First Peoples Fund training teaches Native artists entrepreneurship

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
04/11/2018 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Seasoned and newly emerging Cherokee artists gained business information during a Native Artist Professional Development Training on April 4-5 at the Cherokee Arts Center.

The First Peoples Fund hosted the training as part of its community workshop program, and its goal is to help Native artists become successful entrepreneurs. The FPF provided the course materials while Cherokee artists Matthew Anderson and MaryBeth Timothy taught the training.

“Most of us don’t have that business mind, and so First Peoples Fund comes in and helps us with that,” Timothy said. “I know with me, when I took the First Peoples Fund training here it just opened my eyes to so many things that I wasn’t sure of. Now that I realize that we have so many resources, I’m not afraid to go out and look and ask for help, and I think that’s really important for a lot of artists around here."

Training topics included creating a business plan, writing for grants and loans, marketing, crafting a successful portfolio and balancing time between operating a business and being an artist. Each participant was also asked to give a presentation at the training’s end.

“It’s a chance for them to step outside the box,” Timothy said. “Some of them have never done that before, and so we give them a little guideline and it shows how to present yourself because part of this whole thing is not just selling your art, you’re selling yourself.”
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Cherokee Nation citizens MaryBeth Timothy, standing, and Matthew Anderson, sitting right, lead the Native Artist Professional Development Training on April 4-5 at the Cherokee Arts Center in Tahlequah. The training is a program offered by the First Peoples Fund, and its goal is to help Native artists become successful entrepreneurs. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen MaryBeth Timothy, standing, outlines the difference in standard marketing models and marketing models for Native artists while leading an entrepreneurship course on April 5 in Tahlequah. The First Peoples Fund developed all educational materials and presentations used. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Isaiah Soap attends the Native Artist Professional Development Training with educational materials full of tips and advice for Native artists. He said he attended the training to learn from more established artists about how to set up a business to sell his beadwork. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizens MaryBeth Timothy, standing, and Matthew Anderson, sitting right, lead the Native Artist Professional Development Training on April 4-5 at the Cherokee Arts Center in Tahlequah. The training is a program offered by the First Peoples Fund, and its goal is to help Native artists become successful entrepreneurs. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
http://www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com/the-joint-tulsa/nanyehi/

Cherokee mother-daughter team opens 2 businesses

BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
04/03/2018 08:30 AM
VIAN – Less than a mile from Interstate 40 and 5 miles from Lake Tenkiller, two Cherokee-owned businesses are thriving in Vian.

Morning Sky Boutique and Evening Shade Mercantile are the idea of Cherokee Nation citizens Suzanne Sullivan and Callie Prier, who are also mother and daughter.

“We opened this store (Morning Sky Boutique) a little over three years ago, and we carry clothing, jewelry, shoes,” Prier, the daughter, said. “And we have another building, Evening Shade Mercantile, and it’s home and gift.”

Prier said her family worked together to make the idea a reality.

“Well, originally we bought Morning Sky Boutique, which was the old Vian Sundry Store and many things before that. My mom and I purchased the building. My husband remodeled the building,” she said.
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Cherokee Nation citizens and mother and daughter Suzanne Sullivan, left, and Callie Prier stand in their Morning Sky Boutique located at 106 S. Thornton St. in Vian. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX The Morning Sky Boutique and Evening Shade Mercantile in Vian are the ideas of Cherokee Nation citizens Suzanne Sullivan and Callie Prier, who are also mother and daughter. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizens and mother and daughter Suzanne Sullivan, left, and Callie Prier stand in their Morning Sky Boutique located at 106 S. Thornton St. in Vian. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Limitless Nutrition brings nutrition store to Fort Gibson

BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
04/02/2018 12:00 PM
FORT GIBSON – Cherokee Nation citizen Jon Griggs and his friend, Alex Miller, co-own Limitless Nutrition, which recently opened as a one-stop nutrition shop.

The two former basketball players said they’ve always been into fitness, which led to an interest in nutrition and a desire to open a nutrition store. Griggs, who is also a real estate agent, said he learned of a storefront rental listing and he could not “pass it up.”

