Tribes economically thriving 30 years after Cabazon decision

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
03/22/2017 08:15 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Lindsay Robertson started his law career working on business development. He was familiar with laws regarding tribal sovereignty, but he was asked to combine the two areas starting in 1987.

On Feb. 25, 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians in its lawsuit with the state of California. The decision ultimately allowed tribes to have gaming operations, even where states were given criminal jurisdiction over Indian tribes, The Journal Record reported.

California was a Public Law 280 state, which gave the state criminal jurisdiction over Indian lands. In the mid-1980s, the Cabazon and Morango Bands of Mission Indians operated bingo parlors on their lands. In 1986, the state tried to shut down the games, claiming they violated state regulations.

The Cabazon Band’s argument and the Supreme Court’s decision rested on the state not prohibiting gambling as a criminal act. The state did not have jurisdiction over the operations.

Robertson was working in Washington, D.C., at the time the decision was announced. He was one of the few attorneys familiar with Indian law. When the calls started coming in from tribes that wanted to open gambling operations, they were directed to him.
Patrons play electronic gaming machines at the Cherokee Nation’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa in Catoosa, Oklahoma. In 2016, Oklahoma collected a record $132 million in total tribal gaming exclusivity fees, a 3-percent increase from 2015. When the fees were first collected in 2006, only $14.2 million came into the state. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Patrons play electronic gaming machines at the Cherokee Nation’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa in Catoosa, Oklahoma. In 2016, Oklahoma collected a record $132 million in total tribal gaming exclusivity fees, a 3-percent increase from 2015. When the fees were first collected in 2006, only $14.2 million came into the state. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Ketchums open Fabric Notions crafts store

BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
02/13/2017 08:30 AM
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – After learning how to crochet at age 7, the craft bug hit Cherokee Nation citizen Shelli Ketchum hard and has stuck with her throughout her adult life.

In 2016, she realized her dream of operating a craft-inspired business, calling it Fabric Notions, after her husband and fellow CN citizen Kristopher lost his job. He helps her operate the business.

Shelli, who learned to sew in high school, said she’s a crafter by blood and that it is in her genes. She learned crafting from her grandmother, and the idea of owning a fabric store was perfect for her interests.

“But we wanted it to be a fabric and notions store. We didn’t just wanna offer fabric,” she said. “We wanted to be able to be able to offer something for everybody – for the embroider, for the sewer, for the quilter, the hobby makers, the clothing makers – that type of thing. So we’ve tried really hard to offer a variety of products and we’re continuing to get things in every week.”

Fabric Notions offers cottons, flannels, fleece, tapestry, satins and upholstery fabric. It also offers accessories such as sewing machine thumb drives, embroidery threads and small spool cotton threads – things that can be used more by the hobbyist.
Husband and wife duo Kristopher and Shelli Ketchum opened their business Fabric Notions in November in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Fabric Notions sells material as well as sewing and craft supplies. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Fabric Notions co-owner Kristopher Ketchum, right, helps Maryjane Mashunkashey seek material to use for possible gifts ideas. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Bolts of fabric line the walls of Fabric Notions, a store opened by Kristopher and Shelli Ketchum in November in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Husband and wife duo Kristopher and Shelli Ketchum opened their business Fabric Notions in November in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Fabric Notions sells material as well as sewing and craft supplies. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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CNT supporting Millsite Dam rehabilitation efforts

BY STAFF REPORTS
01/31/2017 04:00 PM
EMERY COUNTY, Utah – According to a Cherokee Nation Businesses release, CNB subsidiary Cherokee Nation Technologies is supporting the Natural Resources Conservation Service in its efforts to rehabilitate the Millsite Dam.

CNT is using its experience in unmanned aerial systems to collect imagery and elevation data to advance the USDA-led project, the release states.

The release states the collaboration is expected to enhance the dam by ensuring it meets current safety regulations and engineering standards while extending its life by 50 to 100 years.

According to the release, UAS support is safe, efficient and the least invasive method of gathering data and protecting the area’s natural resources. The method gathers high-resolution infrared sensor and color imaging data.

