Cherokee Nation events calendar set for June

BY STAFF REPORTS
06/01/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Some of the events the Cherokee Nation will host in June include “Stories on the Square” and the 2018 “Remember the Removal” Bike Ride return ceremony. See all calendar items below.

June 2
8 a.m. – The Cherokee Nation hosts the annual Cherokee Nation Rodeo at the Cherokee County Fair Grounds in Tahlequah. All entries must be a citizen of a federally recognized tribe and provide proof of tribal citizenship. For more information, call Bruce Davis at 918-453-5340.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – The Cherokee Heritage Center provides free admission to citizens of any of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes plus one guest as part of Cherokee Saturday. The center is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive in Park Hill.

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – The Cherokee Heritage Center hosts a flint knapping class at the Ho Chee Nee Chapel, located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive in Park Hill. The class is $40 per person and includes all tools and supplies. The class is not recommended for children under the age of 12. Advanced registration is recommended but not required. For more information, email tonia-weavel@cherokee.org.

June 6
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Cultural Tourism presents its “Stories on the Square” event series at the gazebo on the Cherokee National Capitol Square in Tahlequah. For more information, visit www.visitcherokeenation.com or call 1-877-779-6977.

June 7-9
The Cherokee Nation hosts the Five Tribes Ancestry Conference at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur. The conference is endorsed by the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes and will feature information shared by Sequoyah Research Center Director Dr. Daniel F. Littlefield. Registration is $150 and forms are available at www.cherokeeheritagecenter.org. For more information, call 918-456-6007.

June 8
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – The Cherokee Nation hosts GrowOK at the Osiyo Training Room, located behind the Restaurant of the Cherokees in Tahlequah. The free one-day workshop will share information about growing businesses in rural Oklahoma. For more information or to register, visit www.growok.org.

June 11
6 p.m. – The Tribal Council meets at the W.W. Keeler Complex, 17675 S. Muskogee Ave., Tahlequah. For the agenda, visit http://legislative.cherokee.org.

June 13
9 a.m. to noon – The Small Business Assistance Center hosts a “Leveraging Leadership” workshop at the Rogers State University Bartlesville campus. Event is free and open to the public, and geared toward nonprofit organizations. For more information, call Jill Taylor at 918-772-4213 or email jill-taylor@cherokee.org.

10 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Cultural Tourism presents its “Stories on the Square” event series at the gazebo on the Cherokee National Capitol Square in Tahlequah. For more information, visit www.visitcherokeenation.com or call 1-877-779-6977.

1 p.m. to 5 p.m. – The Small Business Assistance Center hosts a “Fueling the Future” workshop at the Rogers State University Bartlesville campus. Event is free and open to the public, and geared toward nonprofit organizations. For more information, call Jill Taylor at 918-772-4213 or email jill-taylor@cherokee.org.

June 14
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Sequoyah High School and Oklahoma State College of Osteopathic Medicine host “Operation Orange,” a medical summer camp for high school students interested in a career in the medical field, at Sequoyah’s The Place Where They Play in Tahlequah. For more information or to register, email operationorange@okstate.edu.

June 15 – Nov 21
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – The Cherokee Nation hosts the 1843 Cherokee Peace Council exhibit at the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, located at 122 E. Keetowah St. in Tahlequah. For more information, call 1-877-779-6977.

June 15
5 p.m. – Deadline for Cherokee Nation scholarship applications. Students can apply online at https://scholarships.cherokee.org. For more information, call 918-453-5000, ext. 5322.

June 16
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – The Cherokee Nation hosts the 13th annual Traditional Native Games at Muskogee High School, located at 3200 E. Shawnee Road in Muskogee. The public is invited to come watch or compete in traditional games, including cornstalk shoots, horseshoes and more. The top three qualifiers will be invited to compete in the Cherokee National Holiday Traditional Games Championship competition on Aug. 25 in Tahlequah. To pre-register to play in traditional games, call Bayly Wright at 918-822-2427.

