http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgPeople surround the Cherokee Nation Angel Project Tree on Nov. 24 at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. There are nearly 2,000 Cherokee children in the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction who are apart of the project this year. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
People surround the Cherokee Nation Angel Project Tree on Nov. 24 at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. There are nearly 2,000 Cherokee children in the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction who are apart of the project this year. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

CN Angel Project provides Xmas gifts for children

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
12/03/2015 08:30 AM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On Nov. 24, the Cherokee Nation kicked off the season of giving with its 2015 Angel Project event to help provide Christmas gifts to Cherokee children in need.

To begin the giving, CPR, a Tribal Employment Rights Office-certified and Cherokee-owned roofing business, donated 250 bicycles to the help fill the wants of children who were a part of the Angel Project.

“Giving back is something my mother raised me to do and my employees love helping give back also,” CPR President Robert Brown said. “I remember one year when my mother was unable to buy me a Christmas gift and she received help from a local store owner, who helped her in providing me that one toy under the Christmas tree.”

Rachel Fore, CN Indian Child Welfare administrative operations manager, said the donation of bikes would cover a “large amount” of what children are requesting for their respective Christmas gifts.

“That’s a fabulous donation that we haven’t ever had before, so it kind of changed the way we had to do things on the application side,” she said. “We pretty swiftly decided that we would just pull all the angels that have requested bikes and then we would utilize the funds that we receive to fill in the needs for those children.”

Fore said she became emotional when she saw all 250 bike on various trailers parked outside the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex.

“I teared up because as you take application after application there are so many needs out there and very little wants really from our Cherokee children that are on the Angel Project, and so to see that someone would identify a very, very big want that a lot of kids wouldn’t even dream to ask for, that’s really impactful, and it’s a great way that Cherokees are helping Cherokees,” she said.

Fore said there were nearly 2,000 children who are a part of the project. She added that she expects to see around 100 emergency applicants in the coming weeks.

“As we get closer people will say, ‘I didn’t know that I was going to have this expense’ or ‘my husband lost his job last week.’ So we will take in those children and provide for them as well,” she said. “Last year, we provided for 2,016 children so we are going to maintain open and available to operate up to that this year.”

Fore said in some cases not all children on the tree are picked, but she said with the help of donated funds they will not go without.

“Typically, it is the case that we have to shop for anywhere from 200 to 400 that aren’t selected off of a tree,” she said. “We utilize our donated funds to do that. We focus on their needs first then at least get them one want for the year.”

Fore said this is her first year to fully be immersed in the CN Angel Project, and that is has been a “humbling” experience.

“You think, ‘what is it going to be like to take these applications?’ and then you look into the eyes of these mothers and fathers that just want to be able to provide for their kids at Christmas,” she said. “I didn’t probably realize that it would impact me so much.”

She said is also impacts her family and how they partake in Christmas.

“It also impacts me in my own personal life because I look at my kids and think I probably over buy for Christmas most years for my own children,” she said. “So, given a little perspective through the Angel Project we’re looking at that differently in our own family this year. What we can maybe pare back on and provide to those that wouldn’t receive half of what I might buy for my own kids.”

The Angel Project is available to CN citizens living within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction, meet income guidelines and have children who are between 0 to 16 years old.

Fore said all donations need to be returned unwrapped to Cherokee First inside the Tribal Complex by Dec. 9. “You can come adopt an angel right up until then,” she said.