The release states the NRCS previously assessed Millsite Dam and concluded it didn’t meet safety and engineering standards for a dam with such high-hazard potential, meaning improper operation or failure could result in a potential loss of life.
A photo from an unmanned aerial system in Emory County, Utah. Cherokee Nation Technologies is supporting the Natural Resources Conservation Service in its efforts to rehabilitate the Millsite Dam in the county. COURTSEY
A photo from an unmanned aerial system in Emory County, Utah. Cherokee Nation Technologies is supporting the Natural Resources Conservation Service in its efforts to rehabilitate the Millsite Dam in the county. COURTSEY

Henson successful in construction business

BY LINDSEY BARK
Staff Writer
01/25/2017 08:15 AM
PAWNEE, Okla. – At a young age, Cherokee Nation citizen Mike Henson followed in his stepfather’s footsteps working in construction. That eventually led him to create his own construction company in 2010.

After finishing a project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers they offered him a $4 million contract.

“So that was really predicated on my past performance working for the Army Corps of Engineers, working on multiple projects in different states. So that’s why I created my company. I never really thought that I would be an entrepreneur, and it has since then just ballooned,” he said.

Henson said he has worked in construction since he was 15.

“As I got into college, it was a means for me to make ends meet. Our family didn’t have a lot of money, so I was responsible for everything that I had to do to make it through school,” he said.
Kuruks LLC workers install an access floor on Oct. 12, 2016, at the new Cherokee casino in Grove, Oklahoma. Kuruks, which is owned by Cherokee Nation citizen Mike Henson, has worked with the CN on several facilities. COURTESY Kuruks LLC employees work on an expansion project on the Stone Wolf Casino for the Pawnee Nation on Dec. 27, 2016, in Pawnee, Oklahoma. COURTESY Mike Henson
Kuruks LLC workers install an access floor on Oct. 12, 2016, at the new Cherokee casino in Grove, Oklahoma. Kuruks, which is owned by Cherokee Nation citizen Mike Henson, has worked with the CN on several facilities. COURTESY
https://www.facebook.com/Janees-Taylor-for-Tribal-Council-217063208698059/

Nanabelle’s Boutique promotes feeling ‘good’ at any size

BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
01/19/2017 08:15 AM
PRYOR, Okla. – Nanabelle’s Boutique in downtown Pryor has a mission to motivate women and assist them in purchasing trendy clothes that will help them feel “good” no matter their sizes.

Owner and Cherokee Nation citizen Jennie Marlin, 22, said her boutique offers a broad range of clothing sizes because it was “needed.”

“I started this boutique because I thought there was something we needed in downtown Pryor that wasn’t even being offered in other places,” she said. “I, as a plus-size woman, would like to look trendy, and I wanted to be able to do it and still be able to afford it, especially being younger and going to college. When you walk in you’ll be able to find everything in our store in a size small through 3X.”

She said after gaining experience as a part-time manager for a retail store she decided to “take a chance” and open a shop.

“I started a pop-up shop when I was 20 years old at a little event we had in downtown Pryor. I kind of got some good feedback from that, so I decided while I was in college that I was going to open up a little spot in the back of an antique mall. Then whenever I did that I got even more great feedback, and social media was really positive and I just keep growing and growing. So about 10, 11 months ago I opened here in Pryor,” she said.
Cherokee Nation citizen Jennie Marlin, 22, owns Nanabelle’s Boutique in Pryor, Oklahoma. The boutique offers clothing in sizes small to 3X. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Jennie Marlin, owner of Nanabelle’s Boutique, offers a variety of clothing at the boutique, including graphic T-shirts and jewelry designed by her. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Courtney Parker, of Pryor, Oklahoma, speaks with Nanabelle’s Boutique owner Jennie Marlin while shopping. Marlin said her boutique offers a broad range of clothing sizes in downtown Pryor. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Jennie Marlin, 22, owns Nanabelle’s Boutique in Pryor, Oklahoma. The boutique offers clothing in sizes small to 3X. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Gallery opening fulfills dream of Fields

BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
01/18/2017 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – It has been a dream of Cherokee Nation citizen Richard Fields to open a gallery where he could bring in fellow Cherokee artists and share what they’ve created. That dream came to fruition on Jan. 5 when he and his wife opened the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery.

The gallery consists of Richard’s and his wife Sheila’s art, as well as Cherokee National Treasures, well-known area artists and up-and-coming artists.

