwater Revival in the 1960s and 1970s. During that time, Fogerty wrote some of the most memorable songs in rock ‘n’ roll, including “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Fortunate Sun” and “Born on the Bayou.”
As a solo artist, his success continued to skyrocket in the 1980s with the single “Centerfield.” The Grammy award-winner also wrote the hit songs “Change in the Weather” and “Rock and Roll Girls,” among others.
He’s been featured on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of Top 100 Greatest Guitarists and Top 100 Singers of All Time. He’s also been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
CATOOSA – John Fogerty, one of the most influential musicians in rock history, is seet to perform June 8 at the The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
“Nanyehi – The Story of Nancy Ward” is the story of Ward, a legendary woman who was first honored in the 18th century as a Cherokee war woman, but then as a peacemaker during the American Revolution.
Tickets are $15 and go on sale March 1. There is a $5 discount for Cherokee Nation citizens and children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 918-384-ROCK or online in The Joint section of www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com
The production features Tulsa’s own Tabitha Littlefield in the title role and Tahlequah native Travis Fite reprising his role as Dragging Canoe for the ninth consecutive time.
The musical is written by Nashville-based, award-winning songwriter and recording artist Becky Hobbs and playwright Nick Sweet. It has been presented four times in Oklahoma, twice in Tennessee and single productions in Georgia and Texas.
CATOOSA – An original musical based on the life of one of the most influential women in Cherokee history is returning May 4-5 to The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
Tickets start at $49 and go on sale March 2.
For the first time audiences will be treated to his new live show, in which Tyler will share and discuss his “Life Lessons I Have Learned From The Departed.” The show also includes a multimedia video presentation and live interactive Q&A.
Henry, 22, is best known for his hit series, “Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry” on E! Television Network. In each episode, Henry sits down and has one-on-one readings with Hollywood’s top celebrities, including Eva Longoria, Allison Janney, Ellen DeGeneres, Kris Jenner, Bobby Brown, Ryan Lochte, Portia de Rossi, Mel B, Lil’ Kim, Dr. Drew, Tom Arnold, Ru Paul, Khloe and Kim Kardashian, Jamie Pressley and Jewel.
His success crossed over to the best-seller lists with his memoir, “Between Two Worlds,” detailing his journey both in Hollywood and as a medium.
CATOOSA – Tyler Henry, E! Television Network star of “Hollywood Medium” and best-selling author, is bringing a special live evening to The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on May 10.
Cherokee Nation Entertainment’s flagship entertainment destination is one of two luxury hotels in the area that were named to the list. The Hard Rock Tulsa earned the Silver Badge based on an analysis of expert and user opinions, considering it among the top 30 percent of all ranked luxury hotels in the United States.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the Hard Rock’s place on the list takes into account the opinion of published travel experts and the overall customer satisfaction expressed in online guest reviews provided under license by TripAdvisor. Awards and hotel class are also taken into consideration.
For more information, visit https://travel.usnews.com/hotels/Tulsa_OK/
In 2017, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa earned the AAA Four-Diamond Rating, putting the destination among the exclusive ranks of the best hospitality establishments in the country. Fewer than 6 percent of the 28,000 AAA-approved and diamond-rated establishments in the nation receive the prestigious distinction.
CATOOSA – The U.S. News & World Report has listed the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa at No. 2 on its 2018 Best Tulsa Hotels list, earning the destination with more national recognition as one of the top hotels in the country.
“Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Loretta Lynn date, scheduled May 17, 2018, in Tulsa has been canceled,” a statement from her management said. “Refunds are available at point of purchase.”
Guests may request refunds by calling 918-384-ROCK or in person at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The Joint box office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is located off Interstate 44 at exit 240.
TULSA – Loretta Lynn is cancelling her upcoming stop at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
The tournament consists of 46 events during 12 days, including a first-ever $1 million guaranteed No Limit Hold’em Championship event beginning on March 22 and concludes March 26. WSOP is also holding a $250,000 No Limit Re-Entry event on the first weekend, which features four flights over two days. This year, the stop features 12 official WSOP Circuit Ring events, as well as Seniors’ No Limit Hold’em and a ladies’ event.
Event buy-ins range from $135 to $2,200. Satellite qualifier buy-ins range from $65 to $275.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa Circuit event is the 21st stop on the tour that began in August at Harrah’s Casino in North Carolina. It is the second WSOP Circuit series hosted by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa and only one of three to be held in Oklahoma. Last year’s event brought more than 7,500 entries from 37 states and three foreign countries. More than $2.5 million was paid out in prize money.