“We talked about doing a business together for about seven years. We initially thought about opening a gym, but over the years we realized the importance in fueling your body the right way. Your physical and mental output is heavily dependent on your nutrition intake,” Griggs said. “So our purpose is to provide a healthy solution to anyone interested in improving their health, fitness, mental or physical performance or overall self-image.”

Limitless Nutrition is located at 1205 S. Lee St. It offers everything from fitness advice and supplements to nutritional smoothies, shakes and teas, Griggs said.

He said they offer pre-workout supplements, proteins, multivitamins, fat burners, natural herbs, energy teas, all-natural skin care products and nootropics, a brain booster for focus and energy. He also said they carry supplement brands to cater to costumers. “We are pretty unlimited to what we can get and what we can carry. If we don’t carry a certain product you’re looking for, we will get it for you.”
Cherokee Nation citizen and co-owner of Limitless Nutrition Jon Griggs, SouljaFit owner P.J. Cowan and co-owner of Limitless Nutrition Alex Miller stand in front of the Limitless Nutrition sign during the business' recent ribbon-cutting in Fort Gibson. COURTESY The smoothie bar inside Limitless Nutrition in Fort Gibson offers fitness and nutritional smoothies made with real fruit flavoring. People can choose smoothies designed specially for them by choosing a smoothie, a flavor and a boost from the menu. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Limitless Nutrition in Fort Gibson offers health and performance supplements. It also carries top brands including SouljaFit, GAT, Results Nutrition and Maad’m Muscle, a women’s supplement line. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen and co-owner of Limitless Nutrition Jon Griggs, SouljaFit owner P.J. Cowan and co-owner of Limitless Nutrition Alex Miller stand in front of the Limitless Nutrition sign during the business' recent ribbon-cutting in Fort Gibson. COURTESY
http://cherokeepublichealth.org

Cherokee-owned SSLG Trading Group opens

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
03/13/2018 08:00 AM
LOCUST GROVE – The Cherokee-owned SSLG Trading Group celebrated the grand opening of its family-owned housewares resale business with a ribbon cutting on March 5.

SSLG stands for Susan (Standingwater), Stephanie (Standingwater-Cutrer), Lawrence (Standingwater) and Gabriel (Cutrer). Located at 524 E. Main St., it’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Standingwater-Cutrer and her father, Lawrence, are Cherokee Nation citizens who worked with their spouses to open the business, which started from the back of a truck and has upgraded to a storefront.

The store merchandise sells at lower-than-retail pricing, she said. “At the start of it we bought palletized general merchandise from a warehouse in Arkansas, and it was from major retailers, and we were able to buy it at a decent price. So I decided at that moment that everything I was going to offer for people to buy was going to be half or less (than retail).”

Its merchandise includes kitchenware, tables, television stands, dressers, cell phones cases, books and clothing that one can find in Wal-Mart, Costco, Cato’s or Bill’s Sporting Goods, she said.
Stephanie Standingwater-Cutrer, a Cherokee Nation citizen and SSLG Trading Group co-owner, front left, cuts the ribbon with her husband, dad, stepmother and community members at the store’s grand opening on March 5 in Locust Grove. The store sells housewares items and general merchandise at lower-than-retail pricing. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Patrons browse for merchandise at the March 5 grand opening of SSLG Trading Group in Locust Grove. Co-owner Stephanie Standingwater-Cutrer said the business stems from wanting to add diversity to the town’s business sector. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX A banner hangs above the entry of the SSLG Trading Group in Locust Grove, which is a Cherokee-owned family business that resells housewares and general merchandise. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Stephanie Standingwater-Cutrer, a Cherokee Nation citizen and SSLG Trading Group co-owner, front left, cuts the ribbon with her husband, dad, stepmother and community members at the store’s grand opening on March 5 in Locust Grove. The store sells housewares items and general merchandise at lower-than-retail pricing. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Anderson, Payton among Leadership Native Oklahoma class

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
03/08/2018 08:00 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY – Two Cherokee Nation citizens were recently announced as participants of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma’s 2018 Leadership Native Oklahoma class.

Amber Anderson, a University of Oklahoma Health Services Center research epidemiologist, and Brandi Payton, a CN Cooweescoowee Health Center administrator, join 41 other 2018 LNO participants.

