Tulsa Indian commission honors 3 Cherokees

BY JAMI MURPHY
Reporter
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 BRITTNEY BENNETT
Phoenix Intern
06/19/2015 08:14 AM
WISTER, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Sage Anson is one of 15 players who have been selected for the 11-and-Under USA Elite Select All American Midwest Regional Softball Team. As an elite player, the left-handed pitcher and outfielder will compete with fast-pitch players from around the country when the inaugural USA Elite Softball Tournament takes place July 13-16 in Kissimmee, Florida. “I’m most excited about going to Florida and getting to play against other regions and meeting my coaches, because they will be the Pride players that play professional softball,” Anson said. She and other Elite Select players were notified during a May 26 selection show on usaeliteselect.com. USA Elite Select began traveling the country in 2014 to scout for softball talent with 23 tryouts across eight regions. The competition consists of age divisions from 10-14, with 15 spots per age group, per region. “I felt very excited and very happy that I was one out of a lot of girls that got picked,” Anson said. “It was unbelievable to me, out of all those girls at all those tryouts, that I was one that made it.” As part of the Midwest region, she will be on a team of players from Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and parts of Missouri and Texas. She will also be provided two Midwest USA Elite Select jerseys for the tournament. Anson tried out on March 14 at Savage Park in Tulsa, where a USA Elite Select Committee, the National Scouting Report and USSSA Pride players Megan Willis and Brigette Del Ponte evaluated her performance as a pitcher and outfielder. The National Scouting Report then evaluates players on a scale from one to five. “You would go to batting, to pitching, then you would go to infield and outfield,” Anson said. “It was a simple process. It’s really nerve wracking, but it’s fun at the same time.” Her decision to tryout for the team was originally not with the sole intention to be selected, her father, Kevin Anson, said. “I had a friend of mine post on my Facebook page about the tryout, sort of a last minute thing,” he said. “We went more for experience than anything. We wanted to see what it was like going to a tryout like that, with the next level of players. We didn’t know where we were at and went to the tryout just hoping to do the best we could, and it ended up that she made it.” The tryout was not only informative for Sage, but her parents too, who attended a seminar meant to help parents understand their roles in the sports careers of their players. “It was mostly just how to be a good softball parent,” Kevin said. “Don’t push too hard. Encourage your kids to play hard and always keep in mind that about one in 5,000 get picked to go play college ball.” Quay Matheny, who coaches Sage’s independent team, the Tulsa Elite, said left handers are particularly skilled if they can throw four different pitches at speeds up to 50 mph. She said she hopes Sage returns with more tools in her arsenal. “I hope she goes down there and gets to meet different people, gets to learn new ways to play,” Matheny said. “Florida ball is a lot different than here in Oklahoma, so I hope she goes down there and has fun.” Sage also thanked Stacey and Hunter Gibson, her pitching and batting coaches. “I wouldn’t be anywhere without them,” she said. Sage said she is inspired by USSSA Pride player Keilani Ricketts and former Olympian Monica Abbott and that she aspires to play college softball in Florida before moving on to playing professionally. “I would like to meet some college scouts and have them tell me that they would be excited to have me when I get older,” Sage said. “That would really be an exciting moment, to know that they’re watching me.” USA Elite Select is sponsored by Boombah and provides opportunities for fast-pitch softball players to showcase their skills at high levels of competition, gain resources to further their academic careers and serve their communities, according to the organization’s website.
BY STAFF REPORTS
06/11/2015 06:59 PM
MANNFORD, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Ty Bushyhead, 17 of Mannford, will represent Oklahoma in the archery division in the upcoming 2015 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Nebraska. According to a CN press release, Bushyhead and three other Oklahoma high school students will compete as a team in the compound archery division against teams of four from 33 other states at the national competition June 21-26. Aside from being scored as a team, competitors will also scored individually during three days of shooting. Bushyhead said representing his state, town and tribe is an honor and a humbling opportunity. “I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better, to be honest, and I’m ready to go compete with my teammates and try to win a national championship for the state’s 4-H program and make everyone proud,” he said. At age 8, Bushyhead began shooting a bow, and age 13 he entered his first competition. Bushyhead said what drew him into the sport was the idea of relying on his ability. He said this also drive him to want to possibly compete collegiately at Oklahoma State University, where he plans to pursue a degree in electrical and petroleum engineering. “Archery is a single-person sport. You’re not able to rely on anybody, and no one can rely on you,” he said. “You’re solely driven by yourself, and you’re only as good as you make yourself. That’s what I like about this sport.” The release states Bushyhead and his teammates, along with the other teams, will have three rounds of shooting in different archery competitions. Targets in each round will be placed from 5 yards to 60 yards. Teams and individuals who shoot the most accurate and score the highest percentage of points possible receive top honors. Since 2012, the Oklahoma 4-H compound archery team has placed in the top 10, which includes winning the championship in 2013. “Oklahoma 4-H will be very well represented by the Compound Archery Team. This team will continue the excellence demonstrated by Oklahoma 4-H archery teams the past few years,” state 4-H Shooting Sports Program Coordinator Terry Nelson said. “These team members have worked hard to improve their archery skills in order to earn a spot on this year’s team.” Sara Trotter, of Sallisaw; Solomon Cude, of Muldrow; and Amanda Peterson, of Perry, are the other members of the state’s 4-H Compound Archery Team who will be competing alongside Bushyhead. For more information, visit <a href="http://4h.unl.edu/4hshootingsportsnationalchampionships" target="_blank">http://4h.unl.edu/4hshootingsportsnationalchampionships</a>.Cherokee Nation citizen Ty Bushyhead has been shooting a bow since he was 8 years old.