According to a CN press release, tax-free monetary donations to help buy gifts can be made to the CN at http://bit.ly/1OxObLR. For more information, call Fore at 918-458-6919.
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ. – ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᏅᏓᏕᏆ. 24, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᎲᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏓᏓᏁᏟᏴᏍᎬᎢ 2015 ᏗᎧᎿᏩᏗᏙᎯ ᎠᏓᏁᎳᏁᏗ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᎯᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᏓᏂᏍᏓᏲᎯᎲᎢ ᏗᏓᏁᏗ ᏧᏂᏁᏗᎢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎬᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᎯᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᏧᏂᏁᏗᎢ, CPR, ᎠᏂᏍᏓᏢᎢ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᏧᏂᏍᏓᏩᏛᏍᏗ – ᎠᎵᏍᎪᏟᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ-ᎤᏅᏏ ᎤᎾᏤᎵᎢ ᏗᏂᎵᏦᏛᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ, ᏚᎾᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅᎢ 250 ᏱᎦᎢ ᎳᎵ ᏗᎦᏆᏘ ᏗᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᎪᏪᎸᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏗᎧᎿᏩᏗᏙᎯ ᎤᎾᏓᏁᎳᏁᏗᎢ.

“ ᎪᎱᏍᏗᏃ ᎠᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎩᏥᏃ ᎠᏇᏲᏅᎢ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᏥᎾᏝᎢ ᎠᏂᏉᏗᎭ,” CPR ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ
Robert Brown ᎢᏳᏪᏓ. “ᎡᏘᏴᏃ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᏫᎦᏅᏓᏗᎠ ᎠᎩᏥ ᎤᏄᎸᏅᎢ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᎩᏁᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᎾᏅᎢ ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎠᏆᏍᏕᎸᎲᎢ ᏌᏊ ᏗᏁᏟᏙᏗ ᎠᎩᏁᎸᎢ. ᎯᎠᏃ ᏥᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏓᎬᏴᎵᎨᎢ ᏛᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎬᏩᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᏓᏂᏍᏓᏲᎯᎲᎢ ᏑᎾᎴᎢ.”

Rachel Force, ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ ᏂᏚᏍᏗᏗᏒᎢ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏌᏕᎩ, ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ ᏗᎦᏆᏘ ᏗᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᏧᎾᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅᎢ ᎤᏂᎪᏗ ᏗᎬᏩᏂᎩᏍᏗ “ ᎤᏓᏍᏈᏍᏙᏒᎢ” ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎠᏂᏔᏲᎯᎲᎢ ᏓᏂᏍᏓᏲᎯᎲᎢ.

“ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᎸᏈᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅᎢ ᎥᏝ ᎢᎸᎯᏳ ᎥᏍᎩᏳᎵᏍᏓᏂᏙᎸᎢ ᏱᎩ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃᏅ ᎤᏓᏁᏟᏴᏒᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᏗᎧᎵᏏᏐᏗᎢ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎩᎳᏫᏴᎢ ᏙᎫᎪᏔᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮎ ᏗᎧᎿᏩᏗᏙᎯ ᎠᏓᏁᎳᏁᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏔᏲᏢᎢ ᏔᎵ ᏗᎦᏆᏘ ᏗᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅᎢ ᏥᎩ ᏱᏓᏅᏗ ᎥᏍᎩᎾᏅ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏧᏂᏔᏲᏢᎢ ᏱᏓᏂᎲᏏ.”

Fore Z ᎢᏳᏪᏓ ᏂᎦᏛᏃ 250 ᏔᎵ ᏗᎦᏆᏗ ᏗᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᏚᎪᎭ ᎤᎵᎮᎵᏨᎢ ᏚᏂᏠᏛᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏙᏱᏗᏢᎢ W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex.

“ᏓᏆᏠᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏱᏗᏣᏁᏏ ᏗᎧᎵᏏᏐᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏍᏈᏍᏙᏒᎢ ᎠᏁᎭ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎬᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎦᏲᏝ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎦ ᏗᎦᏤᎵᎢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏕᎪᏪᎸᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏗᎧᎿᏩᏗᏙᎯ ᎠᏓᏁᎳᏁᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎬᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎩᎶ ᎬᏬᏟᏍᏗ ᏙᎯᏳᎯᏯ ᎤᏚᏟᏛᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎪᏗ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎬᏩᏂᏘᏲᏍᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏙᏳᎢ ᏗᎦᏙᎵᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᎦᎨᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏓᎾᎵᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

