Free subscriptions available to at-large citizens

BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
05/18/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizens living outside the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction are eligible for free one-year subscriptions of the Cherokee Phoenix thanks to a $10,000 disbursement from the principal chief’s office on behalf of At-Large Tribal Councilors Mary Baker Shaw and Wanda Hatfield.

The Cherokee Phoenix recently received the funds and is taking names on a first-come, first-served basis until the money is depleted.

“These funds that have been provided to the Cherokee Phoenix by the joint efforts of our tribal administration and our At-Large (Tribal) Councilors Mary Baker Shaw and Wanda Hatfield will go a long way in providing subscriptions to at-large citizens,” Executive Editor Brandon Scott said. “It has always been our goal here at the Phoenix to make sure that every citizen that wants a copy of the Cherokee Phoenix is able to get one. That is the sole reason we exist. Our success depends on our subscribers. Our ability to remain independent relies solely on the funds we receive from subscriptions, so these funds are not only assisting at-large citizens they are also assisting us in remaining independent. I’d personally like to thank Councilors Baker and Shaw as well as the administration for making this donation possible.”

Scott added that there are no restrictions on receiving a free subscription other than living outside the CN jurisdiction and being a CN citizen.

Using the fund, at-large CN citizens 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.
http://cherokeepublichealth.org/

Oklahoma City weighs renaming 3 Confederate-named schools

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
05/18/2018 12:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Three Oklahoma City schools named after Confederate generals may soon be renamed.

The school board on May 14 was expected to consider new names for Lee, Jackson Enterprise and Stand Watie elementary schools, which are named after Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson and Isaac Stand Watie, a Cherokee.

Committees made up of community members, school staff and parents selected two potential names for each school, which were presented to students at each school who then voted on their preference, district spokeswoman Beth Harrison said.

The students’ choices will be presented for the board for approval, although the board could select any name it chooses, Harrison said.

The suggested names haven’t been made public.
Stand Watie
Stand Watie

Descendants of Cherokee Seminaries award 2 scholarships

BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
05/18/2018 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Every year on May 7 the Descendants of the Cherokee Seminaries Students Organization hold its annual reunion at Northeastern State University where it awards two NSU students with scholarships. This year’s recipients were Cherokee Nation citizens Bryley Hoodenpyle and Marilyn Tschida.

Both students received a $1,000 scholarship based on their GPAs, activities and interviews.

Hoodenpyle said her fourth great-grandmother’s aunt and two cousins attended the Cherokee Male and Female seminaries, which she discovered through online research and NSU’s archives. She said after college she plans to attend NSU’s optometry school.

“It means a lot to me to receive this scholarship just because this university has given so much to me and has helped me grow personally,” Hoodenpyle said. “NSU has developed me as a student and as a leader so its really awesome to me that my family played a part in that story however many years ago.”

Tschida is an education graduate student and plans to graduate in December. She said she found her grandmother’s name in the Cherokee Female Seminary roll book in NSU’s archives and decided to apply for the scholarship.
Marilyn Tschida, a Cherokee Nation citizen and Descendants of Cherokee Seminaries Students Organization’s 2017-18 scholarship recipient, speaks at the DCSSO’s annual reunion on May 7 at the Branscum Alumni Center in Tahlequah. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Brenda Bradford, head of Special Collections and Archives at Northeastern State University, foreground, helps attendees look for their ancestors in the Cherokee National Female Seminary’s roll book during the Descendants of Cherokee Seminaries Students Organization’s annual reunion on May 7. The roll book contains the names of students who attended the seminary from 1876 to 1906. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Marilyn Tschida, a Cherokee Nation citizen and Descendants of Cherokee Seminaries Students Organization’s 2017-18 scholarship recipient, speaks at the DCSSO’s annual reunion on May 7 at the Branscum Alumni Center in Tahlequah. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

Highers graduates OU Economic Development Institute

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/17/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen and employee Stephen Highers on May 3 graduated from the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.

“Having graduated from the OU EDI program, I can now set for the test to become a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council,” CN Entrepreneur Development Manager Stephen Highers said.

According to the IEDC website, it’s a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization serving economic developers. It also states that with more than 5,000 members, the IEDC is the largest organization of its kind.

“Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base,” the site states. “From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience.”

Highers, who also serves as a Tahlequah city councilor, said he was excited to bring back knowledge he gained at the OU EDI to Tahlequah.
Stephen Highers
Stephen Highers

Hospice group, community band together for York

BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
05/17/2018 01:15 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Family, friends and community members gathered on May 11 at the Cherokee Casino Tahlequah grounds for a surprise ceremony for 9-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Grant York.

