Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols, left sitting, watches Principal Chief Bill John Baker, right sitting, on Aug. 8 sign a lease on a Cherokee Nation-owned property that will be the new site of a splash pad for the city in 2014. They were joined by, left to right in back, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Northeastern State President Steve Turner, Miss Cherokee Christy Kingfisher, Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd and CN Senior Assistant Attorney General Linda Donelson. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

CN, Tahlequah officials partner for splash pad

BY JAMI MURPHY
Reporter
08/22/2013 08:51 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation signed a 25-year lease on Aug. 8 with the city of Tahlequah to build a splash pad that will be free for all community members – Cherokee and non-Cherokee.

According to a CN press release, the agreement made with the city allows officials to build the water playground on .72 acres of tribally owned land located downtown.

“The city will lease the space for $1 a year,” the release states.

The splash pad, which has yet to be named, will be located at the corner of Downing and Water streets. Mayor Jason Nichols said during the signing that the plan is to have the site constructed by March or early April in 2014.

“But with the help of the Cherokee Nation we’re going to spend another $183,000…that will put this facility in place that will improve the quality of life for Cherokee children and non-Cherokee children,” Nichols said.

The splash pad will offer picnic tables, dumping water buckets, a foam pad, water shooters, two water wheels as well as other water-related toys.

Principal Chief Bill John Baker said that this is the best use of this property.

“We truly believe that for the next 25 years, this is the highest and best use of that property for the Cherokee Nation,” Baker said. “It will help our youth, the tourism. It helps tie our parks together when we try to attract people to see the courthouse, to see the Supreme Court, to see the jail…this is just one more plus why people might want to come to Tahlequah.”

Baker added that the partnership between the city and the CN will improve the lives of Cherokee and non-Cherokees alike.

“…we will continue to develop these kinds of infrastructure improvements for our citizens,” he said.

The splash pad is a part of $150 million worth of new infrastructure that’s been planned for or been built in the city during the past several years.

Northeastern State University is building a new multipurpose event center, and the CN is planning a new $50 million hospital. The city’s sports complex and new swimming pool are future projects, the CN release states.

jami-custer@cherokee.org


918-453-5560

ᏣᎳᎩ
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏬᏪᎳᏅ ᎯᏍᎩᏦᏁ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎤᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᎶᏂ ᏧᏁᎵᏁ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏚᎲ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎤᏃᏢᏗ ᎠᎹ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏙᏗ ᎤᏂᏱᏍᏛᏗ ᎠᏎᏊ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏁᎳ-- ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ.

ᏚᎾᏙᎵᏤᎸᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏗᏂᎴᏴᏗᏍᎩ ᏫᏚᏂᏲᏒᎢ, ᎾᎿ ᏚᎾᏓᏁᏤᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏂᏁᏥᏙᎯ ᎤᏃᏢᏗ ᎠᎼᎯ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ .72 ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎤᎾᏤᎵ ᎦᏙᎯ ᏗᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᏂᎲᎢ.

“ᎾᎿ ᎦᏚᎲ ᏛᎾᏙᎵᏏ ᎤᏠᏅᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏃᏍᏗ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ,” ᎪᏪᎸᎢ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏧᏂᏲᏒᎢ.

ᎠᎹ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏙᏗ ᎠᏱᏍᏓᎥᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮭ Ꮟ ᏱᏚᏙᎠ, ᎤᏃᎸᏗᏃ ᎤᏅᏏᏴ Downing ᎠᎴ ᎠᎹ ᏕᎦᏅᏅᎢ. ᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Jason Nichols ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏃᏪᎵᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏢ ᎤᏃᏢᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏗᎢ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏅᏱ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎬᏱᏊ ᎧᏬᏂ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ.

“ᎠᏎᏃ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏙᏓᏛᏔᏂ ᏏᏊ ᏐᎢ 183,000… ᎾᏍᎩ ᏛᏙᏢᏂ ᎯᎠ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏗ ᏓᏤᏞᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᏓᎾᏛᏍᎬ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎢᏧᎳ,” ᎤᏛᏅ Nichols.

ᎾᎿ ᎠᎹ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏙᏗ ᎠᏱᏍᏓᎥᎢ ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᏕᎦᏍᎩᎴᏍᏗ ᏗᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗᎢ, ᏏᏙᏂ ᎠᎹ ᏗᏟᏍᏙᏗ, ᎠᏟᏲᎷᎲᏍᎩ pad, ᎠᎹ ᏗᏟᏍᏙᏗ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏙᏗ, ᏔᎵ ᎠᎹ wheels ᎤᎪᏕᏍᏗ ᎠᎹᏱ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏙᏗ ᎤᏂᎲᏍᏗ.

ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Bill John Baker ᎤᏛᏅ ᎯᎠ ᏬᏌᏂᏴ ᏓᏛᏔᏂ ᎦᏙᎯ.

“ᏙᎯᏳ ᎣᎪᎯᏳ ᎾᎿ ᏐᎢᎯᏍᎩᏦᏁ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ ᎠᎴ ᏬᏌᏂᏴ ᏓᏛᏔᏂ ᎯᎠ ᎦᏙ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ,” ᎤᏛᏅ Baker. “ᏓᏳᏂᏍᏕᎸᎯ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ, ᎠᏂᎦᏖᏃᎵᏙᎯ. ᎢᎩᏍᏕᎵᎭ ᎾᎿ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎢᏧᎳ ᏃᎴ ᎢᏗᏁᎶᏗᏍᎪ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎤᏪᏘ ᏧᎾᏓᏰᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ, ᎤᏪᏘ ᏧᎾᏓᏍᏚᏗᎢ…. ᎯᎠ ᏥᏛᏙᏢᏂ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏳᎾᏚᎵ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᏓᎵᏆ.”

Baker ᎤᏁᏉᎥ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏗᎵᎪᎯ ᏥᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏓᏤᏞᏍᏗ ᎢᏕᎲ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎢᏧᎳ.

“……. ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏎᏍᏗ ᏓᏙᏢᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᎢᏧᏍᏗᏓᏂ ᏓᏤᏢᎯ ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸᏍᏗ ᎠᏁᎯ,” ᎤᏛᏅ.

ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᎹ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏙᏗ ᎠᏱᏍᏓᎥ ᎢᎦᏓ 150 ᏳᏆᏗᏅᏓ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎢᏤ ᏧᏃᏢᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏓ ᏧᏄᎪᏔᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏃᏢᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᎬᏩᎴᏅᏓ.

ᎤᏴᏢᎢ ᎧᎸᎬ ᎢᏗᏢ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎾᏁᏍᎬ ᎢᏤ ᏧᏓᎴᏅ ᎢᎬᏙᏗ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗ ᎠᏰᏟ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ CN ᎠᎾᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗᎭ ᎢᏤ ᎤᎾᏁᏍᎬᏗ ᏧᏂᏢᎩ 50 ᏳᏆᏗᏅᏓ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᎾᏁᏦᏗ ᎤᏃᏢᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏤ ᎤᎾᏓᏬᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏩᎫᏗᏗᏒ ᏳᎾᏛᏗ, ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᏂᏲᏏ ᏄᏂᏪᏒᎢ.
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-custer@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.

