Free home energy audits for CN citizens

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/11/2012 03:05 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Environmental Programs will offer free home energy audits for CN citizens living in the 14-county jurisdiction.

“Air leakage robs your home of cooled or heated air, costing you money and leaving your home drafty and uncomfortable,” an Environmental Programs email states. “Our Home Energy Auditors will use a non-invasive procedure to measure how much air leakage is in your home and will locate air leaks with an infrared camera.”

The audit report will be mailed to participants with pictures and recommendations. In addition, the program will provide a “free basic weatherization kit.”

The kit will contain supplies including caulk, a caulking gun, backer rod and weather-strips.

To schedule a free home energy audit call 918-453-5099 to leave your name and phone number.

Potential participants will be contacted to answer questions and to schedule an audit.

News

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/28/2015 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Sequoyah Schools Summer Feeding Program will kick off on May 26. The program provides free breakfast and lunch to children 18 years old and younger. The program is set to run until July 16 and will be provide meals Monday through Thursday. Breakfast is served at 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. while lunch is served from 11 a.m. to noon. Adults may also enjoy the food and purchase breakfast for $2 and lunch for $4. Sequoyah’s cafeteria is located at 17091 S. Muskogee Ave. For more information, call 918-453-5190.
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/27/2015 04:30 PM
BUNCH, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma State Bureau of investigation is looking into a fatal officer-involved shooting in Adair County. The OSBI says the shooting occurred at about 11:10 a.m. Sunday when an unnamed Oklahoma wildlife officer approached three people fishing in the Bunch area of far eastern Oklahoma. The officer asked to see their fishing licenses and learned that one of them had an outstanding warrant for parole violation in Arkansas. The officer attempted to take the man into custody and he began to fight. Both men fell into a pond where the suspect tried to hold the officer's head under water. The officer fought his way above the water and fatally shot the suspect. The name of the suspect was not released. The district attorney will determine whether the shooting was justified
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Senior Reporter
04/27/2015 01:30 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Speakers and former teachers of the Cherokee language are worried about its state and how the tribe could be one generation away from losing it. During a February presentation about the language, Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach Director Rob Daugherty said the perception that the CN has 10,000 speakers is incorrect because the survey that produced that number allowed people to “self-identify” as speakers. He said his staff conducted an informal survey to estimate how many Cherokee speakers were left in the Nation and that nearly 500 people were located. Daugherty said of those remaining speakers, some are dying each month. He said in Adair County nearly 200 people were identified as speakers in October. Within three months, 13 of them had died. “Every day we are losing our language because people are passing. The unfortunate part is all of those speakers are my age (64). We can’t count anyone below us as fluent speakers. We’ve got to do something. We’ve tried everything in the world. It’s not working. What are we going to do?” he said. “We are at a crisis folks. I would say 90 percent of our speakers are over 50. We are not replacing speakers as our elders die.” David Scott grew up in Rocky Mountain speaking Cherokee at home along with everyone in his family. English stopped when he got home from school, he said. He said the CN needs fluent speakers to teach Cherokee in the communities and share it when they can. “It’s up to the speakers to open their mouths and start teaching. I think that’s where it’s at. If they really want to save the language, they’re the ones who are going to have to start speaking up,” Scott said. “If they would start teaching their own children and the people around them, I think we would go far. The more you hear it, the more you are able to converse with somebody and ask questions whenever you need to.” Scott said speakers should wear buttons that read, “I’m a speaker. Speak to me or ask me questions.” He added that Cherokee should be spoken at Tribal Council meetings even it’s just a prayer or someone summarizing information. “You have to have the language out front. Anything the Cherokee Nation does, the language ought to be in the forefront,” he said. He said Tribal Councilors and the principal chief should promote Cherokee everywhere they go in the CN. “If that’s one of the goals of the Cherokee Nation, that’s what they ought to be doing – encouraging people to learn and encouraging people to teach,” he said. He said the tribe’s language programs have been “hit and miss” and efforts to save the language need to be organized. “We’ve got to have a goal. I don’t think everyone’s on board for a common goal. What are we trying to do? The direction we need to go, I don’t think, has ever been discussed.” Jimmy Carey of Hulbert taught Cherokee at Sequoyah High School for 14 years before retiring in 2014. He said the language’s situation is “severe” and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for him to find people who can speak Cherokee “all day long” without reverting to English. He said there are five speakers at the New Hope First Indian Baptist Church near Hulbert who he can speak to, and they are all older than him. He is 69. The two or three generations behind him might know some words and phrases, but are not conversational, he said. “A lot of people have knowledge of it and can say a few words, and think they can speak it, but they’re wrong, they can’t,” Carey said. “That’s why I say, we are in a very severe category of losing the language.” He said his mom told him to never be ashamed to speak Cherokee, and he’s not, but there are not many people he can talk to in Cherokee. “I had my mom up until 1997. She wouldn’t acknowledge my presence...in the English language. It was always Cherokee because she didn’t really understand it (English),” he said. “I wish that we could converse it more often what we do. We are prolonging its (language) stay on the earth by teaching words. That’s not wrong; I’m not against that at all. I told my kids when they left my class they could get as fluent in it or knowledgeable in it as they wanted to.” Growing up in Delaware County, Helena McCoy said she didn’t fully learn English until the fourth grade because Cherokee was her first language and it was spoken at home. “I was spoken to in Cherokee by my siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all my cousins. Everyone at church spoke Cherokee,” she said. “I never saw anything different because everybody in my world spoke Cherokee.” Now living in Sequoyah County, she retired in December from teaching at the CN Immersion Charter School. Before that she taught at the Marble City School for 20 years. She said the immersion school is not producing students who can speak Cherokee as well as when fluent, first-language teachers taught there. She taught kindergarten through fifth grade in her 6-1/2 years there. “In order for immersion to be successful, in my opinion, fluent speakers need to be teaching in every class and it should go back to being a private school. What I saw was, once students leave kindergarten and first grade, teachers have to teach in English because students are being tested in English because it is a chartered school,” she said. “Computers are not being used towards learning the language. Teachers speak English more than Cherokee in classrooms. Cherokee is not heard in the hallways, on the playground, on the bus, and in the classrooms.” Scott said the school should bring in speakers from communities to interact with students. Immersion students are learning Cherokee, but he said they don’t know enough to carry it forward. “Anybody below my generation, when we’re all gone we’re going to lose it,” he said.
