Tulsa Indian commission honors 3 Cherokees

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



About the Author

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.


Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
10/12/2016 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – About 250 Native American cowboys and cowgirls participated in the Cherokee Nation’s second annual All-Indian Rodeo on Oct. 1 at the Cherokee County Rodeo Grounds to compete for prizes, cash and titles. Bruce Davis, CN Management Resources executive director who oversaw the rodeo, said along with the nearly 250 participants the rodeo brought in hundreds of viewers. “It’s a big event for us, one of our biggest events,” he said. “It’s traditional for Cherokee people to honor and respect our animals, and we have a good working relationship with our cowboys and cowgirls that are Cherokees.” He said the rodeo is typically held during the fall when the temperatures cool down. “We try to have it in the fall so the weather’s better and not so hot,” he said. “(It) coincides right after our (Cherokee) National Holiday, and so that’s one of the things that we look forward to every year.” The rodeo’s events included team roping, bareback, junior bull riding and mutton busting. Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said one of his favorite events was the mutton busting. “My favorite is the mutton busting where the little kids go out and ride,” he said. “We’ve got barrel racing, calf roping, bull riding. You name it, we’ve got it here at the Cherokee rodeo.” He said it’s important to have the rodeo so Native Americans can come together and compete. “We want an opportunity for Cherokees and members of other federally recognized tribes to come together and compete in the rodeo,” he said. “It’s great entertainment for Cherokees and we’ve got a lot of Cherokee that live rodeo and this is just a great venue to do this.” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said this event seemed to be the “biggest and best” yet. “It looks to be the biggest and best we’ve ever had,” he said. “We went from 8 o’clock to noon this morning with the slack, and we’ll have the full rodeo this evening and we’ve got Native American cowboys from all around.” <strong>This year’s winners were:</strong> Wyatt Lunberg, Mutton Busting (6 and under); Jernie Roper, Peewee Barrels (8 and under); Briar Calico, Junior Bull Riding; Anthony Craig, Junior Breakaway; Maggie Passmore, Junior Barrels; Cody Parker, Bareback; Gulley Finnell, Saddle Bronc; Anthony Craig, Junior Breakaway; Dick Foreman, Senior Breakaway; Mollie Bassett, Ladie’s Breakaway; Shane Slack, Calf Roping; Chris Brown, Steer Wrestling; Hayden Harris, Bull Riding; Stevie Blackbird and Marcus Foreman, Junior Team Roping; Sallye Williams, Barrel Racing; Eric Flurry and Stiches Stanley, Team Roping; and Ben Foreman and Joel Maker, Senior Team Roping.
10/11/2016 08:15 AM
SEATTLE – Cherokee Nation citizen Gary “Litefoot” Davis in September was named executive director of the Native American Financial Services Association. “The appointment of Gary Davis will be transformative for our organization and the tribal communities we serve,” NAFSA Chairman John R. Shotton said. “Gary has been a passionate and tireless advocate for creating new economic opportunities for Indian Country, and nobody has fought harder to ensure the preservation of our tribal sovereignty. We are thrilled to have him joining our NAFSA team.” According to its website, NAFSA’s mission is to advocate for tribal sovereignty, promote responsible financial services and provide better economic opportunity in Indian Country for the benefit of tribal communities. “I am excited to begin serving as the new executive director of NAFSA, where I believe we can help create greater awareness about the financial services provided by tribally owned companies and the positive impact those companies have in tribal communities,” Davis said. “Since its founding, NAFSA has been a catalyst to help its tribal members grow and flourish, and I want to expand its portfolio to create even greater growth in the tribal financial services sector for the benefit of all of Indian Country.” For nearly five years, Davis previously served as president and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. During his NCAIED tenure, he shared his vision and passion for economic empowerment, strengthened the National Reservation Economic Summit and launched regional RES events across the country. Davis was also instrumental in taking Indian Country’s economic message to international audiences to promote business partnerships. Davis, along with his wife Carmen, have also launched the Davis Strategy Group, which specializes in providing business consulting services as well as providing clients strategic communication, marketing, branding, event planning, digital strategy and video production services. “Davis Strategy brings together over 25 years of business experience, vision and industry knowledge to help our clients grow their businesses,” he said. “We couldn’t be more passionate about helping others achieve their business goals.” Davis, who began a career in acting in the film “Indian in the Cupboard” has since appeared in films such as “Mortal Kombat Annihilation” and ‘Adaptation,” as well as television shows “CSI: Miami” and “House of Cards.” Davis was also expected to launch a YouTube series “Litefoot’s Relentless Pursuit” on Sept. 30. “Litefoot’s Relentless Pursuit” is a vlog of Davis’ everyday business life and constant travel. Davis will also be launching a podcast, “The Litefoot Show.” “For more than 20 years I have had the pleasure of speaking in countless tribal communities and at conferences across the world. Podcasts are a rapidly growing medium and an excellent way for me to directly express my views, interact with listeners and engage with some of the most respected names in Indian Country and beyond,“ he said. “I believe the show will be very entertaining and a lot of fun.”
