Leeds co-writes ‘Mastering American Indian Law’

08/16/2013 09:22 AM
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.


09/19/2014 12:08 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development has announced its 2014 “Native American 40 Under 40” winners. According to NCAIED, this award will recognize 40 emerging American Indian leaders from all over Indian Country. Those awarded have “demonstrated leadership, initiative and dedication and made significant contributions in business and/or their community.” “The 2014 Native American 40 Under 40 Awards will be presented at NCAIED’s 39th Annual Indian Progress In Business Awards Gala being held at RES Wisconsin October 8th at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. Among those being awarded are four Cherokees: Chuck Hoskin Jr., Lindsay Earls, Amber Fite- Morgan and Star Yellowfish. Three are Cherokee Nation citizens and Yellowfish is a United Keetoowah Band citizen. "I'm honored to be on the list. What this honor really reflects is that I've had the good fortune to work with a lot of great people who have given me some wonderful opportunities. Serving the Cherokee people has been the greatest of these opportunities,” Hoskin said. Hoskin serves as Cherokee Nation Secretary of State. Earls works as legislative counsel in CN’s Government Relations department. She said being nominated and recognized meant that her hard work was being noticed. “I was thrilled and surprised to learn that I was included on the list – especially when I found out who the other honorees were. To be listed among such incredible, passionate and motivated people is a greater honor than I could have imagined,” she said. “There are so many talented leaders in Indian Country and I’m humbled to be among them.” Morgan, who works for Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, said she was “really shocked” that she had been recognized, but grateful. “Being selected as a recipient of "Native American 40 under 40" award is an honor and a thrill,” Morgan added. “It reminds me of how important it is to make contributions to my tribe and Native communities throughout North America. I am very humbled to receive such a prestigious award.” Yellowfish, who works as for Oklahoma City Public Schools, said she too is honored to be chosen for the award. “The winners are made up of so many great Native individuals doing great things in their respective disciplines that it should make our ancestors and Indian country proud and confident that our people will continue on,” she said. “This award is especially special because I get to share this experience with my cousin, Sedelta Oosahwee. I am very thankful for the award and I accept it on behalf of my family, friends and the students I work with.” Oosahwee is Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara Nation as well as Cherokee. Here is a complete list of those who’ll be honored in October. Justin Tarbell – St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Steve Bodmer – Edisto Natchez-Kusso Indian Tribe of South Carolina Courtney Monteiro – Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) Amber Fite-Morgan – Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Clementine Bordeaux – Rosebud Sioux Tribe Star Yellowfish – United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma Shoni Schimmel – Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Lindsay Earls – Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Christina Finsel – Osage Nation Leotis McCormack – Nez Perce Tribe Kelly Myers – Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Richard Peterson – Tlingit and Haida Kimberly Jorgensen – Inupiaq Jill Fox – Chickasaw Nation Carri Jones – Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Frank Waln – Rosebud Sioux Tribe Jeffrey Grubbe – Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Andy Langston – Muscogee (Creek) Nation Peter Hahn – Seminole Tribe of Florida Justin Bennett – Cayuga Nation Paulette Jordan – Couer D’Alene Tribe Pete Coser, Jr. – Muscogee (Creek) Nation Wizpian Little Elk – Rosebud Sioux Tribe Derrick Lente – Isleta Pueblo/Sandia Pueblo Winslow Mexico – Forest County Potawatomi Sarah Eagle Heart – Oglala Sioux Tribe Haven Harris – Nome Eskimo Community Reid Milanovich – Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Charles “Chuck” Hoskin, Jr. – Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Alyssa Macy – Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Florence Clairmont – Yankton Sioux Tribe Miriam Aarons – Inupiaq April Tinhorn – Navajo Nation /Hualapai Tribe Dennis Welsh – Colorado River Indian Tribes Irene Dundas – Tlingit Cody Desautel – Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation Joshua Butler – Navajo Nation Timothy Ballew – Lummi Nation William Cornelius – Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Sedelta Oosahwee – Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara Nation
09/19/2014 10:20 AM