BY JAMI MURPHY
Reporter
04/27/2015 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation officials are continuing the application process for a Joint Venture Project that will help provide a new hospital in Tahlequah in cooperation with the Indian Health Service. IHS Environmental Health and Engineering Director Gary Hartz said his office deals with hospital and clinic plans, designs and construction and that the CN is continuing to prepare the planning documents. “I expect that they (the documents) will be forthcoming here in the not too distant future,” Hartz said. CN Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said tribal officials are preparing planning documents that IHS officials will review. These planning documents will help determine what specifically IHS will fund. The next step after the planning documents are reviewed will be the negotiation period between the tribe and IHS to determine funding. In January, the CN announced it was awarded the Joint Venture Program project to help pay for a new hospital. As part of the agreement between the CN and IHS, the tribe will fund the construction of a more than 250,000-square-foot facility on the hospital’s Tahlequah campus. IHS initially provides up to $30 million per year for 20 years for staffing and operations, according to CN Communications. Hoskin said that figure was determined on the “estimated size of the facility and the types of services offered.” “A number of details remain to be worked out to determine the actual amount of funding, but CN is confident that the funding will be up to $30 million per year. IHS’ commitment will be 20 years and we anticipate that this period will be reviewed for the life of the facility,” Hoskin said. No construction can begin until IHS and tribal officials sign a Joint Venture agreement. Hoskin added that the venture would transform Hastings into a state-of-the-art health campus. “Cherokee Nation successfully leveraged its commitment to putting its own dollars toward the construction of facilities, along with our solid record for providing qualified care, to obtain this JV,” he said. “The injection of $30 million in new operating funds will benefit our entire health system, including by addressing staffing issues.” Hartz said at this time it is premature to guess or assume how much funding would be awarded to the CN for the new facility’s operation. “Until at least we get all the documents in here,” he said. “We look at not only the project justification document that’ll be coming in as one of the planning documents, but also the program of requirements, which gets a lot more into what the tribe has identified as their staffing need. And we need to go through that validation, that it’s consistent with our planning methodologies. And until all that is done, the calculation of exact dollars is not finalized.” Until all the documents are received and reviewed by the IHS, Hartz said it would be speculation on when funding amounts could be determined.
BY TESINA JACKSON
Reporter
04/25/2015 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Six current Tribal Councilors have perfect attendance with regards to Tribal Council and special Tribal Council meetings, according to meeting minutes. For current legislators serving between Aug. 14, 2011, and April 13, 2015, Jack Baker, Joe Byrd, Tina Glory Jordan, Dick Lay, Janees Taylor and David Walkingstick have 100 percent attendance. Byrd began serving on the Tribal Council on Jan. 23, 2012, after winning an election to replace Bill John Baker, who became chief on Oct. 19, 2011, after a drawn-out principal chief’s race. Janelle Fullbright has 98 percent attendance and Don Garvin had a 97 percent attendance record. Lee Keener and Curtis Snell have 96 percent attendance. Harley Buzzard, who began serving on the Tribal Council on Aug. 14, 2013; Frankie Hargis, who began serving on Dec. 12, 2011; and Victoria Vazquez, who began serving on Oct. 22, 2013, have 95 percent attendance. David Thornton was next with 94 percent attendance. Julia Coates and Cara Cowan Watts both have 88 percent attendance, and Jodie Fishinghawk has 84 percent attendance. Four other people served on the Tribal Council during the time period but are no longer serving. Buel Anglen, who served from Aug. 14, 2011, to Aug. 13, 2013, had 100 percent attendance. Bill John Baker, who served about two months before becoming principal chief, also had perfect attendance. Chuck Hoskin Jr., who served from Aug. 14. 2011, to Aug. 29, 2013, had perfect attendance as well. Meredith Frailey, who served from Aug. 14, 2011, to Aug. 13, 2013, attended 93 percent of the meetings. The Cherokee Nation’s legislative branch consists of 17 Tribal Councilors. They are elected by popular vote to four-year terms. Fifteen are elected to represent the districts within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdictional boundaries and two are elected to represent CN citizens who live outside the boundaries. The Tribal Council has the power to establish laws, which it shall deem necessary and proper for the good of the Nation. According to the CN Constitution, the council shall establish its rules for its credentials, decorum and procedure however there are currently no policies regarding absences in their rules and regulations.
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/24/2015 02:00 PM
CLAREMORE, Okla. – The “Mid-Afternoon Frolic,” second edition, in May at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum is planned for younger talents. Designed for students in the seventh grade and lower, the family friendly talent show will be 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 3 in the museum’s Will Rogers Theater. Will Rogers entertained audiences at the “Midnight Frolic,” held on the rooftop of the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. Patrons were entertained with music, humor and dance numbers. Named for that venue, the “Mid-Afternoon Frolic” will include talent numbers of music, humor and dance. Space is limited to 20 participants. Acts are limited to four minutes. BancFirst will sponsor cash prizes including $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place. Applications are available on line at <a href="http://www.willrogers.com" target="_blank">www.willrogers.com</a>, link on Upcoming Events, by email at wrinfo@willrogers.com or by calling 918-343-8118.