“I made it all Cherokee artists, all Cherokee work…because we got a pretty good past, not just the Trail of Tears. That’s the sad part, but we got some good things too, you know,” he said.

The couple held a ribbon-cutting and grand opening of the gallery, which is located at 210 S. Muskogee Ave.

“We’ve been chasing (the gallery) for a while. We just didn’t know when to open it up. I got some really good artists. I’ve got some (Cherokee) National Treasures, three of them – Dorothy Ice, Bessie Russell and Jane Osti,” Richard said. “And I’ve got some really good up-and-coming artists or some that’s already been known such as Virginia Stroud, Daniel Horsechief, Matt Girty…I got Mary Horsechief…and I got a young guy, his name is Matt Stick.”
Richard Fields, left, shows visitor Ryan Langston, of Locust Grove, Oklahoma, a bow he made. Fields and his wife Sheila opened the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery on Jan. 5 in Tahlequah. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Baskets set in the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.  All the artists showcased in the gallery are of Cherokee descent. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Pottery by Cherokee National Treasure Jane Osti set in the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Artwork by various Cherokee artists hangs in the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Richard Fields, left, shows visitor Ryan Langston, of Locust Grove, Oklahoma, a bow he made. Fields and his wife Sheila opened the 4 Winds, 7 Clans Gallery on Jan. 5 in Tahlequah. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Grant writing, management workshop set for Feb. 6-9

BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
01/11/2017 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Seminole Tribe of Florida, its the Native Learning Center and the Cherokee Nation will host grant writing and grants management training Feb. 6-9 in Tahlequah.

Two days will be dedicated to grant writing and two days to grant management.

According to the NLC, the grant writing workshop will consist of an introduction to writing, overview of grant types and how to find grants. During the grant management course, the NLC will ensure that attendees learn about current federal grant management requirements and understand general grant management requirements.

“We are grateful for the hospitality and the opportunity to bring together two experts – Shelly J. Tucciarelli and Lucy Morgan – in the field,” Dr. Ilene Miller, NLC Training and Technical Services director, said. “The interest and registration is reflecting a great deal of participation from many different tribal communities. We are confident that the participants will take away valuable tools to bring back to their communities for effective grant writing and tools for managing future grants.”

Tucciarelli has more than 20 years of experience in management, training, administration and development of affordable housing and community development. Shelly is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and owns Turtle Clan Development Services.

Kachina’s Clothing Store opens in Tahlequah

BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
01/06/2017 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Angela Locke recently opened a clothing store named Kachina’s after her grandmother’s Kachina doll collection that was passed down to her.

Locke is from Los Angeles where she manufactured clothing for department stores.

“This was a transition. This is our first retail store…we’re able to give such great prices and good quality clothing, so we wanted to bring that to Tahlequah,” she said. “We’re hoping to get the (Clothing Assistance Program) voucher program from Cherokee Nation to afford the kids some better quality clothing at better prices. So if that happens, we’ll open another nine locations within the next year.”

Locke has been in the fashion business for about 16 years. In that time, she said she has established relationships with manufacturers that allow her to offer such great prices.

“Over the years of my experience, I have a lot of connections, and I’m able to get affordable or deals from factories and suppliers that other stores aren’t able to access,” she said. “We manufacture some of it (clothing) and some of the items come from wholesalers and overseas suppliers.
Angela Locke, a Cherokee Nation citizen, opened Kachina’s Clothing Store on Dec. 8 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Her long-term goal includes opening nine other stores in the tribal jurisdiction for Cherokees to have a place to purchase affordable clothing through the tribe’s voucher program. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Marla Stone sets up a shoe for display in Kachina’s, a new clothing store located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. CN citizen Angela Locke owns the store. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Along with clothing and coats, Kachina’s Clothing Store, located along Mimosa Lane in Tahlequah, offers makeup, nail polish and jewelry. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Angela Locke, a Cherokee Nation citizen, opened Kachina’s Clothing Store on Dec. 8 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Her long-term goal includes opening nine other stores in the tribal jurisdiction for Cherokees to have a place to purchase affordable clothing through the tribe’s voucher program. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Single mom opens 7 Clan Stand online

BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
12/28/2016 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Alyssa Henson is a single mother who recently went “all in” for her business 7 Clan Stand, an online shop featuring casual wear clothing, regalia and gift items she considers to have Native American flair that many people look to buy.

