Native American Heritage activities in November

11/02/2011 08:57 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation will host two days of activities Nov. 9 and 10 to honor Native American Heritage Month. All events are free and open to the public.

At 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9, Professor Tim Garrison of Portland State University will present the keynote history address for the two-day event in the Tribal Council Chambers. His lecture, “The Cherokees in the Pac-12? Elisha Chester’s Bizarre Removal Plan,” illuminates an interesting aspect of Cherokee history.

In the early 1830s, the United States government was trying to decide where to relocate the Southeastern Indian nations. In 1832, one of the Cherokee Nation’s attorneys, Elisha Chester, offered a bizarre plan for the Cherokees’ relocation. Garrison’s lecture will discuss Chester’s role in the removal crisis, describe his failed removal proposal and explain why the lawyer became a pariah among the Cherokee. There will be time for questions and answers at the end of the presentation.

Professor Garrison is a well-known scholar of Cherokee history. His most recent book, “The Legal Ideology of Removal: The Southern Judiciary and the Sovereignty of Native American Nations,” has just been released in paperback.

Garrison currently directs Native American Studies at Portland State, has won various teaching awards, and has written numerous articles, book chapters, encyclopedia essays and book reviews.
Garrison received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky and his J.D. from the University of Georgia.

From 1:30-3 p.m. on Nov. 9, in the council chambers, producers from Twin Path Productions will present for the first time in the Tahlequah area their film of the June 2011 “Remember the Removal Bike Ride.”

This year’s ride was the first time members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians joined CN riders for 1,000-mile bicycle ride from Georgia to Tahlequah.

From 3:30-4 p.m. Helena McCoy, fifth-grade teacher at the Cherokee Immersion School, will present “My Awakening,” a PowerPoint presentation of images she took as a member of the “West to East Tour” sponsored by the CN Leadership Group this summer to the Cherokee homeland. McCoy will discuss her personal awakening to the achievements of Cherokee people and places and history encountered on the trip.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 10, in the Tsa-La-Gi Community Room (directly behind the Restaurant of the Cherokees), artists will be on hand to teach people how to make a variety of Cherokee arts and crafts.

Among the crafts to be demonstrated and taught are how to make baskets, cornhusk dolls, pinch pots, bead key rings and lanyards, braiding and finger weaving. All supplies for all arts and crafts will be provided at no charge to attendees.

Freeman Owle of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will also be on hand to teach stone carving. He will have a limited number of stone-carving kits, so people should arrive early to participate in this activity.

A stickball game will also be played this year for the first time. The game will take place from noon to 3 p.m. at the CN complex under the direction of Shane Dominick, who is the stickball coordinator.

“If you have never played and want to learn how, this would be a perfect opportunity. If you just love to watch stickball being played, come watch this fun event,” said event organizer Cathy Monholland.

