Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Speaker Tina Glory Jordan looks on as Jim Owle, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council chairman, reads during the Tri-Council meeting on July 13 in Cherokee, N.C. SCOTT MCKIE B.P./CHEROKEE ONE FEATHER

Cherokee tribes come together at Tri-Council

United Keetoowah Band Tribal Councilor Clifford Wofford listens during the Tri-Council meeting on July 13 in Cherokee, N.C. Behind are UKB Tribal Councilors Peggy Girty, left, and Betty Holcomb. SCOTT MCKIE B.P./CHEROKEE ONE FEATHER Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Reps. Terri Henry and Bo Taylor listen to a discussion during the Tri-Council meeting on July 13 in Cherokee, N.C. SCOTT MCKIE B.P./CHEROKEE ONE FEATHER
United Keetoowah Band Tribal Councilor Clifford Wofford listens during the Tri-Council meeting on July 13 in Cherokee, N.C. Behind are UKB Tribal Councilors Peggy Girty, left, and Betty Holcomb. SCOTT MCKIE B.P./CHEROKEE ONE FEATHER
BY SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
Cherokee One Feather Staff
07/13/2012 03:18 PM
BY SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
Cherokee One Feather

CHEROKEE, N.C. – History was made at the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center on July 13 as the Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band Tribal Councils gathered for an official meeting for the first time.

“Completing the Circle of Fire” was the theme for the historic Tri-Council meeting.

“The removal in 1838 separated our people,” EBCI citizen Shawn Crowe, who served as emcee for the event, said. “Today is a historic event as all three now come together. It means a lot to see our people come together as one. We are not three separate entities anymore. We are now one.”

CN Principal Chief Bill John Baker, EBCI Principal Chief Michell Hicks and UKB Principal Chief George Wickliffe each addressed the crowd.

“At this Tri-Council, I know that our ancestors are looking down with great pride and great pleasure,” Baker said. “It’s important to join together as one and talk about all the things that mean the most to our people.”

“Our elders have always said we will come together again one of these days and the time has come, so let’s make it count,” Wickliffe said.

While Hicks added, “The fire is within us…I know we’re not always going to agree on everything, but there is a time to set things aside.”

However, the event was still a business meeting and the Tri-Council passed several resolutions. Lawmakers from the three tribes reauthorized the tribal amendments in the federal Violence Against Women Act and authorized the incorporation of Cherokee syllabary into the U.S. Library of Congress Romanization Tables.

Cherokee is the first Native American language to be entered for preservation and given computer access for public research. Dozens of documents on the history and language of Sequoyah’s 85-character syllabary, invented around 1821, are to be entered into the tables.

“Even though Sequoyah is not here, he is probably considered the most famous Cherokee that ever lived,” CN Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd said. “The syllabary remained intact over the Trail of Tears and now it can be preserved into the future.”

The Tri-Council also resolved to work to retain the Cherokee language and traditions, as well as approving a “consortium method” to fight diseases such as diabetes affecting the Cherokee people.

Several other issues were discussed, including intellectual property rights of Cherokee people. The councilors approved seeking a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the raising of ancient plants and for natural Cherokee medicine that has been part of the Cherokee tradition for hundreds of years. It would create a legal means to prevent non-Cherokees from misusing or falsely selling such products and would create a standard.

The 25 councilors also decided to hold a Tri-Council meeting each year with the hosting duties rotating yearly. CN officials agreed to host the 2013 meeting, while the UKB will host in 2014. The meeting will return to North Carolina in 2015.

Together, the three Cherokee governments represent more than 330,000 citizens.