Players will be looking to follow the footsteps of last year’s circuit winner, William Berry. The Norman resident won $180,806 in the main event, which featured 574 entrants competing for $861,000. The top 63 competitors finished in the money.
CATOOSA – From March 15-26, the World Series of Poker is bringing its international tour back to the tables at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
SULPHUR – Explore your Native American heritage at the Five Tribes Ancestry Conference on June 7-9 at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.
The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes, whose mission is to unite the governments of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek and Seminole nations, has endorsed this first-of-its-kind conference.
“The Five Tribes have a shared history due to the creation of the Dawes Rolls at the turn of the last century,” Cherokee Heritage Center Executive Director Dr. Charles Gourd said. “The vast majority of our visitors at CHC are interested in researching their family heritage, but they just aren’t sure where to start. Working with the Five Tribes, we have created a one-of-a-kind conference that will provide a better understanding of genealogical methodology and introduce available records to aid individuals in their family research.”
The three-day event is expected to provide tools to research Native American ancestry and discussion topics with guest speakers, including keynote speaker Dr. Daniel F. Littlefield Jr., director of the Sequoyah Research Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
“Archives, historical societies and other genealogical institutions, especially in the south-southeast, have all seen an increase in the number of people seeking information about their family ancestry,” Littlefield said. “The majority of researchers are focused on validating their family’s claim to Indian ancestry and, thus, tribal citizenship. It is our responsibility to assist these individuals to the best of our ability while educating the public about the realities of the search.”
The cost to attend is $150 and includes a conference bag and flash drive with digital copies of presentation materials. Registration forms are available at www.CherokeeHeritage.org
. The deadline to register is May 31.
The CHC is presenting the Five Tribes Ancestry Conference, but it will take place at the Chickasaw Cultural Center at 867 Charles Cooper Memorial Road.
For more information, including accommodations and registration, call 918-456-6007, ext. 6162 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – Stephen C. has been taught only math and English at a U.S.-run elementary school for Native American children deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon. Teachers have left midyear, and he repeatedly faces suspension and arrest for behavior his attorneys say is linked to a disability stemming from traumatic experiences.
The 12-year-old is among children from Arizona’s remote and impoverished Havasupai Reservation who are a step closer to their push for systematic reform of the U.S. agency that oversees tribal education, alleging in a lawsuit it ignored complaints about an understaffed school, a lack of special education and a deficient curriculum.
The students’ attorneys say they won a major legal victory recently when a federal court agreed that childhood adversity and trauma can be learning disabilities, a tactic the same law firm used in crime-ridden Compton, California. They say the case could have widespread effects for Native children in more than 180 schools nationwide overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education and in schools with large Native populations.
“Education is our lifeline and our future for our kids – and all students, not just down here, but nationally,” Havasupai Chairwoman Muriel Coochwytewa said. The BIE has “an obligation to teach our children. And if that’s not going on, then our children will become failures, and we don’t want that.”
Havasupai students face adversity and generational trauma from repeated broken promises from the U.S. government, efforts to eradicate Native culture and tradition, discrimination and the school’s tendency to call police to deal with behavioral problems, attorneys say.
U.S. District Judge Steven Logan wrote in a late March ruling that the students’ lawyers adequately alleged “complex trauma” and adversity can result in physiological effects leading to a physical impairment. He moved the case forward, denying Justice Department requests to dismiss some of the allegations but agreeing to drop plaintiffs from the lawsuit who no longer attend Havasupai Elementary School.
Noshene Ranjbar, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona, said medical literature has expanded in the past 20 years to include trauma that isn’t linked only to singular events.
In Native communities she’s worked with in the Dakotas and Arizona, “they agree the root of everything they suffer with is this unresolved grief, loss, trauma, anger, decades of disappointment on a huge scale,” she said.
When students act out, schools too often turn to suspension, expulsion or arrest instead of finding what’s driving the bad behavior, she said. Usually, it’s “a hurt human being that is using the wrong means to cope,” Ranjbar said.
The Public Counsel law firm pressing the Havasupai case also sued the Compton Unified School District – which is majority black and Latino – in 2015 over disability services for students with complex trauma. A judge said students with violent and traumatic pasts could be eligible for such services but didn’t apply the ruling to all who experience trauma.
The U.S. Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment on the Havasupai ruling.
Government attorney Cesar Lopez-Morales said at a hearing in 2017 that while trauma could result in a disability, federal agencies cannot assume every Native student with shared experiences is disabled. They would need specifics of individuals’ impairments and how those affect their lives.
He said attorneys also failed to show the students were denied benefits solely because of disabilities.
