July 2014 - Cherokee Phoenix
Friends of the late Betty Starr Barker
recall her pride in her Cherokee
heritage. PEOPLE, 13
Cherokee Nation Transit offers rides at a
discounted price to CN employees and
citizens. SERVICES, 15
The Cherokee Heritage Center’s village provides
guests with an experience of authentic
Cherokee life in the 1700s. CULTURE, 19
July 2014 • cherokeephoenix.org
186 Years of Cherokee Journalism
‘THIS RIDE HAS MEANT SO MUCH’
power plant effort
If received, a federal grant would be
used to assess a possible hydroelectric
dam in Sequoyah County.
BY WILL CHAVEZ
The 20 riders who took part in this year’s “Remember the Removal” bike ride arrive on June 19 in Tahlequah, Okla., to
cheering family and friends. The riders from the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians traveled nearly
1,000 miles in three weeks retracing the northern route of the Trail of Tears. PHOTOS BY WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
‘Remember the Removal’
cyclists return home
Fourteen riders from
the Cherokee Nation
join six riders from
the Eastern Band of
Cherokee Indians to
make the three-week
BY WILL CHAVEZ
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Riding
through rain, the 20 riders who
participated in this year’s “Remember
the Removal” bike ride arrived the
afternoon of June 19 in Tahlequah
to cheering family and friends after
traveling nearly 1,000 miles along the
northern route of the Trail of Tears.
Fourteen riders from the Cherokee
Nation joined six riders from the Eastern
Band of Cherokee Indians to make the
three-week journey. The group left New
Echota, Ga., on June 1 and traveled
through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois,
Missouri and Arkansas before crossing
“This ride has meant so much to me.
I have realized how strong our ancestors
were and how strong we still are today,”
Cassie Moore, 24, of Tahlequah, said.
“This ride has made me a stronger
person not just physically but mentally
as well. This has made me grow as a
leader. I will always carry strength from
This year marks the 175th anniversary
of the arrival of the final group of
Cherokees forced from their homes
in Georgia and Tennessee and other
southeastern states to what is now
northeastern Oklahoma. Of the
estimated 16,000 Cherokees forced to
journey to Indian Territory, an estimated
4,000 died from exposure, starvation
Ty Boyd, 29, of Waynesville, N.C., said
riding the route means that the people
forced to walk the trail have not been
forgotten and continue to be respected
“I remember resting on a bridge one
long, hot day and gazing into a river
that was clear and not murky and the
homesick feeling overtook me of missing
the clean, crystal clear rivers back home.
At that time I could only imagine the
heartache that our people must have
felt knowing that they could not return
to their homeland and the life they had
grown to know,” he said.
This year more emphasis was placed
on educating riders about the 1838-39
removal. On weekends, the CN cyclists
attended a Cherokee history course
before taking their training rides. And
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Tribal Council’s Resources
Committee on June 16 approved a Cherokee Nation Businesses
grant application to the U.S. Department of Interior-Energy and
Minerals Development Program for a possible power plant on
the Arkansas River.
If received, the grant would be used to conduct studies and
assessments necessary for constructing a hydroelectric dam in
“This is the sixth grant we have received for this and this
will probably be the last one. We’ll go out after this and find
funding for this project,” Tribal Councilor David Thornton, who
represents Sequoyah County, said. “This project is about a $132
to $135 million dollar project. I think it will really help us down
the line because of the revenue it will produce.”
He said $2.5 million has been spent on dam studies and
Thornton said with efforts being made by the federal
government to use clean and renewable energy, the hydroelectric
dam should be fit in its plans.
The W.D. Mayo Hydroelectric Project would be owned and
operated by the CN and use the Arkansas River’s current to
generate electricity. That electricity would then be sold to area
Thornton said he hopes the plant would generate funding for
the tribe for the next 100 years and help Sequoyah County by
generating 150 to 200 construction jobs when it is built. Workers
would be needed for the plant’s construction, road and power
line construction, concrete batch plant operation, security and
fence and barrier construction.
Local economic benefit from the plant’s construction has been
estimated at $532 million, Thornton said. He said the power sold
would annually generate $10 million to $15 million in revenue
for the CN after the plant’s construction cost is paid.
Congress authorized the project in 1986, and the CN has
exclusive rights to build on the riverbed.
On May 5, the U.S. Senate passed the Water Resources
Development Act of 2013, which allows the CN to build the
plant on the river.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Congressman Markwayne
Mullin, R-Okla., announced support of the water resources bill.
See DAM, 3
See RIDERS, 2
Cherokee Nation citizen and Wagoner, Okla., resident
David Murray puts a sticker on a CN license plate on his
vehicle. On June 13, the tribe began selling car tags across
Oklahoma, giving the ability to about 80,000 CN citizens
living in the state but outside the tribe’s jurisdiction to buy
tags. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
“Remember the Removal” cyclists on June 19 ride past a Trail of Tears
Auto Tour Route marker near Westville, Okla., on their way to their final
destination of Tahlequah. Twenty riders from the Cherokee Nation and
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians participated in the ride.
A group of “Remember the Removal”
riders cross into Oklahoma on June 19, the
last day of their three-week ride retracing
the northern route of the Trail of Tears.
Council amends FOIA, GRA
times and creating an
information officer job.
BY JAMI MURPHY
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – After several
turbulent months of protest from
citizens and some Cherokee Nation
legislators, Tribal Councilors amended
the Freedom of Information and
Governmental Records acts during their
June 16 meeting.
Amendments included increased time
limits for responses under both laws. For
the FOIA, the time limit goes from 15
days to 20 days. The FOIA amendment
also included an additional 10-day
extension, but only after the requesting
party is notified in writing. The GRA
time limit was increased from six days to
10 days, following a friendly amendment
from Tribal Councilor Harley Buzzard.
“And the amendment that I’d like to
offer is to take away some of the days for
the GRA act. We’re presently at 20. What
I would propose to do is add four days
to the existing act. Make it, I believe, 10
days,” he said. “It would be consistent
with what we’re going to be doing with
statewide can buy
As of June 13, Cherokee Nation
citizens across Oklahoma could buy
the tribe’s car tags.
BY STAFF REPORTS
the FOIA, we added four (days). I would
ask that we add four days to the present
act which would make it 10 day turn
around on documentation.”
The FOIA bill also creates an
information officer position within the
Attorney General’s Office to serve as a
liaison for CN citizens seeking public
records. The officer is to be independent
of political influence and could only
be terminated for cause and will be
responsible for facilitating, gathering,
tracking and responding to FOI requests,
as well as providing monthly reports to
the Tribal Council.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On June 13, Cherokee Nation
citizens living in Oklahoma, but outside the tribe’s jurisdictional
compact area, became eligible to purchase CN license plates at
state prices. Tribal officials said this new sales area could affect
about 80,000 tribal citizens.
Previously, CN car tags were sold in the tribe’s jurisdiction –
as well as non-jurisdictional areas of Mayes, Muskogee, Rogers,
Tulsa and Wagoner counties – at tribal rates. Those two areas are
covered under the tribe’s jurisdictional compact with the state.
However, under an at-large compact, which was previously
expected to begin July 1, CN citizens in other counties
throughout the state can receive a 10 percent discount off state
rates when buying CN car tags.
Cherokee Nation Tax Commission Administrator Sharon
Swepston said the expansion gives the commission the
opportunity to serve all CN citizens, regardless of where they
live in Oklahoma.
“These Cherokee citizens now have the ability to exercise
See FOIA, 3
See TAGS, 6
CHEROKEE PHOENIX • JULY 2014
NEWS • dgZEksf
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“Remember the Removal” riders celebrate reaching the Oklahoma line on June 19 after three weeks of biking a Trail of Tears route. The 20 riders were from the Cherokee Nation and the
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
from front page
during the three-week ride, riders had more
contacts with historians along the route.
“One experience that I’ll remember for the
rest of my life would be getting to see Mantle
Rock (Kentucky). The moment I saw that
place really made the entire experience even
more real,” Elizabeth Burns, 18, of Claremore,
said. “It was such a pretty but saddening place.
So many of our ancestors were stuck there,
camping until the river was crossable, and
passed away from the horrible conditions. I
had heard about Mantle Rock before the trip
but never imagined the emotional impact it
would have on me to actually be there.”
During the 1838-39 winter, approximately
1,766 Cherokees from the Peter Hildebrand
Detachment had to spend about two weeks
at Mantle Rock, which has bluffs and shelters,
while waiting for the Ohio River to thaw and
“The ride has such unique purpose, and to
me it has the purpose of honoring those who
made it to Oklahoma and those who did not.
I am not from Oklahoma and am not going
home, but it is such an extraordinary feeling
riding the path of so many Cherokee before
me,” Kelsey Owle, 25, of Cherokee, N.C., said.
“I will also hold dear to me the friendships
I have made with some of the riders. It is an
incredible journey and having a friend along
the way makes it that much better. These are
some amazing and strong people that I will
The ride, which originated 30 years ago,
is a leadership program allowing Cherokee
students to get a glimpse of the hardships their
ancestors faced while making the same trek on
foot. Program leaders also hoped the ride will
help each cyclist find hidden strengths, as Owle
said she did.
“I found an entirely new strength inside if me
that I had no idea was in there, and that is an
amazing feeling I will carry with me from here
in out,” Owle said.
At age 53, Pat Watkins of Cherokee, N.C.,
was the oldest rider. She said the ride made
her a stronger woman as she gathered a better
understanding of the tribe’s history and culture.
“The most memorable day was Day 14. I felt
at the lowest point at that time, but one special
team member kept offering words of support
and the belief that I would make it that day,”
Burns echoed the words of Principal Chief
Bill John Baker, who said the riders would have
“an exceptional experience” during their trip
“that will bond them forever.”
“I will carry the memories and bonding
moments I’ve made with the other riders
forever. I consider myself blessed to have
had the opportunity to share all of these lifechanging moments with this amazing group of
people,” Burns said. “This experience has given
me a lot of courage and confidence that I can
apply to my personal life, and I feel closer than
ever to my heritage and culture.”
Along with Moore and Burns, the other CN
riders were Jordan McLaren, Adriana Collins,
Keeley Godwin, Charli Barnoskie, Chance
Rudolph, Zane Scullawl, Madison Taylor,
Jamekah Rios, Kassidy Carnes, Noah Collins,
Jacob Chavez and ride leader Joseph Erb. Along
with Boyd, Owle and Watkins, the other EBCI
riders were Richard Sneed, Russell Bigmeat
and Katrina Sneed.
Council confirms Smith as
new CNCA board member
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Shown is the Bay Mills Indian Community’s casino at Vanderbilt, Mich. The casino was
the subject of a lawsuit in which Michigan sued to have the tribe’s off-reservation casino
Bay Mills decision upholds
BY JAMI MURPHY
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Citing sovereign
immunity, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4
on May 27 that Michigan could not sue the
Bay Mills Indian Community for operating an
The BMIC is a federally recognized tribe
located on an Indian reservation forming the
land base of one of the many Sault Ste. Marie
bands of Chippewa Indians.
According to The Associated Press, Michigan
argued that the tribe opened the casino in 2010
without permission from the U.S. government
and in violation of a state compact. The casino
was built upon land the tribe purchased with
its earnings from a settlement with the federal
government regarding compensation for land
given up through treaties.
Justice Elena Kagan said the federal Indian
Gaming Regulatory Act allows a state to bring
lawsuits challenging casinos operating on
Indian lands, but Bay Mills’ casino opened
outside the tribe’s reservation placing it outside
the law’s coverage.
“Since the casino does not fall under federal
gaming laws, Kagan said it is subject to the
ordinary tribal immunity that extends to offreservation commercial activities,” the AP
states. “Kagan said it doesn’t matter that the
casino was authorized, licensed and operated
from the tribe’s reservation.”