According to the AICCO, the LNO is a “leadership opportunity” for business and governmental leaders in Indian Country to broaden their networks and sharpen their understanding of self-governance and self-determination.

“I am very appreciative and excited to be selected for this year’s cohort of Leadership Native Oklahoma. Past program participants have shared some of their experiences and I am looking forward to collaborating with Native leaders throughout the state,” Anderson said. “Most importantly, my hope is that I will come out of this program with new knowledge, relationships, and skills to better equip me in my effort to help improve the health of our Cherokee people and Indian County.”

Payton, who in 2015 helped open the Washington County-based Cooweescoowee Health Center, said she’s also dedicated to the betterment of health for the American Indian population, and it has become the focus of her professional life. She’s also taken interest in tribal sovereignty and policy after finishing a fellowship in 2016 with the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C.
Amber Anderson Brandi Payton
Amber Anderson
https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

CHEROKEE EATS: Okie Joe’s BBQ

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
03/01/2018 10:00 AM
STILWELL – After graduating college in Colorado, Joe Fletcher returned to Oklahoma looking to make his next move.

He noticed some barbecue trucks popping up in Arkansas in towns such as Fort Smith and Fayetteville. This made him want to try this new-style eatery in Oklahoma, which led him to start Okie Joe’s BBQ in 2005.

“We had seen them, kind of, this new-style thing, so we decided we’d build one and just try it and see what happened,” he said. “So we actually started up in (West) Siloam (Springs) and stayed there about a year and moved back to Stilwell, where we didn’t know if it would make it or not, and 13 years later here we are.”

Fletcher said Okie Joe’s menu began with items such as brisket sandwiches and baked beans, but has expanded to include other smoked choices.

“We have a Super Okie Baked Potato now where we take a baked potato, open it up, pile it full of meat, cover it with cheese. We have our Okie Joe sandwich. That’s our signature sandwich. It’s got all four meats on it: a slice of bologna, a link cut up and then a little bit of beef, a little bit of pork,” he said.
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Cherokee Nation citizen Joe Fletcher, owner of Okie Joe’s BBQ in Stilwell, kneels near his smoker as food cooks. Fletcher began Okie Joe’s in 2005 and says he’s known for his brisket sandwich. his fan favorites are the Okie Joe sandwich and the Super Okie Baked Potato. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Joe Fletcher, owner of Okie Joe’s BBQ in Stilwell, kneels near his smoker as food cooks. Fletcher began Okie Joe’s in 2005 and says he’s known for his brisket sandwich. his fan favorites are the Okie Joe sandwich and the Super Okie Baked Potato. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Woodsman Trading Co. helps people connect with outdoors

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
02/15/2018 08:00 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY – A love for the outdoors prompted Cherokee Nation citizen Gaylon Cornsilk and his brother-in-law Travis Smith to create Woodsman Trading Co., an outdoor lifestyle store.

The two opened on Nov. 26 to share their love for nature.

“We’re kind of an old-fashioned store. We really try to emphasize quality goods,” Cornsilk said. “If we don’t believe in it, we don’t sell it. If I sell something here, I’ve used it, tried it. I know it inside and out.”

Cornsilk’s love for the outdoors began at a young age when he and his father spent three months camping in Alaska and Canada. “I think it kind of put something in my heart that I never forgot.”

Located at The Village, Cornsilk said it’s a kind of store not “typically” seen in the area.
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Cherokee Nation citizen Gaylon Cornsilk stands among items in the Woodsman Trading Co. at The Village in Oklahoma City. Cornsilk is the co-owner of the store alongside his brother-in-law Travis Smith. The duo used their experiences with the outdoors and decided to open the store in November. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX A hat with artwork from artist Abby Paffrath sits on display at the Woodsman Trading Co. at The Village in Oklahoma City. Cherokee Nation citizen Gaylon Cornsilk, Woodsman co-owner, says he strives to help promote other small businesses by featuring their wares at the store. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX From knives, backpacks and water bottles, the Woodsman Trading Co. at The Village in Oklahoma City has products to fit the needs of the everyday explorer. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Gaylon Cornsilk stands among items in the Woodsman Trading Co. at The Village in Oklahoma City. Cornsilk is the co-owner of the store alongside his brother-in-law Travis Smith. The duo used their experiences with the outdoors and decided to open the store in November. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Gladd uses CN-owned racehorse training center

BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
02/13/2018 12:00 PM
SALLISAW – The former horseracing track Blue Ribbon Downs has continued to serve racehorse trainers from all over, including Cherokee Nation citizen Andy Gladd.