Havasupai Elementary School has three teachers for kindergarten through eighth grade on a remote reservation home to about 650 people and world-renowned for its blue-green waterfalls.
The village of Supai can be reached only by mule, foot or helicopter, making it the most isolated of the BIE’s schools in the Lower 48 states. The reservation doesn’t have a high school.
The students’ attorneys say the area is beset with high levels of poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, family violence and low literacy levels. All 70 elementary school students qualify for free or reduced lunch and most are limited in English and math proficiency, and have special education needs.
“What we know from the science is that, particularly unaddressed, the impact of trauma can impact the ability to learn, read, think, concentrate and communicate,” public counsel attorney Kathryn Eidmann said.
The lawsuit seeks to force the government to provide services for special needs, a thorough curriculum, culturally relevant education and staff training to respond to trauma.
Stephen C., whose full name is not listed in court documents, enrolled as a kindergartner but can hardly read or write now that he’s in seventh grade. His attorneys say he has an attention deficit disorder and experiences trauma from witnessing alcohol abuse at school and from his relatives being forced into boarding schools.
At one point, he pulled a plug out of a computer monitor and faced a federal indictment, the lawsuit says.
Some Havasupai parents have sent their children to boarding schools off the reservation rather than deal with inadequate educational services.
Stephen’s guardian has considered it, too. But he said in a statement that tribal members want children with them in the canyon, to watch them grow and be a part of the community.
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation honored U.S. Army and Navy veterans with the tribe’s Medal of Patriotism during the March 12 Tribal Council meeting.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden acknowledged Fields Smith, 84, of Vian, and Kenneth Golden, 68, of Stilwell, for their service to the country.
Sgt. Smith was born in 1933 and drafted into the Army in 1955. He completed basic training at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas and trained to become an infantryman. Later, he completed Fire Directing Control School and was sent to Fort Polk in Louisiana where he spent the remainder of his two-year service term. During his service, Smith completed non-commission school and received a sharpshooter medal for his rifle skills. Smith received an honorable discharge in 1957.
“I want to thank the Chief, the Deputy Chief and the Tribal Council for all of the good work that they do for our people,” Smith said.
Sgt. Golden was born in 1949 and enlisted in the Navy in 1968. Golden completed basic training in Chicago. After basic training, he was transferred to the Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida, where he served as an aviation boatman mate. During his service, Golden was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and received an honorable discharge in 1972.
Each month the CN recognizes Cherokee service men and women for their sacrifices and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which the tribe holds all veterans.
To nominate a veteran who is a CN citizen, call 918-772-4166.
TAHLEQUAH – Northeastern State University’s Oklahoma College of Optometry goes back 39 years in its relationship with the Cherokee Nation and in providing Cherokees eye care.
NSUOCO works with nine CN clinics, also known as Rural Eye Programs, in Tahlequah, Sallisaw, Stilwell, Jay, Salina, Vinita, Nowata, Muskogee and Ochelata and services 40,000 to 60,000 patients annually.
Its first graduating class was in 1983 and has since averaged 28 graduates annually from its four-year doctorate program.
The NSU campus clinic contains 20 exam rooms and specialty clinics for dry eye, contact lenses, low vision, vision therapy and infant vision clinic. If a REP is unable to provide a type of eye care, patients are sent to the NSU clinic for further evaluation and treatment.
Nate Lighthizer, NSUOCO Continuing Medical Education director and doctor of optometry, said the college has seen patients from 2 months old to 102 years old.
“We all have different vision needs. That’s one of the beauties of having a college is we have 35 faculty members that are either here, in (W.W.) Hastings (Hospital) or in the REPs, and a lot them have different interests. We have doctors that specialize in infant vision and vision therapy. They’re the expert in the 6-month-old and the 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-year-old. Other doctors, they’re the expert in the 80-year-olds,” Lighthizer said.
He said students begin in “didactically heavy” classes, building foundations and learning about systemic diseases, eye diseases, procedures when giving primary care, looking at the eye with microscopes and other program aspects.
He said students begin seeing patients at the end of the second year and into the third year.
CN citizen and fourth-year student Seth Rich said he applied for the NSU program because of the experience it would give him treating patients by the time he graduates.
“I’m from this area, so I wanted to serve basically in the population that I grew up in. Here at NSU we see more patients compared to any other optometry school by the time we graduate. We have more patient interactions that any other optometry school is going to have and more clinical experience because we start seeing patients a year early than most other schools,” he said.
Rich said he also has experience using the REPs and seeing the eye care needs among Cherokees.
