http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgTribal Councilor Jack Baker, center, is chosen as Oklahoma Historical Society president on April 27 during a special OHS board meeting at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Catoosa. The gavel was passed to Baker by OHS President Dr. Bill Corbett, left, as OHS Executive Director Bob Blackburn, right, celebrated Baker’s election. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Tribal Councilor Jack Baker, center, is chosen as Oklahoma Historical Society president on April 27 during a special OHS board meeting at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Catoosa. The gavel was passed to Baker by OHS President Dr. Bill Corbett, left, as OHS Executive Director Bob Blackburn, right, celebrated Baker’s election. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Baker chosen to lead Oklahoma Historical Society

Tribal Councilor Jack Baker, left, was one of four people sworn in on April 27 to serve on the Oklahoma Historical Society board by Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger. Baker was later nominated and selected as the new OHS president. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Tribal Councilor Jack Baker, left, was one of four people sworn in on April 27 to serve on the Oklahoma Historical Society board by Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger. Baker was later nominated and selected as the new OHS president. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
05/11/2017 11:00 AM
CATOOSA, Okla. –At-Large Tribal Councilor Jack Baker was chosen to serve as Oklahoma Historical Society president on April 27 during a special OHS board meeting at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

A few minutes prior to the move, Baker, of Oklahoma City, was sworn in to serve District 5 of the OHS. Following the swearing in of board members, nominations and elections for OHS president, vice president and treasure were held and Baker was nominated to serve as president.

While being nominated it was mentioned Baker would soon be terming out as a Cherokee Nation legislator, has been committed to the OHS for a long time and is dependable. He was the only board member nominated for president.

“You can count on Jack. If he says it’s right, it’s right,” Dr. Bill Corbett, outgoing OHS president, said.

Baker said it is great to serve on a board “with such a great group of people.”

“Thank you for your vote of confidence, very much,” he said. “I am honored to be chosen because it’s a great board and very distinguished people serve on this board.”

He added that the OHS oversees sites within the CN such as the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, the Will Rogers Birthplace Museum in Oologah, Murrell Home in Park Hill, Fort Gibson historic site in Fort Gibson and the Cabin Creek Battle site in Craig County.

The OHS operates about 40 historic sites across the state.

“So, we’ll still be serving the Cherokee people in that capacity by looking out for those sites,” Baker said.

Baker has served on the OHS board since 2002 and has been an OHS member since the early 1970s. In 2014, he was chosen to serve as OHS vice president. He is the national president of the Trail of Tears Association and president of the Goingsnake District Heritage Association, which is a historical society based in Westville organized to preserve the old CN Goingsnake District’s heritage.

One project Baker will help complete as OHS president is the OKPop Museum in Tulsa. OHS owns the land for the museum and officials recently signed a contract with the architect who will design the building.

The museum will be “dedicated to the creative spirit of Oklahoma’s people and the influence of Oklahoma artists on popular culture around the world” and will collect artifacts, archival materials, film and video and audio recordings “that reflect Oklahoma’s influence nationally and internationally.” The $25 million facility will be located across the street from the historic Cain’s Ballroom and is expected to be finished in late 2019.

OHS recently took over Will Rogers Memorial Museum and Will Rogers Birthplace Museum and work continues to integrate those sites into the OHS, Baker said.

He said he faces “lots of challenges” but is looking forward to working on them during his three-year term.

Before handing the gavel to Baker, Corbett, who has served as a history professor at Northeastern State University, also spoke of the challenges and “struggle” the OHS is facing with a 40 percent budget cut over nine years by the state’s Legislature.

“I think that will not be the real story. The story will be despite those cuts we were able to develop new partnerships with our tribal friends and improve and invest in other ways. Collections (historic collections) are still coming in. We’re still making progress,” Corbett said. “I see that we have a very bright future, we will get through these budget cuts, we will keep our progress and we will stay unified.”

Founded in 1893, the OHS has been collecting, preserving and sharing the history of Oklahoma and its people for nearly 125 years.
About the Author
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M.

He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life.
He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association.

Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M. He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life. He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association. Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.

News

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
06/16/2018 02:00 PM
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A husband and wife who don't want the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to run through their farm have deeded a plot of their land over to a Native American tribe, creating a potential roadblock for the project. Art and Helen Tanderup signed over a 1.6-acre plot of land to the Ponca Indian Tribe on Sunday. The Ponca enjoy special legal status as a federally recognized tribe. The land has been used as a planting space for sacred Ponca corn for the last five years, and it was chosen in part because it sits on the $8 billion pipeline's proposed route. It's also part of the historic route that Ponca tribe members were forced to take when the U.S. government relocated them to present-day Oklahoma in 1877.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
06/16/2018 10:00 AM
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota's Supreme Court this week dismissed an appeal from opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying a lower court lacked jurisdiction to hear their cases. But an attorney battling the project says the "fight is not over." Groups fighting TransCanada Corp.'s pipeline appealed a judge's decision last year upholding regulators' approval for the pipeline to cross the state. But the high court said in a Wednesday ruling that justices didn't "reach the merits of the case" because the lower court didn't have jurisdiction to weigh the appeal of the Public Utilities Commission's decision. Robin Martinez, an attorney for conservation and family agriculture group Dakota Rural Action, on Thursday called the high court's decision "disappointing," but said "this fight is not over." Martinez said the organization, one of the appellants, is regrouping and evaluating its options. "That's really disappointing that the court didn't reach the merits, because the risk to South Dakota's land and water resources is clearly there," Martinez said. "It's a shame that that did not get a closer look by the court." TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha said in an email that the pipeline developer is pleased with the court's decision. Keystone XL would cost an estimated $8 billion. The 1,179-mile pipeline would transport up to 830,000 barrels a day of Canadian crude through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with lines to carry oil to Gulf Coast refineries. TransCanada announced in April it was meeting with landowners and starting aerial surveillance of the proposed route. The company hopes to begin construction in early 2019. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Yankton Sioux Tribe and conservation and family agriculture group Dakota Rural Action appealed to the South Dakota high court after a judge had affirmed state regulators' approval for the pipeline. The Public Utilities Commission initially authorized TransCanada's project in 2010, but the permit had to be revisited because construction didn't start within the required four years. The panel voted in 2016 to accept TransCanada's guarantee that it would meet all conditions laid out by the commission when it first approved that state's portion of the project. Cunha said the company is working to get needed land easements for the pipeline in Nebraska. But Nebraska landowners have filed a lawsuit challenging the Nebraska Public Service Commission's decision to approve a route through the state. Separately in Nebraska, a husband and wife who don't want the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to run through their farm this week deeded a plot of their land to a Native American tribe, creating a potential roadblock for the project. Art and Helen Tanderup signed over a 1.6-acre plot of land to the Ponca Indian Tribe on Sunday. The Ponca enjoy special legal status as a federally recognized tribe. The land has been used as a planting space for sacred Ponca corn for the last five years, and it was chosen in part because it sits on the $8 billion pipeline's proposed route. It's also part of the historic Ponca route that tribe members were forced to take when the U.S. government relocated them to present-day Oklahoma in 1877. "What the impact will be, I don't know," Tanderup said. "But now, they'll have a voice in this issue. They will be a player at the table." It's not clear whether deeding the land to the tribe would hinder the company or create a new legal argument for the Ponca, given their status as a federally recognized Indian tribe. Brad Jolly, an attorney for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, said he was focusing more on overturning state regulators' approval of the pipeline in a case pending before the Nebraska Supreme Court. "I haven't gotten to all the what-ifs yet," Jolly said. The Keystone pipeline also faces a potential obstacle in a federal lawsuit brought by Montana landowners and environmental groups seeks to overturn President Donald Trump's decision to grant a presidential permit for the project.
BY STAFF REPORTS
06/15/2018 04:00 PM
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BY STAFF REPORTS
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BY STAFF REPORTS
06/14/2018 04:00 PM
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BY STAFF REPORTS
06/12/2018 03:00 PM
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