Fore Ꮓ ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ 2,000 ᎾᎥᎢ ᏄᏂᏨᎢ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎠᏂ ᎠᏓᏁᎳᏁᏗ ᎠᏁᎳ. ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢᏃ ᏓᎬᏖᏃᎲᎢ ᏧᎪᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᏢᏃ 100 ᎢᏳᏂᏨᎢ ᎤᎾᏚᏟᏗ ᏳᎾᏛᏂ ᏧᏂᎧᎵᏏᏌᏅᎢ ᎯᎠ ᏥᏛᏟᏱᎳ.

“ᎾᎥᏂᎨᏍᏗᏃ ᎠᏟᎠᎵᏎᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏏᏴᏫ ᏂᏛᏂᏪᏏ, ᎥᏝ ᏱᏥᎦᏔᎮᎢ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏱᎦᎢ ᏧᎵᎬᏩᎶᏗᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎣᏍᏗᏁᎳ ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ ᎤᏲᎱᏎᎸᎢ ᏥᏛᏟᎠᎵᏒᎢ. ᎠᎴᎾᏍᏊ ᎥᏍᎩᎾᎾ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏱᏙᏥᏯᎾ ᎠᎴ ᏱᏙᏥᏍᏕᎳ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎡᏘᏴᏃ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ, 2,016 ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏙᏥᏍᏕᎸᎲᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᎬᏩᏍᏕᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏕᏍᏗ ᏦᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏘ.”

Fore Z ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᏳᏓᎵᎭᎢ ᎥᏝ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᎪᏪᎸᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎢᏡᎬᎢ ᏱᎨᎦᏑᏰᏐᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᏥᏂᎦᎵᏍᏓ ᎥᏝᏃ ᏳᏂᏂᎬᎨᏍᏗ.

“ᏳᏓᎵᎭᏃ, ᏥᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎭ ᎣᏣᏓᎾᎾᏁᏍᎪᎢ 200 ᎠᎴ 400 ᏦᏥᏍᏕᎸᎡᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎢᏡᎬᎢ ᎨᎪᏪᎸᎢ ᎨᎦᏑᏰᏓ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏱᎩ, “ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅᏃ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎣᏨᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏦᏥᏍᏕᎸᎡᏗᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏣᎦᏎᏍᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎬᎢ ᎢᎬᏱᏱᎢ ᎡᎵᏊᏃ ᏌᏊᏊ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏔᏲᏢᎢ ᎠᏂᎩᎰᎢ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ.”

Fore Z ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎯᎠᏃ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏃᏱᏱᎢ ᎤᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏗᎸᎿᏩᏗᏙᎯ ᎠᏓᏁᎳᏁᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏍᏓ “ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏅᎢ” ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᎰᏒᏅᎢ.

“ᏁᎵᏍᎬᏃ, ᎦᏙᏍᎩᏂ ᏄᏍᏕᏍᏗ ᏗᎦᏁᏍᏗᎢ ᎯᎠ ᏗᎧᎵᏏᏐᏗ?’ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏥᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏓᏙᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏚᎵᎠ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏗᎬᏩᏂᏁᏗ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏚᏂᎧᎲᎢ ᏓᏂᏍᏓᏲᎯᎲᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎠᏴᏃ ᎥᏝ ᏱᎨᎵᏍᎨᎢ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏱᎦ ᏂᏓᏥᏰᎸᏂᏒᎢ.”

ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎤᏠᏱ ᏄᏁᎵᏒᎢ ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎾᏅᏛᏁᎲᎢ ᏓᏂᏍᏓᏲᎯᎲᎢ.