Special Correspondent
10/08/2016 10:00 AM
NORMAN, Okla. – What started as a way to stay in shape for soccer has turned into a path to college for one Cherokee Nation citizen. At the suggestion of her middle school soccer coach, Hayley Redwine went out for cross-country. “I had some friends on the cross-country team, so I gave it a shot,” she said. “I didn’t like it.” Over time, that changed. When she started at Norman High School, Redwine gave the sport another chance and eventually soccer fell by the wayside. After earning eight state track medals as a junior and senior and a team state runner-up trophy in cross-country, Redwine found herself across town at the University of Oklahoma, running in crimson and cream. “I’m from Norman and have always wanted to go there,” she said. “When the coach called me with an offer, I couldn’t think of anywhere else I wanted to go. The opportunity to be a Division I athlete there was really attractive.” According to data compiled by the NCAA, 64 American Indian and Alaska Native women competed in intercollegiate cross-country among all three NCAA divisions in 2014-2015, the most recent academic year for which data is available. Only 17 of those women ran for a Division I school. Among Big 12 teams, Redwine was one of four Native cross-country runners – male or female – on a roster that season. At its first meet this season, OU’s women’s cross-country team finished second at the Cowboy Duals in Stillwater behind 11th-ranked Arkansas. Redwine finished fifth individually at the Sept. 1 event, one of five Sooners to finish in the top 10. After a stress fracture caused her to miss almost her entire freshman season, Redwine received a hardship waiver and is classified as a sophomore by the NCAA. However, she is on track to graduate this May with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from OU’s Honors College. With plans to pursue a master’s degree and eventually law school, she is not sure whether this will be her last season with OU’s cross-country team. For now at least, she’s focused on taking things one race at a time and staying healthy to help her team as much as possible. “I don’t know how hard it would be to go to grad school and run at the same time,” she said. “Some do, but I’m just going to wait and see how the season goes before I decide.” <strong>Hayley Redwine’s Stats <strong>2016</strong> Finished fifth in the 3K at the OSU Cowboy Duals with a time of 10:44.6. <strong>2015</strong> Finished 82nd (74th in team scoring) in the 5K race at the Virginia Panorama Farms Invitational with a time of 19.34.4... Placed 10th individually (ninth in team scoring) in the 5K run at the Ken Garland Invitational with a time of 18:32.00. <strong>2014</strong> Finished 28th at the Hurricane Cross Country Festival with a time of 11:56…Received a medical hardship to preserve a year of eligibility…Named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie team. <strong>High School</strong> Made All-State in cross-country in 2012 and 2013…Was the cross-country team captain in 2012 and 2013…Made All-State in track in 2014…Eight-time medal winner in the track state championship…State champion in the 3200-meter run…Selected for the 2014 Bob Colon/Jim Thorpe Association Student Athlete Award. <strong>Personal</strong> Daughter of Philip and Dedra Redwine…Has two siblings: Brooke and Trace…A 2014 AP scholar with Distinction.