CATOOSA, Okla. – Joe Washum, Cherokee Nation Businesses director of safety and environmental, was recently recognized by Junior Achievement of Oklahoma with a Red Apple Award for his efforts to increase financial literacy among local students. “I believe that every child needs this type of education to help them be successful in life,” Washum said. “The entire CNB safety department volunteered for a program at Greasy Elementary this past year, and it was incredibly inspiring. We all enjoyed working with the kids to help them understand the importance of an economic education and gave them a better look at how it affects them.” Washum, a Cherokee Nation citizen, has a history of volunteering with Junior Achievement dating back to 1994. Since moving back to Oklahoma in 2008, he has become an advocate for the organization, encouraging friends, family and coworkers to get involved. Washum has administered 19 Junior Achievement programs to kindergarten through seventh grade classrooms and has directly impacted 349 youth. He has also served on the Bartlesville Junior Achievement advisory board with the 50/20 committee, which encourages 50 companies within the community to have at least 20 active volunteers. “We commend Joe for his efforts and thank him for setting such a wonderful example for us all to follow. It is culturally important to us as Cherokee people that we invest in the education of our youth and prepare them to the best of our ability,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. CNB partnered with the Cherokee Nation Foundation in 2011 to increase the number of Cherokee students reached by JA programming. As part of the effort, the CN became the first tribe to set up shop in JA BizTown in Tulsa. The kid-sized city teaches financial literacy and life lessons through hands-on application. The commercial space is home to the town’s newspaper, a replicated Cherokee Phoenix. CNB also sponsors rural schools from within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction to attend JA BizTown each year. For more information about these programs and more, visit www.cherokeenationfoundation.org or call 918-207-0950. To learn more about the JAO, visit <a href="http://www.jaok.org" target="_blank">www.jaok.org</a>.
09/18/2014 07:53 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The 135 new veterans bricks that were placed at the Cherokee Warrior Memorial on Aug. 28 have special meaning to the veterans’ families, especially to the Taylor family, which had 55 bricks placed that day. Each brick list a veteran’s name and usually the armed forces branch he or she served with and the years served. Bricks are placed in the ground in front of the memorial. Veterans from one family are sometimes placed in groups at the memorial, which is what Barbara Taylor Maddox hoped to do for her family members. Maddox of the McKey Community, which is west of Sallisaw in Sequoyah County, came to watch the red bricks be unloaded and organized before they were placed among other veterans’ bricks. “We’ve been out there watching and looking, and it’s been an enjoyable sight to see them placed in the ground,” she said. “We have bought 55 bricks, one for each veteran. Some of the veterans we have are World War II veterans. We have a Civil War veteran, which is my grandfather. He participated as a scout for the Confederacy. We have a Vietnam veteran and then all between.” The Cherokee scout’s name was John Taylor, who was born in 1852 and died in 1928. The names engraved on the bricks are from John Taylor’s family. He had 18 children, Maddox said. He had six children with his first wife Narcissa, and then had 12 children with his second wife Alice. Maddox said four generations of John Taylor descendants who served in the armed forces had bricks placed at the memorial on Aug. 28. Over the years, Taylor descendant gatherings held in McKey were used to honor the family’s veterans, and she said the planning for honoring Taylor-family veterans with bricks was done as a family. “It (bricks) was an idea we talked about at some of our family gatherings. We would say ‘let’s do this,’ so finally it came to a head, and we finally got it done,” she said. Maddox, her sister Barbara Newton, one of her granddaughters and her two daughters also worked together to write and produce a booklet that consists of stories and photos of Taylor family veterans who served from the Civil War to present day. Dr. Ricky Robinson, manager of the tribe’s Veteran’s Affairs Office in the Veterans Service Center, manages the bricks at the memorial and said the new red bricks are different in color and texture than the ones previously used, which are white. The change had to be made because the Muskogee-based brick company used by the CN switched to a laser system to engrave the bricks and had to begin using a special “softer” brick that is red. Robinson said within the two years he hopes to replace all of the bricks at the memorial with red bricks. Family members who wish to purchase a brick for a veteran may get an application form at the Veterans Service Center or the CN Communications Department. The bricks are $25. “A large majority of it ($25) goes to the purchase of the brick and the engraving, and the few dollars of profit goes to the Cherokee Nation Education Foundation, which mostly is used for the maintenance of the bricks and the maintenance of the Warrior Memorial wall,” he said. Cherokee veterans who are honored by the Tribal Council each month receive a certificate for a free brick. Maddox said it was an “emotional thing” to see her family members’ bricks being placed beside other Cherokee veterans at the memorial, including three family members who already had bricks placed there. “It was really wonderful too to just see their names laying there on the ground in front of this beautiful warrior memorial here at the Cherokee complex,” she said.