BMIC officials said the decision “affords
proper deference to Congress’ judgment and
it will ensure that tribes like Bay Mills can
continue to fund tribal education and perform
other sovereign functions.”
Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd
Hembree said his office, as well as all of Indian
Country, anxiously awaited the decision,
with many tribes going through doomsday
scenarios that could have occurred if the
decision had went the other way.
“We knew something bad was going to
happen, but we just didn’t know how bad. It’s
good to be surprised sometimes because the
Bay Mills decision was close to a total victory
for Indian sovereignty,” he said. “And that very,
very few victories have occurred in the state
supreme court with tribal sovereignty. We
were so happy to see that a lot of the justices of
the Supreme Court believed in upheld tribal
Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission
Chairwoman Stacy Leeds said the decision
would have little direct impact on gaming for
“The case is significant because it leaves
intact the concept of tribal sovereign immunity,
which protects tribal governments from being
sued without their consent or without another
type of waiver of immunity from suit,” she
said. “The case prohibits a state from suing
a tribe for gaming operations outside Indian
Country or outside tribal jurisdiction. If the
decision would have one the other way, the
door would be open for state lawsuits.”
However, Hembree said the decision did not
come without warnings for tribes, and there
are issues of which they must be cognizant. He
said the Supreme Court ruled that Michigan
had remedies available to it, but justices did
not address a scenario in which a potential
plaintiff may not have had any remedies.
“I think that is a clear signal to all of the
Indian tribes that we must get our court system
in order. We must have a good court claims
act. We must have a good court procedure,
something that we have been talking about
for months, and we are working on,” he said.
“So this puts it in a very clear light that in the
months to come, before the end of the year, we
hope to suggest to the council a comprehensive
court act that would be beneficial to the
Cherokee Nation in this instance.”
Hembree also said tribes must be aware that
the 5-4 decision could have went the other
way, which some feared could have destroyed
“The Cherokee Nation and all tribes need
to be the first and last line of defense when it
comes to tribal sovereignty in this nation,” he
said. “We are pleased with the result, but we
will be forever vigilant because one bad fact
scenario can change that result.”
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – At its June 16
meeting, the Tribal Council confirmed Robin
McLain Smith of Laguna Beach, Calif., to serve
a three-year term on the Cherokee Nation
Community Association board of directors
despite protest from representatives of CN AtLarge communities.
In a written statement, Principal Chief Bill
John Baker said he understood his nomination
of Smith “generated much discussion” in the
At-Large community, but that she was worthy
of the appointment.
“Ms. Smith is a capable Cherokee citizen
willing to volunteer her service to the Cherokee
people, and most importantly she is worthy
of this appointment. I deeply appreciate that
about two dozen citizens took the time to
voice their opinion to me about Ms. Smith,
and I have every confidence she will earn the
respect of at-large citizens through her work
on CNCA,” Baker said. “Some at-large citizens
have expressed concerns that Ms. Smith is not
qualified to serve on the CNCA Board because
she has not served in a leadership position in
an at-large community organization. While it
is true that Ms. Smith has not served in such
a leadership position, Ms. Smith has attended
at-large community meetings.”
In a letter to Baker, Ed Young of Tsalagi L.A.
(Los Angeles) requested that Baker withdraw
Smith’s nomination, writing that of the few
hundred At-Large citizens he networks with
he knew of “almost no one who would look
favorably upon this nomination.”
According to Smith’s resume, she works
at the Crown Valley Animal Care Center in
Laguna Beach. She also once worked for the
Orange County Sheriff Department as an
information and records specialist.
Her resume states her father was born in the
CN and she has “several family members” who
still reside in it and that she enjoys attending
At-Large Cherokee community events in her
However, Young’s letter states Smith is not
known among three Los Angeles Cherokee
“Robin lives in my community. Yet of the
hundreds of members in the three Cherokee
communities that serve our area, I have never
seen her once at any of these community
meetings,” Young states. “According to one of
their council members, their community right
down the road from her in Orange County has
In the story “EC approves lease for
new mailing machine” in the June
2014 issue, we stated that Election
Commissioner Carolyn Allen agreed
with Election Commissioner Teresa
Hart’s quote regarding expense and
usage of a new mailing machine the
Election Commission was considering
leasing. However, Allen said she only
agreed with the machine’s cost being
expensive. She said the commission
would use it more often than what Hart
In the story “Employee resigns
after DUI citation in GSA vehicle” we
never heard of her. We all know each other.
The two communities that I frequent here in
the Los Angeles metro have never laid eyes
on her in the past eight years even though she
lives right here among us.”
Efforts by the Cherokee Phoenix to interview
Smith about opposition to her nomination, as
well as her confirmation, were unsuccessful.
Ed Carey, Cherokees of Orange County
membership coordinator, said he visited
Tahlequah on May 29 to speak to Tribal
Councilors about his concerns regarding
“This woman has not done anything in
any of these communities since they started.
The best we can tell is she attended (a) San
Diego (meeting) one time,” Carey said. “She
has been exceedingly hostile to the At-Large
community, and given that information, we do
not want her to represent us in any way.”
He said his main concern was that Smith
would be dictating to the communities despite
never participating with his group and two
other Cherokee groups near her home, the
Riverside Cherokee and Tsalagi L.A.
Carey said Smith would have a 32-mile drive
to attend COC meetings and sign-in sheets
for the group show she has never attended its
In his statement, Baker said he was
unwilling to exclude from consideration for
service on the CNCA board the vast majority
of At-Large citizens simply because they have
not served in a leadership position in an AtLarge community organization.
He added that he was proud of the progress
being made to strengthen ties to the At-Large
communities, through both CNCA and
Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural
“The CNCA Board and the CCO staff share
my vision for creating more opportunities for
At-Large Cherokees to engage in the cultural
and civic matters, learn about Cherokee
language and history, and simply to connect
with their Cherokee roots,” Baker said. “I am
positive that Ms. Smith not only shares that
vision but wants to ensure that CNCA lives
up to its mission to ‘foster civic and cultural
connections between Cherokee Nation and its
citizens outside the boundaries.’”
The CNCA was organized to establish a
connection for CN citizens, residing outside
the Nation’s historic boundaries, with each
other and their elected officials and to foster
civic and cultural connections between the
CN and At-Large citizens.
reported that former Cherokee Nation
employee Alpheus Byrd and his brother
Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd declined
to comment. It should have stated
that Councilor Byrd said in a phone
interview with Cherokee Phoenix that
neither he nor his brother wanted to
comment for the story.
Also, in the story “Tribe uses Jay
garden for healthier foods” food
grown in the garden will not be used
to supplement commodity foods at
tribal Food Distribution centers. The
produce, however, could be used
to supplement child care facilities in
Delaware, Mayes, Craig, Nowata and
NEWS • dgZEksf
2014 Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
JULY 2014 • CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BY WILL CHAVEZ
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – About a dozen protestors brought signs to the W.W.
Keeler Tribal Complex on May 28 to protest proposed amendments to the
Cherokee Nation’s Freedom of Information and Governmental Records acts
that were slated for that day’s Rules Committee meeting.
The protestors also presented a petition to the Tribal Council and Principal
Chief ’s Office requesting the amendments not be approved. However,
councilors amended both acts later in the day.
One FOIA change included creating a position in the Attorney General’s
Office to handle FOI requests and requests from councilors under the GRA.
Other amendments extended the allotted time to complete a public records
request from 15 days to 20 days, allowing only CN citizens to make records
requests and establishing a timeline for which a governmental body must keep
The FOIA amendment passed by a vote of 14-3 with Tribal Councilors
Cara Cowan Watts, Lee Keener and Don Garvin voting against it. The GRA
amendment passed 13-4 with Cowan Watts, Keener, Garvin and Jack Baker
voting against it. Both acts were expected to be on the June 16 Tribal Council
CN citizen Twila Pennington said she protested with other concerned CN
citizens to express disapproval of the amendments.
“The primary concern is we have election officials that have taken an oath to
uphold the Cherokee (Nation) Constitution. Part of that is as a fiduciary agent,
which means you’re accountable for all monies that pass through the tribe on
behalf of citizens,” she said. Much of that (fiduciary) information is not being
disclosed either to some seated Tribal Councilors, citizen petitioners or just in
general, our Cherokee people.
Pennington said the protestors gathered more than 700 signatures for the
petition, which requested the legislative branch not to change the tribe’s FOIA
“We are concerned with any proposed amendments. We don’t want anything
to change that’s going to take away from our rights to know the information
that’s supposed to be afforded under the GRA and the FOIA,” she said. “We
asked Cherokee citizens to sign the petition so that we could solidify a voice of
support on our own behalf because we do not have another venue or platform
to express our concerns. I think it’s important that our Tribal Council and
elected officials today know that we are serious about our own government,
and if they’re not going to be agents to protect our rights then we will.”
During the Rules Committee meeting, Tribal Councilor Jodie Fishinghawk
said only five sentences were changed in the FOIA and spoke about councilors
who opposed the changes.
“We are protecting citizens by not allowing out their (citizens’) confidential
information. How someone can put a spin on that, I don’t know,” she said.
“This is getting ridiculous. I’m seeing all over the Internet how there’s a
conspiracy and a constitutional crisis.”
The Cherokee Phoenix’s effort to get a response from the Principal Chief ’s
Office regarding the protest was unsuccessful.
CN citizen Kathy Tibbits of Zion said she protested the amendments
because as a former CN attorney she understands how important “discovery
documents” or FOIA requests are to tribal citizens.
“When I worked here we saw a need for a Freedom of Information Act
and it was passed into law, along with some other protections. One protection
was for the media to be independent and to exercise independent judgment.
When I heard the Freedom of Information Act was being rolled back, I started
to question why would that would be done,” she said. “I know there are some
legitimate reasons that we wish we didn’t have a Freedom of Information Act,
for example, for business deals so that we could do business deals without
However, Tibbits said there is a “balancing act” and that the tribal
government needs to be accountable to its citizens and allow them the ability
to request records, including financial documents.
“Anything could happen behind closed doors. I think it’s (FOIA) an
important part of an open government and government transparency and an
opportunity for citizens to stay involved in their government,” she said.
Tibbits added that she understands Principal Chief Bill John Baker has
called for more transparency for the CN, and she called upon him to veto the
amended FOIA if the Tribal Council approves it on June 16.
“I would call upon him to do the right thing by all the people in the
Cherokee Nation, for the people who live here and work here and call this
our government, to not put us in the position of having inside transactions
that take place without people being able to get access to that information,”
Top court reinstates
former CN employee
Cherokee Nation citizens protest on May 28 in front of the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah, Okla.
They protested proposed amendments to the tribe’s Freedom of Information and Governmental Records
acts that the Tribal Council’s Rules Committee passed that day. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
from front page
Both laws increase protection for CN citizens
regarding personal information. Amendments
included protecting a citizen’s Social Security number,
date of birth, tribal citizenship number, email and other
electronic identifiers specifically exempted under the
“With technological advances, cases of identity
theft have increased exponentially, and there are no
indications of the trend changing course,” Tribal
Councilor Tina Glory-Jordan said. “Along with other
enhancements to this essential piece of legislation,
this body wanted to ensure our citizens’ sensitive
information on requested documents will remain
private. Cherokee citizens can rest assured this body
has taken every step needed to protect their identity and
assets through this law.”
Tribal Councilor Cara Cowan Watts expressed
concern regarding “privileged or confidential” items
that would be exempt.
The act states that privileged and confidential
information is “exempt from disclosure under the
Cherokee Nation Freedom of Information and Rights
of Privacy Act, as amended, or is confidential under
Cherokee Nation law, that record shall, nevertheless, be
produced or otherwise made available to the requesting
“So that still denies a council person the ability to
have that electronically. So for instance, myself, that
lives an hour to hour and a half away, I would still have
to drive to the AG’s office to review the information it
would not be given to me,” Cowan Watts said.