10/07/2016 01:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation swore in its 2016-17 Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Councilor on Oct. 4 as they began serving a one-year term volunteering and helping shape future tribal policy. The Tribal Youth Councilors are Bradley Fields, Locust Grove High School; Alexa Fuson, Stilwell High School; Jamie Garrett, Connors State College; Callie Horner, Chelsea High School; Camerin James, Fort Gibson High School; Andrew Jefferson, Tahlequah High School; Austin Jones, Tahlequah High School; Destiny Matthews, Northeastern State University; Amari McCoy, Carl Albert State College; Morgan McSpadden, Rogers State University; Katelyn Morton, Sequoyah High School; Olivia Rains, Pryor High School; Laurel Reynolds, Claremore High School; Whitney Roach, Sequoyah High School; Cade Russell, Pryor High School; Chelbie Turtle, Sequoyah High School; and Madison Whitekiller, Verdigris High School. The Youth Council leadership program started in 1989 and has more than 180 alumni. The 17-member council learns the CN Constitution and bylaws and identifies issues affecting Cherokee youths to pass on to the Tribal Council and administration. Students meet monthly and also serve as tribal ambassadors. During an inauguration ceremony at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex, Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. thanked the Cherokee youths for taking their first step in helping make the tribe bigger and better and continuing the tradition of great, young Cherokee leaders. “Participating on the Tribal Youth Council is enlightening and empowering for any Cherokee citizen,” Hoskin said. “These young people are cultivating their skills by volunteering for public service and learning more about our tribal government and our unique culture. Additionally, they act as a sounding board for our administration and our Tribal Council, so we have better two-way communication and understanding with our tribal youth and the issues important to them today.” Supreme Court Justice John Garrett gave the official oath of office to the Youth Councilors. Matthews, who is serving on the Tribal Youth Council a second consecutive year, said the Tribal Youth Council is a great opportunity for Cherokee youth to learn about the tribe. “Being able to serve on the Tribal Youth Council is an amazing opportunity because we learn so much about our tribe, language and heritage while gaining leadership skills and, most importantly, learning the value of public service. I hope to gain more knowledge of my culture and heritage and meet other youth who have the same passion for their tribe,” Matthews said. Jamie Garrett, a new addition on the Tribal Youth Council, said she hopes to develop her leadership skills and gain knowledge in order to help protect tribal sovereignty. “I’m proud to serve on the Tribal Youth Council because it gives me an opportunity to be a voice and an example for the youth of my tribe. I’m excited to serve my community and make it better for everyone the best that I can. I hope to empower other young women to overcome the fear of failure and to work hard to achieve their goals,” she said. “I hope to gain more leadership skills and gain more knowledge about my tribe so I can help my generation preserve our tribal sovereignty.”
09/28/2016 05:15 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Nation Businesses and Cherokee Nation Entertainment employees were recently named 2016’s NextGen Under 30. The annual statewide program honors individuals who demonstrate talent, drive and service to their communities. Fifteen employees from the tribe and its business arm received recognition across nine categories. "These young Cherokee Nation citizens all possess an expertise in their respective career field and exhibit the values of commitment and diligence that we hold so dearly within our tribal government and business entities,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “We are very proud of them all, as they are outstanding representatives of the Cherokee Nation and CNB. It is a well-earned and deserving distinction to be named to this list. These individuals are truly the state’s best and brightest emerging leaders.” NextGen Under 30 recognizes and encourages the next generation of innovative, creative and inspiring individuals who push the boundaries in 15 categories of endeavor. “Our employees exemplify the reasons we are a successful company and strong community partner,” CNB CEO Shawn Slaton said. “We hold ourselves, both as a company and as individuals, to a high standard when it comes to civic responsibility, service to those in need and our continued growth. It’s great to see these individuals receive well-deserved recognition for continually exceeding that standard.” NextGen Under 30 award-winners are selected by a panel of respected business and civic leaders based upon their participation in and contribution to their communities. A Nov. 18 award dinner and banquet will be held for the 2016 winners: Arts: Keli Gonzales, CNB Arts: Robert Nofire, CN Finance: Erin Reynolds, CN Finance: Zachary Vann, CNB Health care: Wayne Coldwell, CN Law: Danielle Eastham, CNB Nonprofit Organizations: Amy McCarter, CNB Policy and Public Service: Hunter Palmer, CN Policy and Public Service: Adam McCreary, CNB Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising: Dylan Stephens, CNB Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising: Tyler Thomas, CN Science, Technology and Engineering: Feather Smith-Trevino, CN Tribal Government Gaming: Jennifer Williams, CNE Tribal Government Gaming: Miranda Jackson, CNE Tribal Government Gaming: Steven Shofner, CNE For a complete list of winners, visit <a href="http://nextgenunder30.com/nextgen-2016-complete-list" target="_blank">http://nextgenunder30.com/nextgen-2016-complete-list</a>.
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.