BY LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON
Special Correspondent
06/11/2015 01:32 PM
TULSA, Okla. – Angel Goodrich’s WNBA career is not over yet. Within the span of a week, the Cherokee Nation citizen and Sequoyah High School alumna was affiliated with three different clubs. After two years with Tulsa, she was waived by the Shock on May 30, picked up by the Los Angeles Sparks on June 1 and then waived again at the end of training camp on June 4. Just hours before its season opener on June 6, the Seattle Storm came calling, offering Goodrich a roster spot and another shot at a third WNBA season. “When I got the call, I was all smiles,” Goodrich said. Rather than travel to Seattle for the Storm’s June 6 win over the Phoenix Mercury then back to Oklahoma, Goodrich met the team in Tulsa on June 8 when they came for an early season Western Conference match-up with the Shock at the BOK Center. Having not gotten in a full practice yet with the Storm, Goodrich spent the game in street clothes on the bench that night as her old team trounced her new team, 68-45. The switch in clubs also gives Goodrich a chance to share a backcourt with a guard she grew up watching. Seattle’s starting point guard, Sue Bird, has been with team since the 2002 draft and is an eight-time WNBA All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist. “It’s a great opportunity. I’m so happy to be part of this team,” Goodrich said. “Even in this little amount of time so far, I’ve learned a lot. I can’t wait to get things really going and get to actually play while getting a feel for Seattle’s system.” With the Storm on a three-game road trip through the Midwest, Goodrich is slated to make her Key Arena debut on June 16 versus her other former team, the Los Angeles Sparks. Seattle is scheduled to make one more regular season trip to Oklahoma on June 28. Despite her new team’s home games being played two time zones away, Goodrich said her family was already discussing potential road trips. “Obviously, it’s on the other side of the country, but they’re really excited for me,” she said. “We’re all just really happy for this opportunity.” Goodrich averaged 4.4 points and 2.9 assists for the Shock as a rookie in 2013 and 1 point and 0.8 assists last season.
BY JAMI MURPHY
Reporter
06/09/2015 03:32 PM
TULSA, Okla. – Area police officers and firefighters used their mixed martial arts and boxing backgrounds to raise money for the Burn Camp of Oklahoma and Special Olympics of Oklahoma recently during the Smoke & Guns event at the Cox Business Center. One boxing bout consisted of two Cherokee Nation citizens – David Comingdeer, a CN wild land firefighter, and CN marshal Preston Oosahwee. The two weren’t scheduled to fight one another but had trouble drawing opponents in their respective divisions. So Oosahwee, who had been training for an MMA fight, switched to boxing. Oosahwee said he entered into the competition because he believes in its cause. “It’s a really good cause. They raise a lot of money. I believe last year they raised about $25,000 for both charities, so it’s just a really good cause,” he said. Comingdeer agreed that the cause was great and said the proceeds help Oklahoma children. “The Smoke & Guns Boxing/MMA competition is a charity fundraiser for the children and all the firefighter proceeds go to the Oklahoma Burn Center, and all the police proceeds go to the Special Olympics,” he said. “And both of those causes are worthy because they help the kids in Oklahoma.” This year, the event raised about $30,000 with around $18,000 coming from the fire fighters and the $12,000 coming from the police officers. Comingdeer said being a CN firefighter qualified him to compete and he competed at 205 pounds. “People were thrilled to see two Cherokees fight each other. We went in trying to represent our departments and to put on a good show and fight as hard as we could and you know, make everyone happy and proud of us and to raise a lot of money for the kids,” he said. Although Comingdeer, at age 43, lost in the third round by a technical knockout, he was grateful for his journey and added that Oosahwee, age 29, was an outstanding fighter. “I took a real righteous blow to the chin and was staggered and the referee was being very cautious with us and wouldn’t let me continue the fight,” he said. Oosahwee said he spent about six months training for the competition. He said the fight itself against Comingdeer was competitive, but that’s what he expected. “Me and David, I’ve known him for years. He knows a lot of the family – hard worker, really good shape. The fight started really fast and ended fortunately in my favor,” he said. Oosahwee said aside from the competition, which he enjoys, the event helped get him into better shape. “I love to compete. The shape, you get in really good shape. MMA/boxing, that kind of conditioning is something that’s far beyond anything else,” Oosahwee said. “I believe I lost about 20 pounds getting ready for this fight.” Comingdeer said he wasn’t sure if he would compete next year or not, but Oosahwee said he is willing.
BY STAFF REPORTS
06/09/2015 01:04 PM
SEATTLE – The Seattle Storm announced on June 6 that guard Angel Goodrich has signed with the franchise. The Cherokee Nation citizen enters her third season after spending the first two with the Tulsa Shock where she played in 31 games with 16 starts in her rookie season. The 5-4 guard was a finalist for the Naismith Award and Wooden Award and earned First Team All-Big 12 honors in her senior season at Kansas. Her third round selection in 2013 made her the highest drafted Native American in WNBA history. Goodrich was expected to join Seattle on June 8 in Tulsa. According to WNBA.com, Goodrich was waived by Tulsa on May 30 and claimed by the Los Angeles Sparks on June 1. The Sparks waived Goodrich three days later.
BY STAFF REPORTS
06/03/2015 01:00 PM
LOS ANGELES – According to WNBA.com, the Los Angeles Sparks on June 1 claimed Cherokee Nation citizen Angel Goodrich off waiver wires. Goodrich was released by the Tulsa Shock on May 30. She played in two pre-season games and had four points, a rebound and five assists. The Shock drafted her in the third round of the 2013 WNBA Draft. In her rookie season of 2013, Goodrich played in 31 games, averaged 4.4 points per game and three assists per game. Last season Goodrich played in 29 games. She played college basketball at Kansas University and high school basketball for Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where she won three state titles.