Native youth organization UNITY moves to Arizona

01/16/2014 08:58 AM
MESA, Ariz. – After calling Oklahoma home for more than 37 years, the United National Indian Tribal Youth organization celebrated its the relocation with a grand opening at its new headquarters on Dec. 30 at 1 N. MacDonald Drive, Suite 312 in Mesa.

“We are excited about beginning this new journey for UNITY with the official headquarters now being in Arizona” Mary Kim Titla, executive director, said. “The move makes sense for the organization on many levels, we are the largest Native-youth network organization in the country with more than 132 youth councils in 35 states. The Phoenix-metro area provides an environment that allows us to flourish.”

Titla was selected as UNITY’s new leader in spring of 2013 when former Executive Director J.R. Cook stepped down after more than three decades of service.

Native youth leaders serving on the executive committee for the National UNITY Council and special guest speakers, including tribal leadership and dignitaries from the local area, attended the open house.

UNITY is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the spiritual, mental, physical and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth and to help build a strong, unified, and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement. UNITY has impacted more than 150,000 Native Americans through its programs since 1976.

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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="" target="_blank"></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.
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
09/16/2016 08:30 AM
LUBBOCK, Texas. – Coming from a family of educators, Cherokee Nation citizen Jamie Roe followed in those footsteps and is a teacher at Sharp Academy, a school for dyslexic, ADHD and ADD students. “I am teaching biology I, II and chemistry, so since I was a nutrition major I had all of the sciences imaginable. So I had biology I, biology II, anatomy I, anatomy II, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, just everything like that, so kind of a science nerd,” she said. “I thought I would be able to give back to them in that aspect.” Roe, who graduated from Texas Tech University in the spring, said she always had an interest in kids with “brain differences” and wanted to help them in the classroom setting. “I’ve always kind of been interested in kids with brain differences, and I was really drawn to this school,” she said. “A lot of them, like having dyslexia, words and things will move around on them, and I think that in a way I’ll be able to kind of help them overcome that and I’ll be patient with them.” Roe said she isn’t the first teacher in her family, and probably won’t be the last. “Everybody in my family was in education, like my grandpa, my grandmother, most of my aunts and uncles, my dad and my mom. So it’s kind of been inevitable,” she said. She said her mother, who is the special education director for Tuba City Unified School District in Arizona, where Roe grew up, is one of her role models. She said she believes her mother’s line of work drew her to where she is now. “It definitely kind of drew me towards this because she is one of my role models, and I think that just seeing her work with kids that a lot of people have put aside kind of motivated me to follow in her footsteps,” she said. Roe has been teaching since August and said she enjoys it. “I’ve truly enjoyed it. I think the kids are making it easy on me for sure,” she said. “I think that I’m learning a lot from them as well, a lot about myself. It’s a great opportunity to be able to give back because I know that I’m giving to the future in a way.”
09/08/2016 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation officials honored a trio of brothers with Medals of Patriotism at a special presentation on Aug. 31. Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden presented the medals to Daniel Ray Tanner, 67, of White Bear Lake, Minnesota; Michael Ray Tanner, 51, of Jay; and Johnny Lee Tanner, 75, of Jay, as an acknowledgment for their service to the country. Sgt. Major Daniel Tanner was born Jan. 13, 1949, in Eucha and was drafted into the Army in 1968. He was deployed to Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and served with the 82nd Airborne Division. Along with several other deployments, he served as a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps instructor and Forces Command of the Minnesota National Guard Advisor and attended U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. He retired from the Army in 1991 after 23 years and of service. He now lives in White Bear Lake, but said his heart is still in Eucha. “To be recognized by the tribe like this, I really do appreciate it,” Daniel Tanner said. “I’ve been thinking about this honor for so long and have seen others get it. I couldn’t wait to get it, because it is from the Cherokee Nation.” Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Turner was born Dec. 20, 1964, and entered the Navy in 1984. He received his basic training in San Diego and attended the Navy Marine Intelligence Training Command in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He served on three western Pacific cruises and in Hawaii at Commander Air Wing Patrol. He was an intelligence specialist when he received his honorable discharge in 1991. Cpl. Johnny Tanner was born July 20, 1941, and drafted into the Army in 1963. He received basic training at Fort Polk in Louisiana and advanced individual training on Howitzer self-propelled artillery at Fort Knox in Kentucky and at Little Falls, Vermont. He was stationed at Fort Knox for three years where he played both football and baseball for special duty. Johnny Tanner also trained the Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania, ROTC on self-propelled artillery. He furthered his training on self-propelled artillery in the Dominican Republic and received an honorable discharge in 1965. After being discharged, he spent two years in the Army Reserve at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. Each month the CN recognizes Cherokee service men and women for their sacrifices and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which the tribe holds all veterans. To nominate a veteran who is a CN citizen, call 918-772-4166.
