WEST SILOAM SPRINGS, Okla. – The eighth annual Reindeer Games Poker Tournament at Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs helped raise $1,000 for the Oaks Indian Mission.
The funds were raised to ensure that children would be able to celebrate important milestones in 2015.
“We are very happy that Cherokee Nation Entertainment and Cherokee Nation Businesses continue to support the children we care for,” Oaks Indian Mission Executive Director Vance Blackfox said. “Gifts such as this and the ongoing support from casino employees and guests are crucial to providing the children with structure, a place to call home and educational opportunities that will bring hope for them and their futures.”
Those participating in the tournament were given an opportunity to purchase additional poker chips. The money generated from the rebuy was designated as a contribution to OIM, raising approximately $1,000.
“I’m proud to see our employees working hard to make sure the children of Oaks Indian Mission feel special throughout the year,” Tony Nagy, Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs general manager, said. “This is something they have continued to be passionate about. Making birthday memories is important for any child, but these children especially need loved during their special day.”
Aside from the donation of money, CNE, CNB and OIM collaborate year round to help better the lives of each child at the mission. Employees from CNE and CNB volunteer at the mission and serve as storytellers, mentors and tutors. Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs employees also provide monthly birthday cakes to the youth at OIM.
OIM cares for Native American youth ages 4 to 18. They house approximately 36 youth during the school year with a majority of them staying during the summer months.
For more information, visit <a href="http://www.oaksindianmission.org" target="_blank">www.oaksindianmission.org</a>.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation officials have told tribal employees that they will now text or call employees regarding possible office closings or late start times.
“This administration wants to ensure our employees are informed, and quickly, about decisions that affect their work day,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “In the past, when a foot of snow or ice patches covered the ground, our employees called our complex early that morning to listen to an operator recording to see if tribal offices would be open at 8 a.m., or they would text co-workers or bosses to ask.”
To alert employees earlier the tribe will use Blackboard Connect, “a mass notification service.”
“This is how it works: the system allowed our IT department to plug in all Cherokee Nation issued employee cell phones into a call list. When inclement weather strikes and our administration makes a decision to close the complex, or start work later than normal, employees will receive a phone call or text message, or both, as early as possible with such updates recorded by our Communications office,” according to a CN Communications release. “School systems, such as Fort Gibson, and city governments, such as Tahlequah, use similar messaging systems to keep their stakeholders informed.”
CN employees who use a personal cell phone can send a name, title, department and phone number to email@example.com if they would like to receive the same notifications.
“We realize it may take using this system a few times before it’s seamless, but I believe this will be another tool that increases the safety for employees and keeps you all better informed,” the release states. “Employees may also check Cherokee Nation Facebook and Cherokee Nation Twitter for the latest inclement weather related work updates as well.”
Tahlequah Sequoyah certainly has picked a proper time to peak during the season. The Indians and Lady Indians have taken advantage of a grueling January slate.
The boys (11-5) are riding a seven-game win streak and the girls (13-3) have a six-game win streak of their own, too.
Saturday, Jan. 24, Sequoyah claimed the boys and girls championship trophies at the Tri-State Classic in Jay. That type of domination couldn’t have come at a better time with No 1 boys and girls’ basketball teams in Class 4A coming to Sequoyah on Tuesday, Jan. 27.
Fort Gibson is a combined 27-1, as it has dominated its opponents throughout the season consistently. The girls game will start at 6:30 p.m. and the boys will follow at 8 p.m.
The same night, Sequoyah will honor a group who helped pave the way for basketball success at SHS--the Native American “Dream Team,” of 1998.
“This was the team that broke the ice, being the first SHS team to reach the state basketball tournament,” Sequoyah Athletic Director Marcus Crittenden said.
Leroy Qualls, who is now a superintendent, was the head coach of the boys team. Also, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor David Walkingstick was a member of the team, too, among notables.
In addition to the ceremony honoring the team, an autographed basketball from a notable Oklahoma City Thunder guard can be won, too.
“Thanks to a generous donation from BancFirst of Tahlequah, we have a basketball autographed by Russell Westbrook that we will raffle off the same night,” Crittenden said.
CATOOSA, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Entertainment purchased three properties each in 2014. The properties total approximately 152 acres with the largest being in Rogers County.
CNE purchased 89.98 acres on Sept. 30 from John and Velma Mullen. According to Rogers County records, the cost was $3.7 million. The land is located west/northwest of CNE’s Cherokee Hills Golf Course. The golf course is located at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
The Cherokee Phoenix reported in September that the acquired property would be used for the golf course.
