Universities to offer online Indian law classes

08/24/2011 10:49 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla.— In collaboration between the University of Tulsa College of Law and the online Concord Law School of Kaplan University, students will be able to take online classes for a Master’s degree program that focuses on Indian law.

“This came together when a few years ago I decided that my law school, Concord, really needed to be teaching Indian Law courses,” said Professor Tim Pleasant, co-director. “There were a number of reasons why this was so. We needed to branch out within our law school, which is a relatively new school and we needed to reach out to a population that hadn’t been reached before so well.”

The TU College of Law is home to the Native American Law Center, which provides resources for the study and teaching of legal issues concerning Native American tribes and other indigenous peoples worldwide.

Starting on August 29, the 30 credit hour program will allow students to obtain an online Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law degree.

Some of the classes that are offered in the program include tribal gaming law, federal Indian Law, Indian Child Welfare Act, civil jurisdiction in Indian Country, tribal government, taxation, energy and mineral development, environmental protection and remediation, social services, water rights and federal contracting and contacting.

“So that way they would have a good working knowledge of some of the legal language used among the different organizations of businesses and government agencies that deal with doing business with Indians,” said Shonday Harmon, co-director of the program. “They would have an understanding of the legal landscape in Indian Country.”

The program is for graduate students, particularly those working in tribal governments and businesses and government agencies, who are interested in learning about Indian law. The program is for lawyers who would like to gain additional information or expand their practices.

“It’s the very first of its kind offering a master’s level degree in Indian Law,” said Harmon, who is Muscogee Creek. “This particular degree program is not for a student who would want to sit for the bar exam and become a practicing attorney, this is actually for someone who is more along the lines of a non-lawyer but may work in or around state, federal and tribal agencies.”

So far for the Fall 2011 semester there have been 19 applicants from 10 states for the program and 12 tribes are represented. Four out of the 19 that applied are non-Native.

“What we hope to accomplish is to provide this education in Indian law to allow people who are not lawyers but who have to work with it everyday to do a better job in whatever it is that they are doing,” Pleasant said. “There are just tons of people out there who have to interface with the legal system or with federal Indian law on some level, or with lawyers who are practicing these things, they have to do it everyday and the objective is to help those people do that job.”

For more information about the program visit www.indianlawmj.org.

tesina-jackson@cherokee.org • 918-453-5000, ext. 6139
About the Author
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Tesina first started working as an intern for the Cherokee Phoenix after receiving the John Shurr Journalism Award in 2009. Later that year, Tesina received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and in 2010 joined the Phoenix staff as a reporter.    

In 2006, Tesina received an internship at The Forum newspaper in Fargo, N.D., after attending the American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. She also attended the AIJI summer program in 2007 and in 2009 she participated in the Native American Journalists Association student projects as a reporter. Tesina is currently a member of NAJA and the Investigative Reporters & Editors organization.
TESINA-JACKSON@cherokee.org • 918-453-5000 ext. 6139
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Tesina first started working as an intern for the Cherokee Phoenix after receiving the John Shurr Journalism Award in 2009. Later that year, Tesina received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and in 2010 joined the Phoenix staff as a reporter. In 2006, Tesina received an internship at The Forum newspaper in Fargo, N.D., after attending the American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. She also attended the AIJI summer program in 2007 and in 2009 she participated in the Native American Journalists Association student projects as a reporter. Tesina is currently a member of NAJA and the Investigative Reporters & Editors organization.


