Caidlen Dunham, of Jay, stands in front of Cherokee Colored Flour Corn that she and her father planted. The seeds came from the tribe’s seed bank project. COURTESY PHOTO
CN offers heirloom seeds to citizens
Former Cherokee Nation Natural Resources intern Jamie Loy holds a Cherokee heirloom Georgia Candy Roaster Squash growing in the tribe’s garden in Tahlequah, Okla. COURTESY PHOTO
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The days are getting longer and all good gardeners know that means it will soon be time to start seeds for spring and summer gardens. And once again the Cherokee Nation is offering gardeners a chance to grow a bit of the tribe’s history and culture in their own backyards.
For the past few years tribal citizens have had the opportunity to request heirloom seeds from the CN Natural Resources as part of a seed bank project. The seeds are for plants that have been researched to relate historically to the CN, such as Georgia Candy Roaster Squash, Job’s Tears or Birdhouse and Dipper Gourds. Other species Cherokee Floured Corn, Cherokee White Eagle Corn, Cherokee White Flour Corn, Cherokee Yellow Flour Corn, Red Pop Corn, Rattlesnake Bean, Native Tobacco, Pumpkin Squash and Trail of Tears’ Beads. Most are rare cultivars not widely available through commercial means.
“The qualities that were desired back then, are most definitely more different than the qualities desired today,” Natural Resources Director Pat Gwin said. “You can leave our corn in a bucket for months on end and it will retain a high nutritional value and never lose its freshness. It can also be ground up into flour over the winter months. Whereas if you leave sweet corn in the same position it will shrivel up into nothing and lose all of its attributes.”
Around 2,000 seed packets were mailed to CN citizens throughout the U.S. and beyond in 2011. The Natural Resources staff is gearing up to send out at least that many seeds this winter. The seeds are free, but participating gardeners are asked to help restock the seed bank by sending seeds from their crops to share with others via the seed bank.
“We already have a significant amount of requests for seeds,” Natural Resources specialist Mark Dunham said “And we will start advertising everything we offer and grow on Feb. 1.”
A good variety will be available for request for the 2012 growing season. Beans and some other items will be limited this year due to last year’s extreme weather in parts of the country.
“The heat and drought really diminished our inventories and prevented us from replenishing our seed bank with certain varieties. Fortunately, we had some folks from back east that sent us seeds, allowing us to still be able to give those items away,” Dunham said.
Dunham said one seed the bank this year that it didn’t in 2011 is the Jewel Gourd.
He said the gourds, which measure around 2 to 3 inches in diameter, might have been worn ornamentally by Cherokees for centuries in a similar manner to how other tribes might wear a deerskin pouch.
“You see designs sometimes that show people wearing Jewel Gourds on old Eastern woodlands pottery,” Dunham said.
For more information about the seed bank project, visit the Natural Resources webpage at www.cherokee.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A person may specify up to two seed varieties and are encouraged to include an alternate selection if the first choice is not available. Please include a name, copy of CN citizenship card (blue card), mailing address, and if requesting tobacco seeds, proof of being at least 18.
– Reporter Dillon Turman contributed to this report
CATOOSA, Okla. – On Jan. 15, comedian Kevin Nealon will bring his stand-up comedy tour to The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
As one of the longest running cast members on “Saturday Night Live,” Nealon created some of the show’s most memorable characters, including The Subliminal Man, Hans and Franz and a reoccurring role as an anchor on Weekend Update. In 1988, he earned an Emmy Award nomination as part of the “SNL” writing team.
Since his time on “SNL,” Nealon has encountered great comic success with an extensive film career starring in films such as “Just Go With it,” “Eight Crazy Nights,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Happy Gilmore,” “You Don’t Mess with The Zohan” and “Blended.”
Nealon’s other film credits include “Joe Dirt,” “Daddy Day Care,” “Good Boy,” “Grandma’s Boy” and “Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star.”
He starred in the television show “Weeds” until the final season in 2009 and is a sought-after guest star on television shows “Hot In Cleveland,” “Franklin & Bash,” “Monk,” “Fat Actress,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Still Standing.”
In 2008, Nealon released his first book, “Yes, You’re Pregnant, But What About Me?” – a comical look at the male perspective of pregnancy. In 2009, he scored his first one-hour, stand-up special, “Kevin Nealon: Now Hear Me Out!” which aired on Showtime. In 2012, he recorded his second Showtime stand-up special, “Whelmed… But Not Overly.”
Tickets to the show start at $35 and can be purchased online at <a href="http://www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com" target="_blank">www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com</a>
or by calling 918-384-ROCK. For more information on Kevin Nealon, visit <a href="http://www.kevinnealon.com/" target="_blank">kevinnealon.com/</a>.
CATOOSA, Okla. – After touring and recording for the past 44 years, ZZ Top will be performing on Jan. 16 at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will perform classic hits ranging from “Sharp Dressed Man” to “La Grange” and “Legs” and "Tush" along with “I Gotsta Get Paid” and other new material from “La Futura,” their latest album with producer Rick Rubin.
ZZ Top formed in Houston in 1969, becoming an international touring act in the 1970s. Their unique hybrid of dirty blues and hard rock, incorporating new sounds and technology, earned them induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
The band will be releasing a comprehensive greatest hit collection titled “The Baddest of ZZ Top.” They will be sharing bills with Jeff Beck next summer and undertaking a slate of tour dates on their own in the fall.
Tickets to the show start at $60 and can be purchased online at www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com or by calling 918-384-ROCK. For more information on the band, visit <a href="http://www.zztop.com" target="_blank">zztop.com</a>.