Glory Jordan said they had made no changes in that
area and asked Attorney General Todd Hembree to
“This law makes no changes to the current language
that is in our Governmental Records Act. The question
that you asked is precisely subject matter to a Supreme
Court appeal to which Ms. (Julia) Coates is a plaintiff.
We have our interpretation. Ms. Coates has her
interpretation. There are going to be five members of
the justice that’s going to decide that issue,” Hembree
Cowan Watts asked Hembree if the language would
affect current lawsuits, to which he replied no.
The FOIA also clarifies that proprietary bid
documents will be exempt from public disclosure. The
law states that a contract is not exempt from disclosure
once executed, but bid or other financial documents of
the vendors who bid on a project will be exempt.
The FOIA bill passed 10-6, with Tribal Councilors
Cowan Watts, Lee Keener, Coates, Don Garvin,
Dick Lay and Jack Baker voting no. Councilor Jodie
Fishinghawk did not attend the meeting.
The GRA bill passed 14-2, with Cowan Watts and
Coates requested six friendly amendments to the
FOIA bill, but they were voted down. They included:
° Any person denied a document request pursuant to
the act for either copies or inspection, and any person
denied attendance of a “work group or subcommittee
meeting of the Tribal Council may appeal that decision
to the Administrative Appeals Board or the District
Court within 10 days of the denial of the request or
deadline for providing the request if no response
° Any person alleging a violation of Section 107
(Meetings of public bodies shall be open) may seek
relieve from the Administrative Appeals Board within
10 days of the alleged violation.
Glory Jordan said her biggest problem with the
motions regarding the appeals board is that it is not set
up to hear those types of cases.
“That means that we got to go change that law,” she
said. “And I don’t see how we vote on doing this tonight
without changing that law to broaden their ability to
hear this type of case because they were set up to hear
basically wrongful termination-type cases.”
Councilors also confirmed CN citizens Robin
McClain Smith to the Cherokee Nation Community
Association Cooperation and Jennifer Goins to the
Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission.
The Concurrent Enrollment Scholarship Act was also
amended to allow students to enroll in more college
hours and receive more funding.
“The amended legislation now allows eligible high
school students to receive scholarship money for up to
nine hours of college course work, rather than just six,”
Tribal Councilor David Walkingstick said. “The more
hours our students enroll in shows their dedication to
academics and their futures, and saves families money.”
from front page
BY STAFF REPORTS
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation Supreme
Court recently released an opinion reinstating former tribal
employee Rachel McAlvain, who lost her job after the current
administration took office in 2011.
The ruling comes after Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s
administration appealed a 2013 Employee Appeals Board
decision that stated the CN failed to provide McAlvain pretermination due process guaranteed under the CN Constitution.
According to Chief Justice Darrell Dowty’s opinion, the
EAB found facts backing its decision including that the CN
“presented no evidence for the need to eliminate the employee’s
position” and the CN “presented no evidence that a restructuring
or reorganization plan for Health Services, which eliminated
employee’s position, was completed prior to notifying the
employee that her position had been eliminated.”
The CN appealed to the Supreme Court stating the claim for
which the EAB granted relief to McAlvain wasn’t raised by her
in her initial appeal. The CN also stated the EAB erred by failing
to follow the court’s instructions to determine whether the
layoff was legitimate, in determining that the layoff requires pretermination due process and that the CN provided no evidence
for the need to eliminate her position.
With regards to McAlvain not raising the due process claim
with the EAB but with the court in her first petition in error,
the court ruled that the issue can be “judicially noticed” by the
“examiner.” “We therefore find that the EAB consideration of
the issue of the Nation’s compliance with Constitutional pretermination due process was not error,” the court opinion states.
The court also stated the EAB did not err in affording the
employee in “layoff status” the Constitutional protection of
pre-termination due process. “The EAB conclusion that the
employee was terminated without due process is supported by
the factual findings,” the opinion states. “The EAB conclusion
that the layoff was not legitimate is likewise supported by the
findings of fact within the context of ‘pre-termination due
process’ analysis as to this employee.”
The opinion states the “order reversing termination” is
affirmed and the case is remanded to the EAB to carry out
the “provisions of their order and to determine the issues and
amounts of back pay, attorney’s fees, if any, and costs before the
EAB and this court with due regard to the employee’s duty to
Cherokee Nation citizen Kinsey Shade, the Native American cultural
coordinator for Grand View School in Tahlequah, Okla., reads to Sara
Carey as part of the enrichment activities the school is including in its
“summer camp” program. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Principal Chief Bill John Baker praised
their efforts for including of the W.D. Mayo
Hydroelectric Project in the conferenced Water
Resources Reform and Development Act.
The lawmakers worked to include legislative
language to allow the CN to construct, operate
and market a hydroelectric facility.
“We’re glad this is now a renewable energy
option for us and we look forward to exploring
this and other opportunities,” Baker said. “The
Cherokee Nation is very thankful for Sen.
Inhofe and Rep. Mullin’s leadership and work
to include the W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam in the
WRRDA bill. Because of their support, we can
explore more possibilities for renewable energy.
I personally worked with both these lawmakers
on this issue, and I couldn’t be happier with the
CN in running for Yellowstone bison
The tribe’s proposal states they
would be used for education and
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Montana wildlife officials on
June 16 released a short list of five entities that could receive
bison from Yellowstone National Park under an experimental
program to establish new herds of the animals.
The roughly 145 bison have been held in recent years on
behalf of the state at a ranch owned by philanthropist Ted
Turner. They were captured from the park in 2005 and 2006, put
into quarantine and tested repeatedly to make sure they don’t
have the disease brucellosis, which can lead to miscarriages.
Ten entities have expressed interested in receiving the
animals. That was narrowed to five proposals based on
guidance from a panel of state, federal and tribal officials that
met last week, said Ron Aasheim, spokesman for Montana
Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
No deadline has been set for a final decision. Aasheim said
the state has been asked to move the animals off Turner’s ranch
Details of the proposals are:
° Cherokee Nation: The American Indian tribe requested 35
bison to establish a herd on tribal lands in northeast Oklahoma.
Its proposal said the animals would be used for education,
economic development and to preserve the animal’s genetics.
° The Fort Peck Indian Reservation’s Assiniboine and Sioux
tribes: After receiving several dozen bison from the quarantine
program in 2012, the tribes are seeking more animals to
augment an existing herd on their northeast Montana
reservation. They would be used for cultural and conservation
° Utah Division of Wildlife Resources: The agency has
requested 30 bison to increase genetic diversity and augment
two existing herds of the animals that are managed by the state
in the Henry Mountains and Book Cliffs.
° Wildlife Conservation Society: The New York-based
conservation group requested 30 bison for zoos in the Bronx,
Queens and Ohio. The animals would be used to establish
nucleus herds to promote future conservation.
° American Prairie Reserve: The private group is seeking an
undetermined number of bison to integrate with its existing
herd of about 450 bison on land in north-central Montana.
CHEROKEE PHOENIX • JULY 2014
OPINION • Zlsz
Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
Don’t take FOIA, GRA for granted
Volume 38, No. 7
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FOIA, GRA help with checks and
There has been a considerable amount of concern and attention
centered around the potential amendments to the Cherokee Nation
Freedom of Information and Governmental Records acts.
These legislative acts have ensured the right of our citizens to
information and provided Tribal Councilors access to governmental
records so they can honestly, prudently and faithfully fulfill their
responsibilities as overseers of Cherokee people’s assets. The need to
know and access to information is our citizens’ inherent right as the
true owners of the Cherokee Nation government. We cannot take
these pieces of legislation for granted. Restricting or limiting access to
crucial information can lead to serious real-life consequences.
I recall statements made by former Principal Chief Chad Smith
about transparency and open government when he initiated the
FOIA in 2001 along with the Free Press Act in 2000. A couple of
statements he made about these acts left a lasting impression with me.
He stated, “If I’m doing something wrong, the Cherokee people need
to be able to read about it in the Cherokee Advocate.” As a visionary,
Smith always planned for the next 100 years. He must have had that in
mind when he supported the Cherokee Freedom of Information Act
in 2001 and said, “When you think about preserving our government
for the next 100 years, you realize it’s good to have someone looking
over everyone’s shoulder because having an informed citizenry is a
very important thing.”
The enactment of the GRA and FOIA was his immediate and
imperative response after the near collapse of our Nation’s government
from 1995-98. That was a time when the federal government
suspended payments to the CN and we were on the brink of selfdestruction. Comments were made by some in the media that the CN
had become a “banana republic.”
In my opinion, there is no doubt that the near collapse of our
government started over the issue of a serious lack of transparency.
The administration during those years refused to provide the
Tribal Council with information on attorney fees and removed
the editor of the Cherokee Phoenix. Cherokee marshals received
court approval and seized the information. Subsequently, the
administration fired the marshals, tried to impeach the judges
and the federal government was considering taking control of the
CN government after former administrations had worked so hard
toward self-governance and self-reliance.
We as Cherokee citizens simply can’t ignore the historic and inevitable
consequences of suppressing transparency within our government and
our businesses. We could pay an enormous price for it.
Sir John Dalberg-Acton, more commonly known as Lord Acton
stated, “Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
This statement has been openly and commonly discussed throughout
history. In my own life, I’m 64 now, given my work history and
experience, in general, his statement still holds true. When temptation
is presented, people, even good people, can and will do bad things.
The Cherokee Nation, like other governments, demands a change
in leadership every few years. It usually happens when voters become
disenchanted and send a message. Few of us are exempt from the
exhilaration or disappointment of a close election. But win or lose, we
all must accept the results and move forward. Even though we may
not agree, it’s important we all stand together and guard against bad
decision making. In my opinion, restricting, impeding or encroaching
upon the Freedom of Information or Government Records acts in any
way is a bad decision.
Now, regarding the FOIA and GRA comments editorialized in the
Cherokee Phoenix, June 2014, personally, I cannot find anything in
the articles compelling enough to merit change. Secondarily, who’s
asking for those changes? Certainly not CN citizens. Our votes
are usually decided by information, the more the better. It can’t be
employees of Cherokee Nation Businesses or the casinos. After all,
they are only doing as they are told. Quick access to information for
someone fighting for a job is a godsend.
We also understand that Principal Chief Bill John Baker is a busy
man and wants to pass along certain duties and responsibilities so
he can focus on more important issues. Passing along this particular
responsibility is not a good idea. It would be difficult if not impossible
to believe an appointee would be as fair and honest (especially to his
opposition) as a designated ombudsman or a person who holds an
And lastly, most of us are busy with our lives and don’t have
time or the interest to follow along with every nuance of daily CN
business. We rely on newsprint, our councilors and the hard-working
representatives in our districts to keep us informed. They are “in-thetrenches” with us and we trust them. Its imperative they are provided
with unrestricted and immediate access to all CN business activities,
without filters. The unimpeded flow of information is now and has
always been the hallmark to good government. We cannot “handcuff ”
the people we put in office who keep us informed and expect them to
do a good job. Anything less is unacceptable.
Former Tribal Councilor
CN more transparent than ever
We just received a copy of the June 2014 Cherokee Phoenix. Many
thanks to Senior Reporter Will Chavez and Media Specialist Roger
Graham for the great morel mushrooms article that included us.
They are both true professionals. We enjoyed having them here.
Come again anytime.
I have had the privilege of authoring and sponsoring several pieces of
legislation during my tenure as Tribal Councilor, but two particularly
stand out. The Freedom of Information and Privacy Improvement
Act of 2014 and the Enhanced Governmental Records Act of 2014
ensure that the Cherokee Nation remains one of the most transparent
governments in the United States. These acts increase transparency
in a number of ways. First, they provide for an independent officer,
free of political influence, whose job it will be to quickly process
FOIA/GRA requests. A major duty of this person will be to assist CN
citizens in the process of obtaining documents and information on
how our government operates. Never before has the CN taken such
a bold step in increasing transparency. Equally important, these acts
protect the personal information of CN citizens from falling into the
hands of people who may try to use it for their own self-interests.