Henson, a mother to her 2-year-old daughter Acy, said before going forward with her business she worked a full-time job, but during the past couple years she was always creating items on the side.

“I created my first product I think about almost two years ago. I created my first sweater. It was for me. It was just some stuff I had laying around and so I made it. I had people tell me ‘oh you should sell them. I want one,’” Henson said. “I was basically a walking advertisement before this even happened. It wasn’t until recently where I really – it had just been on my heart for a long time – I finally just jumped for it, and I just went for it and I got back a response that I didn’t even expect.”

She soon realized that the side projects could be a full-time job.

“I’d go to work and then come home and sew all night. Then I realized that this could be a full-time job. You know, creating and selling our products. I didn’t think it would be anything. It’s pretty cool,” she said. “I quit my job. I think it was the week of Thanksgiving. I just had so much faith in this. I don’t know where it came from. I just started making things and I posted them…I was busier than I’ve ever been in my life.”
Cherokee Nation citizen Alyssa Henson stacks infinity scarves she’s made for upcoming orders customers have placed with her business 7 Clan Stand. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Alyssa Henson went public with her business 7 Clan Stand on Dec. 10. It features handmade clothing with an Indigenous flair. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Alyssa Henson stacks infinity scarves she’s made for upcoming orders customers have placed with her business 7 Clan Stand. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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Culture

CHC to host 16th annual Cherokee Ancestry Conference
BY STAFF REPORTS
03/15/2017 12:45 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Discover your family history and Cherokee ancestry at the Cherokee Heritage Center’s 16th annual Cherokee Ancestry Conference June 9-10 at the Tribal Complex.

The event provides participants with the tools to research their ancestry with Cherokee historical records and features a variety of discussion topics, including historical events before and after the removal, inter-tribal relationships and advancements in social media and its effect on genealogy research.

Participants will also learn about various CN records available online as well as resources available in their local area for Cherokee ancestry research.

A discount is given to those who register before June 3. Pre-registration is $60 for Cherokee National Historical Society members and $75 for nonmembers. The deadline is June 3. Registrations after June 3 are $70 for CNHS members and $85 for nonmembers.

The Cherokee Ancestry Conference will be held in the Osiyo Room at the Tribal Complex. It is located at 17725 S. Muskogee Ave. in the same building as Restaurant of the Cherokees.

For more information, including accommodations and registration, call 918-456-6007, ext. 6162, or email ashley-vann@cherokee.org.

Education

OU to host symposium on environmental issues on March 24
BY STAFF REPORTS
03/20/2017 04:00 PM
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma College of Law on March 24 will host the American Indian Law Review’s annual “Indigenous Peoples, Law, and Power Symposium.”

This year’s theme is “Oil and Water.” The symposium is co-sponsored in partnership with the OU’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Native American Studies Department. The event will begin at 10 a.m. in the Dick Bell Courtroom in Andrew M. Coats Hall.

Experts of Native American environmental issues will sit on two panels and give two keynote addresses. The speakers and their topics include:

Morning Panel: “The Chickasaw-Choctaw Compact in Context,” Sara Hill, senior assistant attorney general of the Cherokee Nation, and Taiawagi Helton, professor of law, University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Morning Keynote: “Water Sovereignty and Stewardship: The Historic Chickasaw-Choctaw Water Settlement,” Stephen Greetham, chief general counsel and special counsel on water and natural resources, Chickasaw Nation and Michael Burrage, managing partner, Whitten Burrage Law Firm;

Afternoon Panel: “Justice and Juxtaposition: Environmental Justice and Protest in Parallel,” Taiawagi Helton, professor of law, University of Oklahoma College of Law; and
Afternoon Keynote: “The Impact of Fracking on Indian Nations: A Case Study,” Walter Echo-Hawk, of counsel, Crowe & Dunlevy.

“This year’s “Indigenous Peoples, Law, and Power Symposium” builds upon several dedicated events we have held this year, all of which have focused on the intersection of Native American rights and environmental law,” said OU College of Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “We are honored to host these discussions on such important issues and we’re pleased to have the partnership of OU’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Native American Studies Department as we do so.”