09/17/2014 08:07 AM
MUSKOGEE, Okla. – In the history of sports there have been famous players of various sports from Oklahoma and even the Cherokee Nation. One CN citizen hopes to one day achieve the ranks of those before him. Coltyn Majors, 7, is a second grade student at Pershing Elementary School. While in school he works to maintain the highest standard of grades while still excelling in sports. Coltyn said he enjoys sports, with baseball being his favorite. He said he enjoys it because, “it’s fun and you get to run and play.” Coltyn plays baseball on a team for children ages 8 and under. He said he trains hard so he can get better each time he plays. Dallas Majors, Coltyn’s father, said he trains with Coltyn. “He practices everyday,” Dallas said. “If we’re not practicing here (Muskogee High School baseball fields), it’s all at the house. We practice hard at the house.” Aside from baseball, Coltyn wrestles. Dallas said this is the sport Coltyn wins trophies in and receives praise from coaches. Coltyn will compete in the open category this year instead of his previous novice category, which is for a wrestler who is within their first two years of competing. While in his second season as a novice, Coltyn wrestled in 87 matches winning 76. He competed in approximately 20 tournaments, winning first place in eight, second place in six and third place in two. Coltyn said this year of wrestling would be, “a little bit hard.” “I’m going to be playing in open and not in novice,” he said. “I’ve been training hard and working out hard.” Aside from winning trophies, Coltyn has won awards for Outstanding Wrestler and Outstanding Sportsmanship. Coltyn said one of his heroes is fellow CN citizen Wes Nofire, a boxer. Dallas said his son looks up to him. Dallas said he has been teaching his son about the world of sports since he was a baby. “He’s been in it knee deep since about 2 years old, learning the game at the age of close to 1,” he said. “He’s been a student of the game for about six years strong.” Dallas said he helps his son strive for excellence with the hope of one day Coltyn receiving an athletic scholarship to a university. “Coltyn’s a very humble kid, and our main goal is to get his scholarship,” he said. “He has three rules before he goes to school: make straight A’s, eat all his food and do not get in trouble. That’s the key to success. He’s got a very bright future as long as he keeps doing what he’s doing. He will make it.” Coltyn still has a long road to haul, but his father said he believes he will do great things in his future. “I couldn’t be any happier. I’m ecstatic and just very grateful. He’s a very warm-hearted kid that brings your spirits up when you’re feeling down,” he said. “I can’t thank all the people that’s helped him along his way.”
09/11/2014 01:28 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation employee Ralph Winburn, a licensed practical nurse with the tribe’s Jack Brown Center, remembers thinking he was watching a movie trailer on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, as terrorist attacks unfolded in New York City. In 2001, he was employed by New York City Fire as an emergency medical technician and stationed in South Bronx while living in Queens. “It was a ‘RDO’ or regular day off, and I was at home surfing the web and looking at the TV with the volume down. And I kind of looked at the TV and thought it was a made-for-TV movie because the bombing in (19)93 had just happened. ‘Wow that’s kind of soon to make a made-for-TV movie,’ he said. “But the screen didn’t change, I turned up the volume, and there was a news announcer stating he didn’t know what happened, if it was an accident or terrorism.” Anytime there is a possibility of 100 or more patients, Winburn said, even on a day off working for Emergency Medical Services, personnel must put on the uniform and respond to the closest battalion. “It was two units that went out from there (Queens), and we were trying to figure out the best route because there was no plan for that. They quickly told us that the only route is the only route we didn’t want to take, which was under water, the mid-town tunnel. All the overpasses were shut down for security purposes,” he said. “We took that underwater route and go into Manhattan, and it was kind of eerie because we were the only two vehicles in the mid-town tunnel. That never happens. You’ve got a sea of yellow cabs at all times, trucks, this, that and the other, everyone moving back and forth. It’ll take you probably 30 to 40 minutes to get through that tunnel. We got through that tunnel in four minutes.” He said once they came out of the tunnel and saw the smoke everything got quiet and somber. For the first two hours he and others helped with the “mass exodus” of lower Manhattan. “And that happened through waterways or on foot. There was no bus or train services. There was only ferry services. So we were directing people how to get out of the city. After the city was cleared, we were then back to our makeshift hospitals,” Winburn said. He said in the makeshift hospitals their plans were for every doctor to have two nurses, every nurse to have two paramedics, every paramedic to have five EMTs and every EMT was to triage and treat 15 patients. “That didn’t happen because within those first two hours either you walked out with the evacuation or you were considered dead,” he said. “The only patients we got were emergency workers. A policeman, fireman, cut here, scratch there, a fall or whatever.” After working for 16 hours, he said he was required to go home, be off for eight hours and return if needed. “But before I left, a lot of us had to do a makeshift building of people. Whereas if you knew your anatomy you were needed. If there was a body part and you could identify it, you would label it,” he said. “If it was connected to an MOS uniform, a member of service uniform, then it went to a certain area. If it was not it was considered civilian. It went to a different area that way you could get an accurate body count by building bodies exactly what was there and not there.” Winburn said one of the more horrific things he experienced during the attacks was the inability to reach his family via phone. But in the aftermath, he said finding out who didn’t make it home that night was just as horrible. Trying to find a bright side in any bad situation is a challenge, but Winburn said coming out of 9/11 was an appreciation for life. “I myself, I grew up in an orphanage, so not having mom and dad where most people did was one of those things where you appreciate everything that is around you, whereas most people don’t,” he said. He said experiencing 9/11 intensified that feeling of appreciating life. “To make me want to go forward and continue to do good and share this gift of life that I was given with everybody else,” Winburn said. “The only thing we ask, I say we, I mean people who have gone through that experience, is that everyone not forget. How you choose to not forget is basically what counts to you.”