These acts increase the efficiency of the FOIA process and decrease
the burdensome cost associated with it.
Some councilors have tried to say that these amendments are
somehow bad for transparency. However, when directly challenged to
point out one of the areas where these acts limit transparency, they
fall noticeably silent. These are people who recently have abused the
FOIA process to try to advance their own political agendas. Although
they have submitted dozens of FOIA requests, at a cost of hundreds
of thousands of dollars, they have not been denied documents, nor
have they found any “crises.” What they have found is an open and
transparent CN. A Nation with leaders that invest in health care and
clinics, build homes for its citizens, provide jobs and lead businesses
that make more profits than ever before. The new amendments will
make it easier for Cherokees to know how their government works, see
how their government spends money and learn about all the numerous
successes the CN has achieved. Of this, I am extremely proud.
Tad and Linda Dunham
Throwing in towel of disgust
I could not believe the article “Tahlequah residents show support
for LGBT community” posted to CherokeePhoenix.org on June 6.
This is sick.
What kind of pride shows disrespect to our Great Spirit “God”
when He considers it an abomination before Him?
I was once proud to be Cherokee, and of the Cherokee Nation, but
when this sick practice is allowed, even advertised, and influences our
children, by what is suppose to be a proud Cherokee Nation. I must
throw in the towel of disgust, as I respect my Creator and wish to be
part of his Kingdom when this life journey ends.
I no longer support anything within the Cherokee Nation.
Editor’s Note: The inaugural Gay Pride Picnic held June 1 at Norris Park
in Tahlequah, Okla., was part of the national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Pride Month and was co-organized by a Cherokee Nation
citizen. The Cherokee Nation did not sponsor or organize the event.
CN remains model for openness
Now that the political dust from a manufactured crisis has
settled, it’s time for Cherokees to understand fully what proposed
amendments to the Cherokee Nation’s Freedom of Information and
Government Records acts truly mean. Our government has grown
since the passage of both acts more than a decade ago. Naturally,
requests for information have grown as well.
Amendments to these laws reflect changing times by making the
request process more efficient, while protecting citizens’ personal
information. Proposed amendments include establishing an
independent information officer, solely focused on providing correct
information to the Cherokee people in a timely manner. Response
time to freedom of information requests would be extended from
15 to 20 days, and citizens who receive CN health care, housing and
other services can rest easier knowing their birth dates, Social Security
numbers and other sensitive information will not be included in FOI
or GRA responses.
Clearly, none of these proposed changes blocks citizen access,
conceals information or weakens transparency in any way. Some
Tribal Councilors who initially opposed the changes actually voted for
the amendments after a debate in open meeting. FOIA amendments
passed a Tribal Council committee 14-3, and GRA amendments
passed 13-4. Two dissenters in each vote happen to be declared
candidates for the offices of principal chief and deputy chief.
So, while grandstanding and impassioned speeches make for
entertaining political fodder, the truth is the CN remains a model for
openness, transparency and citizen access, and these amendments
only serve to strengthen those virtues.
Promote the Youth Council
I am writing in concern about the Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth
Council. I want to know what happened to its existence? Why is the
general public never informed about them? I am Abraham Locust
Jr. I served on the council from 1992-94 I represented District 3 in
Sequoyah County. When I served on the council it seemed as if we
did everything and went everywhere, which was really fun because we
got to meet new people, go to new places and hear about the concerns
in other communities. I guess it may be because we had different
sponsors, too. Our sponsors and advisors were Reba Bruner, Lisa
Trice-Turtle and Mary Jo Cole. I know that we worked hard to try to
get our name out there, and we strived to keep it going. I just hope that
they are not dissolved. I know representation is important in Native
America and within the Cherokee Nation. I would just encourage the
new councilors to promote yourselves better and keep the Cherokee
Phoenix readers posted with updates.
Abraham Locust Jr.
Editor’s Note: For more information regarding the Tribal Youth
Council, call toll free 1-800-256-0671, visit www.cherokee.org/
Services/Education/TribalYouthCouncil.aspx or email [email protected]
Talking Circles submissions can be mailed to Cherokee
Phoenix, PO Box 948, Tahlequah, OK 74465 or emailed to
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OPINION • Zlsz
2014 Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
JULY 2014 • CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Making registration process faster, more efficient
BY BILL JOHN BAKER
When I travel to tribal
functions in northeast
Oklahoma and across
the United States, I am
asked various questions
Citizens ask about
educational opportunities, business successes
and cultural preservation. But the question
asked more often than any is why does it take
so long to process tribal Certificate Degree of
Indian Blood and citizenship applications?
There is no singular or easy answer, but we
do understand the frustration of our Cherokee
Nation citizens. I would like to personally
assure folks that we are taking steps to address
the increasing numbers of applications while
working on a tremendous backlog.
Upon taking office, our new registrar and
her team discovered a backlog. We found
that, under the former administration,
more than 15,000 Cherokees had received
their citizenship or “blue” cards without the
necessary and critical step of also issuing a
CDIB cards. The CDIB process is the only way
to verify an applicant meets the criteria for CN
citizenship. Repairing this inherited backlog
has significantly slowed the process of issuing
new and pending citizenship and CDIB cards.
No Cherokee family should have to wait
years for tribal citizenship to be verified. That
is wrong, and a tremendous disservice to our
people. I know firsthand how essential proof
of citizenship is for eligibility of tribal services
such as job placement, college scholarships,
housing and quality health care.
Fixing the Model
I am aware of the CN Registration
Department’s needs and am working to make
the process faster and more efficient.
To wade through this backlog of
applications, we have hired more than 20
additional staff to process more applications.
We have also upgraded our computers and
software to speed up the verification process
and move to a more efficient, paperless
system. Staff will now be able to access
information at their fingertips, instead of
leaving their desks and searching through
stacks of paperwork, which was the process.
We have also expanded and modernized the
Registration Department’s space at the Tribal
Complex to make it more user-friendly and
comfortable for Cherokees taking care of
These important changes have helped us
complete more than 9,000 of those backlogged
CDIB cards and issue more than 4,000 new
blue cards, complete with the required CDIBs
Applications are being processed in the
order they are filed, but the pace of new
citizenship applications is trending upward.
Every month, 1,200 to 1,500 new citizenship
applications are filed, and another 1,200 to
1,500 duplicate citizenship or CDIB cards are
BY BARACK OBAMA
Six years ago, I
made my first trip
to Indian Country.
I visited the Crow
Nation in Montana –
an experience I’ll never
forget. I left with a new Crow name, an
adoptive Crow family and an even stronger
commitment to build a future that honors
old traditions and welcomes every Native
American into the American dream.
Next week (June 13), I’ll return to Indian
Country, when Michelle and I visit the
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Cannonball,
N.D. We’re eager to visit this reservation,
which holds a special place in American
history as the home of Chief Sitting Bull.
And while we’re there, I’ll announce the next
steps my administration will take to support
jobs, education and self-determination in
As president, I’ve worked closely with
tribal leaders, and I’ve benefited greatly from
their knowledge and guidance. That’s why I
created the White House Council on Native
American Affairs – to make sure that kind of
partnership is happening across the federal
Photo IDs Do Not Slow Process
One misconception is that our new
photo identification cards are slowing the
application process. That couldn’t be further
from the truth. These efforts are happening
in tandem, not at the expense of one
another. The photo IDs are only provided to
Cherokees who are already tribal citizens.
No additional processing time is required
to issue a photo ID. For new applications,
new ancestry records must be made, and
applicants must be linked back to their
original ancestors on the Dawes Roll. For
photo IDs, that process is not necessary.
Without a doubt, photo ID cards have been
one of the tribe’s most popular initiatives
in years. It can be used in banks, airports
or other places a government-issued ID
card is necessary. For citizens, it is a source
of tribal pride, and for the tribe, a symbol
of our sovereignty and self-determination.
As citizens get their cards at community
meeting events, we are able to update
citizens’ addresses, name changes and other
Following Federal Protocols
Unfortunately, application for citizenship is
not a “walk in and walk out with a card” process.
Tribal codes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs
require tribal citizenship and CDIB enrollment
applications be steeped in due diligence and
checks and balances. Verification takes time
and requires copies of multiple official records
such as birth and death certificates. We are
working hard, however, to make the process as
efficient as possible.
In 1985, the CN contracted with the BIA to
take over the issuance of CDIB cards. In that
compact, the Nation agreed to follow strict
guidelines to ensure only citizens who could
prove lineage from a Dawes enrollee would
receive CDIB cards. The CN is the only tribe in
the United States that has signature authority to
We are also fast tracking applications of
children whose parents are already enrolled
citizens to help shorten wait time.
I am proud to say the improvements in
staffing, processing, technology and more
efficient workspaces are already bringing
about positive results. It’s my goal that each
person, whether applying for new citizenship,
securing a child’s citizenship or just requesting
a duplicate CDIB or blue card, will leave the
registration office feeling confident that we are
doing all we can to make them a priority. Good
governance and fulfilling basic services have
been, and always will be, a top priority for the
CN under my administration.
My return to Indian Country
government. And every year, I host the White
House Tribal Nations Conference, where
leaders from every federally recognized tribe
are invited to meet with members of my
administration. Today, honoring the nationto-nation relationship with Indian Country
isn’t the exception; it’s the rule. And we have a
lot to show for it.
Together, we’ve strengthened justice and
tribal sovereignty. We reauthorized the
Violence Against Women Act, giving tribes
the power to prosecute people who commit
domestic violence in Indian Country, whether
they’re Native American or not. I signed the
Tribal Law and Order Act, which strengthened
the power of tribal courts to hand down
appropriate criminal sentences. And I signed
changes to the Stafford Act to let tribes directly
request disaster assistance, because when
disasters strike, you shouldn’t have to wait for
a middleman to get the help you need.
Together, we’ve resolved longstanding
disputes. We settled a discrimination suit
by Native American farmers and ranchers,
and we’ve taken steps to make sure that
all federal farm loan programs are fair
to Native Americans from now on. And
I signed into law the Claims Resolution
Act, which included the historic Cobell
settlement, making right years of neglect by
I can have it all, but
with a little help
Who says you can’t have it all? Lately my
reality has been just that. However, I haven’t
been doing it alone.
During the past year I have experienced
several changes. All of which have changed
not only my life, but my family’s, too.
In March 2013, I had the opportunity to
finally purchase my own car, a new model.
That was exciting. I had been having trouble
with mine and I badly wanted to purchase a
new car. I never thought I could, but I did and
that was a fantastic blessing.
Two months later, my family and I moved
into a new house built by the Housing
Authority of Cherokee Nation under the
tribes’ new home construction program. My
in-laws allowed us to purchase a small piece
of property from them north of Tahlequah for
the home to be built upon.
I filed for the program the week of its
inception in April 2012, and a year later we
requested. The fax machine in Registration
receives about 140 requests each day for
citizenship verification from organizations
trying to determine education scholarship
or health care eligibility. The Registration
department is also tasked with verifying
citizenship for things such as federal eagle
feather applications and Indian Child Welfare
cases, all of which take time and staff hours.
moved into our first new home. That was a
dream come true. Without that program I’m
afraid it would have been far longer for me to
buy a home, a new home at that.
In June, my then-partner Mike Murphy
and I discovered we were expecting our
second child. So together we have four
children. This news was quite surprising,
but great. We thought having another child
wasn’t a possibility any longer considering
we’d tried for nearly two years, but we were
blessed with another boy. I thought I had my
hands full with one in the home (the other
two live outside the home). So on Jan. 27, we
welcomed the newest Murphy, Austin.
So after all these changes and the welcomed
surprise why not go ahead and throw another
one in the mix. Mike and I finally got married.
