Assistant Secretary of the Department of Interior Larry Echo Hawk, left, speaks to tribal leaders during a reception held in his honor on March 14 at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel Tulsa in Catoosa, Okla. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

BIA meets with Oklahoma tribal leaders

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Senior Reporter – @cp_wchavez
03/22/2012 08:47 AM
CATOOSA, Okla. – Twenty-three tribal leaders from eastern Oklahoma met with Larry Echo Hawk, assistant secretary of the Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs head, March 14-15 in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa.

Echo Hawk came to Oklahoma at the invitation of tribes to discuss with them common issues and concerns. During two days of meetings, he met with tribal leaders individually.

Principal Chief Bill John Baker said the issue all of the tribes agreed was most paramount was getting a BIA area director for the bureau’s area Muskogee office.

“We’ve been without an area director for over two years, and it’s cost about $850,000 that should be going to technical assistance that should be taking care of our needs and our problems,” Baker said. “We just feel like we deserve a full-time decision maker at the local level, as it’s designed, for us to be serviced.”

He said internal problems at the BIA forced the last area director, Jeanette Hanna, to be reassigned to Washington, D.C. This has forced the BIA to use acting area directors to attempt to assist tribes, and as is the case with someone in an acting role, Baker said, they can only do so much.

“They really don’t have the full faith and credit to give you direct answers, and it makes it dysfunctional and causes us to go through two or three levels instead of having an area director that has a certain amount of authority,” he said.

Baker said Echo Hawk has put naming a new area director on the “front burner.”

During a March 14 reception in his honor, Echo Hawk said during his three years of service as DOI assistant secretary, he has tried hard to meet with tribes in their homelands and not just in Washington.

“It’s an honor for me to be here in the Cherokee Nation. My favorite part of my job is meeting with people, the tribes. This is kind of typical day for me meeting with Indian tribes, meeting nation to nation. I represent the United States in communicating with the 566 tribes that are spread across Indian Country,” Echo Hawk said.

He said he hopes by meeting tribes in eastern Oklahoma they work together on common issues.

“The Obama administration has been working for the last three years plus to address some major issues for Indian Country. We’re not going to be able to solve every single issue that’s brought to us, but I think we’ve got a pretty strong record in the first three years,” he said. “It’s wonderful to have a president that cares. It’s wonderful to have a secretary of Interior that cares, and it’s wonderful to have career employees in the Bureau of Indian Affair and the Bureau of Indian Education…that care really care about the work that they do.”

During the National Congress of American Indians’ winter session in early March in Washington, leaders of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole nations met to discuss resurrecting the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes.

The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes was established to promote positive relationships among five of Oklahoma’s largest tribes while acknowledging the need for a united front from tribal leaders on various issues.

The council’s first major task was convincing Echo Hawk to travel to Oklahoma to meet with tribes in eastern Oklahoma, which he immediately agreed to do.

Baker said it was more economical for Echo Hawk and two staff members to come to Oklahoma to meet with 23 tribal leaders than to have the leaders fly to Washington.

“Traveling to D.C. is expensive. Getting two or three people to come this way instead of 40 to 60 people go that way – it just really made sense,” he said.

will-chavez@cherokee.org


918-207-3961


About the Author
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M.

He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life.
He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association.

Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M. He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life. He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association. Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.

