Leeds co-writes ‘Mastering American Indian Law’
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Stacy Leeds, dean and professor in the University of Arkansas School of Law, has co-written the book titled “Mastering American Indian Law.”
The book will be available in September and was co-written with Angelique Townsend EagleWoman of the College of Law at the University of Idaho where she is an associate professor of law.
“Mastering American Indian Law” is designed to provide readers with an overview of Indian law beginning with the important eras of United States Indian policy in the introductory chapter up to contemporary developments in American Indian law. The authors said they hope the book serves as a useful supplement to classroom instruction covering tribal law, federal Indian law and tribal-state relations.
Throughout the text, explanations of the relevant interaction between tribal governments, the federal government and state governments are included in the various subject areas.
In Chapter 10, titled International Indigenous Issues and Tribal Nations, the significant evolution of collective rights in international documents is focused on, as these documents may be relevant for tribal governments in relations with the United States.
For Indian law courses, law school seminars on topics in American Indian Law, undergraduate and graduate level American Indian studies classes, and those interested in the field, this book will provide an easy-to-read text meant to guide the reader through the historical to the contemporary on the major aspects of American Indian law and policy, states the book’s description.
Leeds joined the University of Arkansas in 2011 and became the first American Indian woman in the country to serve as dean of a law school. In 2013, she received the American Bar Association Spirit of Excellence Award for promoting a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. Over the years, she has focused her teaching and extensive research on property, natural resources and American Indian law.
Leeds is the first Native American woman to be a law school dean. She is the first woman to serve as a justice on the CN Supreme Court, and is also one of five appointees to the Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform. The commission is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s management and administration of nearly $4 billion in American Indian trust funds.
Leeds earned her master’s degree after completing a fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Law School, before joining the faculty of the University of North Dakota’s School of Law, where she was director of the Northern Plains Indian Law Center. She worked as a law professor at the University of Kansas before she accepted her position at Arkansas in 2011.
WEST SILOAM SPRINGS, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Tana Washington said her family has always encouraged and inspired her to create different art forms. Even more so, her emotions help drive and compel her to create.
“A lot of the times that I’ve done artwork is from emotions. So when I’m going through tough times it’s my therapy and it’s a way for me to express. I’m inspired by nature. I’m inspired by people,” she said. “As a young child, I was always intrigued. I used to get in trouble for staring at people because I was just fascinated with all the differences in all the people and what they do. A lot of my artwork comes from experiences in my life, and some of them were good and some of them were not so good, but I’ve always enjoyed doing art – no matter whether I sell them or not I’ll do art. I just love it.”
Washington has created art since she was a child. It’s something she said she’s always enjoyed doing, and it was only after leaving a regular job nearly five years ago that she focused on art.
“I started drawing when I was really small. I was always around artists. My dad and Jerome Tiger were best friends, so I was introduced to art at a very young age. So I’ve drawn my entire life basically, not professionally, but just because I love doing it.”
She began to get serious about her work around the time she lost her job.
“I decided that I needed to do something and I had time. I had the opportunity, and it’s just something I always loved doing,” she said. “When people were interested in buying some of my artwork I thought ‘well this is a way for me to make some money.’ I really wasn’t serious for a long time.”
Washington said she also enjoys working clay and scissor-cut art.
“I do several types of different art. I do scissor-cut art. It’s a really old art form that I turned into my style, I guess. I do pencil work. I love to paint. I just got back into some clay and just different types of art. I like to draw, so I draw with colored pencils, ink and regular pencils and smoke.”
Washington said she drew inspiration for her scissor-cut art after watching a Florida artist do it about seven years ago. She said he used little scissors, but after spending about $200 or $300 on different kinds of scissors, fabric scissors worked best for her. By using scissors to cut away white portions of a two-sided black and white paper, she “cuts away the bad and leaves the good” to create her art.
Washington has art pieces in the Spider Art Gallery in Tahlequah and creates commission pieces.
“I have an art page on Facebook. It’s called ‘Scissor Cut Art by Tana.’ I have a lot of the art that I’ve done on there. I’ve posted on there for people to see,” she said. “The best way if someone wanted to commission some of my artwork or see some artwork that I have for sale would be to contact me on Facebook.”
DALLAS – Cherokee Nation citizen Anna M’Lynn Musgrove, a student at Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, will be performing during Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary season on Feb. 7 with the Honors Women’s Choir.
Earlier this year, Musgrove was selected for the 2016 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Musgrove auditioned for the Honors Performance Series and was accepted after a review by the Honors Selection Board.
According to a Carnegie Hall press release, acceptance to the “elite group” is a result of the talent, dedication and achievements demonstrated in Musgrove’s application and audition recording.
Musgrove will join other performers from all other 49 United States, Guam, four Canadian provinces and foreign countries for a special performance at Carnegie Hall.