In December 2015, the OU Board of Regents unanimously voted to elevate Native American Studies from a program to department status at the request of OU President David L. Boren. Since 1994, OU’s Native American Studies focus has attracted and served students of diverse backgrounds who are committed to using distinctly Native American perspectives to place the sovereignty of Native nations and the cultures of Native peoples at the center of academic study. In addition to a graduate certificate in American Indian Social Work, the Department offers bachelor’s, master’s, and joint master’s and juris doctorate degrees.

“This is our sixth year to co-host this special event,” said Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham (Chickasaw), chair of the Native American Studies Department and director of the newly established Native Nations Center. “Our partnership grows out of our joint M.A./J.D. program, which makes all of our students uniquely competitive. This year’s symposium topic is of critical importance to Native nations and communities. The subject matter is dear to our hearts as it impacts our lands as well as our political and cultural identities.”

Council

Tribal Council accepts U.S. Forest Service apology
BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
02/22/2017 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Tribal Councilors on Feb. 21 unanimously voted to accept an apology from the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region for damages to a Trail of Tears site in the Cherokee National Forest near Coker Creek, Tennessee.

In July 2015, U.S. Forest Service cultural resource managers notified higher-ranked Forest Service officials that they had discovered damage made in 2014 to a site on a Trail of Tears section. The damage consisted of holes dug by a bulldozer and other heavy equipment.

“At that site, 35 large holes were dug into the historic Trail of Tears to create large, earthen berms,” Sheila Bird, Cherokee Nation special projects officer, told the Cherokee Phoenix in 2016. “They used bulldozer and other heavy equipment, and this earthmoving resulted clear and extensive damage to the historic national trail.”

She added that Forest Service employees did the work and claimed that it was done for erosion control and to prevent areas of the Trail of Tears from washing out.

“This is a well-known and mapped Trail of Tears path, but it was not marked because it was privately owned. This land was purchased by Conservation Fund and held for the U.S. Forest Service,” she said. “The District Ranger failed to follow federal laws requiring consultation with Indian tribes. The Forest Service has acknowledged fault and committed to restoring the site.”

According to a Feb 21 resolution, the U.S. Forest Service-Southern Region “recognizes the cultural and historic significance held by the Cherokee Nation regarding the Trail of Tears historic site and extends an apology for the unfortunate and adverse effects that have occurred.”

It also states the “Cherokee Nation agrees to consult on a government to government basis with the U.S. Forest Service-Southern Region regarding the restoration and mitigation of these adverse effects to this Trail of Tears sacred site.”

It adds that as a “Good Faith Effort” and to commit to jointly pursue meaningful mitigation the Tribal Council accepts the apology.

Also during the meeting, Tribal Council voted 17-0 to support the nominations of Michael Doublehead and Steven Wilson as commissioners to the Tax Commission. They also voted Ceciley Thomason-Murphy onto the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.

Tribal Councilors voted to donate three surplus vehicles from the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service to the Nowata Police Department and Muskogee and Delaware counties sheriff’s offices.

Three CN citizens were also honored with the Cherokee Medal of Freedom – John Thomas Cripps III, who served in the U.S. Army, and John Paul Atkinson and Jesse James Collins, who served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard and were activated in 2011 to the RECON 1-279th 45th Infantry to Afghanistan.

Two budget modifications were also passed. The comprehensive capital budget was increased by $1.8 million for a total capital budget authority of $279.6 million. The tribe’s operating budget was also increased by $2.1 million for a total budget authority of $666.6 million. The changes consisted of a decrease in the general fund by $92,000 and increases in the indirect cost pool, motor vehicle tax, Department of Interior Self Governance and IHS Self Governance and budgets.

Health

Effective interventions prevent alcohol use among Native youth
BY STAFF REPORTS
03/16/2017 12:15 PM
ATLANTA, Ga. – Community-based and individual-level prevention strategies are effective ways to reduce alcohol use among American Indian and other youth living in rural communities, according to a new study supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse also provided support for the study.

“This important study underscores our commitment to finding evidence-based solutions for alcohol problems in American Indian and other underserved populations,” said NIAAA Director George F. Koob “This study is one of the largest alcohol prevention trials ever conducted with an American Indian population, and the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of screening and brief counseling intervention in significantly reducing youth alcohol use at a community level.”