York suffers from several health conditions, including mitochondrial mutation. His mother, Kasie Mendenhall, said with mitochondrial mutation he is unable to absorb nutrients and hasn’t been able to eat solid food since he was 3 years old. In April, he was admitted to Physicians Choice Hospice.

“The last two years have been hard on him. He has spent most of all of it in the hospital,” Mendenhall said. “Physicians Choice Hospice has allowed Grant to have his pain adequately controlled and for him to remain home and not in the hospital.”

Caring for their patients is not the only thing PCH nurses do. They also grant wishes – Butterfly Wishes.

York’s wish was to go to the “Dixie Stampede” in Branson, Missouri, and through the Butterfly Wishes program he and his family received an all-expense paid trip for him to fulfill that wish.
Cherokee Nation citizen Grant York, 9, takes the official Tahlequah Police Department oath with TPD Chief Nate King on May 11 during a sendoff ceremony before York leaves for the “Dixie Stampede” in Branson, Missouri. Going to the “Dixie Stampede” was York’s Butterfly Wish made possible through Physicians Choice Hospice. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Grant York, 9, takes the official Tahlequah Police Department oath with TPD Chief Nate King on May 11 during a sendoff ceremony before York leaves for the “Dixie Stampede” in Branson, Missouri. Going to the “Dixie Stampede” was York’s Butterfly Wish made possible through Physicians Choice Hospice. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Duch riding high as trick rider

BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
05/17/2018 08:15 AM
BROKEN ARROW – An old Vaudevillian joke goes something like this: “She shall now hang upside down while juggling pianos...on horseback.” Adding a horse to an impossible task makes the joke funnier and even more impossible. That is, unless you’re 10-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Sophie Duch.

Take away the pianos and that’s exactly what she does as a professional trick rider at rodeos.

On May 11-12, Sophie and her trusted horse, Jesse, took their act to Broken Arrow for the 2018 Rooster Days Festival and Rodeo.

Born and raised in Stilwell, Sophie’s love for western trick riding began when her parents took her to a rodeo in 2011 where the All-American Cowgirl Chicks trick riding team performed.

“I knew we were in trouble the moment Sophie saw the Chicks perform. She was only 3 years old but latched onto the fence and watched their every move,” said her mother and CN citizen Shawna Duch. “After the rodeo, Sophie had to meet each one of them. I could tell even then she was hooked.”
Video Frame selected by Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Sophie Duch stands on her horse, Jesse, at the Rooster Days Rodeo on May 11 in Broken Arrow. Duch is a trick rider who performs at rodeos. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Sophie Duch practices a trick while on the back of a horse on March 11. Born and raised in Stilwell, Sophie’s love for western trick riding began when her parents took her to a rodeo in 2011 where the All-American Cowgirl Chicks trick riding team performed. COURTESY Sophie Duch practices another trick on the back of a horse. Having a well-trained horse is key to the success and safety of the trick rider because many of the most difficult and dangerous tricks are performed with little or no control of the horse’s reins. COURTESY
Cherokee Nation citizen Sophie Duch stands on her horse, Jesse, at the Rooster Days Rodeo on May 11 in Broken Arrow. Duch is a trick rider who performs at rodeos. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

HACN give 11 Cherokee families keys to homes

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/16/2018 04:00 PM
VINITA – Eleven Cherokee families received keys to their new homes on May 11 after participating in the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation’s New Home Construction Program.

The 1,350-square-foot brick homes on Miller Street each feature a garage, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

According to Cherokee Nation Communications, $1.1 million was invested into the homes and infrastructure and will provide an estimated $28,000 in impact aid to local schools.

CN citizen Candle Melton and her family received one of the new homes. The family of three had lived with her mother, and she said the home is a blessing.

“We are so excited to have a brand new house to call our own. This would not have been possible without Cherokee Nation and the New Home Construction Program,” Melton said. “I am definitely proud to be Cherokee and cannot thank Cherokee Nation enough for their investments in our communities and for this wonderful opportunity to become the homeowners of a brand new home.”
Video Frame selected by Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Candle Melton and her husband, Bryan, hold their “From Tears to Joy” print by Traci Rabbit inside their new home, which they received after participating in the Housing Authority of Cherokee Nation’s New Home Construction Program. The Meltons were one of 11 Cherokee families that received the print at a ceremony on May 11 in Vinita. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Candle Melton and her husband, Bryan, hold their “From Tears to Joy” print by Traci Rabbit inside their new home, which they received after participating in the Housing Authority of Cherokee Nation’s New Home Construction Program. The Meltons were one of 11 Cherokee families that received the print at a ceremony on May 11 in Vinita. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Council amends VAWA to prosecute non-Indians

BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
05/16/2018 02:45 PM
TAHLEQUAH – During the May 14 Tribal Council meeting, legislators unanimously amended titles 21 and 22 of the Cherokee Code Annotated, regarding the Violence Against Women Act.