– CN Communications contributed to this report

News

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/22/2016 12:00 PM
MUSKOGEEE, Okla. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction and 12-year prison sentence of a former Choctaw Nation construction director. A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion for a mistrial Tuesday sought by Jason Merida, who was convicted in November 2014 on two counts each of theft and tax fraud and one count each of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bribery. Prosecutors alleged contractors used false billing practices between 2008 and 2011 during construction of the tribe's Durant and Pocola casinos. Money generated from the false billings was used to make campaign donations and purchase gifts. Merida testified he received gifts from vendors but claimed it didn't affect his decisions because he did not have the authority to select contractors.
BY LINDSEY BARK
Staff Writer
07/22/2016 09:15 AM
BRUSHY, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Breanna Potter and the Brushy Cherokee Action Association on July 14 hosted the second annual back-to-school giveaway at the Brushy Community Center, providing children and their families needed items such as backpacks, shoes, coats and hygiene kits. “We…have some families in our area that are homeless. They don’t have anywhere to live,” Potter said. “We have families in our area that live in tents, and those families oftentimes can’t get those types of items. So we’re just here to kind of fill in the gaps.” In 2015, Potter and the BCCA began applying for an in-kind donation grant through the Running Strong for American Indian Youth Foundation to get the needed items for the giveaway. “The reason we started writing this grant last year was because there’s a big need in our community for basic essential items, and a lot of time a lot of these families fall through the cracks,” Potter said. “They either make just enough that they don’t qualify for things, or some of the families aren’t actually Cherokee so they don’t qualify for services at the Cherokee Nation. So we have a lot of families that end up falling through the cracks and the system and aren’t able to get the items they need, and the kids are the ones who end up suffering.” Earlier this year Potter received another grant through the Running Strong for American Indian Youth Foundation called the Dreamstarter Grant. With it she created a youth group in the community to help youths gain leadership skills and learn about diabetes prevention. Now youth group members, known collectively as the Brushy Youth Dream Team, are in turn using those acquired skills to give back to their community with Potter leading them as program director. Parents of BYDT members said they noticed the development in their children thank to the new skills. “I think it’s great because my kids are shy. This will teach them, maybe, to communicate better with their peers and with adults and learn to make their way in the community and kind of what their role is, that they can do something even though they’re just kids,” Crystal Thomas, mother of a BYDT member, said. Potter said the impacts the BYDT and BCCA are making in the community are noticeable with events such as the giveaway. “The coolest things is when I’m driving around and everything, I see kids out and I see them wearing these shoes, or I see the kids at school and I happen to stop by for a few minutes and some of the kids have the backpacks or the coats,” Potter said. Potter said the biggest impact she’s seen in the community is that kids are able to receive items that their families struggle to provide. Potter said she and her teams are trying to get additional funding so they can host more events and help more families. For more information about the BCCA and the BYDT, visit <a href="http://www.brushycherokeeactionassociation.org" target="_blank">brushycherokeeactionassociation.org</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
07/21/2016 04:00 PM
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Members of the Tri-Community (W.E.B.) Association horseshoe league in Briggs, Oklahoma, are set to compete in the 2016 National Horseshoe Pitchers Association World Horseshoe Tournament on July 25 through Aug. 6 in Montgomery. The members include Cherokee Nation citizens Al Ross, David Mallory and Michael Cummings along with United Keetoowah Band citizens Gary Bearpaw and Billy Vann. As Oklahoma Horseshoe Pitchers Association members, all five men compete in sanctioned tournaments throughout the state to qualify for the annual world tournament. They will compete against pitchers from all over the United States, Canada and Switzerland. This year, the world tournament consists of 935 entries across eight divisions: open men, open women, senior men, senior women, elder men, junior boys, junior girls and junior cadet. The tournament will be held in the Multiplex at the Crampton Bowl. Mallory, Cummings, Bearpaw and Vann are pitching in the open men’s division while Ross pitches in the senior men’s division. There are varying classes within each division where a pitcher is seeded based on his/her ringer averages. Bearpaw is seeded in Class A1, the highest class in the men’s division, with Vann seeded in Class A2, Mallory is seeded in Class B1, and Cummings is in Class D1. Ross is seeded in senior Class A. There are 16 pitchers in each class who pitch over a three-day span known as the preliminary round. The preliminary round is played July 25 through Aug. 3 for all divisions and classes. Once the preliminary round is complete, monetary prizes worth up to $500 are given to the winners of each class. Winners also have a chance to compete in the championship round Aug.4-6. Winners of the championship round compete for a monetary prize worth up to $4,200 and to call themselves a world horseshoe champion. For updates, go to the NHPA Facebook page. For pitching schedules and live coverage, go to <a href="http://www.horseshoepitching.com" target="_blank">www.horseshoepitching.com</a>.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/21/2016 12:00 PM
