From left to right are Comanche District Court Judge Lisa Otipoby (Comanche), Associate Justice Robert Gifford (Cherokee), Chief Justice Ryland Rivas II (Comanche) and Associate Justice Casey Ross (Cherokee). Gifford and Ross were recently added to the court. COURTESY
LAWTON – Cherokee Nation citizens and lawyers Robert Don Gifford and Casey Ross have been selected by the Comanche Nation to serve on the tribe’s first Supreme Court.

Gifford is also chief judge for the Kaw Nation District Court and the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, and is an associate tribal court judge for the Seminole Nation and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

According to a Comanche press release, Gifford began his legal career as a law clerk for the Cherokee Nation under Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller while receiving his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law where he was an editor on the American Indian Law Review.
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Lizzie Duvall, who retired from Cherokee Nation Industries after 50 years, had to make her way through a pile of gifts on a table during her retirement party on June 26 in CNI Building 4 in Stilwell. D. SEAN ROWLEY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Among the first employees hired by Cherokee Nation Industries, Lizzie Duvall is pictured in this early photo. She is in the plaid dress, second from right. COURTESY
STILWELL – It isn’t uncommon for an employee to become known as “an institution” at a place of business.

However, the term might understate the career and presence of Lizzie Duvall, who retired on June 26 after 50 years with Cherokee Nation Industries, which threw her a retirement bash inside Building 4.
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Rebecca Nagle
Cherokee artist Keli Gonzales’ design of the “This Land” podcast, which Cherokee Nation citizen Rebecca Nagle created and hosts. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Through the evolvement of Cherokee storytelling and the use of digital audio, Cherokee Nation citizen Rebecca Nagle created and hosts the podcast “This Land” to tell the story of a U.S. Supreme Court case involving a murder and the fate of tribal land in Oklahoma.

Nagle, a freelance journalist, wrote an op-ed piece for The Washington Post in 2018 about the Murphy v. Carpenter case in which Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen Patrick Murphy was convicted of murdering fellow MCN citizen George Jacobs. After being tried and sentenced to death, the case took a turn after a public defender argued that the incident’s location was on MCN land and that Oklahoma had no jurisdiction in the case.
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Ahniwake Rose
The Oklahoma Policy Institute advances fiscal responsibility and expands opportunity for all Oklahomans through non-partisan research, analysis and advocacy.
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Shown here on June 6 in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Joy Harjo, a Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen, has been named the country’s next poet laureate, becoming the first Native American to hold that position. Harjo’s one-year term begins this fall. She succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms. SHAWN MILLER/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
NEW YORK (AP) – Joy Harjo, the first Native American to be named U.S. poet laureate, has been ready for a long time.

“I’ve been an unofficial poetry ambassador – on the road for poetry for years,” the 68-year-old Harjo wrote in a recent email to The Associated Press. “I’ve often been the only poet or Native poet-person that many have seen/met/heard. I’ve introduced many poetry audiences to Native poetry and audiences not expecting poetry to be poetry.”
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Jamie Barnes and Ian Finch, United Kingdom citizens who followed a Trail of Tears route from the Smoky Mountains to Tahlequah, meet with Principal Chief Bill John Baker on June 10, a day before returning to London on June 11. COURTESY
Most of the trip was in a canoe, but two United Kingdom citizens walked five days in the Smoky Mountains, and from Memphis to Tahlequah.
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Barbara McAlister, Cherokee Nation citizen and CN Vocal Class instructor, performs a “welcome” song for those attending the Vocal Class’s spring recital on April 28, 2016, in Tahlequah. McAlister was presented the key to Muskogee by Mayor Janey Cagle-Boydston in early June. ARCHIVE
The mayor touted Barbara McAlister’s talents as a singer who has performed for audiences around the world and a visual artist who has exhibited her work at galleries.
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In this 2017 file photo Cherokee actor Wes Studi holds a basket and his Career Achievement Award presented by the Tribal Film Festival during the Tribal Film Festival Showcase at Circle Cinema in Tulsa. Studi’s film “Hostiles” had its Oklahoma premiere during the event. ARCHIVE
The Cherokee actor is best known for his work in Western films.
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In this 2017 file photo Cherokee actor Wes Studi holds a basket and his Career Achievement Award presented by the Tribal Film Festival during the Tribal Film Festival Showcase at Circle Cinema in Tulsa. Studi’s film “Hostiles” had its Oklahoma premiere during the event. Studi, groundbreaking filmmaker David Lynch and the first woman ever to receive an Academy Award nomination for directing, Lina Wertmüller, will be receiving honorary Oscars at the Governors Awards on Oct. 27 in Hollywood. ARCHIVE
The Cherokee actor has never received an Oscar nomination, but has been part of a number of Oscar-nominated and winning films.
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Caleb Gibson, 19; Tyler Winn, 22; and Blayke Haggard are set to compete in the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship June 4-6.
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Simeon Gipson
TAHLEQUAH – A fundraiser for Cherokee elder and long-distance bicyclist Simeon Gipson, of Tahlequah, will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., June 7 at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex’s Finance Building in the employees’ room.

Funds raised from the “Breakfast with Simeon Gipson” event will help cover costs for Gipson’s participation at the 2019 National Senior Games in Albuquerque, Mew Mexico.

Gipson, 73, competes in cycling events at the state, national and worldwide levels.
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