Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism is now operating an east Tulsa welcome center formerly operated by the state. COURTESY PHOTO
Tribe operating Oklahoma Welcome Center in Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. – The Oklahoma Welcome Center in east Tulsa on Interstate 44 officially began operating under the guidance of Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism on Aug. 1.
CN and Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department officials marked the partnership with a ceremony Aug. 1 at the welcome center, which is now called the Cherokee Nation Welcome Center. The facility is located at I-44 and 161st East Ave.
The 4,200-square foot center was in danger of being closed due to state budget cuts, but an agreement between the state and CN was reached, transferring daily operations to the tribe. The center will promote both Cherokee and Oklahoma tourist destinations in the area.
“This arrangement allows us to continue to be a good partner to the state of Oklahoma and to promote tourism in northeastern Oklahoma to travelers along I-44,” Molly Jarvis, vice president of Cultural Tourism at Cherokee Nation Entertainment, said. “We will continue to operate the facility as a welcome center for Oklahoma while using our guest service and tourism experience to promote the communities within Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdiction.”
The welcome center will house an information desk, tourist destination information, maps, snacks and a gift shop featuring Oklahoma-related merchandise along with Cherokee art, jewelry and apparel. The tourism group will also use the center for office space for about 14 staff people.
“We are grateful to Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Entertainment for leading this effort to provide Oklahoma visitors with specialized materials, which showcase the tourism attractions in the Cherokee Nation as well as information about travel destinations statewide,” said OTRD Travel Promotion Director Sandy Pantlik. “Without this valued partnership, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department was considering closure of this facility due to budget cuts.”
Pantlik said more than 1.3 million visitors stop at Oklahoma’s tourism information centers annually.
The center’s lease will be renewed on a yearly basis, and CNE is not paying OTRD for the lease but will be responsible for paying for the center’s operating costs.
The center is the second partnership between the CN and OTRD. In 2010, the CN began operating a state welcome center at the Kansas, Okla., exit just off the Cherokee Turnpike.
The CN Welcome Center in Tulsa is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For additional information, call 918-384-5987.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge in Washington, D.C., will accept arguments over the next month on whether the developer of the Dakota Access pipeline must stage equipment near an American Indian reservation in southern North Dakota to respond to any oil spill under the Missouri River.
The idea is part of a fallback plan proposed by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in August in case U.S. District Judge James Boasberg eventually decided to allow the four-state pipeline to continue operating while federal officials do more study on the $3.8 billion project's impact on the tribe.
Boasberg ruled on Oct. 11 that oil could keep flowing from western North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution point in Illinois, as it has been since June 1. President Donald Trump earlier this year pushed through the pipeline's completion.
On Wednesday, Boasberg conferred with attorneys on both sides of an ongoing tribal lawsuit against the pipeline and set a timeline for arguments on Standing Rock's proposal. It includes increased public reporting of pipeline issues such as repairs, and implementation of an emergency spill response plan — including equipment staging — at the crossing beneath the Missouri River's Lake Oahe reservoir.
The tribe gets its water from the reservoir and fears harm from any spill. Standing Rock is the leader of four Sioux tribes hoping to convince Boasberg to shut down the line, which Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners maintains is safe.
Boasberg won't make a decision until the Army Corps of Engineers, which permitted the project, completes more study that he ordered in June on the pipeline's impact on Standing Rock. The additional review isn't likely to be completed until next spring, according to the Corps.
Boasberg in his ruling allowing pipeline operations to continue noted that the Corps and ETP had not yet expressed their positions on the tribe's "alternative relief" plan and said he would hear arguments on the matter. He'll make a decision on the proposal sometime after mid-November under the timeline for arguments that he set Wednesday.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says federal officials have extended the state's deadline for complying with the REAL ID Act to Oct. 10, 2018.
Fallin said Thursday that the compliance deadline was extended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The agency's previous deadline for complying with the federal law passed last week.
Fallin says the extension means that the federal government will continue to recognize Oklahoma driver's licenses and ID cards for entering federal buildings and installations for another year.
Fallin signed legislation earlier this year to bring the state in compliance with the 2005 law that strengthens rules for government-sanctioned identification. The measure requires state driver's licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and be issued to people who can prove they are legally in the United States.
TULSA, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Technologies is hosting job fairs from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 28 at 10837 E. Marshall St.
The tribally owned company anticipates hiring 100 bilingual call center specialists to respond to calls from Disaster Recovery Service Centers. Hired support specialists will answer questions and perform data entry for individuals and businesses affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
CNT is looking for experienced and entry-level bilingual agents. All applicants must be U.S. citizens, be at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma or GED and have the ability to pass a background and drug screening.
Job fair attendees should bring their résumés and be prepared for an interview at the CN Nation Career Services office on Marshall Street.
CNT is part of the Cherokee Nation Businesses family of companies and is headquartered in Tulsa, with a regional office in Fort Collins, Colorado, and client locations nationwide.
CNT provides unmanned systems expertise, information technology services and technology solutions, geospatial information systems services, as well as management and support of programs, projects, professionals and technical staff.
For more information or to apply online, visit <a href="https://cnbjobs.cnb-ss.com/#/jobs/11540" target="_blank">https://cnbjobs.cnb-ss.com/#/jobs/11540</a>.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in October announced the selection of Bryan Rice, a veteran federal administrator and Cherokee Nation citizen, as the new director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the federal agency that coordinates government-to-government relations with 567 federally recognized tribes in the United States.