08/29/2014 08:34 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizens and sisters Faye Morrison and Kaye Callaway have been members of the Tahlequah Veteran’s of Foreign War Auxiliary since age 16. They said it’s one of the ways they give back to their country and community. Morrison recently received her 50-year membership pin from the organization to which she said she was proud to have. She got involved with the VFWA because her parents were and it was just what you did back then, she said. “We just were always a patriotic family,” Morrison said. And patriotism is what has kept her a member for 50 years, he said. “We just always had that in the back of our minds,” she said. “It was what our parents did, and we just felt like it was the thing to do. What little we could do to give back to serve our country in what way we could.” Callaway, a retired teacher who recently received her 45-year pin, said during the years she hasn’t been as active as her sister because of different things that keep her busy, but she’s always tried to help. “You know through the year I had the school, OEA – Oklahoma Education Association. Then during the summer, I worked with the Tahlequah Girls Softball League, so you know my year was full. But when it came to convention time, we’d usually all go to the state convention,” Callaway said. “And it was just kind of like that’s how we were raised to give back to the community. It’s not ‘give me something.’ It’s ‘what can I do for you.’” Morrison said she and her sister remember their mother being involved in the VFWA. Before they were old enough to go into the Veterans Affairs hospital in Muskogee, she said, her mother organized bingo games there for veterans. “I guess when it was not school time, of course, she couldn’t get a baby sitter and back then it was OK just to let your kids run around out in the parking lot. Of course, Honor Heights Park was right there. She did that for I don’t know how many years,” Morrison said, “probably at least 50 years. Once I got old enough I started going with her and helping her. For the last 30 years, I’ve been what they call the representative and it’s my job to go over and put the party on. Used to be hers, now it’s mine.” Callaway said she enjoyed helping at the hospital as a young woman. “It was really neat back then because we were young and we got to help all of these old men, you know. And at that time they had those cards where you slide the little red over when you get a number, and we would help them do that and ‘oh you missed one’ and, you know, their prizes were socks and bar soap, a tooth brush, a comb…and they thought they were getting a pot of gold,” Callaway said. Morrison said sometimes she dreads driving to Muskogee, but that feeling leaves her when she gets there. “Sometimes I think ‘Ugh, the second Tuesday of the month and I’ve got to go to Muskogee, drive over there, hot cold, rain, shine,’” Morrison said. “But you make somebody happy, even if it’s just one person.” The VFWA has received more than 300 combined years of volunteer service from all the female members in sisters’ family, all of which are or were Cherokee, dating back to the 1950s. Not only have the women been involved, but they have also had men serve as well, including their father Luther Hammons and brother Jerry E. Hammons. To be a VFWA member, a woman 16 years or older must have a family member that has served in a foreign war. Dues are $10 per year. For more information on the VFW or VFWA, Morrison asks people attend a potluck luncheon at 11;30 a.m. at the VFW on the second Monday of each month, and bring a dish. The VFW also provides donuts and coffee to veterans from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month from. It will host its annual bean dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Veteran’s Day. The dinner is free to all veterans. For those who haven’t served it’s $3. Bingo is every Monday night at 6:30 p.m. The VFW is located on Choctaw Street near the Choctaw and Bluff Street intersection.