Tulsa Indian commission honors 3 Cherokees

BY JAMI MURPHY
Senior Reporter – @cp_jmurphy
11/09/2012 08:58 AM
TULSA, Okla. – The Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission honored three Cherokees at its 15th annual Dream Keepers Awards dinner on Nov. 6 in cooperation with the Tulsa Human Rights Department.

Tribal Councilor Cara Cowan Watts received the Charles Chibitty Family Community Award, which is given to someone with “overall community participation involvement, and caring are important attributes for citizens for any community.”

Cowan Watts serves as one of three Cherokee Nation District 5 Tribal Councilors.

“I had the honor of meeting Charles Chibitty several times. I was always touched by his sincerity and service to Indian Country and the United States,” Cowan Watts said. “I am humbled to be chosen by the Tulsa Indian Affairs Commission for an award in memory of such an incredible individual acknowledging my passion for community service.”

CN citizen Raymond Rogers received the Rennard Strickland Education Leadership Award. It’s given to one who “believes education is truly the key to the future and the cornerstone of every dream,” according to the TAIAC.

“Ray Rodgers is passionate and tireless in his ongoing work and concern for native students. He doesn't just do his job in Indian Education but works continuously with students, families, teachers and school administrators and staff to make the lives of the students the best possible,” TAIAC commissioner Ann Dapice said.

CN citizen James Ryals received the Lewis B. Ketchum Excellence in Business Award, which is awarded to one who shows that “leadership in business is vital for the community and for the survival of future generations.”

Ryals was hired as operations manager for Arnold Electric in 1995. In 2000, he became president of Arnold Electric Inc., and he now owns the company. AEI has experience in the federal, county and local government levels and the company holds certifications with the SBA, City of Tulsa and CN, according to Ryals’ biography.

The event was held at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa Campus at the Schusterman Center.

The TAIAC presents awards to 12 local and former residents of Tulsa who have contributed to the local community. The commission holds the event to coincide with the National Native American Heritage Month, which celebrates and recognizes the accomplishments of the peoples who were the original inhabitants, explorers and settlers of the United States, the release states.

Other recipients were:

· Jimmy and Eunice Wildcat - Kenneth Anquoe Lifetime Achievement Award

· Curtis Zunigha - Will Anquoe Humanitarian Award

· Justin Giles - Moscelyne Larkin Cultural Achievement Award

· Patty Beaston - Dr.Ralph Dru Career and Professional Award

· Teresa Runnels - Perry Aunko Indigenous Language Preservation Award

· Nancie Warrior Longacre - Jim Thorpe Sports Excellence Award

· Charles Diebold - Red Eagle Sacred Circle of Spirituality Award

· Richard Tilden - Roberta Gardipe American Indian Veterans Award

jami-custer@cherokee.org


918-453-5560

About the Author
Reporter

Jami Murphy graduated from Locust Grove High School in 2000. She received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 2006 from Northeastern State University and began working at the Cherokee Phoenix in 2007.

She said the Cherokee Phoenix has allowed her the opportunity to share valuable information with the Cherokee people on a daily basis. 

Jami married Michael Murphy in 2014. They have two sons, Caden and Austin. Together they have four children, including Johnny and Chase. They also have two grandchildren, Bentley and Baylea. 

She is a Cherokee Nation citizen and said working for the Cherokee Phoenix has meant a great deal to her. 

“My great-great-great-great grandfather, John Leaf Springston, worked for the paper long ago. It’s like coming full circle. I’ve learned so much about myself, the Cherokee people and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

Jami is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, and Investigative Reporters and Editors. You can follow her on Twitter @jamilynnmurphy or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jamimurphy2014.
jami-murphy@cherokee.org • 918-453-5560
Reporter Jami Murphy graduated from Locust Grove High School in 2000. She received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 2006 from Northeastern State University and began working at the Cherokee Phoenix in 2007. She said the Cherokee Phoenix has allowed her the opportunity to share valuable information with the Cherokee people on a daily basis. Jami married Michael Murphy in 2014. They have two sons, Caden and Austin. Together they have four children, including Johnny and Chase. They also have two grandchildren, Bentley and Baylea. She is a Cherokee Nation citizen and said working for the Cherokee Phoenix has meant a great deal to her. “My great-great-great-great grandfather, John Leaf Springston, worked for the paper long ago. It’s like coming full circle. I’ve learned so much about myself, the Cherokee people and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.” Jami is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, and Investigative Reporters and Editors. You can follow her on Twitter @jamilynnmurphy or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jamimurphy2014.