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — A prosecutor said the state wants its own psychologist to examine a woman charged with crashing her car into a crowd at the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade. The Tulsa World reports that a pretrial status conference in 26-year-old Adacia Chambers' case was held Tuesday. Payne County District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas said the state would like to have its own witness examine Chambers, a Cherokee Nation citizen, if defense attorney Tony Coleman intends to call a psychologist who met with Chambers soon after her arrest. Coleman said at the hearing that he intends to call on the psychologist to testify. Coleman has said Chambers is mentally ill, but she was found competent to stand trial in December. According to Coleman, the psychologist has not yet performed his evaluation of Chambers because he hasn't received a copy of the final order from the judge approving the use of state funds to pay for his services. Prosecutors said Chambers intentionally drove around a police barricade and into spectators on Oct. 24 in Stillwater. Chambers has pleaded not guilty to four counts of second-degree murder and 42 counts of assault and battery. Chambers' trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 10
BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
07/20/2016 04:30 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation’s Election Commission approved a press release it intends to use to share voting registration and 2017 election information with CN citizens during its July 12 meeting. In the release, the commission states the first date to remember for the next CN election is Jan. 2, which is the first day to request an absentee ballot. <strong>Other important dates are:</strong> • April 21 – Last day to submit an absentee ballot request form for the general election, • May 27 and May 30 through June 1 – Early walk-in voting, • June 3 – General election, • June 26 – Last day to submit an absentee ballot request form for runoff election, and • July 29 – Runoff election. According to the release, March 31 is the last day for CN citizens to register to vote for the 2017 election. The release states that the Tribal Council seats up for election in 2017 are districts 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15 and one At-Large. According to the release, anyone wanting to vote must be a registered CN citizen and registered to vote with the EC. A tribal citizenship card (blue card) alone does not mean a citizen can vote. Also, a person must be 18 years old on or prior to the June 3 general election. Voter applications are available at the EC’s office or online at <a href="http://www.cherokee.org/elections" target="_blank">www.cherokee.org/elections</a>. “Voters residing within the jurisdictional boundaries may vote at their selected precinct, early walk-in voting, or by absentee ballot. At-Large voters may only vote by absentee ballot or early walk-in voting,” the release states. A precinct is an official voting place within a district, as designated by the Election Commission. Voters who reside in the jurisdictional boundaries may select a precinct in the district where their residence is located. Voters residing outside the jurisdictional boundaries, registering for the first time and under the age of 25 may select the districts and precincts of their choice. For more information, write the EC at P.O Box 1188, Tahlequah, OK 74465 or call 918-458-5899 or toll free at 1-800-353-2895. To view the July meeting in its entirety click here. <strong>Frequently Asked Questions</strong> <strong>How do I get an absentee ballot request form?</strong> You can get an absentee ballot request form from the Cherokee Nation Election Commission Office, our website, or contact the Election Commission Office and our staff can mail, email, or fax a form to you. <strong>Will I receive a Precinct Voter ID Card?</strong> Voters registered in the jurisdictional boundaries will receive a Precinct Voter ID Card to inform the voter where they will go to vote. At-Large voters will not receive a Precinct Voter ID Card because they do not have a precinct in which to vote. <strong>I do not live within the Cherokee Nation jurisdiction, can I still vote?</strong> Yes. If you have a Cherokee Nation citizenship card (blue card) you are eligible to vote as long as you have registered to vote with the Cherokee Nation Election Commission. Voters who live outside the jurisdictional boundaries are known as At-Large voters. <strong>I have a felony on my record, can I still vote?</strong> Yes, there is no law prohibiting you from voting in the Cherokee Nation elections. <strong>What do I do if I only have a rural route or P.O. Box address?</strong> If your physical address is a rural route or you only have a P.O. Box, you will need to provide driving directions to your home in order to place you in the correct district.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/20/2016 02:00 PM
MIAMI, Okla. (AP) — The Shawnee Tribe is planning to build a $1 million cultural center in northeast Oklahoma. The Journal Record reports that the 6,000-square-foot center will be near Miami and will be built in two phases. Construction on the first phase is to begin this fall. Shawnee Tribe Second Chief Ben Barnes says the center will feature artifacts and that it will be able to tell the story of the tribe. Barnes says if other tribes want to put up exhibits, the Shawnee Tribe would be willing to work with them. The center is being built northwest of the Oklahoma Welcome Center on land held in trust for the nine tribes in northeastern Oklahoma, including the Miami, Quapaw, Peoria, Ottawa, Eastern Shawnee, Shawnee, Wyandotte, Seneca-Cayuga and Modoc tribes. The Shawnee Tribe is funding the project.