June 18-21
The Cherokee Nation hosts Tri-Council meetings at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, located at 777 W. Cherokee St. in Catoosa. For more information, call 918-453-5000.

June 19
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – The Cherokee Heritage Center is hosting the Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club exhibit opening reception, located at 21192 Keeler Drive in Park Hill. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Callie Chunestudy at 918-456-6007.

June 20
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Cultural Tourism presents its “Stories on the Square” event series at the gazebo on the Cherokee National Capitol Square in Tahlequah. For more information, visit www.visitcherokeenation.com or call 1-877-779-6977.

June 21
11 a.m. – The Cherokee Nation hosts the 2018 “Remember the Removal” Bike Ride return ceremony at the Cherokee Nation Peace Pavilion, located at the corner of Water Avenue and Keetoowah Street in Tahlequah. For more information, call 918-453-5000.

June 22-23
8 a.m. – The Community and Cultural Outreach hosts the annual Conference of Community Leaders at Northeastern State University, located at 500 N. Grand Ave. in Tahlequah. The two-day conference will bring together leaders from the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction, as well as satellite communities for learning, networking and interacting. For more information, call 918-453-5000.

June 26-27
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – The Cherokee Arts Center hosts a Native Artist Professional Development Training at the Cherokee Arts Center, located at 212 Water Ave. in Tahlequah. The event is free to all tribes, but attendees must pre-register. For more information, call 918-453-5728 or email matthew-anderson@cherokee.org.

June 27
9 a.m. to noon –The Small Business Assistance Center hosts a “Leveraging Leadership” workshop at the Northeast Technology Center Claremore campus. Event is free and open to the public, and geared toward nonprofit organizations. For more information, call Jill Taylor at 918-772-4213 or email jill-taylor@cherokee.org.

10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Cultural Tourism presents its “Stories on the Square” event series at the gazebo on the Cherokee National Capitol Square in Tahlequah. For more information, visit www.visitcherokeenation.com or call 1-877-779-6977.

1 to 5 p.m. – The Small Business Assistance Center hosts a “Fueling the Future” workshop at the Northeast Technology Center Claremore campus. Event is free and open to the public, and geared toward nonprofit organizations. For more information, call Jill Taylor at 918-772-4213 or email jill-taylor@cherokee.org.

June 29
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Cherokee Nation Tax Commission and all tag offices will be closed to observe Cherokee Nation Employee Appreciation Day.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – The Vinita Health Center and the Oklahoma Blood Institute host a blood drive at the health center, located at 27372 S. 4410 Road in Vinita. For more information, call 918-256-4850.

2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Cherokee Nation Child Care and Development hosts International Mud Day at Grand Playscape Park in Ketchum, located at the corner of Amarillo Street and Grand Lake Avenue. The event will include mud pie making, mud painting, water and mud play time, and free snow cones. For more information, call Tricia Peoples at 918-453-5054.