“ᎾᏍᎩᏂᏃᏅ ᎤᏠᏱ ᎾᏊᎵᏍᏓᏁᎰᎢ ᎠᏋᏌ ᎨᎥᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎢᎦᏥᎦᏙᏍᏗᎰᎢ ᎠᏆᏌ ᏓᏆᏓᏘᎿᎥᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏱᎾᏇᎵᏏ ᏍᏈᏯ ᎢᎦᏥᏁᎰᎢ ᎠᏋᏌ ᏓᏆᏓᏘᎿᎥᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏍᏗᏃ ᎬᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᏛᎧᏂᏍᎬᎢ ᏗᎧᎿᏩᏗᏙᎯ ᎠᏓᏁᎳᏁᏗ ᎠᏯᏃ ᏄᏓᎴᎢ ᎣᏥᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎣᏥᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᏃᎦᏛᏅ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ. ᎡᎵᏊᏃ ᎾᏊ ᎥᏝ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏱᎦ ᏱᏂᎦᎬᏛᎦ ᎠᎴ ᏱᏂᎦᏥᏛᏂᏏ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮎ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎬᏩᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᏰᏟᏴ ᎠᏋᏏ ᏓᏆᏓᏘᎿᎥᎢ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᏱᎦᏥᎥᏏ.”

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Ꮎ ᎦᎧᎿᏩᏗᏙᎯ ᎠᏓᏁᎳᏁᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏁᎳ 14-ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎢᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎠᏁᎯ ᎤᏅᏙᏗ, ᏱᎦᏃ ᎠᏃᏢᏍᎬᎢ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲᎢ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᎢᏳᏅᏁᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ 0 ᎠᎴᏱᎩ 16 ᎢᏧᎾᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏱᏚᏂᎧᎭ.

Fore Z ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅᎢ ᏗᎦᏇᏅᏓ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏧᏂᏲᎯᏍᏗ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎢᎬᏱᏱᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Tribal Complex ᎤᏓᎷᎸᏊ ᎥᏍᎩᏱ. 9. “ᎤᏓᎷᎸᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏴᎯᏁᎦ ᎠᏏᏴᏫ ᏚᏙᎥᎢ,’ ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

CN ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᎢᏳᏅᏁᎸᎢ, tax-free monetary ᎠᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᎵᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᏗᏓᏁᏗ ᏗᏩᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᏱᏣᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏂ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ CN at http://bit.ly/10xobLR. ᎤᎪᏗᏃ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᏲᏚᎵᎠ,ᏩᏟᏃᎮᏗᏃ Fore 918-458-6919.

About the Author
Stacie Boston started working at the Cherokee Phoenix in 2013 as an intern. After graduating from Northeastern State University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications she was hired as a reporter.

Stacie not only writes for the Phoenix, but also produces videos and regularly hosts the Cherokee Phoenix radio broadcast.

She found her passion for video production while taking part in broadcast media classes at NSU. It was there she co-created a monthly video segment titled “Northeastern Gaming,” which included video game reviews, video game console reviews and discussions regarding influential video games.

While working at the Phoenix she has learned more about her Cherokee culture, saying she is grateful for the opportunity to work for and with the Cherokee people.

In 2014, Stacie won a NativeAmerican Journalists Association award for a video she created while working as an intern for the Phoenix. She was awarded first place in the “Best News Story-TV” category.

Stacie is a member of NAJA.
stacie-boston@cherokee.org • 918-453-5000 ext. 5903
Stacie Boston started working at the Cherokee Phoenix in 2013 as an intern. After graduating from Northeastern State University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications she was hired as a reporter. Stacie not only writes for the Phoenix, but also produces videos and regularly hosts the Cherokee Phoenix radio broadcast. She found her passion for video production while taking part in broadcast media classes at NSU. It was there she co-created a monthly video segment titled “Northeastern Gaming,” which included video game reviews, video game console reviews and discussions regarding influential video games. While working at the Phoenix she has learned more about her Cherokee culture, saying she is grateful for the opportunity to work for and with the Cherokee people. In 2014, Stacie won a NativeAmerican Journalists Association award for a video she created while working as an intern for the Phoenix. She was awarded first place in the “Best News Story-TV” category. Stacie is a member of NAJA.