The amendment “authorizes special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit domestic violence, dating violence, or a violation of a protection order.”

The amended Title 22, Section 70 gives the Cherokee Nation special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over a non-Indian defendant under certain circumstances, including if the offender resides or is employed within the CN jurisdiction or is a spouse, intimate partner or dating partner of a CN citizen or Indian who lives within the CN.

Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez said the act’s impact on women is the knowledge that women will be valued, treated with respect and empowered going forward.

“I voted for the VAWA to be enforced because it’s the right thing to do. Cherokee Nation leads all tribes in profitable businesses, education and health care in Native Country, and we should be the leader when it comes to the safety of our women and children,” she said.
Tribal Councilor Frankie Hargis reads an amendment to titles 21 and 22 of the Cherokee Code Annotated regarding the Violence Against Women Act during the May 14 Tribal Council meeting in Tahlequah. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Tribal Councilor Frankie Hargis reads an amendment to titles 21 and 22 of the Cherokee Code Annotated regarding the Violence Against Women Act during the May 14 Tribal Council meeting in Tahlequah. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

CN to host Sequoyah Day on May 19

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/16/2018 12:00 PM
SALLISAW – Enjoy a day of traditional Cherokee art, music and more, honoring legendary statesman and inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, Sequoyah.

The event will be held in conjunction with Cherokee Nation’s Traditional Native Games.

Sequoyah Day begins at 10 a.m. on May 19 at Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum.

“We are proud to bring to life an event like Sequoyah Day. It’s a unique daylong celebration of Cherokee history and culture at the home of the man who pioneered the Cherokee syllabary,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “Now that Cherokee Nation owns and operates the Sequoyah Cabin Park, we can organize these types of family-driven events that are both educational and fun for all.”

The event runs until 4 p.m. and features live performances, activities for children and cultural demonstrations such as pottery, flint-knapping, bow-making, stone carving and graphics. The event includes multiple performances from the Cherokee National Youth Choir and a special language presentation at 1:30 p.m.

Culture

Descendants of Cherokee Seminaries award 2 scholarships
BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
05/18/2018 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Every year on May 7 the Descendants of the Cherokee Seminaries Students Organization hold its annual reunion at Northeastern State University where it awards two NSU students with scholarships. This year’s recipients were Cherokee Nation citizens Bryley Hoodenpyle and Marilyn Tschida.

Both students received a $1,000 scholarship based on their GPAs, activities and interviews.

Hoodenpyle said her fourth great-grandmother’s aunt and two cousins attended the Cherokee Male and Female seminaries, which she discovered through online research and NSU’s archives. She said after college she plans to attend NSU’s optometry school.

“It means a lot to me to receive this scholarship just because this university has given so much to me and has helped me grow personally,” Hoodenpyle said. “NSU has developed me as a student and as a leader so its really awesome to me that my family played a part in that story however many years ago.”

Tschida is an education graduate student and plans to graduate in December. She said she found her grandmother’s name in the Cherokee Female Seminary roll book in NSU’s archives and decided to apply for the scholarship.

“I am really proud to accept it, I think she would be very proud for me to have gotten something on her behalf,” Tschida said.

On May 7, 1889, the Cherokee Female Seminary reopened north of Tahlequah after a fire destroyed it two years earlier. So, no matter what day May 7 falls on, the descendants of students who attended the Cherokee Male and Female seminaries gather to honor their ancestors and their time at the schools.

DCSSO President Rick Ward said the reunion is the oldest tradition on NSU’s campus, accruing annually for 167 years with the exception of one year during World War II.

“It started out as a picnic, but it wasn’t the descendants getting together it was the actual students of the seminaries coming together, bringing food and visiting out in front of the sycamore tree,” he said.

After noticing the number seminary students fading away, Jack Brown established the DCSSO in 1975. Brown served as the executive vice president of the Cherokee Seminaries Students Alumni Association for years. He wanted to get the descendants of the alumni involved in the activities of the association as well as keep the tradition alive. In 1984 the name officially changed to the Descendants of Cherokee Seminaries Students Organization.