Although American Indian teens drink at rates similar to other United States teens, they have early onset alcohol use compared to other groups and higher rates of alcohol problems. Rural youths, including those who are a racial minority relative to their community, are also at increased risk for alcohol misuse. Early prevention is critical in these populations, but both American Indians and rural communities have been underrepresented in studies aimed at finding effective solutions for underage drinking.

To address this gap, researchers led by Kelli A. Komro of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta worked with the Cherokee Nation, the second-largest tribe in the U.S., to implement a rigorous research trial of two distinct strategies to reduce underage drinking and its consequences.

Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol is a community-organizing intervention designed to reduce alcohol access, use and consequences among underage youths. The second strategy, called CONNECT, is an individually delivered screening and brief intervention delivered in schools. The study was conducted within the 14 counties of northeastern Oklahoma that comprise the CN jurisdictional area, which is home to about 40 percent of the tribe. While CN citizens constitute a significant proportion of the population, whites and other racial/ethnic minorities also live within this area. Results of the trial are reported in the March 2017 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

“Community organizing has been used effectively in multiple other health intervention trials and appeared to be an optimal strategy to engage diverse citizens in these multicultural communities,” explained Dr. Komro. CMCA involves training teams of adults to implement policies and take actions to reduce youth access to alcohol through social and commercial sources. In the school-based intervention, a school social worker conducts a brief one-on-one health consultation with each student each semester to encourage healthy behavior change related to alcohol consumption. Students who report high risk drinking attend follow-up sessions and are referred to specialty treatment when appropriate.

Six communities, each served by a single high school, participated in the study. The student population in these communities was nearly 50 percent American Indian. The study population consisted of students who were in ninth or 10th grade when the study began and followed over three years through 11th or 12th grade.

By random assignment, students in two communities received both the community-organizing intervention and the individually delivered intervention. Students in two different communities served as controls, and received neither intervention. One of the remaining two communities used only the community-organizing intervention while the other used only the school-based individually administered intervention.

Over the course of the study, researchers found that self-reports of alcohol use, including any use and heavy drinking episodes (five or more drinks on at least one occasion) in the past 30 days, was significantly reduced among students receiving either or both interventions, compared with students in the control communities.

“The two distinct interventions alone and in combination resulted in similar patterns of effect across time,” said Komro, “but, interestingly, we found no evidence that the two interventions combined had significantly greater effects than either alone.”

Komro and her colleagues conclude that, while alcohol use among high school students remains a serious public health problem, and rural and American Indian youths are particularly vulnerable populations, the specific community and school-based interventions they examined are effective approaches for addressing alcohol problems in these diverse communities.

Additional alcohol research information and publications are available at: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov.

Opinion

OPINION: I’ll just leave this here
BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
03/09/2017 04:00 PM
I'm going to share some “feels” with you. I'm not going to weep all over the page, but I will share with you what this job has meant to me, what it’s done for me and how I come to spend nearly 10 years doing it.

This job has shaped not only my career but also my life. I wasn’t one of those kids who had their tribal heritage shared with them as they grew up. I mean my story isn't that different from a lot of people. I was Cherokee. I knew that, but I missed out on the cultural aspect of being a tribal citizen. This job gave me the opportunity to not only grow and establish a career, but I grew to understand my culture, where I came from and what the Cherokee people have overcome. I learned of a tumultuous history that my ancestors faced as well as a personal history regarding my direct ancestor, Anderson Springston. I even wrote a column about it explaining the roles my people played in the killing of three prominent Cherokees: Major Ridge, John Ridge and Elias Boudinot. I also learned of the connection the son of that ancestor, John Leak Springston, had with the Cherokee Phoenix. He was known to be an Indian activist, an interpreter, newspaper editor, attorney and Keetoowah revivalist.

There have been so many stories that have left a mark on me. I’ve covered countless meetings, several tribal elections, as well as your basic health, education, cultural and people stories, and they all served a purpose of educating, entertaining and informing the Cherokee people.

It’s been nearly 10 years since I started here, and I have loved having the opportunity to work for such a historic newspaper. I’ve met some great people and made lasting relationships, but my most favorite aspect of working in this capacity has ultimately been helping people by both informing them of what their government is doing, as well as giving our Cherokee people a voice - something that has been taken from them time and again.