“Being selected to the Honors Performance Series is something each finalist should be extremely proud of accomplishing,” Morgan Smith, Honors Performance Series director, said. “We processed more than 18,000 nominations this year and have selected nearly 750 of the most talented student performers from around the world. Working with these conductors and performing at Carnegie Hall is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that these musicians never forget.”
According to the press release, Musgrove has studied music for 10 years and is a member of Booker T. Varsity Choir, the Booker T. Girls Varsity Choir and the BT Jazz Singers. It also states that she is an accomplished singer/songwriter and at 17 has had two of her songs in the finals of the Dallas Songwriters Association’s 2016 songwriting contest.
Musgrove has also attended the Berklee School of Music summer program for the past two years, where she received performance scholarships and was included in the exclusive songwriters showcase. Her parents have been playing in bands for years and her older sister, Madison, is in New York attending Marymount Manhattan’s musical theater school.
With Musgrove being accepted into the honors choir this year, she joins her sister and mother Pam as having performed at Carnegie Hall. Madison was a member of the Carnegie Hall Honors Choir for two years during high school, and her mother performed with the Trey Jacobs choir in 2015.
Finalists were expected to spend five days together in New York City to learn from world-renowned conductors, work with other finalists and get a taste of New York City. Two performances, an Honors Choral Performance and an Honors Instrumental Performance, are slated for Feb. 7.
Tickets can be purchased through the Carnegie Hall box office.
The Honors Performance Series was created to showcase accomplished individual high school performers on an international level by allowing them to study under master conductors and perform in Carnegie Hall. For more information, visit <a href="https://www.honorsperformance.org" target="_blank">hwww.honorsperformance.org</a> and <a href="https://www.worldstrides.com" target="_blank">www.worldstrides.com</a>.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Twenty-nine year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Steve Brickey, a professional calf roper, has competed in rodeos since about age 6. His drive to compete comes from a deep-rooted family tradition.
“I grew up in Rocky Ford, about 10 miles north of Tahlequah. My grandpa roped and got me started roping when I was 5 or 6 years old. I rode horses my whole life,” he said. “I just rope everyday. I mean it’s my living. I mean that’s what I do. That’s what I work at. I get up every day and look forward to roping. I like my job.”
Brickey competed in junior, high school and college rodeos and is now roping calves professionally.
“I love it. It’s in my heart. It’s my passion. I mean I love the western heritage and I want my kids to do it. My wife, she runs barrels, and you know it’s just in my blood,” he said. “I get to rope and do something I love. I don’t think I’ve ever had a job that I loved besides roping. I can’t look forward to going and mowing the grass or something like that. I love saddling up and roping calves.”
Brickey’s main rodeo horse is M&M, a 14-year-old quarter horse bred from Doc O’Lena, an American quarter horse that was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1997.
“He is outstanding in my opinion. I’ve had a lot of people try to buy him off me for lots of money. I’ve had him two years. He’s unbelievable. You don’t have to worry about him doing his part because it’s going to be done,” he said. “He scores so good, like in the box, and he can run. His strongest point is he can stop so hard. So he can make a stronger calf better once I rope him.”
Brickey also rides four to five other horses while roping daily just to keep him and the horses in shape.
Over the years, Brickey has won more than 20 saddles at junior rodeo, made the national high school finals and college national finals twice, and in 2007, won the International Professional Rodeo Association’s world title.
“Then I just worked my way up. Then the next year I won the Prairie Circuit, which is the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association). I won that in 2008 and I’ve just been going strong ever since,” he said.
In 2012, Brickey won the tie down calf roping event at the Indian National Finals rodeo in Las Vegas and plans to return this year. However, in 2014, Brickey suffered a serious foot injury.
“I was roping and stepped off a horse and it was turned completely sideways, so I didn’t get to rope for about nine months. I was on the couch, so I figured I better take care of myself a little bit better so I could rope,” he said. “You got to stay fit in my event, the tie down roping, because you got to jump off your horse, you got to run and flank a calf. I go to the gym, try to, in the mornings and try to stay fit. There’s guys doing it professional until they’re 45, 46. They’re kind of on the downhill slide. It really becomes harder then, you know. I’m just trying to stay fit, take care of myself.”
After being injured, Brickey said he “wasn’t going to take anything for granted.”
“I mean I’m going to work, put out the effort, and just do my best,” he said.
Brickey was scheduled to compete at several rodeos in January and February hoping to earn a spot in The American Rodeo on Feb. 28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for a chance to win $1 million.
“Not every day you get to rope for a million,” he said. “I’ve traveled pretty hard rodeoing. You win a lot, but it takes a lot of money to get up and down the road. I’ve got a lot of help this year hopefully it turns out for the best.”
PARK HILL, Okla. – After more than a decade, the Cherokee Heritage Center has a new curator. One who is familiar with the center after having worked at it before.
Callie Chunestudy, 34, took over the position on Nov. 9 after former CHC Curator Mickel Yantz accepted a job with the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art in Tulsa.