I had taken my maternity leave a week before
going into labor. So my last week of my
leave we planned a small, nice ceremony on
the Department of the Interior and leading
to the establishment of the Land Buy-Back
Program to consolidate Indian lands and
restore them to tribal trust lands.
Americans’ access to quality, affordable
health care. One of the reasons I fought so
hard to pass the Affordable Care Act is that it
permanently reauthorized the Indian Health
Care Improvement Act, which provides care
to many in tribal communities. And under
the Affordable Care Act, Native Americans
across the country now have access to
comprehensive, affordable coverage, some for
the first time.
Together, we’ve worked to expand
opportunity. My administration has built
roads and high-speed Internet to connect
tribal communities to the broader economy.
We’ve made major investments in job training
and tribal colleges and universities. We’ve
tripled oil and gas revenues on tribal lands,
creating jobs and helping the United States
become more energy independent. And we’re
working with tribes to get more renewable
energy projects up and running, so tribal
lands can be a source of renewable energy and
the good local jobs that come with it.
We can be proud of the progress we’ve made
together. But we need to do more, especially
on jobs and education. Native Americans
face poverty rates far higher than the national
average – nearly 60 percent in some places.
And the dropout rate of Native American
students is nearly twice the national rate.
These numbers are a moral call to action.
As long as I have the honor of serving as
president, I’ll do everything I can to answer
That’s what my trip is all about. I’m going
to hear from as many people as possible –
ranging from young people to tribal leaders
– about the successes and challenges they face
every day. And I’ll announce new initiatives
to expand opportunity in Indian Country
by growing tribal economies and improving
As I’ve said before, the history of the
United States and tribal nations is filled with
broken promises. But I believe that during
my administration, we’ve turned a corner
together. We’re writing a new chapter in
our history – one in which agreements are
upheld, tribal sovereignty is respected, and
every American Indian and Alaskan Native
who works hard has the chance to get ahead.
That’s the promise of the American dream.
And that’s what I’m working for every day –
in every village, every city, every reservation
– for every single American.
the Cherokee Nation Courthouse grounds
beneath a beautiful magnolia tree. And the
ceremony was just that, beautiful. CN citizen
David Comingdeer officiated.
So on April 8 at 4:08 p.m. on the grounds
of the historic courthouse, David gave the
prayer and welcome in both Cherokee and
English and proceeded with the marriage
I have waited nearly seven years to marry
Mike and for whatever reason in the past it
just wasn’t the right time. So on that day I
walked to a floral archway where Mike stood
as Jami Custer and we left that ceremony as
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Murphy.
Now I’ve returned to work, a much-awaited
return in my eyes. I have missed the past three
months without writing for the Cherokee
Phoenix and contributing to what I feel is a
much-needed news outlet for our Cherokee
people. It feels great to be back working again.
Even though we’ve spent the past seven
years as a couple, I want to try and be as a
good of a mother and wife as I can. Why
wouldn’t I? But life is a lot of work.
In today’s society, many women and men
attempt to do it all. They want to work, bring
up babies, have personal relationships and still
try to find the time for themselves. I tell you,
it’s not easy. It can be done, but there’s a lot of
help behind the scenes that many don’t see.
For example, purchasing my new car
couldn’t have been achieved without my
employment with the Cherokee Phoenix.
Working for the past seven years has allowed
me the opportunity to establish better credit
and work steadily and that afforded me the
opportunity for the new car.
My home would not have been possible
without the help of CN citizens William and
Deborah Smoke. They have helped us more
than words can express.
And finally, the old saying “it takes a village
to raise a child” I think can be linked to our
relationships. Many people have had a hand
in my and Mike’s seven-year courtship, both
good and bad, but either way all leading us
where we are today, married.
We can have it all. But when you look at
it, really look at what you’re accomplishing, I
don’t think you’re doing it alone. Many people
are there helping, some we can’t even see.
Thanks friends, family and extended family
for all you’ve done behind the scenes.
CHEROKEE PHOENIX • JULY 2014
NEWS • dgZEksf
Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
$300K so far
The Cherokee Nation’s
budget for political
donations has more than
$73,000 left for the current
BY JAMI MURPHY
At-Large Cherokee Nation citizens living in Oklahoma but not within the non-jurisdictional areas of Tulsa, Wagoner, Mayes, Rogers and
Muskogee counties were eligible to buy CN motor vehicle license plates at state rates as of June 13. CN citizens who live in the tribe’s
14-county jurisdiction as well as the non-jurisdictional areas of Tulsa, Wagoner, Mayes, Rogers and Muskogee counties can buy CN
license plates at tribal rates. MARK DREADFULWATER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
from front page
their sovereignty and proudly display their
Cherokee heritage through their car tag,”
The tribe entered into the at-large compact
with the state in 2013. The CN is the only tribe
in Oklahoma that has car tag compacts with
the state. The compacts allow CN tags to be
entered into the state’s computer system so
that law enforcement officials can verify their
“I’m planning to get one,” CN citizen Frank
Muskrat of Oklahoma City said. “I know quite
a few in our area have been asking for this and
looking forward to the opportunity, because
having a Cherokee Nation car tag is a source
of pride about being Cherokee.”
According to the at-large compact, the
state will receive 65 percent of the at-large
motor vehicle tag sales with the tribe getting
35 percent. The 10 percent discounts will be
taken from the tribe’s cut. According to a
CN press release, the tribe’s 25 percent will
“benefits roads, schools and law enforcement
within the Cherokee Nation.”
According to the release, in FY 2013, more
than $3 million was allocated to schools, $1.8
million to road projects and nearly $300,000
law enforcement from motor vehicle tax
Principal Chief Bill John Baker said
compacting with the state was a “monumental
“It’s a boon that will benefit our tribal
citizens and is a reflection of the wellcultivated working relationship between
the Cherokee tribal government and the
state government,” he said. “As a sovereign
tribal nation, we expanded the rights of our
citizens. Additionally, this compact will create
a sustainable money flow that will benefit all
people, Cherokee and non-Cherokee alike.”
All CN citizens who want to purchase a
tribal tag must provide a CN citizenship card
and valid Oklahoma driver’s license. However,
At-Large Cherokees do not have to show
proof of address.
CN citizens must also provide a
manufacturer’s statement of origin or title.
Both must be signed by the dealership or seller
and must be notarized unless vehicle was
purchased from a non-notary state. Vehicles
that are less than 10 years old also require an
odometer and vehicle identification number
CN officials said if a citizen transfers a
vehicle from Oklahoma to Cherokee Nation,
the citizen would need an Oklahoma title and
lien release, if the title has a lien on it. If the
lien is not released, CN officials can look up
lien information then carry the information
Also needed are tribal citizenship cards and
valid insurance verification for the vehicle.
If registering by mail, CN officials said the
applicant must include a signed notarized
copy of the CN application for certificate of
title. CN citizens residing in Oklahoma do not
have to be present, but to mail in for a tribal
tag they must provide all documentation.
For more information, visit www.
che roke e. org / S e r v i c e s / Tag O f f i c e / At LargeMotorVehicleRegistration.aspx or call
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – As of June 6, the
Cherokee Nation’s Political Action Committee
had donated to state and federal candidates
$326,800 from its fiscal year 2014 budget of
According to committee documents, the
tribe has donated to 67 Republican and 59
Democratic candidates and groups. For
example, the tribe donated $32,400 to the
National Republican Campaign Committee,
$5,000 to the Senate Democratic Campaign
Committee and $5,000 to the House
Democratic Campaign Committee.
The tribe has also donated $141,800 to
candidates within the Democratic Party and
$185,000 to those aligned with the Republican
Party. Some candidates who the tribe has
donated the maximum $5,000 are Sen. Brian
Schatz, D–Hawaii; and Rep. Jerry McPeak, D–
Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said the
PAC’s purpose is to support candidates who
share similar cultural and business priorities.
“We have actively supported candidates from
both sides of the aisle to build relationships
with those who share our cultural and business
priorities and can move our priority issues
forward,” he said.
Decisions to donate to candidates are first
made by the Nation’s executive branch and
later approved by the Tribal Council’s PAC
subcommittee, Hoskin said.
The budget had $73,200 left as of June 6.
Tahlequah residents show support for LGBT community
Hundreds of people show
up to Norris Park to
celebrate the city’s first Gay
Any tye of celebraton of this nature, the way it comes about,
is because it’s a group that has been been oppressed, that has
been discriminated against.
The picnic had nonprofit vendors and people
who donated their time and efforts. There were
face-painting booths, Henna tattooing booths
and information booths. There was also live
music, a smart mob that coordinated a dance
and a drag show featuring drag queens and a
drag king who lip synced to music and dressed
as famous performers.
Crow said she hopes to see the Gay Pride
Picnic for years to come and that it was
made possible with the help of the nonprofit
TahlEquality, which she helped create.
“We’re a full-on nonprofit organization. You
can expect this (Gay Pride Picnic) every year,
and you can expect it to get bigger and bigger
and bigger every year,” she said.
TahlEquality started with about five people
and continues to grow, Crow said. The
group consists of members of the LGBT/Q2
community and allies who work to help people
within the community and put on events such
as the Gay Pride Picnic.
Joshua Harris-Till, who worked as the picnic’s
announcer, said this type of event is important
for people to come out and show support for
people from the LGBT/Q2 community. He
added that it’s important for people from
that community to feel comfortable when
representing their sexuality.
for this community and a lot of it does come
from our allies,” she said. “I just wanted to say
thank you to the allies for doing that.”
Crow said a main question she and others
from the LGBT/Q2 community get asked is
‘Why have a gay pride celebration?’ She said
the answer is it’s important to inform those
who have questions about the LGBT/Q2
“Any type of celebration of this nature, the
“I said on the microphone earlier when I was
doing the welcoming that my brother just came
out and he didn’t feel like he could come out
to all of our family,” he said. “I feel like it’s just
horrible that people are in this predicament.
People say that being gay is a choice, but if you
look at all the hate that some people receive and
they still choose to be gay after that, you just got
to respect it. If we can create an environment
like this where everybody can just love on each
other for a day, and we’re all family and friends,
I think it’s amazing.”
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – As part of Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month,
hundreds of Tahlequah residents gathered on
June 1 at Norris Park to celebrate the city’s first
Gay Pride Picnic.
With ice chests in tow and sitting on
blankets, residents showed support for the
LGBT community and its goal of equality.
Carden Crow, picnic co-organizer and
Cherokee Nation citizen, said she and her
spouse, as well as several of their friends, came
up with the idea for the event. She said they
then created a Facebook invite for the event
and started sending out requests.
“We need to celebrate pride. I thought let’s
just go to a picnic, invite some friends, see how
it turns out,” Crow said. “It started out as me
thinking maybe 20 or 30 people would show
up, and then all of a sudden almost 600 people
committed on the Facebook. So clearly there is
a need for it in this community.”
Crow said with the turnout showed that
there is a strong community backing for people
from the LGBT and Q2 (queer/questioning or
She said although members from the LGBT/
Q2 community attended, there were also plenty
of allies – heterosexual people who support the
LGBT/Q2 community – there as well.
“If you look out here you will see more allies
out here supporting then you actually do see
gay people because there’s such a huge support
People participate in a smart mob at the inaugural Gay Pride Picnic on June 1 at Norris Park
in Tahlequah, Okla. Hundreds of people attended the picnic, which was part of Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
– Carden Crow, picnic co-organizer
way it comes about, is because it’s a group that
has been oppressed, that has been discriminated
against and this is the group’s way of saying,
‘You know what? We’re going to feel pride
about who we are. Not shame.’ It’s through that
camaraderie, coming together in that nature,
that we do display to the community that we’re
just people like everybody else and we’re going
to show how proud we are of us and how proud
we are of our community.”
NEWS • dgZEksf
2014 Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
JULY 2014 • CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Translation Department edits New Testament
BY TESINA JACKSON
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – To improve the Cherokee language in
it, the Cherokee Nation Translation Department is editing the
Cherokee New Testament, which the American Bible Society
translated and published in 1860.