The state bought the Female Seminary in 1909, which now serves as Seminary Hall and the centerpiece of NSU.

DCSSO Secretary Ginny Wilson said she wants to keep the reunion tradition alive for her grandmother, who was a student at the Female Seminary.

“I do this for my grandmother. We used to bring her up here to this reunion. It was always the one thing in her life she wanted to do,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the DCSSO follows the same format as their ancestors did during their reunions, which consists of the organization’s meeting, lunch, a speaker, the Cherokee choir and Miss Cherokee.

“We follow that format as close as we can to just do the same thing. It’s gotten a whole lot smaller, but that’s what we do as descendants in memory of those people,” she said.

Since the DCSSO established a scholarship for students who are descendants in the early 2000s, its goal is to continue to provide that scholarship.

“Our biggest plan is to increase our scholarship amount. That’s the most important, but also to keep the (May 7) tradition going at Northeastern. Otherwise it will die,” Wilson said.

Education

Oklahoma City weighs renaming 3 Confederate-named schools
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
05/18/2018 12:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Three Oklahoma City schools named after Confederate generals may soon be renamed.

The school board on May 14 was expected to consider new names for Lee, Jackson Enterprise and Stand Watie elementary schools, which are named after Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson and Isaac Stand Watie, a Cherokee.

Committees made up of community members, school staff and parents selected two potential names for each school, which were presented to students at each school who then voted on their preference, district spokeswoman Beth Harrison said.

The students’ choices will be presented for the board for approval, although the board could select any name it chooses, Harrison said.

The suggested names haven’t been made public.

Board member Carrie Coppernoll Jacobs told The Oklahoman that children and employees should feel welcome in the places where they learn and work.

“To make amends for the past, we have to own it,” she said. “School names may seem like a small gesture, but all progress has value,” Coppernoll Jacobs said.

The board voted in October to rename the schools following violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the removal of a Confederate statue.

The Tulsa school board recently renamed Robert E. Lee Elementary as Lee School, although critics say the change doesn’t go far enough. It also renamed Andrew Jackson Elementary as Unity Learning Academy.

The Oklahoma City board conducted an online survey for names and the names of Lee, Jackson and Watie received the most votes, while past state and local leaders were also popular.

The other names receiving votes include minster and former school board member Wayne Dempsey, educator and civil rights activist Clara Luper, writer and Oklahoma City native Ralph Ellison and Wilma Mankiller, who was the first woman to be principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

The cost of changing the names is estimated at about $40,000, which a local attorney has agreed to pay.

Council

Smith, Golden honored with CN Patriotism medals
BY STAFF REPORTS
03/20/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation honored U.S. Army and Navy veterans with the tribe’s Medal of Patriotism during the March 12 Tribal Council meeting.

Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden acknowledged Fields Smith, 84, of Vian, and Kenneth Golden, 68, of Stilwell, for their service to the country.

Sgt. Smith was born in 1933 and drafted into the Army in 1955. He completed basic training at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas and trained to become an infantryman. Later, he completed Fire Directing Control School and was sent to Fort Polk in Louisiana where he spent the remainder of his two-year service term. During his service, Smith completed non-commission school and received a sharpshooter medal for his rifle skills. Smith received an honorable discharge in 1957.

“I want to thank the Chief, the Deputy Chief and the Tribal Council for all of the good work that they do for our people,” Smith said.

Sgt. Golden was born in 1949 and enlisted in the Navy in 1968. Golden completed basic training in Chicago. After basic training, he was transferred to the Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida, where he served as an aviation boatman mate. During his service, Golden was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and received an honorable discharge in 1972.

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.

Health

CN dietitian receives ‘Outstanding Dietitian of the Year’ award
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/27/2018 04:00 PM
TULSA – Cherokee Nation clinical dietitian Tonya Swim was awarded “Outstanding Dietitian of the Year for Outstanding Career of Contributions to the Dietetics Profession” on April 19 at the Oklahoma Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic Convention.

Swim, who works at the A-Mo Health Center in Salina, is involved with the OkAND organization as public relations and communication chairwoman and has helped increase its social media presence by promoting registered dietitians as nutrition experts and renewing a partnership with Oklahoma City Fox News by coordinating weekly cooking segments.

She also served as chairwoman for the 2018 OkAND convention and chaired the event in 2016. As chairwoman, she worked to provide Oklahoma’s registered dietitians and dietetic technicians with opportunities for continuing education.