News

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/01/2016 03:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation celebrates Charles L. Head Day in July. The tribe’s late secretary of state created the ONE FIRE against violence victim services office and task force to help victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and dating violence. For a full list of other CN events in July, see below. <strong>July 1</strong> The Summer Food Service Program at Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah will operate through July 8. Breakfast is provided from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. with lunch provided from 11 a.m. to noon, except on weekends and Fourth of July. For more information, call 918-453-5191. <strong>July 4</strong> The W.W. Keeler Complex, satellite offices and health centers will be closed for Independence Day. CN W.W. Hastings Hospital urgent care and emergency department as well as other CN emergency services will remain open. <strong>July 6</strong> 10 a.m. – Cultural Tourism presents its Stories on the Square event series on the Capitol Square in the gazebo in Tahlequah. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.visitcherokeenation.com" target="_blank">www.visitcherokeenation.com</a> or call 1-877-779-6977. <strong>July 8</strong> 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – “Know Your Sugar” tour to raise awareness against diabetes visits W.W. Hastings Hospital. Artists will unveil a Cherokee-inspired sculpture made from hundreds of sugar cubes on display in the pharmacy area. 5 p.m. – Deadline to apply for the 2016 Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition for Cherokee women ages 17-22. To download the application, visit <a href="http://www.cherokee.org" target="_blank">www.cherokee.org</a> and click on the Cherokee Ambassadors link in the education section of the services tab. For more information, call 918-453-5000, ext. 4991. <strong>July 12</strong> 6 p.m. – Tribal Council meeting at the W.W. Keeler Complex. For the agenda, visit http://legislative.cherokee.org. <strong>July 15</strong> 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – “Of The Earth” exhibit at Cherokee National Prison Museum in Tahlequah will be on display through Nov. 30. The exhibit is on gardening through the years and its importance to the Cherokee people. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.visitcherokeenation.com" target="_blank">www.visitcherokeenation.com</a> <strong>July 14</strong> 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – GrowthWheel workshop for entrepreneurs, hosted by CN Small Business Assistance Center, will be held at Rogers State University Bartlesville campus. Attendees will participate in a hands-on, action-oriented program designed to help entrepreneurs at all stages overcome their barriers to growth. For more information, call 918-207-3955. <strong>July 13</strong> 10 a.m. – Cultural Tourism presents its Stories on the Square event series on the Capitol Square in the gazebo in Tahlequah. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.visitcherokeenation.com" target="_blank">www.visitcherokeenation.com</a> or call 1-877-779-6977. <strong>July 18</strong> 10 a.m. – CN hosts a ceremony at the Court Square in recognition of Charles L. Head Day, the tribe’s late secretary of state. The event will feature a butterfly release to raise awareness for victims of domestic violence, dating violence and child abuse. <strong>July 19</strong> 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Growth Wheel workshop for entrepreneurs, hosted by CN Small Business Assistance Center, will be held at the Sallisaw Career Services office. Attendees will participate in a hands-on, action-oriented program designed to help entrepreneurs at all stages overcome their barriers to growth. For more information, call 918-207-3955. <strong>July 20</strong> 10 a.m. – Cultural Tourism presents its Stories on the Square event series on the Capitol Square in the gazebo in Tahlequah. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.visitcherokeenation.com" target="_blank">www.visitcherokeenation.com</a> or call 1-877-779-6977. 5 p.m. – Deadline to apply for the Junior Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition, girls ages 13-18, and Little Cherokee Ambassadors Competition, boys and girls ages 4-12. To download the application, visit www.cherokee.org and click on the Cherokee Ambassadors link in the education section of the services tab. For more information on the Junior Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition, call 918-453-5397. For more information on the Little Cherokee Ambassador Competition, call 918-525-2266. <strong>July 21</strong> Noon – CN Community & Cultural Outreach’s Lunch & Learn lecture series presents a presentation and book signing with CN citizen and author Dr. Julie Reed. Reed will be discussing her book “Serving the Nation: Cherokee Sovereignty and Social Welfare, 1800-1907.” The event will be located in the Osiyo Training Room behind the CN Gift Shop in Tahlequah. For more information, email <a href="mailto: catherine-gray@cherokee.org">catherine-gray@cherokee.org</a>. 10 a.m. to11:30 a.m. – Growth Wheel workshop for entrepreneurs, hosted by CN Small Business Assistance Center, will be held at the Tulsa Career Services. Attendees will participate in a hands-on, action-oriented program designed to help entrepreneurs at all stages overcome their barriers to growth. For more information, call 918-207-3955. <strong>July 26</strong> 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. –Tribal Councilor Harley Buzzard hosts a community meeting at the Jay Community Center. Several CN departments and services will be on site to provide citizens with information on the tribe’s programs and services. Sandwiches and refreshments will be served, with door prizes also given away. 