People

BY STAFF REPORTS
09/20/2016 04:45 PM
WASHINGTON – At the recent National Association of Federally Impacted Schools’ board of directors meeting in Buffalo, New York, Jeff Limore, superintendent of Dahlonegah Public Schools in Oklahoma, was appointed the organization’s Region V director. Limore, a Cherokee Nation citizen, will serve with 14 other school district officials from around the country as a board member for NAFIS, a national association that works to ensure the needs of federally connected children are met through adequate federal funds. “We are excited to welcome Mr. Limore to the NAFIS board of directors,” NAFIS President Sandy Doebert said, “as we know he brings with him significant expertise in impact aid to his board position, and we look forward to working with him.” Limore’s career spans more than 30 years as a teacher, counselor and administrator. He has taught elementary students, gifted and talented education, alternative education and adult education. “My educational values are rooted in my parents’ relentless push toward higher education for their children as a way out of poverty, something neither of them attained,” Limore said. “They did, however, achieve their goal through their four children, and I’m happy to begin the important work as a NAFIS board member.” Limore serves on the board of education of Sequoyah Schools, a Bureau of Indian Education-contracted school with the CN. In addition, he sits on the National Indian Impacted Schools Association board of directors, currently as secretary. Limore earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. In addition, he has completed post-graduate work at Oklahoma State University and the University of Arkansas. As the Region V director, Limore will help establish and review major policy and plans of the association and will have specific legal and fiscal responsibilities to the members of the association that represent federally impacted school districts across the country. NAFIS Executive Director Hilary Goldmann shared Limore’s excitement and anticipation. “I am looking forward to working with Jeff,” Goldmann said. “He brings with him a wealth of experience and ideas from which I know our association will benefit.” NAFIS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of school districts from throughout the United States. NAFIS is organized primarily to educate Congress on the importance of impact aid and to make sure school districts affected by a federal presence receive the resources necessary to provide a quality education program for their students.
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
09/16/2016 08:30 AM
LUBBOCK, Texas. – Coming from a family of educators, Cherokee Nation citizen Jamie Roe followed in those footsteps and is a teacher at Sharp Academy, a school for dyslexic, ADHD and ADD students. “I am teaching biology I, II and chemistry, so since I was a nutrition major I had all of the sciences imaginable. So I had biology I, biology II, anatomy I, anatomy II, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, just everything like that, so kind of a science nerd,” she said. “I thought I would be able to give back to them in that aspect.” Roe, who graduated from Texas Tech University in the spring, said she always had an interest in kids with “brain differences” and wanted to help them in the classroom setting. “I’ve always kind of been interested in kids with brain differences, and I was really drawn to this school,” she said. “A lot of them, like having dyslexia, words and things will move around on them, and I think that in a way I’ll be able to kind of help them overcome that and I’ll be patient with them.” Roe said she isn’t the first teacher in her family, and probably won’t be the last. “Everybody in my family was in education, like my grandpa, my grandmother, most of my aunts and uncles, my dad and my mom. So it’s kind of been inevitable,” she said. She said her mother, who is the special education director for Tuba City Unified School District in Arizona, where Roe grew up, is one of her role models. She said she believes her mother’s line of work drew her to where she is now. “It definitely kind of drew me towards this because she is one of my role models, and I think that just seeing her work with kids that a lot of people have put aside kind of motivated me to follow in her footsteps,” she said. Roe has been teaching since August and said she enjoys it. “I’ve truly enjoyed it. I think the kids are making it easy on me for sure,” she said. “I think that I’m learning a lot from them as well, a lot about myself. It’s a great opportunity to be able to give back because I know that I’m giving to the future in a way.”
BY STAFF REPORTS