According to artist renderings, “Cherokee Outlets” a premium outlet shop and entertainment and dining zone that was announced on Sept. 10 is expected to be built behind the Hard Rock and could possibly use land occupied by the golf course and its clubhouse.
CNB officials said they were awaiting a master plan for “Cherokee Outlets” as well as a plan from a golf course architect.
“We are in the process of negotiating with the golf course architect. I anticipate getting that agreement in place in the next couple of weeks and starting to do some preliminary work there,” CNB Executive Vice President Charles Garrett said in September.
According to CNE Communications, CNB officials are still planning work to be done on the golf course.
CNE also purchased approximately 6 acres for $256,500 in Sequoyah County, according to county records. Cherokee Nation Property Management purchased the land from Benjamin and Judy Cowan and later deeded it to Cherokee Nation Construction Resources for housing.
CNCR will build 23 homes that the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation will purchase after construction is complete.
On July 2, Jim and Connie Jolliff sold 57.75 acres in Delaware County to CNPM for $85,000, according to county records.
“This property is directly south/east of and abutting the Saline District Courthouse property owned by the Cherokee Nation,” CNE Communications officials said.
However, CNB officials did not release the land’s intended use citing “competitive information exemption.”
The three properties the CN bought are located in Cherokee County. Two properties were purchased from HLD Investments, a corporation in Tahlequah owned by the Mason and Minor families.
On Nov. 3, the CN purchased a property and its building known as the “Clinic in the Woods,” which is located near W.W. Hastings Hospital off Boone Street.
According to CN Communications, the tribe paid $1,078,500 for the 1.536 acres, and the building’s anticipated use will be for the tribe’s Behavioral Health Program.
Also purchased on Nov. 3 was the Cascade property totaling less than 1 acre. It’s located near Northeastern Health System Tahlequah and Hastings Hospital. The property cost $771,500 and will be used for Health Services.
The tribe also bought property located at 120 E. Balentine Road in Tahlequah for its motor vehicle tag office. It was purchased on Jan. 30 from Don Smith for $300,000, according to county records.
LINCOLN, Neb. – Vision Maker Media will be offering summer, or fall, 10-week, paid internships for Native American and Alaska Native college students at various public TV stations.
“Providing experience for Native students in the media is vitally important to ensure that we can continue a strong tradition of digital storytelling,” Shirley K. Sneve, Vision Maker Media executive director, said. “We are grateful for the support of local PBS stations in helping us achieve this goal.”
During the internship at least two short-form videos on local Native American or Alaska Native people, events or issues for on-air or online distribution should be completed.
With major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the purpose of this paid summer internship is to increase the journalism and production skills for the selected college student. One of the major goals of the internship will be to increase the quantity and quality of multimedia reporting available to public television audiences and other news outlets.
Students interested in applying for this internship opportunity must apply online at <a href="http://www.visionmakermedia.org/intern" target="_blank">www.visionmakermedia.org/intern</a> by March 24. The application process requires submission of a cover letter, resume, work samples, an official school transcript and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member or former supervisor. Top applicants will be notified in late April with the internships spanning between May 1 and Dec. 18.
Up to 10 public television stations will be selected to host an intern and an award of $5,000 to the station will be used to provide payment to the intern, cover any travel expenses and administrative fees.
Stations that would like to be considered for hosting a public media intern must apply online at <a href="http://www.visionmakermedia.org/intern" target="_blank">www.visionmakermedia.org/intern</a> by Feb. 3.
WASHINGTON – On Jan. 9, President Barack Obama announced that the Choctaw Nation is among five areas of the United States that will be part of the Promise Zone Initiative.
The president first announced the Promise Zone Initiative during last year’s State of the Union Address, as a way to partner with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, expand access to educational opportunities and quality, affordable housing and improve public safety.
“I am very thankful that the Choctaw Nation and partners have been awarded the Promise Zone designation,” said Choctaw Chief Gregory Pyle. “We are blessed to work with many state, regional, county, municipal, school, and university partners who, along with the Choctaw Nation, believe that great things can occur to lift everyone in southeastern Oklahoma when we work together.”
Parts of the president’s plan include investing in and rebuilding hard-hit communities are to restore the basic bargain at the heart of the American story; that every child should have a fair chance at success and that if you’re willing to work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to find a good job, feel secure in your community and support a family.
“This designation will assist ongoing efforts to emphasize small business development and bring economic opportunity to the high-need communities,” Pyle said. “I am confident that access to the technical assistance and resources offered by the Promise Zone designation will result in better lifestyles for people living and working within the Choctaw Nation.”
The other Promise Zone Initiative areas are located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and southeastern Kentucky.