Gladd said because the majority of people who “run” horses in the community are Cherokee, it’s good to see the CN keep BRD open for training purposes.

Purchased from the Choctaw Nation for $2.5 million in December 2009, Cherokee Nation Entertainment opened the nearly 100-acre property as a racehorse-training center in late 2010.

It’s equipped with barns, stalls and a seven-eighths-of-a mile track, which can be rented for training. It has 354 stalls and currently has approximately 180 horses training there.

Gladd has owned his racehorse training business called Gladd Racing for nearly 12 years, but has used BRD for the past three years. He said at BRD he is able to rent stalls and use the track to run his horses for a better price than if he built a training facility.
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Cherokee Nation citizen and racehorse trainer Andy Gladd and assistant trainer Kassie Gladd (Cherokee/Shawnee), of Gladd Racing, stand in a barn where they keep their racehorses at the Cherokee Nation’s Blue Ribbon Downs Training Center grounds in Sallisaw. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen and racehorse trainer Andy Gladd, of Gladd Racing, leads one of his racehorses on the racing track at Cherokee Nation’s Blue Ribbon Downs Training Center in Sallisaw. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen and racehorse trainer Andy Gladd and assistant trainer Kassie Gladd (Cherokee/Shawnee), of Gladd Racing, stand in a barn where they keep their racehorses at the Cherokee Nation’s Blue Ribbon Downs Training Center grounds in Sallisaw. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

CHEROKEE EATS: Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
02/02/2018 08:45 AM
PARK HILL – The Cherokee Phoenix visited Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café for its first installment of Cherokee Eats, a series highlighting Cherokee-owned eateries and their specialties.

Namesake Nancy Bryan said the realization of her establishment took decades and several jobs in between, but when she finally opened in 2017 the effort was worth the wait.

“I had the desire to start a business at a young age, when I started baking with my nanny,” Bryan said. “She taught me how to make pie crusts when I was probably 11-years-old and from that time on, every time I went to visit her we would make pies. I would think, ‘someday I want to do this. I want to have my own business.’ And after working at Keys Public Schools for 32 years, I decided to retire and open up a little shop with pies.”

Everything Bryan makes, including pies and cakes, comes from family recipes.

“I made everything from a recipe, nothing in a box,” she said. “My mother also taught me more skills on making homemade cakes. So from that time on, growing up it was always a treat to me to make something for someone coming into my home.”
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Cherokee Nation citizen Nancy Bryan opened Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café in 2017 after years of baking and selling sweets out of her home. Her establishment is known for its pies, cakes and pumpkin rolls. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX In addition to serving homemade sweets, Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café also serves sandwiches such as this turkey, bacon and Swiss. Potato soup is also served every day to compliment entrées. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Nancy Bryan opened Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café in 2017 after years of baking and selling sweets out of her home. Her establishment is known for its pies, cakes and pumpkin rolls. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Culture

Five Tribes Ancestry Conference set for June 7-9
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/22/2018 04:00 PM
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 ashley-vann@cherokee.org or gene-norris@cherokee.org.

Education

Tribe: Ruling could reform U.S. agency for Native education
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
04/20/2018 12:00 PM
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.

Council

Smith, Golden honored with CN Patriotism medals
BY STAFF REPORTS
03/20/2018 12:00 PM
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.

Health

Cherokees have used NSU optometry clinic for 39 years
BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
04/20/2018 08:30 AM
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.”

Opinion

OPINION: The Information Super Highway
BY KEITH AUSTIN
Tribal Councilor
04/03/2018 12:30 PM
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.”

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Haggard helps his NSU fishing team win Texas tournament
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/12/2018 12:00 PM
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.”
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