09/08/2016 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation officials honored a trio of brothers with Medals of Patriotism at a special presentation on Aug. 31. Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden presented the medals to Daniel Ray Tanner, 67, of White Bear Lake, Minnesota; Michael Ray Tanner, 51, of Jay; and Johnny Lee Tanner, 75, of Jay, as an acknowledgment for their service to the country. Sgt. Major Daniel Tanner was born Jan. 13, 1949, in Eucha and was drafted into the Army in 1968. He was deployed to Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and served with the 82nd Airborne Division. Along with several other deployments, he served as a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps instructor and Forces Command of the Minnesota National Guard Advisor and attended U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. He retired from the Army in 1991 after 23 years and of service. He now lives in White Bear Lake, but said his heart is still in Eucha. “To be recognized by the tribe like this, I really do appreciate it,” Daniel Tanner said. “I’ve been thinking about this honor for so long and have seen others get it. I couldn’t wait to get it, because it is from the Cherokee Nation.” Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Turner was born Dec. 20, 1964, and entered the Navy in 1984. He received his basic training in San Diego and attended the Navy Marine Intelligence Training Command in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He served on three western Pacific cruises and in Hawaii at Commander Air Wing Patrol. He was an intelligence specialist when he received his honorable discharge in 1991. Cpl. Johnny Tanner was born July 20, 1941, and drafted into the Army in 1963. He received basic training at Fort Polk in Louisiana and advanced individual training on Howitzer self-propelled artillery at Fort Knox in Kentucky and at Little Falls, Vermont. He was stationed at Fort Knox for three years where he played both football and baseball for special duty. Johnny Tanner also trained the Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania, ROTC on self-propelled artillery. He furthered his training on self-propelled artillery in the Dominican Republic and received an honorable discharge in 1965. After being discharged, he spent two years in the Army Reserve at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. Each month the CN recognizes Cherokee service men and women for their sacrifices and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which the tribe holds all veterans. To nominate a veteran who is a CN citizen, call 918-772-4166.
BY LINDSEY BARK
Staff Writer
08/29/2016 04:00 PM
WAGONER, Okla. – Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Cody Standifird saved a man’s life while out on patrol the morning of Aug. 21. Standifird, a Cherokee Nation citizen, said he was patrolling near a public access area known as Coal Creek around 9:30 a.m. when he noticed a “suspicious looking” vehicle parked with the back hatch open. As he circled the parking lot, he said he noticed a person’s foot hanging out of the back of the vehicle. He parked his patrol car and walked to the vehicle. “When I walked up to the vehicle, I found a man that…appeared to have a severe head wound.” Standifird said. “There was a lot of blood on him, and he was barely breathing.” Standifird requested Wagoner County dispatch to send emergency medical services to his location. While waiting, he attempted to help the man, identified as Robert Potter Jr., to breathe better but then noticed Potter stopped breathing completely. Standifird then administered CPR. Standifird said Potter “was revived quickly” and began to breathe on his own. However, after a short time, Potter stopped breathing again, and Standifird again administered CPR. Potter was revived again and able to breathe on his own until the EMS arrived. Standifird said he did not expect to “randomly” come across someone in need while patrolling. “I wasn’t expecting that by any means. I was really unsure what kind of injury the man had. He seemed to…give indicators that he had possibly been shot or severely beaten, and I wasn’t sure exactly what was wrong with him,” Standifird said. “I have done CPR on people before, but I’ve never just randomly discovered someone that needed it without being dispatched.” Standifird said Potter was transported to a Muskogee hospital where he was placed in the intensive care unit, but listed in stable condition and expected to recover. “I don’t consider myself a hero at all. It’s just something that was completely random that happened,” Standifird said. “I happened to be at the right place at the right time, and I did my job.” Standifird joined the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 and works as a firearms instructor, Emergency Response Team member and a field-training officer.
BY STAFF REPORTS