“It was published in 1860, and it has been reprinted ever
since,” Roy Boney, CN Cherokee Language Program manager,
said. “The edition from the American Bible Society had some
misspellings and other minor errors in it that many Cherokee
speakers have noted over the last 140-plus years.”
Translator specialist Durbin Feeling and his brother, Russell,
have been serving as the primary editors with input from the
rest of the Translation Department.
“A lot of the things we say in English doesn’t translate the way
people think,” Durbin said. “Our language (Cherokee) is very,
The original edition of the Cherokee New Testament did not
have the red lettering, which represent Jesus’ words. Once the
project is complete, it will be a corrected edition of the 1860
translation with the words of Christ highlighted in red.
“We’re finding some words that possibly they used back then
that we don’t use anymore here,” Durbin said. “We go ahead and
use it anyway if it goes with the English translation, if it makes
sense. But there are some words that we’ve lost since the 1800s.”
Boney said that in the 1800s several people, including Principal
Chief Charles Hicks; Cherokee Phoenix Editor Elias Boudinot;
missionary Samuel Worcester and Cherokee Presbyterian
minister, politician and Cherokee Phoenix Assistant Editor
Stephen Foreman worked on the Cherokee New Testament.
When the current project is complete, which has not been
determined, Jeff Edwards of CN Language Technology will create
an ePub of the Cherokee New Testament for free distribution.
An ePub is a free, open standard for digital books, which will
allow the document to be readable in a variety of eBook readers.
Russell said that putting the Cherokee New Testament in
eBook format would hopefully generate an interest in younger
people to pick up the Bible and read it.
The Cherokee Language Program will also look into printing
the Cherokee New Testament in a book format, which will
include a foreword from the Translation Department describing
the process that went into editing the translation and a history of
publication of the Cherokee New Testament since the invention
of the syllabary by Sequoyah.
“Future generations could have something that we never had,”
Russell Feeling, brother of Cherokee Nation translator
specialist Durbin Feeling, holds the Cherokee New
Testament. The CN Translation Department has been editing
the book to improve the Cherokee language in it.
Cherokee Nation translator specialist Durbin Feeling, right, takes notes while his brother, Russell, reads aloud from the
Cherokee New Testament. To improve the Cherokee language, the CN Translation Department has been editing the New
Testament, which was first translated and published by the American Bible Society in 1860.
PHOTOS BY TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
ᎤᎾᏁᎶᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎩᎦᎨ ᏗᎪᏪᎳ
ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᎬᏁᎯ ᏥᏌ
ᎤᏬᏂᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏗᎬᏁᎸ
ᏗᎦᎵᏓᏍᏔᏅ ᏕᎪᏪᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏤ
ᎧᏃᎮᏓ ᏓᏠᎯᏍᏛ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏔᎦᎴᏴᏔᏅ
ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ–ᎾᏍᎩ ᎪᏢᎯᏌᏅ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ
ᏕᎪᏪᎸ, ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏗᎾᏁᎶᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ
ᎣᏍᏓᏂᏓᏅᏁ ᏕᎪᏪᎸ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏤ ᎧᏃᎮᏛ ᏓᏠᎯᏍᏛ,
ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎹᎵᎦ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏗᎦᎸᏉᏓ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᏗᎾᏁᎶᏔᏁ ᎠᎴ
ᏚᏂᎴᏴᏔᏁ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ.
“ᏚᏂᏁᏴᏔᏁ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ,
ᎠᎴ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏂᏓᏂᎴᏴᏗᏍᎪ,” ᎤᏛᏅ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ
ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎦᏁᏥᏙᎯ Roy Boney. “ᎯᎠ ᏚᏂᎴᏴᏔᏅ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅ
ᎠᎹᎵᎦ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏗᎦᎸᏉᏓ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦᏓ ᏗᎦᎵᏓᏍᏔᏅ
ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏍᏗ ᏧᏓᏉᏅᏓ ᎤᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎩ
ᎤᎾᏕᎶᎰᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏅᏛ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏅᎩᏍᎪᎯ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ.”
ᎤᏤᏟᏍᏗ ᏗᏁᎶᏗᏍᎩ Durbin Feeling ᎠᎴ ᏗᎾᏓᏅᏟ
Russell, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᎲ ᏓᏂᎴᏴᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ
ᏓᎾᏛᏛᎲᏍᎬ ᏭᏅᎪᏛᎢ ᏗᎾᏁᏕᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎠᏂᏯᎢ.
“ᎤᎪᏓ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎢᎦᏪᏍᏗ ᏲᏁᎦ Ꮭ ᏱᎦᏴᏁᎶᏓ ᎠᏣᎳᎩ
ᏱᏂᎦᏴᎬᎦ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Durbin.
“ᎢᎦᏤᎵ ᎢᎩᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ (ᏣᎳᎩ) ᎢᎦᎢ ᎨᏒ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎧᏃᎮᏗ.”
ᏧᏓᎴᏅᎲᎢ ᏚᏂᎴᏴᏔᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏤ ᎧᏢᎮᏓ ᏓᏠᎯᏍᏛ
Ꮭ ᏱᏂᏗᎬᎾ ᏗᎩᎦᎩ ᏱᏗᎪᏪᎳ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏥᏌ
ᎤᏬᏂᏒ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎯᎠ ᎠᎵᏍᏆᏛᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᎸᎯ
The life-size figures in the Cherokee Heritage Center’s Trail of Tears exhibit in Park
Hill, Okla., represent Cherokees and those who traveled with them on the trail from
the southeastern United States to Indian Territory in 1838-39. According to a study,
environmental stressors – from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War – led to significant changes
in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people. COURTESY
Study: trials of Cherokee
reflected in their skulls
BY STAFF REPORTS
LONDON – Researchers from North
Carolina State University and the University
of Tennessee have found that environmental
stressors – from the Trail of Tears to the Civil
War – led to significant changes in the shape of
skulls in the eastern and western bands of the
The findings highlight the role of
environmental factors in shaping physical
“We wanted to look at these historically
important events and further our understanding
of the tangible human impacts they had on the
Cherokee people,” Dr. Ann Ross, a professor of
anthropology at NC State and co-author of a
paper describing the work, said. “This work also
adds to the body of literature on environmental
effects on skull growth.”
The researchers drew on historical data
collected by Franz Boas in the late 19th century.
Boas collected measurements of the length
(front-to-back) and breadth of skulls for many
Native American tribes, including hundreds of
members of the eastern and western bands of
The researchers analyzed the data, looking
only at adults and organizing the adults by year
of birth, which ranged from 1783 to 1874. The
year of birth, a critical piece of information,
provided clues to stressors in an individual’s life.
For example, the western band of Cherokee was
subject to the Trail of Tears in 1838, intertribal
warfare in the West, disease epidemics, and the
U.S. Civil War from 1861-65.
The researchers found that head length
decreased over time in both bands, for males
In the eastern band, there was a steady
decline for males, but a sharp decline for
females beginning in the late 1830s – coinciding
with the Trail of Tears, when the eastern band
fled into the Great Smoky Mountains to avoid
forced evacuation to the West.
In the western band, males and females
shared a similar pattern of decline: a sharp
decline from the late 1820s to the 1850s,
followed by a short increase, and then another
sharp decline in the early 1860s with the onset
of the Civil War.
“When times are tough, people have
less access to adequate nutrition and are at
greater risk of disease,” Ross said. “This study
demonstrates the impact that those difficult
times had on the physical growth of the
“The study also contributes to our
understanding of how environmental stressors
can influence skull measurements, which has
value for helping us understand prehistoric
cultures, historic populations, and the impact
of environmental factors on the health of
current populations in the developing world.”
The paper, “Secular trends in Cherokee
cranial morphology: Eastern vs. Western
bands,” is published online in the “Annals of
Lead author of the paper is Rebecca Sutphin,
a former graduate student at NC State. The
paper was co-authored by Dr. Richard Jantz of
the University of Tennessee.
ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ ᏗᏁᎶᏔᏅ ᏃᏊ
ᎤᏁᏨ ᏥᏌ ᏗᎩᎦᎨ ᏗᎪᏪᎳ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ.
“ᏙᏍᏗᏩᏘᏃ ᎢᎦᏓ ᏕᎪᏪᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏥᎨᏎ ᏧᏅᏔᏅᎢ
ᎾᎿ Ꮭ ᏱᏗᏛᏗᏍᎪᎢ,” ᎠᏍᏍᎬ Durbin. “ᏙᎩᏅᏔᏅᎢ ᎢᏃᏳ
ᏱᏓᏙᎵᎦ ᎾᎿ ᏲᏁᏁᎦ ᏕᎪᏪᎸᎢ, ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎢ.
ᎠᏎᏃ ᎢᎦᏓ ᏗᎧᏁᎢᏍᏗ ᏕᎩᏲᏎᎳ ᏂᏛᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᏁᎳᏚ
ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏁᎳᏚᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ.”
Boney ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎯᎸᏍᎩ
ᎠᏂᏴᏫ, ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Charles Hicks; ᏣᎳᎩ
ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅ ᏗᎦᎴᏅᏗᏍᎩ Elias Boudinot; ᎠᏥᏅᏏᏓ Samuel
Worcester ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ Presbyterian ᎠᎵᏣᏙᎲᏍᎩ, ᏗᏙᎩᏯᏛ
ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅ ᎠᎵᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᏗᎦᎴᏴᏗᏍᎩ
Stephen Foreman ᏂᎦᏓ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏤ ᎧᏃᎮᏓ
ᏃᏊᏃ ᎯᎠ ᏣᏃᏢᏍᎦ ᎠᎵᏍᏆᏛ, ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮭ ᎠᏎᏢ ᏱᎩ, Jeff
Edwards ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᏖᎦᎾᎳᏥ ᏛᏃᏢᎾ ePub
ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏤ ᎧᏃᎮᏛ ᏓᏠᎯᏍᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏎᏊ ᏙᏛᏂᏅᎾ.
ᎾᎿ ePub ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᏎᏊᎢ, ᎠᏍᏚᎢᏓ standard ᎾᏍᎩ digital
ᏗᎪᏪᎵ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏯᎵᏍᎪᎸᏓ ᎯᎠ ᏗᎪᏪᎳᏅ ᏗᎪᎵᏰᏗ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ
ᎢᏳᏓᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ eBook ᏗᎪᎵᏱᏗᎢ.
Russell ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎢᎬᏙᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏤ ᎧᏃᎮᏓ ᏓᏠᎯᏍᏛ ᎾᎿ
eBook ᎬᎾᏅᏙᏗ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎬᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᏯᏂᏱᎸᎾ ᎣᏂ
ᏥᏛᎾ ᏧᏂᏢᏍᏗ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏧᎭᎨᏓ ᏧᏂᎪᎵᏱᏗᎢᏅ.
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎪᎵᏱ ᏧᏂᎴᏴᏙᏗ
ᎾᎿ ᎢᏤ ᎧᏃᎮᏓ ᏓᏠᎯᏍᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ, ᎾᏍᎩ
ᏯᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎬᏯᏗᏢ ᏥᏕᎪᏪᎶ ᎾᎿ ᏂᏙᏓᏳᏂᎴᏴᏔᏅ
ᎨᏒᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎾᏁᎶᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ ᏱᎪᏪᎵ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ
ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎸ ᏚᏂᎴᏴᏔᏅ ᏚᎾᏁᎶᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ
ᏕᎦᏃᏣᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏤ ᎧᏃᎮᏛ ᏓᏠᎯᏍᏛ ᏂᏛᎬᏩᏓᎴᏅᏓ
ᏥᏚᏬᏢᏁ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏏᏉᏯ.