Services

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/17/2018 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Phoenix is now taking names of elders and military veterans to provide free subscriptions of its monthly newspaper. In November, Cherokee Nation Businesses donated $10,000 to the Cherokee Phoenix’s Elder/Veteran Fund. The fund provides free subscriptions of its monthly newspaper to elders 65 and older and military veterans who are Cherokee Nation citizens. Subscription rates are $10 for one year. “The Elder/Veteran Fund was put into place to provide free subscriptions to our Cherokee elders and veterans,” Executive Editor Brandon Scott said. “Some of our elders and veterans are on a very limited budget, and other items have a priority over buying a newspaper subscription. The donations we receive have a real world impact on our elders and veterans, so every dollar donated to the Elder Fund is significant.” Using the Elder/Veteran Fund, elders who are 65 and older as well as veterans can apply to receive a free one-year subscription by visiting, calling or writing the Cherokee Phoenix office and requesting a subscription. The Cherokee Phoenix office is located in the Annex Building on the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex. The postal address is Cherokee Phoenix, P.O. Box 948, Tahlequah, OK 74465. To call about the fund, call 918-207-4975 or 918-453-5269 or email justin-smith@cherokee.org or joy-rollice@cherokee.org. No income guidelines have been specified for the Cherokee Phoenix Elder/Veteran Fund, and free subscriptions will be given as long as funds last. Tax-deductible donations for the fund can also be sent to the Cherokee Phoenix by check or money order specifying the donation for the Cherokee Phoenix Elder/Veteran Fund. Cash is also accepted at the Cherokee Phoenix offices and local events where Cherokee Phoenix staff members are accepting Elder/Veteran Fund donations. The Cherokee Phoenix also has a free website, <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org" target="_blank">www.cherokeephoenix.org</a>, that posts news seven days a week about the Cherokee government, people, history and events of interest. The monthly newspaper is also posted in PDF format to the website at the beginning of each month.
BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
02/13/2018 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation’s Human Services Burial Assistance Program continues to help families with funeral expenses. For nearly 20 years, the program has helped provide tribal citizens financial aid to bury family members who have passed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs paying a portion of those expenses. “It’s for people that have little or no resources to bury a loved one,” CN Family Assistance Manager Angela King said. In fiscal year 2017, BAP provided aid for 395 burials, and so far in FY 2018 (Oct. 1 to Jan. 31) the CN has aided with 80 burials. The tribe’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. The program is designed to alleviate financial stress that comes with funeral costs for low-income families. The deceased’s immediate family’s income must not exceed greater than 150 percent of the National Poverty Level income standards. To be eligible, the deceased must be a citizen of a federally recognized tribe: have resided in the CN jurisdiction six months prior to date of death: must not, or family must not, have resources that exceed $2,900, which include life insurance, veteran’s benefits, savings, checking or prepaid burial; and must select a funeral home that has an active burial contract with the tribe. The CN is contracted with 76 funeral homes in Oklahoma. The CN and BIA pay depending on two options offered through the BAP. Option 1 is restricted to CN citizens, if eligible, and services will be paid in full to eliminate financial burdens. This service provides at minimum a 20-gage steel casket, concrete outer container/grave liner, tent and cemetery set up, memorial package, death certificate, burial notice in a local newspaper and traditional professional services provided by a contracted funeral home to conduct the service. The CN and BIA payout for the Option 1 contracted service must not exceed $3,600 for the service to be paid in full. Option 2 is available to any citizen of a federally recognized tribe, who must meet all income and eligibility standards. The selected funeral home will provide services for any eligible non-CN citizen, as negotiated by the funeral home and the family. The CN will make a single payment up to $2,800 toward the service’s total cost. The family is responsible for the remaining balance due toward the funeral home costs. An eligible Cherokee family that wishes to switch from Option 1 to Option 2 may do so under the negotiation between funeral home and family. The CN will make a single payment of $2,800 toward funeral costs with the family responsible for the remaining balance. King said the reason some families switch is because a family member wanting a