08/26/2016 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation officials honored a World War II veteran and two Vietnam War veterans with Medals of Patriotism at the Aug. 15 Tribal Council meeting. Gary Dale Douglas, 71, of Coweta; James Clarence Huggins, 95, of Fort Gibson; and James David Murphy, 65, of Stilwell, each received a medal acknowledging their service to the country from Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden. Spc. Douglas was born Feb. 27, 1945, in Houston, Missouri. He was drafted into the Army in 1967, attended basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and advanced individual training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He was sent to Vietnam in October 1967 and was assigned to the 585th Dump Truck Company. Douglas drove a jeep for the first platoon sergeant and then the company commander. After the company commander was killed in an ambush, he drove a jeep for the second platoon sergeant. Douglas was ambushed twice, first by the Viet Cong and then by the North Vietnamese regular army. As a result, he earned two Silver Star medals for valor in combat. Douglas took over the night crew of the motor pool for the remainder of his service after the second ambush. The motor pool was responsible for the upkeep and repair of the vehicles. Douglas received an honorable discharge in 1968. He earned several ribbons and medals for his service, including the Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Combat Medal and National Defense Service Medal. ?? “I just want to say thank you to the Cherokee Nation for this honor,” Douglas said. ?? Staff Sgt. Huggins was born June 10, 1921, in Fort Gibson. He entered the Army in 1942. Huggins and two other men from Fort Gibson traveled to Fort Sill for training. In October 1943, he was sent to Fresno, California, for training at Hammer Field. Huggins later was sent to Portland, Oregon, where he was promoted from buck private to buck sergeant. In July 1944, Gen. Douglas MacArthur selected Morotai Island as the location for air bases and naval facilities needed to support the liberation of the Philippines. Huggins was stationed on the Indonesian island. He returned to the United States in 1945 and received an honorable discharge. He arrived home in Fort Gibson on Christmas Eve night as an early Christmas present to his family. Huggins received honors for his service, including the Distinguished Service Medal and Ribbon, Philippines Liberation Medal and World War II Victory Medal. ?? Petty Officer 3rd Class Murphy was born Feb. 24, 1951, in Tahlequah and entered the Navy in 1969. Murphy attended basic training in Orlando, Florida, and was then sent to Hunters Point Naval Ship Yard in San Francisco for his duty aboard the USS Midway. While the Midway was in port undergoing modernization, Murphy received personnel launcher training in San Diego. Once aboard the Midway, he was responsible for ship-to-ship transfers of supplies and munitions. Murphy served two combat tours in the Tonkin Gulf in North Vietnam. Fighter jets flew missions off the Midway into Northern Vietnam while Murphy was aboard the ship. He sustained an injury to his knee and was sent to the Oakland Naval Hospital where he spent four months rehabbing. Murphy was discharged from active duty in 1973 and transferred to Naval Reserve, where he served until 1975. He received several honors for his service, including the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Combat Medal and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. ?? Each month the CN recognizes Cherokee service men and women for their sacrifices and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which the tribe holds veterans. Native Americans, including Cherokees, are thought to have more citizens serving per capita than any other ethnic group, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. To nominate a veteran who is a CN citizen, call 918-772-4166.
BY STAFF REPORTS
08/26/2016 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Lauryn Skye McCoy, 15, was crowned the 2016-17 Junior Miss Cherokee during the 25th annual competition on Aug. 20 at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center. During her reign, she will be a goodwill ambassador for the tribe and will promote the government, language, history and traditions of the Cherokee people. McCoy said winning this title means she gets “to carry on the traditions of the past winners.” “I also hope to spread awareness about who we are and what we do as a tribe, as well as my platform,” she said. McCoy competed against five other girls in three categories: cultural presentation, impromptu question and a speech on their platform. For each respective category, McCoy demonstrated how to make traditional shell shackles for stomp dancing, answered why she thought the Cherokee society has always held women in high esteem and gave a speech on the importance of building self-confidence in Native youth. McCoy, who is a freshman at Muldrow High School, previously served as the 10-to-12-year-old 2014-15 Little Cherokee Ambassador. Natalie Gibson, 16, of Miami, Oklahoma, was named first runner-up and Danya Pigeon, 17, of Hulbert, was named second runner-up. The Miss Cherokee competition is set for 6 p.m. on Aug. 27 at Cornerstone Church in Tahlequah.