“ᏥᏛᎾᎢ ᏚᎾᏛᏏᏗᏒ ᎯᎠ ᏱᏚᏂᎾᎢ ᎠᏯᏃ Ꮭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᎩᎮᎢ,”
CHEROKEE PHOENIX • JULY 2014
COMMUNITY • nv 0nck
Muldrow Cherokee Community Organization
7 p.m.,Tim Laney 918-427-4006
Rocky Ford Community Organization, 6:30 p.m.
Brushy Community Action Association, 6:30 p.m.
Belfonte, 6:30 p.m.
Glen Qualls 918-427-1700 or 427-0227
Eucha Indian Fellowship, 8 p.m.
Marble City Community Organization, 7 p.m.
Lost City Community Organization, 6 p.m.
CC Camp Community, 7 p.m.
No-We-Ta Cherokee Community, 6:30 p.m.
Carolyn Foster 918-331-8631
Victory Cherokee Organization, 7 p.m.
918-798-2402, [email protected]
Lyons Switch, 7 p.m.
Karen Fourkiller 918-696-2354
Greasy, 7 p.m.
Washington County Cherokee Association
Potluck dinner 6 p.m., 7 p.m.
Ann Sheldon 918-333-5632
Native American Fellowship Inc.
South Coffeyville , 6:00 p.m.
Bill Davis 913-563-9329
Rogers County Cherokee Association
2 p.m., Email Beverly Cowan at
Brent, 6 p.m.
Marble City Pantry, 7 p.m.
Clifton Pettit 918-775-5975
Tulsa Cherokee Community Organization
6 p.m., Donna Darling 918-808-4142
Oak Hill/Piney, 7 p.m.
Dude Feather 918-235-2811
Central Oklahoma Cherokee Alliance
Oklahoma City, BancFirst Community Room
4500 W. Memorial Road, 6 p.m.
Franklin Muskrat Jr. 405-842-6417
Rocky Mountain Cherokee Community
Organization, 7 p.m.
Vicki McLemore 918-696-4965
Proctor Community Center, 6:30 p.m.
Christie, 7 p.m.
Shelia Rector 918-778-3423
Fairfield, 7 p.m.
Jeff Simpson 918-696-7959
Rocky Mountain, 7 p.m.
Dry Creek, 7 p.m.
Shawna Ballou 918-457-5023
Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
Marble City Nutrition Center
711 N. Main
Marble City, Okla. 918-775-2158
The Marble City Nutrition Center serves hot
meals at the Marble City Community Center
at 11:30 a.m. Meals are free to anyone
over 50, but a small donation is suggested
to help with the expense of the program.
Gather for fellowship and friendship.
Third Tuesday of even numbered
Mayflower UCC Church
Oklahoma City 405-408-0763
The Central Oklahoma Cherokee Alliance
meets at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday
of every even numbered month at the
First Friday of every month
Concho Community Building
Concho, Okla. 405-422-7622
Will Rogers Memorial Museum
Claremore, Okla. 918-341-0719
The museum honors the Cherokee cowboy,
movie start, writer and humorist every day
from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with nine galleries, three
theaters and a special children’s museum.
Fourth Thursday of each month
American Indian Chamber of Commerce
of Oklahoma – Eastern Chapter monthly
luncheon at Bacone College
Muskogee, Okla. 918-230-3759
The lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. at Benjamin
Wacoche Hall. Please RSVP one week ahead
Second Saturday of each month
Cherokee Basket Weavers Association at the
Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Tahlequah, Okla. 918-456-7787
Monthly meetings are at 6 p.m.
Second Tuesday of each month
Cherokee Artists Association at 202 E. 5th
Street, Tahlequah, Okla. 918-458-0008
The CAA meets at 6 p.m. the second
Tuesday of each month.
Every Friday of each month
Dance at Tahlequah Senior Citizens Center
230 E. 1st St. in Tahlequah, Okla.
For seniors 50 and over, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission is $2.50, includes pot luck dinner
Every Tuesday of each month
Dance at Hat Box Dance Hall
540 S. 4th St. in Muskogee, Okla.
For seniors 50 and over, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission is $2.50, includes pot luck dinner
To have an event or meeting listed, fax
information to 918-458-6136 attention:
Community Calendar. The deadline for
submissions is the 10th of each month.
Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
T.J Savage was recently honored at his Eagle
Ceremony at Azle, TX. T.J. was awarded his Eagle
Badge for nine years of hard work in the Boy Scout
program. His Eagle project consisted of “Back to
School Giveaway Event” in 2013. It served 167
people 1,432 items of clothing, 116 school supply
kits, 117 back packs and 144 lunches.
T.J. will graduate from Azel High School
class of 2014. He is ranked #1 academically in
a senior class of 374. He has been very active
in school, church,
and social activities.
Senator Ted Cruz
nominated T.J. to
the United States
Naval Academy Class
of 2018. T.J is the
grandson of Mr. and
Mrs. W.E Savage,
George Young, longtime resident of
Wagoner, Oklahoma passed this life on
Sunday, June 1, 2014 at his home, at the age
of 91. He was born to Lilly (Ghormley) and
Robert Young on April 7, 1923 in Hulbert,
Oklahoma. George served during WWII
in the U. S. Army from February 24, 1943
until December 10, 1945. He received the
following decorations; American Theater
Campaign Medal, FAME Campaign Medal,
two Bronze Stars, the Good Conduct Medal,
a Victory Ribbon, one Overseas Service Bar
and two Purple Hearts. George married
Louise Imogene (Austin) Young in Coweta,
Oklahoma on May 19, 1941, sharing seventy
three wonderful years, to this union were
eleven children. He was preceded in death
by his parents, one son Randal Young, three
sisters; Faith Goodell, Rachel Fugate and
Isabell Wagers, four brothers; Earl, J.D., Bob
and Ben Young, three grandsons Charles
and Tony and Baby Young. George farmed
all his life, he baled hay all over the country.
He loved listening to old country music. He
dealt with junk and treasures all his life,
buying and selling, “one’s trash is another’s
treasures”. Auctioneers loved him being
around, he would keep them busy raising
the bidding. George was a loving, hard
that was proud of
his large family.
He is survived
by his loving wife
Louise of the home,
five sons; Timothy
Young and his wife
Lydia of Inola,
Daniel Young and
his wife Karan, David Young and his wife
Sherry and James Young and his wife Laura
all of Wagoner, five daughters; Patricia
Young of Wagoner, Kathryn Elaine Lloyd
and her husband David of Tahlequah,
Betty Keefover of Wagoner, Cindy Gilstrap
and her husband Marty of Porum and
Robin Young of Wagoner, two brothers
Roger Young of Coweta and Bert Young
of Michigan, twenty six grandchildren,
twenty five great grandchildren, two greatgreat grandchildren, nieces, nephews other
relatives and friends. Visitation was held on
Wednesday, June 4th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Services were held at 10:00 a.m., Thursday,
June 5th, 2014 at the Shipman Funeral Home
Chapel, burial with military honors will be
held at the Ft. Gibson National Cemetery.
Debra A. Bryan a beloved wife, mother,
and grandmother died Thursday, June 19th,
2014. She was born August 27, 1952 in
Tulsa, to Earl J. and Billie Ruth Miller. She
grew up in the Carbondale area, graduating
from Daniel Webster High School in 1970.
She served in the US Army during the Viet
Nam era as a pharmacy technician. She later
attended Northeastern State University and
earned a Master’s degree in Psychology. She
became a licensed Professional Counselor
and a School Psychologist. She spent her
career working mostly with children and
families. Debbie was a proud member of
the Cherokee Nation and spent several
years acting as a foster parent for Native
American children while living and working
in the Tahlequah area. She worked hard to
instill values in children that would provide
them with the tools for a successful and
productive future. Debbie was preceded
in death by her parents. She is survived by
husband of 13 years Gerald “Jerry” Bryan,
sons Earl Beck and wife Kandi, Broken
Arrow, Wyatt Beck and wife Melissa, Dallas,
OR, six grandchildren sister Tonda Roberts,
Tahlequah, 3 nieces, many other relatives
and her sweet dog Geetlie. She will also be
missed by many friends and colleagues.
Donations may be made in her memory
to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Visitation 6:00-8:00 p.m., Tuesday June 24,
2014, Service 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, June
25, 2014, both at Moore’s Eastlawn Chapel,
Tulsa OK, interment 1:00 p.m. FT. Gibson
2014 Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
MONEY • a[w
JULY 2014 • CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BY STAFF REPORTS
Cherokee Nation citizen J.D. Reeves stands atop the Rock of Gibraltar in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, south of Spain.
Reeves is a graphic designer and operates his business, Offblack Design, from Spain. COURTESY
Graphic designer finds success in Spain
J.D. Reeves’ business, Offblack Design,
offers services such as web and T-shirt
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On a daily basis people see graphic design
work nearly everywhere they look. It is on television, at local eateries
and on newspapers. Cherokee Nation citizen J.D. Reeves has had his
graphic design work seen in many places, including CNN and The
Reeves created his business, Offblack Design, and has been doing
freelance work since 2012. He currently runs the company by himself
“I provide graphic design services ranging from logo and visual
identity design, to print collateral design, business cards, letterhead to
web design, T-shirt design and more,” he said. “Essentially, if you need
to communicate your message effectively through a graphic asset, I can
Along with having his work shown on venues such as CNN, he’s seen
some of his work flying in the sky.
“I have worked on logo designs for clients ranging from Olympic
athletes, to churches, to airline companies, to very small nonprofits and everything in between,” he said. “I enjoy the challenge of
communicating the quality of a product or company through its logo.”
Reeves’ curiosity for graphic design came about as a child spending
hours on programs such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Paint,
working to create magazine covers and concert posters.
“I’ve always been interested in digital art and design, dating back to
when I was kid. There was something new and exciting to me about
incorporating fonts and photos into artwork,” he said. “When I began
to realize it was something I could do for a career, I was determined to
make that happen.”
Reeves graduated from Locust Grove High School in 2006 and went
to college to peruse a degree in graphic design. He graduated from the
Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee in 2010. He now plans to
attend the University of Oklahoma this fall to earn his master’s degree
in visual communications.
Reeves and his wife Megan are living in Spain. While she pursues her
master’s degree, he works on projects. However, he said his roots will
always be in Oklahoma.
“Northeast Oklahoma is, and will always be, home to me,” he said.
“I’d love to teach design or run my own design firm some day within
the Cherokee Nation.”
Reeves said if Cherokees want to become business owners – whether
graphic design or another career – they must put all of their efforts into
“Whatever it is you want to do, go do it. Give it all you’ve got, and
try to be the best at it,” he said. “Why do something halfway when you
only have one life? But also, always keep your life in balance the best
you can. Working all day and night isn’t really that cool or admirable
in my opinion. There is a balance to everything. The key is finding it.”
For more information on Reeves’ Offblack Design, visit www.
July 2014 Class Schedule
July 8: Minneapolis
July 10: Sioux City, Iowa.
July 22: Raleigh, N.C.
July 22: Oklahoma City
A screenshot of the Offblack Design website. Cherokee Nation
citizen J.D. Reeves started the graphic design company and has
done work for Olympic athletes and CNN. COURTESY
Renovated Cherokee Springs
Golf Club now open to public
a new irrigation system
on the front nine holes,
reconstructed tee boxes and
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation
Technology Solutions, a branch of Cherokee
Nation Businesses, has partnered with the U.S.
Small Business Administration to present wedbased seminars and onsite training sessions for
free to native companies that are interested in
joining the federal 8(a) program.
The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development
Program is a business assistance program for
small disadvantaged businesses. It offers a broad
scope of assistance to firms that are owned and
controlled at least 51 percent by socially and
economically disadvantaged individuals.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker said
the partnership with the SBA will provide
additional resources to Native American
“We’re pleased to partner with the Small
Business Administration because it will
provide more resources to the American
Indian business community,” he said. “At
Cherokee Nation Businesses we are committed
to creating jobs and building a strong economy.