News

BY STAFF REPORTS
06/22/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation on June 20 celebrated the opening of the Cherokee National Peace Pavilion, located just east of the Cherokee National Capitol building. According to a CN press release, more than 200 guests joined tribal officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception commemorating the 175th anniversary of an 1843 intertribal peace gathering. In 1843, a similar structure housed the intertribal peace gathering when then-Principal Chief John Ross saw the need for tribal governments to come together and stand united on issues that would ensure the survival of Native people. It is estimated 10,000 people attended the 1843 meeting. “Now more than ever, it is important for our people and our community to have a place where we can join together in the name of peace,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “It is an honor to dedicate this pavilion alongside our brothers and sisters from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, as we continue to work together, support one another and unify our voice for the good of our people.” The Cherokee National Peace Pavilion is 4,600 square feet and can accommodate around 1,000 people. In addition to beautifying the downtown area, the multipurpose space will host community events, live music performances, markets and outdoor cultural classes. The pavilion’s design pays tribute to the gathering by interpreting the look of the large log structure that hosted what Ross called “the most important Indian council ever held on the American continent.” The original structure was built after the Indian Removal Act to house the reformed Cherokee government, and the grounds later became home to tribe’s Capitol Square. According to a previous Cherokee Phoenix story, Builders Unlimited officials said the estimated cost of the pavilion was $500,000. CNB officials said CNB paid for the site and Cultural Tourism would manage it. In addition to opening the pavilion, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism is hosting an exhibit about the 1843 intertribal peace gathering at the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum through November 2019. The exhibit provides a look at the momentous gathering, including who attended and what was discussed. The Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and is at 122 E. Keetoowah St.
BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
06/19/2018 08:15 PM
TAHLEQUAH – After waiving his Cherokee Nation rights to employee privacy, John Ross Baker publicly admitted on June 18 that he was the nurse responsible for a lapse in protocol by incorrectly administering medications and potentially exposing patients to blood borne pathogens. “I, John Baker, RN, am deeply sorry that my actions have caused such anxiety to these families. When I understood that I may not have been following proper procedures, I immediately began working with health care professionals to identify any mistakes that may have been made and cooperated in every possible way and then I resigned,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s 34-year-old son said in a written statement. “I love caring for patients and would never knowingly put anyone at risk. My late mother was a nurse and I feel as though I inherited her passion for caring for others. I believe I was called to the nursing profession and I hope to serve patients with the same concern and compassionate care as she did, and I’ve always hoped she would be proud of the man I am. She and my father always taught me to take responsibility for my actions.” According to a CN press release, Hastings Hospital CEO Brian Hail was informed on April 29 of a protocol lapse involving the administration of medication for surgical patients. Health Services officials said the lapse occured from January to April and involved using the same vial of medication and syringe to inject more than one IV bag, potentially exposing patients to blood borne pathogens. However, Health Services officials said patients were never directly in contact with any needle. “In all instances, medication was administered into an IV bag, or tubing. The likelihood of blood borne pathogens traveling up the lines into an IV bag or IV tubing to cause cross contamination from using the same syringe is extremely remote,” officials said. Health Services officials said all 186 patients had been contacted and that 118 had returned for testing. They also said no patients had shown any signs of exposure. In a June 11 Health Committee meeting, Hail said the CN’s medication diversion prevention program discovered the protocol lapse and reported it to Health Services in late April. Hail also told Tribal Councilors he couldn’t reveal the nurse’s name at that time because of employee privacy rights but did say the nurse was no longer employed with the tribe. Hail said the incident was also not limited to the dental department, confirming there was a “cross” into other departments and areas, including the operating room. When asked by Tribal Councilors if any disciplinary action had been taken against the nurse, Hail declined to comment, citing “employment matters.” He also told legislators that it wasn’t the Health Services’ responsibility to report any potential incidents to revoke a medical license. According to a press releasse, John Baker resigned from Hastings Hospital on May 1 and isn’t employed at the CN or its entities in any capacity. According to a June 8 screenshot of his Facebook account, he was a RN at Hastings Hospital from Sept. 25, 2017, to May 2018 and was hired on May 14 by Traditions Home Care as a registered nurse case manager. However, Traditions Home Care’s human resources department on June 19 told the Cherokee Phoenix that John Baker is not employed with the company and declined to comment further. A CN press release also states the protocol lapse incident was reported to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. According to a readfrontier.org