12/01/2015 01:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On Dec. 3, in the Tsa-La-Gi Ballroom located behind the Restaurant of the Cherokees, the Cherokee Nation will host a college and career night for those interested in receiving information on certifications, colleges and scholarships. The event is free and open to the public from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. According to CN Communications, students will have access to representatives from about a dozen colleges and universities, including Northeastern State University, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, University of Arkansas and Rogers State University. Information will also be presented about the Gates Millennium Scholarship; CN scholarships, including housing assistance; and how to complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms, CN Communications stated. For more information, call Chrissy Marsh or Audra Roach at the tribe’s College Resources Center Outreach at 918-453-5000, exts. 6951 or 5254 or email <a href="mailto: chrissy-marsh@cherokee.org">chrissy-marsh@cherokee.org</a> or <a href="mailto: audra-roach@cherokee.org">audra-roach@cherokee.org</a>.
11/24/2015 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Northeastern State University students made their mark on the university’s history recently when they voted to name the new student housing building after Isabel “Belle” Cobb. Cobb, a Cherokee National Seminary alumna, is the second woman to have a building named after her on the Tahlequah campus. Students had the opportunity to choose among four names: Francis Baker, John Hackler, Gideon Morgan and Cobb. This shortlist was researched and compiled with the assistance of NSU Archives and conversations with individuals who had extensive knowledge about the history of the National Female Seminary and Northeastern. A total of 266 votes were cast, with Cobb receiving 43 percent of the vote. Morgan received 26 percent, Hacker 16 percent and Baker 14 percent. Cobb was born in 1858 near Morgantown, Tennessee, and her family moved to land near what would later become Wagoner in the spring of 1870. In 1879, she graduated from the Cherokee National Female Seminary, located in Park Hill. After continuing her education in Ohio, she returned to the Female Seminary as a teacher in 1882 and witnessed the accidental burning of the building on Easter 1887. After the Seminary was destroyed, Cobb enrolled at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. She interned at a children’s hospital in Staten Island, New York, then moved back to her parent’s farm near Wagoner in 1893 to begin her medical practice. She often performed surgeries at her patients’ homes because there were no hospitals in the vicinity. Her medical practice continued until she died in 1947. Cobb is recognized as the first woman physician in Indian Territory. The Regional University System of Oklahoma board of regents formally approved the selected name in November. The Isabel Cobb building is set to be completed and open to students by fall 2016.
11/20/2015 08:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The U.S. Education and Interior departments recently awarded more than $900,000 in grants between Grand View School and the American Indian Resource Center to help Native youths become college and career ready. Grand View School was awarded approximately $341,000 for the first year of funding with the possibility of being funded up to four years, depending on congressional approval. “One of the things we want to do is provide mentoring and shadowing opportunities so they can see other successful people from this area,” Margaret Carlile, Grand View School federal grants director, said. Superintendent Ed Kennedy said the grant would get Native American youths in schools or in other organizations better prepared for college or career fields as they move through the process. “We worked with our grant writer and we took the approach that we were going to try to work and get parents educated early on about the opportunities for their kids, and get them talking to their kids at an early age for this,” he said. “We want them successful wherever they go so that they can take that next step once they leave high school.” Pamela Iron, AIRC public relations liaison, said the AIRC’s grant of $584,000 for the next four years would benefit Cherokee County students in grades 5-8. “AIRC is partnering with the Cherokee Nation Foundation, the Cherokee Immersion (Charter) School and the Cherokee Nation educational department to provide a holistic approach for career and college readiness that includes financial literacy, ACT prep, after-school tutoring, career readiness and leadership development,” Iron said. “Approximately 1,700 youth, in 12 rural schools, will benefit from the Four Directions Grant. Project Venture, an evidenced-based experiential adventure curriculum aimed at developing personal skills such as internal locus of control, decision make/problem solving and judgment, will be used for the leadership development component.” Iron also said a new computer lab at the Cherokee Immersion Charter School would be part of the after-school tutoring program. Other activities include college campus tours and science, technology, engineering and math-related activities in the 12 targeted schools and summer camps, she said. The awards were a part of a $5.3 million grant funding for the new Native Youth Community Projects program. According to a release, the Department of Education is making grants to a dozen recipients in nine states that would impact more than 30 tribes and involve more than 48 schools. “These grants are an unprecedented investment in Native youth, and a recognition that tribal communities are best positioned to drive solutions and lead change,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These grants are a down payment on President Obama’s commitment last summer at his historic trip to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to create new opportunities for American Indian youth to cultivate the next generation of Native leaders.” U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell said the grant funding is part of the Obama administration’s commitment to self-determination. “By putting tribal communities in the driver’s seat for developing a strong and prosperous future for Indian Country,” Jewell said. “These grants provide tools to tribes to not only assist in the transition from federal to tribal control of school operations and management but also ensure college-readiness for the next generation of Native American leaders.” For more information, visit <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/nativeamericans" target="_blank">www.whitehouse.gov/nativeamericans</a>.