different service not provided in Option 1. She said the family is allowed to switch but is responsible for any extra expenses. “Since this is an income-based program it has to be someone outside of the household that is responsible for the remaining amount. Because we don’t want that family owing a funeral home because if they really can’t afford a funeral they’re going to pick the option 1 where they don’t owe anything,” King said. For more information, call 918-453-5000 or email <a href="mailto: human_services@cherokee.org">human_services@cherokee.org</a>. <strong>Burial Assistance Eligibility Guidelines</strong> 1. The deceased must be a citizen of a federally recognized tribe, verified by a tribal citizenship card (blue card for Cherokee Nation citizens). A Certificate Degree of Indian Blood card is not proof of citizenship and will not be accepted. 2. The deceased must have been a resident of the CN jurisdiction for six months prior to date of death. 3. The deceased and his/her immediate family many not have resources (life insurance, veteran’s benefits, cash, savings accounts, etc.) exceeding $2,500. 4. The deceased and his/her immediate family may not have income for the previous month greater than 150 percent of the National Poverty Level income standards. For example, for a household of two, income cannot exceed $2,003 for the previous month or $24,030 for the past 12 months. 5. The family must select a funeral home that has an active burial contract with the CN. <strong>Needed Documents</strong> 1. Residential verification that the deceased has lived within the Cherokee Nation jurisdiction for the past six months. The document must verify the physical location of the residence (utility bill or a rent receipt with the physical location listed), Department of Humans Service statement, statement from a nursing home, 911 statements or any other document including a physical address. 2. Tribal citizenship card. 3. Proof of income for the previous 12 months for the deceased and his/her immediate family. Verification documents include, but are not limited to pay stubs, copies of benefit checks if they cover the previous 12 months, benefit award letters, etc. 4. Proof of all available financial resources including but not limited to bank statements, savings account statements, life insurance police and veterans benefits statements, etc. 5. Social Security Card <strong>Option 1</strong> This option is restricted to eligible Cherokee Nation citizens, and if selected, the service will be paid in full (less any available family resources) by the CN, totally eliminating the eligible family of any financial burden normally associated with funeral expense. This service is limited and cannot be altered. The service shall provide at minimum a 20-gage steel casket, concrete outer container/grave liner (non-biodegradable), tent and cemetery set up, memorial package, one death certificate, burial notice in local paper and the traditional professional service provide by the contracted funeral home conducting the service. If an eligible family selects any type of cremation, the funeral home will explain the contracted options available to the family and if services are within the contract, this service will also be paid in full. <strong>Option 2</strong> This option is for any eligible family where the deceased is not a Cherokee Nation citizen but is a citizen of another federally recognized tribe. The eligible family can select any funeral service the funeral home will sell them and the CN will pay a one-time maximum payment of $2,800 (minus available resources). The family will be totally responsible for all costs above this amount. The family must meet income, resource and residential requirements for this service. This option will also be made available to eligible CN citizens who may have family members (not living in the deceased immediate household) that wish to upgrade the contracted service identified in Option 1. The eligible Cherokee family can select any service the funeral home will sell them and the CN will make the one-time payment in the amount of $2,800 (less available resources) and the family will be totally responsible for paying the balance. Many funeral homes have active contracts with the CN to provide all services outlined in options 1 and 2 identified above. If the family selects a funeral home that is not listed, contact a local Tribal Services office. This list is updated periodically.
BY STAFF REPORTS
02/12/2018 04:00 PM