LOST CITY, Okla. – American flags lined the dirt road leading up the Swimmer Church in rural Lost City on Nov. 11 as veterans and their families came to partake in the church’s annual Veterans Day program.
One of the event’s organizers, Pat Martinez, said her late mother, Lora Crittenden, and her mother’s best friend, Juanita Allen, began honoring veterans at the church 25 years ago on Veterans Day. She said her late uncle, Bob Crittenden, was a prisoner of war during World War II, and her mother and Allen thought it would be nice to honor Bob and other veterans in the community on Veterans Day.
“So they called and they went to see people and asked people to come to Veterans Night. They made little trinkets and used crate paper (to make decorations). It’s evolved to 25 years later to what it is now,” Martinez said. “We give them something to remember the church and also to remember them being a veteran. We’re proud of this small community coming together and making a difference.”
During the program, veterans enter the church after everyone else is seated and are seated in the front. Veterans are presented with certificates and medals and are asked to stand or sit on the stage and tell everyone the military branch in which they served.
After the program, which includes a welcome from the pastor and patriotic songs, the veterans walk next door to the church’s fellowship hall for a potluck meal.
Martinez said the church’s congregation understands a program and a meal is “not much” to thank the veterans for their willingness to sacrifice themselves to help protect the country.
“If you served during peace time or if you were combat, our freedom still depends on men and women like you,” she said during the program. “God bless you veterans and God bless America.”
Cherokee veteran Ross Gourd, who lives in the nearby community of Double Springs, served in the Army from 1969-71. He has been coming to the Swimmer Church Veterans Day program for 13 years and appreciates that veterans have a place to get together on their day and enjoy a home-cooked meal. He is a recipient of the Cherokee Warrior Award from the Cherokee Nation.
Jimmy Carey of Hulbert served in the Air Force during the Vietnam era from 1966-70.
“I did what I had to do to show that my people were supportive of this government. I think it’s the greatest government there is. It’s not perfect, but it’s great, and I wouldn’t want to live anyplace else,” he said.
A CN citizen, Carey taught the Cherokee language at Sequoyah High School for 14 years and worked for the Nation for 22 years. He retired from teaching this past spring.
It was his first time attending the church’s Veterans Day program and he said he was “impressed.”
“This is what can happen when you get to thinking you need to do something. I like it. I really do. I’ll be back next year,” he said.
Martinez said 20 to 25 veterans attend the program each year, but as the years pass there are less and less World War II and Korean War veterans.
“We hope the younger ones will pick up the torch and come,” she said.
WASHINGTON – Photographer Dana Gluckstein is working alongside Amnesty International to honor Native American Heritage Month. In doing so they announced the tour of DIGNITY: Tribes in Transition, an award-winning photography exhibition that honors indigenous peoples worldwide.
Exhibition photographs are being shared on social media sites during November. The exhibition will open on Jan. 29 at the Boston University Art Gallery.
According to a Boston University College of Fine Arts press release, DIGNITY’s artistry, power and impassioned call to action create a historic exhibition in support of indigenous peoples, who represent six percent of the global population.
DIGNITY previously toured in European museums for the past several years. More exhibition dates and locations will be announced soon.
To view Gluckstein’s work, visit her Twitter and Instagram @DanaGluckstein.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Revenue at U.S. casinos jumped more than 6 percent in 2012, the first significant increase in three years as economic growth picked up speed and more casinos opened in several markets.
But revenue generated by Indian casinos rose less than 2 percent the same year, Casino City’s North American Gaming Almanac found. Growth is limited due to regulations restricting tribal casino expansion beyond reservations and differences between tribes over how best to expand, said Vin Narayanan, editor-in-chief of Casino City.
“There’s a giant political question about that,” he said.
Total gambling revenue in 2012 was $94.47 billion, with the largest share, $40.38 billion, from casinos and card rooms. Tribal casinos generated $28.14 billion followed by lotteries ($23.41 billion) and racing and sports gambling ($2.55 billion) in 2012.
Casino revenue grew by a fraction of 1 percent in 2011 and 2010 and fell nearly 6 percent in 2009 as the steepest economic downturn since the Depression took hold.
Year-to-year revenue changes are vastly different from one state to another. In Ohio, for example, total gambling revenue jumped by one-third from 2011 to 2012 as casino gambling ramped up.
But in New Jersey, seventh largest among the states in overall gambling revenue in 2012, casino revenue fell from $3.69 billion in 2009 to $2.71 billion in 2012 as three Atlantic City casinos shut. Nevada, California and New York are the top three states in casino revenue.
Narayanan said saturation is the culprit for the decline of Atlantic City’s casinos, but it’s not an issue elsewhere.
“Are there too many casinos in the market? As far as Atlantic City is concerned, there are too many casinos on the market,” he said.
But casinos opening in Ohio are satisfying “pent-up demand,” he said.
Similarly, the legalization of casino gambling in Maryland in 2008 and the opening of the state’s first casino in 2010 generated tremendous revenue. Casino and card room revenue increased from $27.6 million in 2010 to $377.8 million in 2012. Total gambling revenue jumped to $1.15 billion in 2012 from $760.6 million in the same period.
“Maryland is a place that’s just taking off,” Narayanan said.
The opening of casinos in Massachusetts in the next few years is expected to lead to a significant new source of revenue, possibly at the expense of neighboring Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort casinos.
Narayanan questioned if gamblers who check out a Massachusetts casino will still be comfortable traveling to Connecticut’s tribal casinos.
“That’s a real good question,” he said.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Phoenix offers a digital alternative to keep in touch with the news and events posted by the Cherokee Phoenix for those on the go who want to stay in the know.
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