News

BY STAFF REPORTS
10/30/2014 10:31 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Northeastern State University’s Center for Tribal Studies will have a Halloween event for children of all ages on Oct. 31. The “Halloween Party” will have trick or treating from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. there will be games, refreshments and costume contests. The costume contests will award the scariest, funniest and most original costume. The event is sponsored by NSU Native Student Organizations. The Halloween Party will take place at the Bacone House at 320 Academy St. For more information, call 918-444-4350.
BY STAFF REPORTS
10/28/2014 01:34 PM
STILWELL, Okla. – To help with the construction a splash pad, the Cherokee Nation donated nearly $40,000 to the City of Stilwell. “We are all one big community, and it means a lot to us for the Cherokee Nation to work with us on this project,” Stilwell Mayor Ronnie Trentham said. “The things we want to do as a city we couldn’t do alone, so the partnerships between us and the tribe and other groups are needed. We are a better community because we work together.” The splash pad will be located at the Edna M. Carson Stilwell Community Park. City officials expect the project, totaling $464,000, to be completed by May 2015. “Stilwell has always been a hub of Cherokee activity because we have so many citizens living there and working there at our Cherokee Nation Industries facility,” said Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “This represents a good investment for the Cherokee Nation, as it enables the community and its leaders to expand the infrastructure and deliver more offerings for people.”
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Senior Reporter
10/27/2014 08:28 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Two Cherokee Nation citizens have produced a 2015 calendar titled “Birds of the Cherokee Nation” that has photographs of area birds and their Cherokee names in the Cherokee syllabary. Jeff Davis, of Warner, and David Cornsilk, of Tahlequah, collaborated on the calendar. Cornsilk researched the Cherokee names for the birds and Davis provided the photographs. Each bird in the calendar can be found in the Cherokee Nation, Davis said. “I take a lot of photographs, and birds are some of my favorite subjects because I descend from the Bird Clan. I thought about doing one initially, and then David approached me about doing one, and we wanted to do it in Cherokee,” Davis, who is also an artist and direct descendant of Principal Chief John Ross, said. “The reason we wanted to do Cherokee is to not only be different, but to also help promote the language and help people learn the language.” Cornsilk said he used to live in Kenwood in Delaware County, which is known for being a traditional Cherokee community, and would listen to the Cherokee speakers there talk about birds and the meaning of the birds’ names. “Something I noticed was a lot of the older speakers they knew a lot of birds’ (names), and the younger speakers didn’t know very many. So it was something, I guess, that was fading out of the language, and so I started collecting the names of birds in Cherokee,” he said. “I always thought I’d publish a book, but then I thought a calendar would be a lot of fun.” He said because Cherokee speakers and others learning the language don’t regularly use the names of birds, plants and animals, the words are in danger of being forgotten. Davis said many Cherokee speakers just use the word jee-squa, which means bird, for every bird. Cornsilk said after he met Davis he learned about Davis’ love of birds and his photographs of local birds. So they decided to work together to produce the calendar. Each bird in the calendar has a Cherokee syllabary and English phonetic name. Each bird photo also has a brief explanation of what the bird means to the Cherokee and other stories about each bird. On the calendar’s back cover is a copy of the Cherokee syllabary to help people translate the bird names and the names of the months in Cherokee listed with the photos. Also included in the calendar is a list of moons associated with each month and what Cherokee beliefs are associated with each moon. Cornsilk credits the list of what the moons meant to Cherokees to William Eubanks, a Cherokee translator in the 1890s. Also, Cherokee linguist Lawrence Panther translated the calendar name. Davis said if the calendar is successful, he and Cornsilk might publish a second calendar next year because he has many more bird photos and Cornsilk, who has been collecting Cherokee names for plants and animals for about 30 years, has more Cherokee names for birds. He added the men have also had requests to do a calendar with plants used by Cherokee people for medicine and may do one with Cherokee names for trees using Davis’ photos. Davis and Cornsilk said they might also produce flash cards with birds, plants and trees. The calendars are available for $10 at the Cherokee Nation Gift Shop and the Spider Gallery in Tahlequah. By mail order, the price is $12.95 each, which includes shipping. PayPal or postal money orders are accepted. For PayPal send payment to: oklaguy67@gmail.com, and to mail payment, send to: J. Davis, P.O. Box 492, Warner OK 74469. “I think our main purpose was to preserve a portion of the Cherokee language that seemed to be fading...to make a contribution to the efforts the tribe is making and individual Cherokees are making as well (to preserve the language),” Cornsilk said. Davis said the response to the calendar has been positive. “People not only love the pictures but also learn how to pronounce the words. I’ve had several mothers tell me that they are teaching their children words from this, which is really what we wanted...something educational and beautiful,” he said.
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Senior Reporter