MUSKOGEE – Cherokee Nation officials and ambassadors delivered hundreds of handmade Valentine cards to veterans on Feb. 9 to the Jack C. Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center in time for Valentine’s Day. Deputy Chief and U.S. Navy veteran S. Joe Crittenden, Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., as well as Miss Cherokee Madison Whitekiller and Junior Miss Cherokee Danya Pigeon, gave the cards to dozens of veterans at the medical center as part of tribe’s Valentines for Vets program. Now in its 10th year, the Valentines for Vets program shares handmade Valentines with Cherokee and non-Cherokee veterans across the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction. “We always enjoy going out into our communities and shaking hands with the men and women that served this great country,” Crittenden said. “This program gives us a chance to spend time with veterans and remind them that we care and are so grateful for their service.” This year, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council, Cherokee Immersion Charter School and other area schools and churches donated cards. Veterans at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center, Claremore Veterans Center and veteran health clinics in Jay, Vinita and Tulsa benefitted from the handmade cards. For U.S. Army veteran Nelson Brown, 72, the visit was a chance to make some friends on his last day at the Muskogee medical center. “It was such an honor to have a visit with the folks from Cherokee Nation today,” Brown said. “It was fun talking to the Deputy Chief, a fellow veteran, and meeting all of the nice young people. You don’t see much except nurses and doctors in here, so it was a real treat.” The tribe’s Valentines for Vets program was started in 2008 by the late Rogan Noble, a Marine Corps veteran and advocate for the tribe’s veterans’ affairs. The program is held in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Salute to Veteran Patients week. For more information, call 918-772-4166.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
02/12/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH (AP) – After the massive floods that impacted the greater Tahlequah area in 2015 and 2017, Cherokee Nation Emergency Management is taking a proactive initiative to prepare the community in case it happens again. The CNEM worked to fill 10,000 sandbags for use by community members in the tribe’s 14 jurisdictional counties, with the goal reducing the chances of floodwater destruction. “Every year I’ve been here, we have had a flood,” Jeremie Fisher, CNEM manager, said. “So we’re going to be putting them strategically at different locations for our citizens: in the community centers, any of our community partners in our 14 counties that might need them, municipalities and other people who may need some on hand, just in case. The goal is to be proactive and help mitigate things before it happens.” During the past two large floods, homes were lost, families were displaced and businesses suffered serious damage to infrastructure. CNEM was just one of the local entities that witnessed the destruction. While a similar flood would likely cause damage to the city of Tahlequah no matter what, Philip Manes said he hopes the sandbags will prevent him from having to see as many displaced families. “When we were helping people, I don’t think it had sunk in for them, yet,” said Manes. “A lot of them still hadn’t realized what they had lost, and they lost a lot. We were actually pulling out some people in the creek.” In 2017, once the Tahlequah community learned about the flood, emergency agencies all over the area were scrambling to prepare. This year, forward thinking, combined with a new sandbag machine, has made it easier for the CNEM to get ready. “Last year, I took five people down to Sallisaw, and we filled sandbags one afternoon right before the flood came,” said Fisher. “That was all done by hand and it was quite a deal. This machine eliminates a lot of the back work and makes it a lot easier.” The CNEM has already bagged around 1,000 bags after the tribe purchased 50 tons of sand. Fisher said 50 more tons of sand could be needed before all 10,000 bags are filled. There will be no cost for the sandbags, which the tribe planned to begin distributing Jan. 30. There’s no limit to how many bags a person can get, but with each bag weighing approximately 40 pounds, they will be distributed within reason. Ability to receive sandbags is not dependent on a person’s location in the 14 counties. Recipients do not have to be CN citizens. “It’s really a community thing,” said Fisher. “When the river floods, it really doesn’t matter; water runs through Cherokee and non-Cherokee homes the same way. So the idea is that we would just be an asset to our 14 counties and have a resource they may not be able to have.”
BY STAFF REPORTS