“We deal with a lot of diabetic patients here at Cherokee Nation, and that has a really large effect on the eyes. Being able to be in this area and serve a population that has a huge need for us is a big deal because I personally have a lot of family ties to this area want to be in a community where I feel like I’m going to be contributing and giving back and helping the overall health of the population with health and exams,” he said.
Rich said the program prepares students to “go out into the real world” and treat patients of any need. “I feel very confident going out into the population and serving basically anybody that walks in the door.”
CN citizen Tara Comingdeer Fields, who is in her first year at NSUOCO, said she chose the program because of her area ties. “It’s not specifically just Cherokee Indians that I want to serve, but overall Native Americans. My background is I grew up in a traditional family, so the medicines and traditions that we did just kind of stuck with me, and now I want to help people.”
Comingdeer Fields and Rich are recipients of Indian Health Services scholarships for optometry and will work under an IHS contract upon graduation.
Lighthizer said CN citizens make up between 10 to 15 percent of the NSUOCO’s students and that it’s usually rewarding for a Cherokee to grow up using CN eye care services and then go through the program and become a provider. “It’s just a very mutually beneficial relationship between Cherokee Nation to be able to have all of these patients seen and then obviously for the education for students to be able to see patients and hone their skills.”
In today’s world, the term “information super highway” refers to the internet. While this term is modern, the idea behind it is as old as civilization. The idea is to create the shortest and most efficient route to move information. For as long as a thousand years, Indigenous people have used a route of travel not far from here because it was the most efficient route to deliver information and supplies. This route has been referred to at various times as the Osage Trail, the Seminole Trail, the Texas Road and the Military Highway.
A decade before the Trail of Tears, the Cherokee Nation’s first Supreme Court Justice, John Martin, brought his family from their home in New Echota, Georgia, to Indian Territory. His son, Joe, was only 8 years old in 1828 when they settled on the Grand River. He took to his new home quickly. In 1840 when he was just 20, he had already established a ranch that would become known as Greenbrier near the community of Strang.
To call Greenbrier a ranch is a bit of an understatement. By the time the Civil War started in 1861, the Martin family ranch and the river beside it both could be referred to as Grand. It consisted of around 100,000 acres of leased Cherokee land, about the size of what is now Mayes County. On this land was a good portion of the route then referred to as the Texas Road or the Military Highway. Before the war, the route saw many cattle drives from Texas to Kansas.
As the war progressed, it was described as “a critical route for information and supplies” for troops of both the North and the South. It was the shortest route from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, and Fort Worth, Texas. Two battles during the war were fought on the route. The North was the victor of the first battle. A year later the South had a much bigger victory by capturing hundreds of mules and wagons. This victory also interrupted supplies bound for Fort Gibson valued at over $1.5 million.
After the War Between the States ended, Greenbrier never regained its former glory. Today there is little more than a few historical markers to prove it once was there. Within a few years of the end of the war, the KATY Railroad followed the route from Kansas to Texas. In the early years of statehood the route developed into what is now known as U.S. Highway 69 and remained a critical route for information and supplies.
In recent years, technology giant Google established a data center complex in Mayes County. This data center could be described as a key component of the “information super highway.” It is fitting that the data center sits a short distance from the Grand River, within sight of Highway 69 and the railroad once known as the KATY. Now, as then, this route can accurately be described as “a critical route for information and supplies.”
DENISON, Texas – Cherokee Nation citizen Blayke Haggard of Gans, Oklahoma, made up one half of the winning fishing team from Northeastern State University to win the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Texoma on April 8.
Haggard and his teammate Cody Metzger of Wagoner, Oklahoma, caught their five-bass limit for a winning weigh to 19 pounds, 4 ounces.
The victory earned the Riverhawk bass club $2,600 and a spot in the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
The duo said that they spent the day targeting smallmouth bass on main-lake points, about 5 to 8 miles away from the takeoff ramp at Highport Marina.
“We focused on the points where the wind was blowing the hardest, fishing the mid to southeastern areas of the lake,” Haggard, a sophomore majoring in cellular and molecular biology, said. “We had five or six points that we rotated through that all looked very similar, fishing in 4 to 10 feet.”
The Riverhawk club cited citrus shad-colored Bandit 200 crankbaits and a prototype Bandit squarebill crankbait as its most productive lures. Club members said that they caught 10 to 12 keepers.
“We had great execution,” Haggard said. “I caught a 4-pounder early, then three casts later Cody put a 3½-pounder in the boat. Those early fish clued us in that we were doing the right thing. It also helped that we didn’t lose any fish all day.”