10/23/2014 12:45 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The North American Indian Court Judges Association recently honored Cherokee Nation District Court Clerk Kristi Moncooyea for her work with the court. Moncooyea, who received the “Court Support Excellence Award,” has served as the only clerk for the District Court for the past 10 years and is “the amiable face that greets everyone who comes to the Cherokee Nation District Court,” a NAICJA statement reads. “Handling the workload of at least three or four clerks all by herself, she handles the extraordinary caseload with great energy and resourcefulness,” the statement reads. “In addition to maintaining the court’s docket and case files, she answers the phone and patiently deals with attorneys, parties, law enforcement officers, and community members on a daily basis.” Moncooyea, who is a CN citizen, said it is “very humbling” to be recognized by the NAICJA. “I consider it an honor and privilege to work in the Cherokee Nation judicial system providing assistance to our Cherokee citizens as well as the general public who require services of the court,” Moncooyea said. “I share this award with the awesome court staff I work with daily who are always there to assist and help make the courthouse a friendly place to come to.” District Court Judge John T. Cripps said Moncooyea is “a role model and inspiration” for tribal court personnel who are often challenged to do a great deal with very little assistance or resources. “She is always courteous and respectful. I can find no one who does not appreciate her work and her abilities. She is the epitome of what a tribal employee should exemplify,” Cripps said. Moncooyea is the first to receive the “Court Support Excellence Award,” from NAICJA.
BY JAMI MURPHY
Reporter
10/22/2014 01:08 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation’s Election Commission on Oct. 14 voted to remove two voting precincts and limit the time news reporters can shoot inside precincts during elections to five minutes. Commissioners said a precinct in Cookson was added during the Tribal Council’s redistricting process but never opened as a polling place. Commissioner Shawna Calico said a decision was needed on whether to keep Cookson’s polling place or remove it. She said after some research, voters were going to have to drive either north or south around Lake Tenkiller to vote in Cookson. “So this (Keys) is still the central location, so I say we just leave it at Keys (and remove Cookson),” she said. Commissioner Teresa Hart asked how many voters were located in that area and Calico said there were more voters on the Keys side of Lake Tenkiller than the Cookson side. According to an EC report, Keys has more than 500 voters registered and Cookson had a little more than 150. Calico motioned to remove Cookson’s precinct from Dist. 3 and Commissioner Carolyn Allen seconded it. The motion passed with Calico and Allen voting yes and Hart voting no. EC Commissioner Martha Calico was absent. Commissioners also removed the precinct in Paradise Hill and placed it in Gore. EC Chairman Bill Horton said it would be more feasible for voters. “Probably Gore will encompass more local people than Paradise Hill’s got,” he said. Commissioners then approved the revised precinct map, which is to be printed opposite of the voter registration form. Shawna Calico motioned to remove Cookson and Paradise Hill from the precinct map and add Gore as a location. The changes made to the precinct map passed with a 3-0 vote. The EC also changed a policy regarding media coverage at voting precincts. The change limits media access to five minutes in a precinct. EC officials said the new policy models the state’s voting laws. “We took the Oklahoma statutes and what they do and kind of adopted our situation to allow cameras into the election closure and photograph but limit the time so that they wouldn’t disrupt the voting process,” EC attorney Harvey Chaffin said. The policy amendment passed unanimously. The Cherokee Phoenix requested a copy by-laws and the rules and regulations but they are currently not in their “final form” and will not be submitted or published until then. “The Election Commission Rules and Regulations shall be published and transmitted to the Council no later than 90 days before the first day of filing for the election,” EC Administrator Madison Cornett said. She said the rules and regulations would apply, but do not have to be approved by Tribal Council. The by-laws were expected to be approved at the next regular EC meeting.
BY STAFF REPORTS
10/22/2014 11:42 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On Oct. 27, parents can begin registering their Cherokee children for the Cherokee Nation Angel Project. CNAP, formerly known as Angel Tree, is a program that allows the public to purchase and donate clothing, toys and other gifts for Cherokee children who live within the 14-county tribal jurisdiction, and who may not otherwise receive gifts during the holiday season, according to a CN press release. “More than 2,200 children received holiday gifts through the program last year,” the release states. To qualify for the program, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Applicants must provide proof of income for all household members over the age of 18. For example, a family of three must not exceed $2,061 in household income per month, and a family of four must not exceed $2,484 per month. Those applying must provide a proof of residency and tribal citizenship card for each child. For more information, please call 918-266-5626, ext. 7720 or 918-458-6900. Applications must be filled out at the following locations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Nov. 7. <strong>Beginning Oct. 27</strong> Salina: A-Mo Health Center, 900 N. Owen Walters Blvd. Catoosa: Indian Child Welfare Office, 750 S. Cherokee St., Suite O Muskogee: Three Rivers Health Center, 1001 S. 41st St. E. Vinita: Vinita Health Center, 27371 S. 4410 Road <strong>Beginning Oct. 28</strong> Chouteau: Chouteau Public Schools, 521 N. McCracken Collinsville: Victory Cherokee Community Building, 1025 N. 12th St. Nowata: Will Rogers Health Center, 1020 Lenape Drive Pryor: Cherokee Heights Housing Addition, 133 Cherokee Heights Stilwell: Indian Child Welfare Office, 401 S. 2nd Westville: 402 S. Park St. (house across from Westville Junior High) Jay: Cherokee Nation Human Services, 1501 Industrial Park <strong>Beginning Oct. 30</strong> Bartlesville: Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation, 1003 S. Virginia <strong>Beginning Nov. 3</strong> Tahlequah: W.W. Keeler Complex Financial Resource Building, 17675 S. Muskogee Ave.