report, the OBN issued John Baker his registered nurse’s license on June 26, 2017, and that the licence is still active. An OBN official told the Cherokee Phoenix that she could neither confirm nor deny whether the board is conducting an investigation of the protocol lapse and that there were no public records available concerning the issue. Chief Baker also issued a written statement on June 18 regarding the situation. “I am deeply saddened by these events and my hear aches for everyone involved. As a father, it is difficult to witness my son experiencing the pain caused by his actions. His decision to pursue a career in service to others continue to fill me with pride to this day,” Chief Baker said. “John’s honesty, cooperation and acceptance of responsibility is representative of his values and the quality of man that he is. As Chief of this great nation I know that no one is exempt from the rules. Rules and procedures throughout our nation apply to everyone equally. That is most certainly the case here. I want to strongly encourage anyone who sees wrongdoing of any kind throughout our nation to know their voice will be heard and their concerns will be properly addressed. I’m grateful for the health care workers who helped identify this lapse and their continued service to the Cherokee Nation Health Services and the patients they care for.” According to a press release, Chief Baker requested that Health Services Executive Director Dr. Charles Grim lead a four-person panel to “review the events, evaluate best practices and improve medication administration procedures.” It also states the panel is to report its findings in August to Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden because Chief Baker has recused himself to ensure the review’s independence. The protocol lapse came to light after CN citizen John Wagnon, of Grove, spoke publicly about being identified as a potentially exposed patient following a dental procedure in January. Wagnon said Health Services called him on June 4 asking him to come in for blood tests, nearly five months after his procedure. Wagnon said his tests came back negative but that he would need to return in three months for more testing. <strong>Timeline</strong> <strong>Sept. 25, 2017:</strong> John Ross Baker begins a residency at W.W. Hastings Hospital as a registered nurse, according to his Facebook account on June 8. <strong>January:</strong> Health Services officials say Baker begins the lapse in protocol regarding how medication is administered to surgical patients. Officials say 186 patients are potentially exposed to HIV and hepatitis C stemming from Baker’s practice of using the same vial of medication and syringe to inject more than one IV bag from January to April. <strong>April:</strong> The Cherokee Nation’s medication diversion prevention program discovers the protocol lapse and reports it to Health Services. <strong>April 29:</strong> Hastings Hospital CEO Brian Hail is informed of the protocol lapse. <strong>May 1:</strong> Baker resigns from Hastings Hospital. <strong>May 14:</strong> Baker is hired by Traditions Home Care as a registered nurse case manager, according to his Facebook account on June 8. <strong>June 7:</strong> The protocol lapse becomes public after a Tulsa-area television news show airs a story with Cherokee Nation citizen John Wagnon saying Hastings Hospital officials asked him to return for HIV and hepatitis C testing months after his dental surgery. <strong>June 11:</strong> Tribal Councilors of the Health Committee ask Hail questions regarding the protocol lapse. Hail cites employee privacy rules when declining to reveal the name of the nurse. <strong>June 18:</strong> Baker issues a written statement acknowleding he was the registered nurse involved in the protocol lapse and apologizes. His father, Principal Chief Bill John Baker, calls for a panel to to investigate the incident and recuses himself from the matter to ensure the review’s independence. <strong>June 19:</strong>Oklahoma Board of Nursing officials decline to confirm or deny that they are investigating the protocol lapse. Traditions Home Care officials say Baker is not employed with them and decline further comment.
BY STAFF REPORTS
06/18/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH –The applications for the Cherokee Nation’s Miss Cherokee, Junior Miss Cherokee and Little Cherokee Ambassadors are now available for download. To download an application, visit <a href="http://www.cherokee.org/Services/Education/Cherokee-Ambassadors" target="_blank">http://www.cherokee.org/Services/Education/Cherokee-Ambassadors</a>. The deadline for all competition applications is July 16. For more information, call Lisa Trice-Turtle at 918-453-5000, ext. 4991.
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
CALHOUN, Ga. – The next meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association is set for 10:30 a.m. on July 14 at the Gordon County Historical Society at 345 S. Wall St. This is part three of the chapter’s remembrance of the 180th anniversary of the Cherokee removal. “The Journey To Indian Country” will be presented by past chapter president W. Jeff Bishop. The meeting is free and open to the public. The Trail of Tears Association was created to support the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail established by an act of Congress in 1987. The TOTA is dedicated to identifying and preserving sites associated with the removal of Native Americans from the southeastern United States. The Georgia TOTA chapter is one of nine state chapters representing the nine states that the Cherokee and other tribes traveled through on their way to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). People need not have Native American ancestry to attend GATOTA meetings, just an interest and desire to learn more about this tragic period in this country’s history. For more information about the May GCTOTA meeting, email Walter Knapp at <a href="mailto: walt@wjkwrites.com">walt@wjkwrites.com</a>.