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From left to right are Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Melissa McLawhorn Houston, Eastern Oklahoma Youth Alumni Award recipient Sierra Betancourt and Rebecca Sarmiento of the U.S. Department of Labor. Betancourt works at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill. COURTESY
Sierra Betancourt is honored at the state Capitol where she addressed the Governor’s Committee representing Eastern Oklahoma Workforce.
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Cherokee Nation citizen Colby Luper works at Lakes Country radio station in Tahlequah as an on-air personality for Billy Country and as a production designer producing commercials. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
After completing an internship, Colby Luper became an on-air personality and eventually production designer at Lakes Country Radio.
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Phillip Barnoskie
Phillip Barnoskie said he tells his Indian students that their culture is that “unique among unique.”
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Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians artist Shan Goshorn holds one of her baskets. Her baskets won numerous awards and are a part of museum collections throughout the United States. She died on Dec. 1 at age 61. RYAN REDCORN/COURTESY
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians artist Shan Goshorn, a basket maker, died on Dec. 1 at age 61 after a battle with cancer. COURTESY
She used different media to share the challenges and achievements of Native people, including woven paper baskets, silversmithing, painting and photography.
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Cherokee Nation citizen Buddy Stacy stands in his workshop where he creates custom home décor and Christmas toys through woodworking. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Covered in Christmas decorations, a handmade mantle sits in the living room of Buddy Stacy, who created the piece for his wife, and is one of the many custom creations made by the Cherokee woodwork artist. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A stock of handmade and store bought toys sit ready to be distributed from the home of Cherokee Nation citizen Buddy Stacy, who uses his woodwork talent to create the toys from his workshop. The toys are donated each year to the CN Angel Project and Help-In-Crisis. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Buddy Stacy’s creations reflect his passion for woodworking.
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Cherokee Nation citizen Martha Ketcher is working for the CN as Community Services’ executive director after working 30 years with the Indian Health Service. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – After 30 years with the Indian Health Service, Cherokee Nation citizen Martha Ketcher made her way back home to serve the CN as executive director of Community Services.

Since June, Ketcher has led a “myriad” of CN programs.
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Aaron Fletcher
Aaron Fletcher earns a Federal Aviation Administration honor for his role in a new weather observation model.
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Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen and 14-year-old race car driver Drake Long holds two trophies while standing next to his father Roy Long, right of Drake, his grandfather, left of Drake, and two uncles after winning a race at the North Central Arkansas Speedway in Yellville. COURTESY
Cherokee Nation citizen Drake Long and his grandfather check out the 14-year-old’s race car on Oct. 26 in Pocola as they readied it for the 39th annual “Spooker” races at the Tri-State Speedway. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Fourteen-year-old Drake Long says he wants to make it the NASCAR circuit some day.
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From left to right are Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health employee Coleman Cox and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden as Baker and Crittenden present Cox with the Prevention Specialist of the Year award. The award recognizes the top prevention specialists in the state for their dedication and contributions to their field. COURTESY
Behavioral Health employee Coleman Cox is recognized as a top prevention specialist in the state.
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Gary Farris
James Hail
Bud Squirrel
Ronda Williams
Albert Shade
Sammy Still
Four Cherokee Nation and two United Keetoowah Band citizens receive recognition for their respective contributions.
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Cherokee Nation citizen and opera singer performs in Theatre Tulsa’s production of “Newsies.” Osborn joined the Tulsa Opera organization that has helped him develop as an artist and give him a chance to perform in different Oklahoma opera productions. COURTESY
CN citizen and opera singer Steven Osborn performs in Theatre Tulsa production of “Into the Woods,” which is one of several performance opportunities afforded to Osborn since his membership into the Tulsa Opera organization last year. COURTESY
As a member of the Tulsa Opera, Osborn is receiving more opportunities to showcase his singing abilities.
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