11/04/2015 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The seventh annual Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance will host its Regional Summit on Nov. 10 at the University Center at Northeastern State University. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the first speaker beginning at 9 a.m., according to a Cherokee Nation Businesses release. “The summit covers a variety of issues for business, education, civic and community leaders. This year’s theme is Secrets to Successful Communities,” the release states. “Guest speakers from throughout the state and local region are set to discuss topics ranging from tourism, education, government contracting, and small business support to community and municipal financing, as well as reaching and engaging an audience.” Keynote speaker is Ed McMahon, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute and Brian Cole, a nationally renowned expert in community and economic development will discuss his book “Building Communities: 25 Strategies to Advance America.” Registration is $75 for the full-day conference, including breakfast and lunch. All tickets can be purchased online or by emailing <a href="mailto: rstand@cherokee.org">rstand@cherokee.org</a>. For more information about this year’s summit or to register, visit the NORA website at <a href="http://www.neokregion.org" target="_blank">www.neokregion.org</a>. To view the full agenda at <a href="http://www.neokregion.org/uploads/5/3/0/9/53098997/2015_agenda.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.neokregion.org/uploads/5/3/0/9/53098997/2015_agenda.pdf</a>.
11/04/2015 02:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation Foundation is accepting scholarship applications for the 2016-17 academic year. The foundation offers three differently funded scholarships: private, tribal and institutionally based. There are two institutions with Cherokee endowments: the University of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University. All applications are evaluated based on academic performance as well as community and cultural involvement. To apply, students create an online profile and then can have instant access to all CNF scholarships. The system also provides students with notifications about upcoming scholarship opportunities and deadlines. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31. CNF awarded more than $134,000 in scholarships to more than 60 Cherokee students last year. Applications can be found at <a href="http://www.cherokeenationfoundation.org" target="_blank">www.cherokeenationfoundation.org</a>. For more information, call 918-207-0950 or email Janice Randall at <a href="mailto: jr@cherokeenationfoundation.org">jr@cherokeenationfoundation.org</a>.
10/30/2015 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Symposium on the American Indian at Northeastern State University returns April 11-16 and the Center for Tribal Studies is already preparing events, inviting guest speakers and organizing educational panels. Now in its 44th year, the symposium features lectures, films, presentations and cultural activities. The 2016 theme “Indigenous Movement: Empowering Generations for Progressive Revitalization” was selected to focus on regenerating and maintaining traditions in the face of change. Beginning with relocation and assimilation practices of the 1800s, the culture and lifestyle of Native people has been impacted significantly by the historical and modern day transgressions of the U.S. government, said Alisa Douglas, coordinator for student programs at the center. “Recently, tribal and community leaders have demonstrated self-determination by taking action against racial discrimination and other social injustice issues such as violence against women, environmental policy, poverty and drug abuse,” she said. “While preserving cultural traditions, grassroots efforts and community advocates have established an Indigenous movement to raise awareness, create change, maintain sovereignty, and revitalize tribal communities through progressive action and economic progress. Through various forms of art and scholarly activity, a new generation of leaders has emerged, creating and sustaining positive change within our tribal communities.” Confirmed guest speakers for the 2016 event include Tanaya Winder, Chase Iron Eyes J.D., Dallas Goldtooth and Suzan Shown-Harjo. Shown-Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee) is a poet, writer, lecturer, curator and policy advocate, who has helped Native Peoples protect sacred places and recover more than one million acres of land. She has developed key laws to promote and protect Native nations, sovereignty, children, arts, cultures, languages, religious freedom and repatriation. President of the Morning Star Institute and an award-winning Columnist for “Indian Country Today Media Network,” she is guest curator and editor for the National Museum of the American Indian’s 2014-18 exhibit and book “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations.” President Barack Obama presented Harjo with a 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony honoring 18 recipients – the Medal is the United States’ highest civilian honor. She was honored with the 2015 Native Leadership Award by the National Congress of American Indians, which she served as Executive Director during the 1980s. Next year’s symposium also brings a change to the format. There will be traditional singing in place of the usual powwow. “The singing will be free and open to the public. Anyone who wants to share or sing traditional songs (in any format) in their Native language is more than welcome to,” Douglas explained. Non-singers from the community are invited to attend and enjoy this event also. For more information about the symposium and to view a tentative schedule, visit www.nsuok.edu/symposium.