01/30/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation has provided six vans to four northeast Oklahoma transit service companies that provide rides for thousands of CN citizens and employees each year. The six vans were disbursed among Ki Bois Area Transit System (KATS), Pelivan, Cimarron and Muskogee County Transit, with KATS and Pelivan each receiving two new vans and Cimarron and Muskogee County Transit each receiving one. “Many of our Cherokee Nation citizens rely on these four public transportation services to get to and from work, school, the grocery store and their medical appointments on a daily basis,” Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden said. “Easy, affordable transportation remains an essential part of life. I’m proud of the Cherokee Nation for helping ensure these transit services meet those transportation needs, not only for our citizens but for non-Cherokees as well.” The Ford 350 Transit vans were purchased through a Federal Transit Administration grant worth more than $321,500, with an additional $46,200 being provided through CN Tribal Transportation Program funds. “Getting two more vans from Cherokee Nation is a blessing,” Charla Sloan, Ki Bois Area Transit System director, said. KATS operates more than 200 buses and vans in a 12-county area providing curb-to-curb, and in some circumstances door-to-door, on-demand transportation. “Replacing two old vans with high mileage with two new vans that are more efficient and safer is better for the riders and KATS,” Sloan said. “Partnering with Cherokee Nation has been great for the people and great for KATS. It helps us maximize funding from the state and federal government that benefits the people with reliable transportation. More vehicles on the road opens the door to opportunity for Cherokee Nation citizens.” In fiscal year 2017, the CN invested nearly $265,000 in federal TTP funding to enhance several area transit program operations, which totaled 102,148 rides. Each year, the tribe uses a portion of its TTP funds to provide additional transit services for CN citizens and the general public. Native Americans and tribal employees can access rides on fixed routes and on demand service transit buses for $1 round trip. For more information on CN Transit Services or the contracted transit providers, call 1-800-256-0671 or visit <a href="http://transit.cherokee.org" target="_blank">http://transit.cherokee.org</a>.
BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
01/25/2018 04:30 PM
TAHLEQUAH – With a flex training beginning Feb. 12, officials with the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cherokee County hope to have more area residents help serve needy children by becoming advocates. Liz Rainbolt, CASA advocate coordinator, said while CASA has 24 advocates there is always a need for more. “We just graduated three in November and we’re again starting in February, so we’re hoping to have more than that, but we lose a couple and gain, but we’re hovering at about 24 right now. If we had 100 volunteers I’d be great, but we would still be wanting more. More cases can be done. More kids can be served.” The advocate role, Rainbolt said, is to “speak and be the voice for child in court.” “What that means is they gather information about the child’s current situation. They don’t investigate what happened. That’s already been done because they’re now involved in the court…but what is their current situation? Are they in the best placement? They then gather that information and they put it all into a court report,” she said. “It’s an extra set of eyes independent from any Department of Human Services Child Welfare or Indian Child Welfare.” Rainbolt said CASA’s trainings require 30 hours served in class, online and in court. “We serve Adair County court, Cherokee County court and then two judges in tribal court on two different Fridays. We have them (volunteers) observe each court because they could get a case in any of them,” she said. Aside from the required hours, Rainbolt said CASA deals with Cherokee and Native American children and requires advocates to have a “diversity day” when they tour the Cherokee Heritage Center. “Because we work with Cherokee children, Native American children…we do a diversity thing where we go out to the (Cherokee) heritage center, take the tour through the museum and so forth.” After they complete the hours, Rainbolt said volunteers are sworn in as court officers by judges at the courts they serve. Rainbolt said before becoming an advocate there is an application process, three background checks, reference letters and in-depth interviews that must me completed and passed. An applicant must also be 21 years old. Rainbolt said she’s seen people who have full-time jobs and those who are retired become advocates. She added that advocates create their own schedules so that more people who want to become advocates can do so. “The only thing they have to do is, I can’t change the dockets. They are during the week during the day. Meetings with Indian Child Welfare or meetings with the caseworkers they’re during the day, during the week. But other than that…it’s on their schedule,” she said. She said it’s also important that potential advocates dedicate at least 18 months to the program. “We do ask for commitment of 18 months or more because the longevity of the case statistically last about 18 months,” she said. “We really want a commitment. They’re there to be their (children) champion, their voice in court.” For more information, visit <a href="http://www.cherokeecasa.org" target="_blank">www.cherokeecasa.org</a> or visit CASA on Facebook by searching “Cherokee CASA” or call 918-456-8788. For a list of Oklahoma CASA programs, visit <a href="http://www.oklahomacasa.org" target="_blank">www.oklahomacasa.org</a>.