“Bryan has a wealth of management expertise and experience that will well serve Indian Country as the BIA works to enhance the quality of life, promote economic opportunity, and carry out the federal responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives,” Zinke said. “I have full confidence that Bryan is the right person at this pivotal time as we work to renew the department’s focus on self-determination and self-governance, give power back to the tribes, and provide real meaning to the concept of tribal sovereignty.”??
Rice, who started his new position on Oct. 16 recently led the Interior’s Office of Wildland Fire, and has broad experience leading Forestry, Wildland Fire and Tribal programs across the Interior, BIA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Native Americans face significant regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles to economic freedom and success,” Rice said. “I am honored to accept this position and look forward to implementing President Trump’s and Secretary Zinke’s regulatory reform initiative for Indian Country to liberate Native Americans from the bureaucracy that has held them back economically.”
His federal government career has spanned nearly 20 years, beginning with service on the Helena Interagency Hotshot Crew for the U.S. Forest Service in Montana.
He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, working in both community forestry and rural development and supervised timber operations as a timber sale officer on the Yakama Reservation as well as a forester on the Tongass National Forest in Alaska.
Rice also served in leadership capacities internationally in Tanzania, Mexico, Brazil and Australia for both Interior and the U.S. Forest Service. ??
Rice has served in two senior executive service natural resources management leadership positions, including as deputy director for the BIA Office of Trust Services from 2011-14, and as director of Forest Management in the U.S. Forest Service from 2014-16. ??
Rice spent his school years in the Midwest in Whitewater, Wisconsin, and Peoria, Illinois. ?He holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska – Southeast, focusing on rural development and transportation systems.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker said he looks forward to working with Rice.
“The Cherokee Nation is certainly proud of our citizen, Bryan Rice, and his accomplished career stemming in natural resources and now in Washington, D.C., overseeing the agency that most directly works with all federally recognized Indian tribes,” Baker said.
Rice’s position does not require Senate confirmation.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee National Treasure Betty Frogg voiced concerns that she and other treasures have regarding the CNT program during an executive session of the Sept. 28 Culture Committee meeting.
Frogg said she told the committee that several treasures feel they don’t have access to information regarding the program such as who gets nominated to its advisory board, feel as if they cannot attend monthly advisory board meetings and don’t have access to CNT policies and bylaws.
Frogg also said some treasures feel as if they don’t have input on who is nominated and selected to the CNT advisory board. Advisory board members are Cherokee National Treasures Jane Osti, Vyrl Keeter, Durbin Feeling, Eddie Morrison and Vivian Cottrell.
Frogg said she also told the Culture Committee about how the Cherokee Nation Businesses-ran program now allows contemporary artists to become treasures when before only traditional artists were considered.
“The issues I wanted to bring before the committee was basically for somebody to listen to us (and) for the traditional arts to stay traditional,” Frogg said.
Frogg said she told the committee the difference between a “traditional” artist and a “contemporary” artist.
“Basically traditional means you use traditional materials to make your baskets, bows, arrows, (stickball) sticks. All of the treasures that are traditional do that. They gather their own materials. They process their own materials. Contemporary, you can go buy the stuff in Walmart or an art store (or) Hobby Lobby. That’s the difference to me in traditional and contemporary,” she said.
Committee members voted to speak with Frogg in executive session because of a lack of public decorum in the public meeting.
During the public portion of the meeting, Culture Committee Chairwoman Victoria Vazquez said that a committee member had requested that a CNT spokesperson be given the floor. Vazquez denied the request.
“This is unnecessary, and I do not intend to conduct the meeting by opening it up to spokespeople. We can be productive and effective by doing our jobs representing our constituents and engaging and discussing with each other,” Vazquez said.
Molly Jarvis, CNB vice president of marketing communications and cultural tourism, presented packets to the Culture Committee with information regarding the CNT program’s history and supporting documentation such as bylaws and policies.
“The Living Treasures National Master Craftsman resolution was passed by the Council in 1988 and was amended in 2009. Cherokee Nation Businesses assumed financial and administrative management of the National Treasures program in October 2015,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis added that CNB has managed the budget and administration of the CNT program while the five-person advisory board has reviewed and updated bylaws.
“We have clearly communicated the updated standards of conducts and mentor program policy as well as many other documents and the budget,” Jarvis said.
Tribal Councilor Dick Lay asked Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. about the term limits of the advisory board and if living treasures had input on who is placed on it.
Hoskin said Principal Chief Bill John Baker nominates the advisory board members.
“I know from experience working for Chief Baker that he’s always willing to get input and that he’s gotten input, and that input, not just this committee but other committees, has guided his decision on who to nominate,” he said.
Hoskin added that treasures could suggest people they want added to the advisory board to him and Baker.
As a result, Frogg was nominated to be on the advisory board to help select future treasures. The Rules Committee was expected to vote on her nomination on Oct. 26.
Also, as a of result of the Culture Committee meeting, treasures will have access to the advisory board’s policies and bylaws and be able to attend future advisory board meetings.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On Oct. 9, Native Americans, including many Cherokees, celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day in Tahlequah and on Northeastern State University’s campus. The following Cherokee Phoenix video highlights people and events of the day.