Staff Writer
08/29/2016 04:00 PM
WAGONER, Okla. – Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Cody Standifird saved a man’s life while out on patrol the morning of Aug. 21. Standifird, a Cherokee Nation citizen, said he was patrolling near a public access area known as Coal Creek around 9:30 a.m. when he noticed a “suspicious looking” vehicle parked with the back hatch open. As he circled the parking lot, he said he noticed a person’s foot hanging out of the back of the vehicle. He parked his patrol car and walked to the vehicle. “When I walked up to the vehicle, I found a man that…appeared to have a severe head wound.” Standifird said. “There was a lot of blood on him, and he was barely breathing.” Standifird requested Wagoner County dispatch to send emergency medical services to his location. While waiting, he attempted to help the man, identified as Robert Potter Jr., to breathe better but then noticed Potter stopped breathing completely. Standifird then administered CPR. Standifird said Potter “was revived quickly” and began to breathe on his own. However, after a short time, Potter stopped breathing again, and Standifird again administered CPR. Potter was revived again and able to breathe on his own until the EMS arrived. Standifird said he did not expect to “randomly” come across someone in need while patrolling. “I wasn’t expecting that by any means. I was really unsure what kind of injury the man had. He seemed to…give indicators that he had possibly been shot or severely beaten, and I wasn’t sure exactly what was wrong with him,” Standifird said. “I have done CPR on people before, but I’ve never just randomly discovered someone that needed it without being dispatched.” Standifird said Potter was transported to a Muskogee hospital where he was placed in the intensive care unit, but listed in stable condition and expected to recover. “I don’t consider myself a hero at all. It’s just something that was completely random that happened,” Standifird said. “I happened to be at the right place at the right time, and I did my job.” Standifird joined the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 and works as a firearms instructor, Emergency Response Team member and a field-training officer.
08/26/2016 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation officials honored a World War II veteran and two Vietnam War veterans with Medals of Patriotism at the Aug. 15 Tribal Council meeting. Gary Dale Douglas, 71, of Coweta; James Clarence Huggins, 95, of Fort Gibson; and James David Murphy, 65, of Stilwell, each received a medal acknowledging their service to the country from Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden. Spc. Douglas was born Feb. 27, 1945, in Houston, Missouri. He was drafted into the Army in 1967, attended basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and advanced individual training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He was sent to Vietnam in October 1967 and was assigned to the 585th Dump Truck Company. Douglas drove a jeep for the first platoon sergeant and then the company commander. After the company commander was killed in an ambush, he drove a jeep for the second platoon sergeant. Douglas was ambushed twice, first by the Viet Cong and then by the North Vietnamese regular army. As a result, he earned two Silver Star medals for valor in combat. Douglas took over the night crew of the motor pool for the remainder of his service after the second ambush. The motor pool was responsible for the upkeep and repair of the vehicles. Douglas received an honorable discharge in 1968. He earned several ribbons and medals for his service, including the Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Combat Medal and National Defense Service Medal. ?? “I just want to say thank you to the Cherokee Nation for this honor,” Douglas said. ?? Staff Sgt. Huggins was born June 10, 1921, in Fort Gibson. He entered the Army in 1942. Huggins and two other men from Fort Gibson traveled to Fort Sill for training. In October 1943, he was sent to Fresno, California, for training at Hammer Field. Huggins later was sent to Portland, Oregon, where he was promoted from buck private to buck sergeant. In July 1944, Gen. Douglas MacArthur selected Morotai Island as the location for air bases and naval facilities needed to support the liberation of the Philippines. Huggins was stationed on the Indonesian island. He returned to the United States in 1945 and received an honorable discharge. He arrived home in Fort Gibson on Christmas Eve night as an early Christmas present to his family. Huggins received honors for his service, including the Distinguished Service Medal and Ribbon, Philippines Liberation Medal and World War II Victory Medal. ?? Petty Officer 3rd Class Murphy was born Feb. 24, 1951, in Tahlequah and entered the Navy in 1969. Murphy attended basic training in Orlando, Florida, and was then sent to Hunters Point Naval Ship Yard in San Francisco for his duty aboard the USS Midway. While the Midway was in port undergoing modernization, Murphy received personnel launcher training in San Diego. Once aboard the Midway, he was responsible for ship-to-ship transfers of supplies and munitions. Murphy served two combat tours in the Tonkin Gulf in North Vietnam. Fighter jets flew missions off the Midway into Northern Vietnam while Murphy was aboard the ship. He sustained an injury to his knee and was sent to the Oakland Naval Hospital where he spent four months rehabbing. Murphy was discharged from active duty in 1973 and transferred to Naval Reserve, where he served until 1975. He received several honors for his service, including the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Combat Medal and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. ?? Each month the CN recognizes Cherokee service men and women for their sacrifices and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which the tribe holds veterans. Native Americans, including Cherokees, are thought to have more citizens serving per capita than any other ethnic group, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. To nominate a veteran who is a CN citizen, call 918-772-4166.