“It was an honor and I am humbled to have received this award. I give most of the credit to the amazing group of dietitians in our state for helping my ideas become reality and to the wonderful company I work for in allowing me to grow as a dietician. I am so blessed with a supportive family who push me to be the best I can. Thank you to everyone,” Swim said.

Opinion

OPINION: Is it time for a technology detox?
BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
05/01/2018 02:00 PM
According to a recent Time magazine article, every day we check our smartphones about 47 times – about every 19 minutes – while spending approximately five hours on them.

It states there’s “no good consensus” about what that does to our “children’s brains” or “adolescents’ moods.” It also states the American Psychological Association has found that 65 percent of people believe “periodically unplugging would improve our mental health,” and a University of Texas study has found the “mere presence of our smartphones, face down on the desk in front of us, undercuts our ability to perform basic cognitive tasks.”

It further states that it’s not just us being weak for not getting away from our screens; our brains are being engineered to keep looking. Silicon Valley’s business model relies on us looking at their apps and products. The more “eyeball time” we give, the more money they make by selling our personal data. The article states we “are not customers of Facebook or Google, we are the product being sold.”

This is persuasive technology, the study of how computers are used to control our thoughts and actions. It “has fueled the creation of thousands of apps, interfaces and devices that deliberately encourage certain human behaviors (keep scrolling) while discouraging others (convey thoughtful, nuanced ideas),” the article states.

The article adds that Facebook “designers determine which videos, news stories and friends’ comments appear at the top of your feed, as well as how often you’re informed of new notifications.” The goal is to keep us looking longer, thus getting more personal info on us to their real customers – companies that buy this information.

It also states when our brains gets an “external cue, like the ding of a Facebook notification, that often precedes a reward,” there’s a burst of dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter linked to the anticipation of pleasure.” This “trigger, action and reward” process strengthens the brain’s habit-forming loop.

“If you’re trying to get someone to establish a new behavior…computer engineers can draw on different kinds of positive feedback, like social approval or a sense of progress, to build on that loop,” the article states. “One simple trick is to offer users a reward, like points or a cascade of new likes from friends at unpredictable times. The human brain produces more dopamine when it anticipates a reward but doesn’t know when it will arrive…Most of the alluring apps and websites in wide use today were engineered to exploit this habit-forming loop.”

Pinterest works slightly different. It features pictures arranged so that users see partial images of what’s next. This piques the curiosity and has no “natural” stopping point, the article states, while offering endless content.

Not too many years ago, I could go most places without my cell. Nowadays I usually have it with me. Am I going to miss a call or text? What’s happening on Facebook? I need to text my buddy about the game I just saw, or that photo I just took needs posting.

Recently I read an article (again in Time) about a museum that annually holds an exhibit in which famous pieces of art are recreated with flowers. The museum considered banning cell phones because people would push and shove trying to get pictures. One woman said she felt guilty for simply looking at the art because she thought she was in the way of people trying to take pictures with their phones.

I don’t want to be one of those people who views life through a smartphone or tablet. Nor do I want my kids to be. But I can’t tell them to put down the screens if I can’t do it. I guess it’s time for a “tech detox” as Time magazine called it. I’ve decided to limit my screen time and start getting the bulk of my news again from print. (I can’t stand TV news.) I subscribe to Time, Runner’s World, Men’s Health and will most likely go back to a daily newspaper. I like the feel of pages between my fingers. I like how I can read it at any pace, set it down and come back to it. True, it’s delivered at a slower pace than digital news, but it’s usually more in-depth with better design.

I need to unplug for a while. I think my kids are at that point, too, and probably my wife. Maybe it’s time for a lot of us to re-evaluate our screen time and break those habit-forming loops.

People

Highers graduates OU Economic Development Institute
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/17/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen and employee Stephen Highers on May 3 graduated from the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.

“Having graduated from the OU EDI program, I can now set for the test to become a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council,” CN Entrepreneur Development Manager Stephen Highers said.

According to the IEDC website, it’s a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization serving economic developers. It also states that with more than 5,000 members, the IEDC is the largest organization of its kind.

“Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base,” the site states. “From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience.”

Highers, who also serves as a Tahlequah city councilor, said he was excited to bring back knowledge he gained at the OU EDI to Tahlequah.

“Economic development is not easy, especially if you don’t understand the data and process by which to make informed, sound decision. Through my coursework and training at the OU EDI, I’m able to bring back to Tahlequah concrete ideas and solutions that will enhance our future growth in a healthy, competitive, and objective manner,” he said.

Highers said the program is a two-year program, and he has plans to become certified in the winter of 2019.

For more information, visit https://pacs.ou.edu/edi/about/.
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