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Cooweescoowee Health Center hosts a blood drive in Ochelata that is open to the public. For more information, call 918-535-6042 or 918-535-6044. <strong>July 27</strong> 10 a.m. – Cultural Tourism presents its Stories on the Square event series on the Capitol Square in the gazebo in Tahlequah. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.visitcherokeenation.com" target="_blank">www.visitcherokeenation.com</a> or call 1-877-779-6977. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – The Vinita Health Center hosts Sports Physical Day for the student-athletes in the area. For more information, call 918-256-4822. <strong>July 28</strong> 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Growth Wheel workshop for entrepreneurs, hosted by CN Small Business Assistance Center, will be held at the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation office in Claremore. Attendees will participate in a hands-on, action-oriented program designed to help entrepreneurs at all stages overcome their barriers to growth. For more information, call 918-207-3955. 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – CN Cancer Survivor Group hosts the group’s monthly meeting at W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah. Open to all cancer survivors, family members and caretakers. For more info, call 918-453-5759. <strong>July 29</strong> 7:05 p.m. – Come out to the ballpark and experience CN Night at ONEOK Field as the Tulsa Drillers take on the Arkansas Travelers. Several CN services and departments will be on site to provide fans with information on the tribe’s many programs and services. To purchase tickets, visit <a href="http://www.tulsadrillers.com" target="_blank">www.tulsadrillers.com</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
07/01/2016 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Congratulations to Wauneta Wine of Columbia, Maryland, on winning a soapstone carving made by Cherokee sculptor Matthew Girty as part of the second Cherokee Phoenix giveaway. The carving, titled “Old Settlers,” is approximately 5 inches tall, including its wooden base, and 5 inches wide and depicts a Cherokee person. Wine was selected as the winner during a July 1 drawing. Entries for the quarterly giveaways are obtained by people donating to the Cherokee Phoenix elder fund or buying a subscription or merchandise. One entry is given for every $10 spent. The Cherokee Phoenix will hold its third drawing on Oct. 1 when it gives away four painted tiles by Cherokee artist MaryBeth Timothy of MoonHawk Art. The tiles are 6 inches by 8 inches titled “Bear Clan” with a bear, “Ancient Glory” with an eagle, “PeekaBoo” with a wolf and “Seven” or “GaLiQuoGi” with horses. For more information regarding the giveaways, call Samantha Cochran at 918-207-3825 or Justin Smith at 918-207-4975 or email <a href="mailto: samantha-cochran@cherokee.org">samantha-cochran@cherokee.org</a> or <a href="mailto: justin-smith@cherokee.org">justin-smith@cherokee.org</a>. For more information on Cherokee Custom Carvings, email <a href="mailto: cherokeecustomcarvings@gmail.com">cherokeecustomcarvings@gmail.com</a>. For more information on MoonHawk Art, email moonhawkart@gmail.com or visit <a href="http://www.moonhawkart.com" target="_blank">http://www.moonhawkart.com</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
06/30/2016 04:00 PM
PARK HILL, Okla. – The Cherokee Heritage Center is getting an $8,500 grant from the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation to expand its award-winning Cultural Outreach Program by providing free services within Cherokee, Adair, Sequoyah, LeFlore, Latimer and Haskell counties. “We are so pleased to be receiving this grant and are looking forward to utilizing it to further our reach in northeast Oklahoma,” CHC Executive Director Candessa Tehee said. “These funds will allow us to continue our work promoting Cherokee culture so our history and traditions may thrive for generations to come.” The Cultural Outreach Program has been recognized by the American Association of State and Local History. The program aims to engage and enlighten participants, inspire curiosity and foster learning through hands-on art classes, interactive theatrical storytelling and cultural presentations. For more information, call Gina Burnett at 918-456-6007, ext.6144 or email gina-burnett@cherokee.org. The Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation was founded by the late Carolyn Watson, CEO and chairman of Shamrock Bank N.A. in 1995 to improve the quality of life in rural Oklahoma. Through its two grant programs, the organization promotes education, health, literacy and arts and the humanities in 20 Oklahoma counties. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded nearly $900,000 in grants to schools, teachers and communities in rural Oklahoma. Additionally, the Carolyn Watson Opportunities Scholarship offers awards of up to $10,000 per academic year for high school seniors graduating from 62 rural Oklahoma counties to attend college. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.ruraloklahoma.org" target="_blank">www.ruraloklahoma.org</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
06/30/2016 12:00 PM
TAHELQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation on June 3 honored 30 community organizations formed and run by CN citizens who do volunteer work, promote Cherokee culture and make other contributions. About 500 organization members attended the tribe’s Community Impact Awards banquet held at Northeastern State University. Most of the organizations honored are located within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction and range from organizations that run shelters to those building playgrounds. “These Cherokee Nation citizens deserve our praise for doing extremely important work to improve the lives of others in their cities and communities,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “That work includes mentoring Cherokee youth with their homework after school to running nutrition centers as volunteers for our elders, which is why it’s fitting that we honor these groups each year.” Breanna Potter, 21, a CN citizen from Sallisaw, started the Brushy Youth Dream Team after she noticed there were not many places for teens to hang out in the Brushy community. The tribe honored her with the Community Inspiration Award. “We’ve had two youth lock-ins with about 50 students, and we train on leadership, healthy lifestyles and teambuilding,” she said. “It’s providing them a place to go that is positive.” The teens also go through leadership training and work on community service projects together. The Spavinaw Community Building Board Inc., of Mayes County, received the Elder Care Award. Three days a week they cook meals for about 60 seniors and hold sessions on elder care, blood pressure checks, signs of dementia and other topics. They also deliver food to homebound seniors. “We have to check on our elders to make sure they are OK in our community,” board member Susan Winn said. “It’s important these elders see someone or have someone to talk to, since in many cases most are in a one-resident home.” Winn said she was honored by the Nation’s recognition. “I was almost in tears, I was so proud. It’s the first award for us and a milestone.” The following organizations received the following Community Impact Awards: • Newcomer of the Year Award: P.O.T.L.U.C.K. Society of Claremore • Mary Mead Volunteerism Award: Brushy Cherokee Action Association, Sequoyah County • Most Improved Award: C.C. Camp Community Organization of Adair County • Best in Technology Award: Tahlequah Men’s Shelter and Cherokees of Orange County, Calif. • Continuing Education Award: #4Hope Inc. of Locust Grove • Elder Care Award: Spavinaw Community Building Board Inc. and Colorado Cherokee Circle of Denver • Evaluations and Outcomes Measurements Award: Encore! Performing Society of Tahlequah • Best-In-Reporting Award: Stilwell Public Library Friends Society of Adair County and Cherokee Community of Central California • Technical Assistance Award: Tri-Community W.E.B. Association in Briggs • Grant Writer of the Year Award: Cherokee Elders Council of Locust Grove • Strong Hands Award: Orchard Road Community Outreach of Stilwell • Cultural Perpetuation Award: Cherokee National Treasures Association and Valley of the Sun Cherokees of Phoenix • Historical Preservation Award: Adair County Historical & Genealogical Association and San Diego Cherokee Community • Lifetime Achievement Award: George and Linda Miller of Webbers Falls • Community Partnership Award: Cherokees for Black Indian History Preservation in Tahlequah and Capital City Cherokees of Washington, D.C. • Outstanding Communication Award: Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club of Claremore and Cherokee Community of North Texas of Dallas • Above and Beyond Award: Neighborhood Association of Chewey • Youth Participation Award: Encore! Performing Society of Tahlequah and Kansas City Cherokee Community • Mission Accomplished Award: Native American Association of Ketchum • Community Inspiration Award: Breanna Potter of Sequoyah County and Roger Vann of Adair County (posthumously) • Organization of the Year Award: Neighborhood Association of Chewey in Adair County and Mount Hood Cherokees of Eugene, Oregon.
BY LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON
Special Correspondent
06/30/2016 08:15 AM
TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office is getting some new equipment courtesy of the Cherokee Nation. On June 15, Tribal Councilor Buel Anglen presented a $5,000 check to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of the Nation. The funds, generated by the tribe’s motor vehicle tag compact with the state, will go towards replacing some of the department’s bulletproof vests, which last about five years. With each vest priced at about $700 each, the contribution will cover seven vests. Officials with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office said they expect to replace about 40 full-time deputies’ vests this year. That figure does not include participants in the department’s currently suspended reserve deputy program. With most of his constituents living in Tulsa County, Anglen said the contribution was overdue. His district includes the city of Tulsa north of Admiral Boulevard, Sperry and portions of Collinsville, Skiatook and Owasso. “I’ve always really wanted to contribute to Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office because I’ve regularly contributed to law enforcement agencies in Rogers County,” Anglen said. “So I found a connection and made it happen. Tulsa County is a big county and while I don’t have it all in my district, I do have a huge amount of it that’s served by Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office’s protection. They deserve some of that money just like any other law enforcement agency.”
BY STAFF REPORTS
06/29/2016 02:00 PM
The Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board will meet at 9 a.m. CST, July 12, 2016, via conference call. It is an open meeting and the public is welcome to attend by using the conference call information to join the meeting. <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2016/6/10415_7.12.16CherokeePhoenixEditorialBoardMeetingAgenda.pdf" target="_blank">Click here to view</a>the agenda. Dial-in: 866-210-1669 Entry code: 4183136#