My concern for the Cherokee people and their involvement in the goings-on within their government is something that during the past several years I’ve noticed is most important. So I’ve tried to do that. It’s important to become educated in your government. You should want to have a say in what happens within your tribe. We’ve seen in our history what happens when we allow others to decide for us, and we’re a stronger people than that. I personally missed out on being involved with my tribe while growing up, but that will not be the case any longer and neither will it be for my children.

I buried the lede with this one friends, but on purpose, because once I’ve written it and once you’ve read it, it’s real. I have tendered my resignation from the Cherokee Phoenix effective April 8. I have accepted a job with the city of Tahlequah. Although I’m sad, scared and nervous for what is coming I know this is the best move for me.
This change will afford me the chance to reach for goals that working for the tribe will not allow. Although those goals may be far down the road, I need to give myself a true shot at accomplishing them. But new is always scary.

I hope the Cherokee Phoenix, a newspaper that has been at the forefront and example for excellent tribal journalism, will continue to be what it was created to be, what it should be – a true voice of the Cherokee people. One that stands up for what is right by its citizens and one that the Cherokee people can count on to be a real representation of the what happens within our tribe, not just what you need to know.

You are the Cherokee Nation. No voice is too big or small and at the end of the day the Cherokee Nation is not a thing, it’s a people and those people should be treated with respect and love like all people.

I wish all my fellow staffers, current and former, the best. You made me better, smarter and definitely more quick-witted.

So with that said, I bid you a fond farewell. Much love to anyone who played a part in the stories I’ve told over the years. This isn’t goodbye. If I can be of any help to someone in the future, you can email me at jamilynnmurphy@gmail.com. Do-na-da-go-hv-i.

People

Pettit thrives as radio show host
BY LINDSEY BARK
Staff Writer
03/16/2017 08:15 AM
SALLISAW, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Justin Pettit grew up with a passion for radio broadcasting after listening to sports on the radio during his early years.

Pettit said he grew up listening to broadcasts of the University of Oklahoma Sooners and University of Arkansas Razorbacks basketball teams.

“Now, I do my own stuff. I do basketball or game of the week here on 105.1 (KXMX in Sallisaw). I do the play-by-play, the color (commentary), all my own stats, everything,” he said.

He initially thought about going into the radio broadcasting business in 2010 while working as realtor in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

“I always had a passion for radio, and I got a note from one of my friends about doing broadcasting school, and it was all online so I was able to do it,” Pettit said.

In 2011, he graduated from the American Broadcasting School and started with Cumulus Broadcasting Inc. in Fayetteville. While there, Pettit honed his skills as a radio broadcast host by covering local and college sports.

In 2015, he became a host at Mix 105.1 FM with a show called “JP in the Morning.” He is also the station’s sports director.

“I’m on the air 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. having a good time, getting people ready for the morning, getting them ready for their job or school or whatever it is they got going on,” Pettit said.

He said one of his favorite aspects of the job is interacting with listeners and fans.

“I love the interaction. That’s probably my favorite part. We’re a local radio station. We’re not owned by any big company. We get to do whatever we want. So if there’s a big event happening across town that involves the kids or anything, we’re there. We go out and interact with all the people. They love us,” he said.

He said the radio station provides more than just a show to its listeners.

“We play a mix of music. We play country, rock, Christian, all of it. They know any type of music they like they know they can listen to us and we’ll have it there for them,” he said. “They know if they need any kind of breaking weather, if there is any news happening in and around the area they tune to us. We’re live on the air. A lot of radio stations aren’t live anymore. So if there’s an accident or a road’s blocked off or anything, the people know they can tune to us or call us and we’ll let them know where to be and where not to be.”

He said to work in radio his personality has to come through in his voice.

“In radio you got to have a big personality, and a lot of guys have a radio voice. I don’t really have one. I don’t put it on because when I go out with the public, we have a lot of interaction. People say ‘well you sound just like you do on the radio.’ Well I don’t put the big…radio voice on so that’s kind one of my trademarks,” he said.

Pettit said though the radio station is only 3 or 4 years old, the ratings “are up there with the guys” who have been in the radio broadcasting business for 30 or 40 years.

His fellow employees praised Pettit for his work ethic.

Delanna Nutter, sales director, said Pettit steps up when they need him to do extra voice work and that he is “always right on point.”

“I’m just a normal guy working the job that I love and living the dream,” Pettit said.
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