Chunestudy is a graduate of Northeastern State University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
“The Heritage Center has always held a big place in my heart. It’s where I worked at 16 on (Cherokee Nation) Summer Youth (Employment Program) and at 18 for the pottery division back when that was going on,” she said.
Through the Summer Youth Employment Program, Chunestudy said she gave tours in Adam’s Corner, the CHC’s rural village that depicts Cherokee life in the 1890s before Oklahoma statehood. Chunestudy added that she also worked in the museum archives department and as a secretary under the same employment program, giving her a total of two years experience at CHC before her current position.
As for her curator job, she said in many ways she wants to follow her predecessor’s path.
“Mickel was here 11 years, so I have big shoes to fill. He left a legacy of great shows and exhibits that he put together for the Heritage Center,” she said. “My hope is to continue that legacy while bringing new eyes and new things to the table. We have some really great shows coming up, including our current exhibit, ‘Talking Leaves to Pixels: The History of the Cherokee Syllabary,’ which runs from Jan. 15 until April 2.” Chunestudy said she is also looking forward to the 2016 Trail of Tears Art Show, which follows the syllabary exhibit.
“It will be the first time I’m completely in charge of an art show and competition, so I’m very excited about that,” she said. “And for the first time, we’re going to partner with Cherokee Art Market and also hold their youth art show and competition. So it will run concurrent, here at the Heritage Center, and the winners’ art will be up for the duration of the Trail of Tears Art Show.”
As for why she wanted the curator job, Chunestudy said she’s always been interested in helping preserve and showcase Cherokee culture.
“Art is a great way to do that because everyone can find common ground in beauty. Working at the Cherokee Heritage Center and being a good steward of our collections while helping promote the Cherokee artists that are living today is a very important goal for me,” she said.
CHC Executive Director Candessa Tehee said the CHC is fortunate to have Chunestudy join the staff again.
“She has a background in fine arts yet brings a deep understanding of Cherokee culture and communities with her to the position,” Tehee said. “Her enthusiasm for Cherokee art traditions is evident in her approach to her work and she has a bright future with the CHC.”
The CHC is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday from Sept. 16 until June 14 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday from June 15 to Sept. 15.
WASHINGTON – During a ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., Cherokee Nation citizen Kimberlee (Childers) Christian became a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard.
The Oct. 16 promotion is Christian’s most recent achievement of more than 25 years of service to the country and CN.
Christian grew up in Gans, Oklahoma; attended high school at Southside in Fort Smith, Arkansas; and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. In 2005, she earned her master’s degree in business administration from Baker University in Topeka, Kansas.
She joined the Oklahoma National Guard on Aug. 21, 1990, as a military police officer in the 745th MP Company. After receiving her commission from the Oklahoma Officer Candidate School, she served as the signal communications officer with the 120th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy). In 2000, she transferred to the Missouri National Guard.
She has successfully served in multiple leadership positions throughout her career, including a deployment to Kuwait in 2010 with the Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group as their senior signal officer. As the TASM-G senior signal officer, she was responsible for establishing voice, video and data communications for the Aviation Group, which was spread throughout the countries of Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.
Christian said her previous assignments with the Missouri National Guard were as challenging as they were rewarding. She played a role in developing the initial operating capabilities and establishing Missouri’s first cyber team in which she was the team leader and performed the duties of team chief during a national level exercise.
She has achieved numerous information technology industry certifications and military courses that have helped develop her technology management skills such as the Joint Command, Control, Communications and Computers Planners Course; Certified Ethical Hacker; Certified Information Systems Security Professional; and Certified Information Security Manager.
She served as the branch chief-in-charge of operations with the Directorate of Information Management. She was recognized for her ability to complete critical infrastructure improvements, as well as implementing technologies such as a state-of-the-art network data storage, which greatly enhanced the Disaster Recovery/Continuity of Operations capabilities within the Missouri National Guard.
She now serves as the National Capital Region’s, director of Information Management for the Army National Guard, at the National Guard Bureau. Her responsibilities include voice, video and data communications that provide critical services to the chief of the National Guard, who is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the 3,000 personnel located at the National Guard Bureau, the Pentagon and military installations within the national capital region.
Christian requested inclusion of the CN flag for the ceremony because she said it is an important part of her heritage. This was the first time a flag from another nation was included in a ceremony at the National Guard Bureau.
LOCUST GROVE, Okla. – It took longer than he wanted and came down to almost the last minute, but Mason Fine has found a place to play Division I college football.
The Locust Grove senior and Oklahoma’s all-time passing king on Jan. 25 verbally committed to play at the University of North Texas.
“I mean, it’s exciting. I might not show that I’m excited, but on the inside I’m jumping up and down,” Fine, a Cherokee Nation citizen said. “It’s been a childhood dream, all those hours of working and throwing the football and trying to understand the game of football. Now it’s paying off. This is just one goal in my life that I’ve reached, and now that I have that one goal accomplished, I’m gonna go set more goals while I’m in college and achieve those.”
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