For additional information, call Monholland at 918-453-5389 or e-mail her at


Senior Reporter – @cp_wchavez
08/23/2016 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Attorneys for former Cherokee Nation Foundation Executive Director Kimberlie Gilliland filed a motion in the tribe’s District Court on Aug. 17 requesting the court stay a civil case filed against her on July 27 by the CNF. The stay is requested pending the disposition of a criminal case against Gilliland filed by the CN attorney general’s office on July 28 alleging embezzlement and fraud during her time as CNF executive director. In the civil case, Gilliland faces 22 counts that stem from a more-than-two-year investigation involving irregularities in her salary, travel expenses, spending and awarding of CNF scholarships. Gilliland was appointed to serve as CNF executive director in August 2009 and served until July 2013. Gilliland has called the court filings “baseless.” Her request for a stay states that eight of the nine counts in the criminal case “are based upon the same allegations” in the civil case and that she would face a dilemma of self-incrimination in the criminal case if she chooses to defend herself against the civil charges. The motion also states a stay pending a final resolution of the criminal case “would further the interests” of the court and “would not harm the public.” Her civil case attorney, James Proszek of the law firm Hall, Estill, Hardwick, Gable of Tulsa, signed the motion. Also on Aug. 17, her attorney in the civil suit filed a motion to dismiss embezzlement and conversion claims by CNF attorney Ralph Keen. The motion claims the embezzlement and conversion claims were filed two years after the claims accrued and exceed statute of limitations and should be dismissed. District Judge Bart Fite had not responded to the two motions as of publication.
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
08/23/2016 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – At an Aug. 19 press conference, Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King said he believed his officers were justified in shooting 49-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Dominic Rollice while responding to an Aug. 12 disturbance. Rollice was transported to Northeast Health System where he was pronounced dead. At the press conference, King released the incident’s 911 call as well as body camera footage from one officer that showed the shooting. According to the 911 call, at about 9:35 p.m. Rollice was “drunk” at the caller’s home in the Shawnee Court vicinity. The caller said she was afraid the situation was going to “get ugly real quick.” King said Rollice was at the home, in which he did not live, and would not leave. Lt. Brandon Vick and Officers Josh Girdner and Chase Reed arrived at the home shortly after the call, King said. Reed’s body camera footage shows the three policemen speaking to Rollice and then following him into a garage. After Rollice retreats to the back of the garage, he pulls a claw hammer from a tool bench area and holds it above his head. The footage shows the officers ordering him to drop the hammer several times. Rollice says “no” and states that he’s in his house and he’s doing “nothing wrong.” Video shows Reed stating that he’s going to use his Taser and Rollice making a quick movement with the hammer. Girdner and Vick then fire six gunshots at Rollice at the same time Reed fires his Taser. After falling to the floor, the footage shows Reed performing CPR until emergency responders arrive. King said the footage shows a “violent encounter which resulted in the loss of a human life” and that the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting. He said the OSBI interviewed the three officers on Aug. 18 and that the officers were on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete. King added that the OSBI would provide the investigation’s results to the district attorney, who would then determine whether the shooting was justified. Although, the shooting is under investigation, King said he felt the officers followed procedure and were justified in how they handled the situation. The Cherokee Phoenix contacted Rollice’s parents for comment, but they declined. Court records show Rollice pleaded no contest to a 2015 child sexual abuse charge in Cherokee County and was serving a suspended sentence.
08/22/2016 08:15 PM
The Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CST, Sept. 1, 2016, inside the Tribal Services conference room in the Cherokee Nation complex. It is an open meeting and the public is welcome to attend. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to view</a>the agenda.
08/22/2016 04:00 PM
TULSA, Okla. – The Alzheimer’s Association Oklahoma Chapter will hold its 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 22 at the Guthrie Green located at 111 E. Mathew B. Brady St. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with a ceremony at 9 a.m. and the walk at 9:30 a.m. The walk’s length is 1.5 miles. “Alzheimer’s is an epidemic devastating our families, our finances and our futures. The disease is all around us, but the power to stop it is within us. Join us for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s and be inspired by all the footsteps that fall into place behind yours. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s,” Nellie Windsor, Alzheimer’s Association Oklahoma Chapter communications director, said. According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills and behavioral changes. For more information, call Leeanna Tomah at?918-392-5010 or email <a href="mailto:"></a> or visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.
08/22/2016 12:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – An agreement that settles longstanding lawsuits involving water rights in the historic treaty territories of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations in south central and southeastern Oklahoma was announced Aug. 11 by Gov. Mary Fallin, Oklahoma City officials and tribal leaders. The agreement provides a framework for intergovernmental collaboration on water resource issues that protects existing water rights and ends water and tribal sovereignty disputes stemming back to the 19th century, officials said while unveiling details of the agreement. “This is a big deal for our state,” Fallin said. “Having a sufficient and reliable supply of water is essential. It provides certainty for future development.” “The agreement also allows the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations to have a voice in specific proceedings addressing water resources within their treaty territories,” she said. Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton said the agreement includes a system of lake level release restrictions to conserve water resources for recreational activities in the region, a priority of the tribal governments. “This process we call mediation, it’s a wonderful process, it’s a difficult process,” Batton said. “At the end of the day, we all came together in the spirit of unity.” “This is an historic agreement,” Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby said. “While we’ve been sovereign since time immemorial, sovereignty is something we should never take for granted. As tribal leaders, we have a duty to engage in this process and exercise our right as sovereign nations to protect the interests of our people.” The Chickasaw and Choctaw nations have long accused Oklahoma of not abiding by the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, which gave the tribes authority over water in their jurisdiction. The state argued that the tribes were ignoring an 1866 pact in which they gave up certain rights after backing the Confederates in the Civil War. The current fight started in 2011 after Oklahoma City sought rights to water from a southeastern Oklahoma reservoir, Sardis Lake. The tribes filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the Oklahoma Water Resources Board had no right to consider an offer to use water from traditional Native American homeland. Oklahoma countersued, saying it wanted a court to resolve where the tribes’ rights begin and end in the Kiamichi, Muddy Boggy and Clear Boggy Watersheds in southeastern Oklahoma. Under the settlement, Oklahoma would continue to manage the state’s natural water supply but acknowledge tribal sovereignty and meet the tribes’ conservation guidelines, officials said. The deal also guarantees Oklahoma City’s long-term access to Sardis Lake. The agreement was signed Aug. 10 by U.S. District Judge Lee West. Congressional approval is also required. The dispute over Sardis Lake, which was built by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, is one of several that have focused on southeastern Oklahoma’s abundant water resources. The region’s Atoka pipeline has transported water to Oklahoma City and surrounding areas in central Oklahoma for about 50 years. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Oklahoma’s favor in a lawsuit filed in 2007 by the Tarrant Regional Water District in North Texas that sought access to southeastern Oklahoma tributaries of the Red River that separates the two states. The agreement does not authorize out-of-state use or diversion of water, which remains unlawful in the state. But it calls for a commission to evaluate the impacts of future proposals for out-of-state water use, which would remain subject to legislative authorization. In the Sardis Lake case, the tribes initially sought, among other things, an injunction against the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the Oklahoma Water Conservation Storage Commission. The state responded with its own lawsuit in February 2012 asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to decide what rights the two tribes actually have to water in the region. The state’s lawsuit was transferred to federal court and formal mediation began in July 2012. It took five years to settle the Sardis Lake dispute, but other water fights, especially in the drought-prone West, have dragged on far longer. In 2010, officials in New Mexico settled a 1966 lawsuit involving more than 2,500 defendants in a case involving four Native American pueblos and non-Native American residents in northern Santa Fe County.
08/20/2016 10:00 AM
STILWELL, Okla. – Cherokee Nation officials recently joined Cherokee National Treasure Donald Vann to unveil an original painting of former Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller. The painting depicts Mankiller wearing a tear dress, holding a blanket and basket filled with traditional Cherokee medicine plants. Vann painted Mankiller’s image standing in front of the newly renovated and expanded Wilma P. Mankiller Health Center, which will house the painting. Mankiller was the CN’s first and only female principal chief who served from 1985-95. She died at age 64 on April 6, 2010, at her home in rural Adair County shortly after being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.