This will allow us to play a vital role as mentors
and educators across Indian Country as we
continue to nurture and grow tribally owned
CNTS collaborated with the SBA’s Office of
Native American Affairs to create curriculum,
which focuses on the rules and considerations
of the 8(a) program and business development.
The sessions work to inform attendees about
challenges that some Native-owned businesses
may encounter and provides leadership
and operational strategies to build capacity,
ensure sustainability and further growth
and expansion. CNTS also offers technical
assistance to organizations that participate.
CNB’s Diversified Businesses President
Steven Bilby said CNB’s diversified businesses
have experienced exponential growth over the
past few years.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to
work with the SBA to share our knowledge and
passion, so that all native companies have the
support they need to achieve success in their
marketplace,” he said.
There will also be webinars available from the
company, which focus on certain topics from
the workshop’s course. For more information
on training sessions, visit www.cherokee-cnts.
With the reconstruction of the tee boxes,
irrigation lines on the front nine holes had to
be removed as well as some of the cart paths.
“This spring we did add some irrigation on
the other nine around the tees where we had to
tear up. The rest of the irrigation on that side
(newer nine hole) was in good shape,” he said.
“We also added cart pass along each tee box.”
The courses bunkers were all reshaped and
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
New sand bunkers were also added.
“The sand quality is excellent. Everybody
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The recently loves the sand,” he said. “It’s very user friendly
renovated Cherokee Springs Golf Club is open and it’s got a little white look to it.”
The course also received new energy-efficient
and fully functional. The 18-hole course was
electric golf carts and a cart-storage building.
re-opened to the public on May 23.
Green fees for 18 holes for Monday through
Cherokee Springs Golf Club Superintendent
is $30 and after 3 p.m. it is $22. The
Craig Carey said the grand re-opening was
holes for Friday through Sunday is
for the second annual “ONE FIRE Against
$35 and after 3 p.m. it is $25. All rates include
Violence” golf tournament.
a golf cart.
“It was an
There is also
day,” he said. “In
with golf balls at
my time here In my time here I’ve never seen so
$5 for a bucket.
I’ve never seen many tee times.
“Our rates are
so many tee
times. We were
Cherokee Springs Golf Club for anywhere
in the state of
all the way until
superintendent O k l a h o m a ,”
12 p.m. It was a
Carey said. “I
During the renovation, the course received don’t think that you’ll be able to play as nice as
a new full irrigation system for the front nine a golf course for that dollar amount anywhere
in the state of Oklahoma.”
holes, as well as tees boxes and bunkers.
Aside from the course, a food grill was also
The front nine holes, being built 10 years
prior to the back nine, had single-row irrigation, renovated and re-opened to the public in April.
which caused it to not be able to produce viable There is also a pro shop on the premises, which
offers shirts, hats, balls, gloves, shoes and
water coverage for the greens.
“We came in and added double row golf club rentals. Carey said with renovations
irrigation on the older nine,” Carey said. “That complete and the course open he’s seen people
will give us great coverage in water, be able to enjoying it. “Grass is growing in beautiful and I
have a beautiful golf course for a long time. think everybody loves it,” he said.
Cherokee Nation Businesses purchased the
That irrigation was completed last fall.”
golf course, formerly Cherry Springs, in 2012
Although the irrigation was essential, the for approximately $8 million. CNB allocated
course also needed other aspects improved. nearly $3 million for the course and grill
All of the course’s tee boxes had to be leveled renovations.
and reshaped. “The tees weren’t in bad shape,”
The course is located at 700 E. Ballentine
Carey said. “Every so often you got to come in, Road. The club is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
redo them to get them level.”
Monday through Friday.
July 24: Tulsa, Okla.
July 24: Kansas City, Kan.
CHEROKEE PHOENIX • JULY 2014
EDUCATION • #nQsd
Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
Blair receives Bill Rabbit Legacy Art Scholarship
BY WILL CHAVEZ
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Lisan
Blair of Muskogee is this year’s
recipient of the Bill Rabbit Legacy
Art Scholarship, which artist Traci
Rabbit created in 2012 to honor her
late father who was a noted painter.
The Cherokee Nation Foundation
administers the $1,000 scholarship,
which is renewable up to five years.
Blair, who is of Muscogee Creek,
Seminole and Cherokee descent, will
attend Northeastern State University
in the fall. The 18-year-old graduated
in May from Sequoyah High School in
Tahlequah. He said he grew up seeing
Bill Rabbit’s works while attending art
shows with his mother Dana Tiger, an
“Their artist family carries the
legacy forward with his daughter,
Traci. I hope to carry on my family
art legacy in the same way,” Blair
said. “My reason for attending college
is furthering my education in the
fine arts. My chosen medium in art
is clay sculptures. I wish to further
my education, style and method of
sculpting with different mediums. I
also want to study the history of Native
art and artists with an emphasis on
the history of my Cherokee culture
and the art of my tribe.”
Blair is becoming known among
Native artists because of his awardwinning sculptures. In 2010,
after winning the Judges Choice
Award for his sculpture “Stomp
Dance” at the Cherokee National
Holiday Art Show, he credited his
Cherokee artist Lisan Blair shows his buffalo sculpture that won first
place at the Santa Fe Indian Art Market in 2012. Blair is this year’s
recipient of the Bill Rabbit Legacy Art Scholarship. COURTESY PHOTOS
late grandfather Muscogee CreekSeminole artist Jerome Tiger as the
Since then he’s won awards for
his sculptures at the Santa Fe Indian
Market, Cherokee Art Market, Red
Earth Festival, Five Civilized Tribes
Museum Student Art Show and the
Tulsa Indian Arts Festival Student
Art Show. In March, he won
first place and the Willard Stone
Best of Show Award for his piece
titled “Survival” at the Five Tribes
Museum in Muskogee.
Blair said he also has an interest
in sketching and drawing but is
determined to learn all he can about
sculpture and making permanent
sculptures out of his clay creations.
“There’s not a lot of history of
sculpture that I know of, historically,
with Cherokee artists. I also feel that
I am lacking in the ways of design
and casting. I would like to study
bronzing and other methods for
making permanent sculptures out
of my clay creations. I know I will
need to study anatomy of people
and animals because I like to create
my sculptures in motion,” he said.
“I know to be taken seriously in the
art world a degree is important. I
would like to study the art history of
sculptures in Native art.”
He said when he finishes school he
wants to give back by working at the
Five Tribes Museum or the Cherokee
Heritage Center. He also wants to
demonstrate sculpting with young
people at area public schools because
he knows there are “few resources”
for young sculptors.
“I enjoy demonstrating sculpture
with young people, and I would like
to set up some sort of study program
for aspiring sculptors,” he said.
Traci Rabbit said her father truly
hoped his legacy would continue
through the development of future
artists, which he thought was
important to help keep “Cherokee
The Rabbit Scholarship is
available to Cherokee Nation or
United Keetoowah Band citizens
living within the CN’s 14-county
jurisdiction, who have a 3.0
grade point average, are or will
be attending a 4-year university
as a full-time student and are or
will be actively pursuing an art
education degree. There is no
blood quantum requirement, and
it is open to students interested
in studying art forms such as
drawing, jewelry and carvings.
For more information about
billandtracirabbit.com. For more
information about the CNF, visit www.
cherokeefoundation.org or email
org or call 918-207-0950.
A rabbit sculpture by Cherokee
artist Lisan Blair of Muskogee,
Okla. Blair is this year’s recipient
of the Bill Rabbit Legacy Art
CN opens new GED
BY STAFF REPORTS
PRYOR, Okla. – To help more students
attain jobs, the Cherokee Nation recently
opened its newest General Educational
Development testing center at the Cherokee
Heights housing addition.
Starting this year, GED testing must be
completed on a computer in an authorized
computer lab. The tribe operates three of the
state’s 37 computerized testing sites at the W.W.
Keeler Complex in Tahlequah, Career Services
Office in Stilwell and now Cherokee Heights.
“The work we are doing with GED
testing, and the results we are getting, is very
encouraging,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin
Jr. said. “Some of our citizens struggle with
barriers to employment, including lacking a
high school diploma. Career Services helps
them overcome those barriers, paving the way
for a brighter future.”
The Pryor site can test up to nine people and
is open to anyone, including non-CN citizens.
“We looked at our top three sites that
had the most individuals coming in to take
the GED test and made those locations our
priority to adapt to the new computerized
testing requirement,” Stephanie Isaacs, Career
Services director of operations, said. “The
Pryor location, specifically, is one where there’s
not another option around for miles.”
In addition to the tribe having three GED
testing sites, it operates a Career Literacy
Program for tribal citizens ages 16 and older to
help them study and prepare for GED testing.
In 2013, more than 120 CN citizens completed
the program and received their GEDs.
For more information, call Landra Alberty
at 918-696-3124 or 918-822-2444. To register
to take the test, visit www.GED.com. For more
information on the Career Literacy Program,
call Career Services at 918-453-5555.
to find practice
for day worker Sally
Fogleman at the
tribe’s new GED
testing center in
Pryor, Okla. COURTESY
28 Cherokees earn Gates
BY STAFF REPORTS
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – According to
the Gates Millennium Scholars Program,
28 Cherokee students were awarded Gates
Millennium Scholarships for the 2014-15
High school seniors receiving the
scholarships who are Cherokee Nation
citizens are Grant Harrison, Sallisaw High
School (Okla.); Zachary Sharp, Gans High
School (Okla.); Emily Smith, Locust Grove
High School (Okla.); Shaylee Rowland,
Muskogee High School (Okla.); Brett Allen,
Muskogee High School; Meagan Jackson,
Pryor High School (Okla.); Chance Blount,
Sallisaw High School; Randilyn Thompson,
Sand Springs Charles Page High School
(Okla.); Kaitlyn Sweatt, Sapulpa High School
(Okla.); Cade Chlouber, Shawnee High
School (Okla.); Kakiley Workman, Stilwell
High School (Okla.); Rebecca Miller, Stilwell
High School; Brandon Doyle, Stilwell High
School; Colby Luper, Sequoyah High School
in Tahlequah; Grant Neugin, Sequoyah High
School; Collin Vann, Sequoyah High School;
Jordan Wagnon, Sequoyah High School;
Sarah Ferrell, Tahlequah High School; Colby
Brittain, Tahlequah High School; Montana
Hefner, Tahlequah High School; Joshua
Holcomb, Tahlequah High School; Kelsi
Morrell, Tulsa Lighthouse Christian Academy
(Okla.); Hartley Russell, Tulsa Thomas Edison
Preparatory High School (Okla.); Ryan
Pendleton, Tulsa Thomas Edison Preparatory;
Christopher Compton, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics;
Jordan Connell, Irrigon High School (Ore.);
and Joel Martin, Toldeo High School (Wash.).
One student claiming Cherokee ancestry
but not registered as a CN citizen who received
the Gates award is Chase Hall of Rogers High
The scholarship program is funded by
a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation that was established in 1999,
according to a release from GMSP.
It provides “outstanding low income African
American, American Indian/Alaska Native,
Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic
American students with an opportunity to
complete and undergraduate college education
in any discipline they choose.”
“Continuing Gates Scholars may request
funding for a graduate degree program
in one of the following discipline areas:
computer science, education, engineering,
library science, mathematics, public health
or science. The goal of GMS is to promote
academic excellence by providing thousands
of outstanding students, who have significant
financial need, the opportunity to reach their
full potential,” states a release from the GMSP.
For more information, visit www.gmsp.org.
During the Cherokee Nation’s Teachers of Successful Students Institute, six teachers
were awarded $500 CN TOSS creative teaching grants. The two-day program consisted of
several core area workshops from pre-Kindergarten to high school including chemistry,
earth and life sciences, engineering, art, writing, algebra, geometry, reading and robotics.
PHOTOS BY TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
CN Education Services
hosts TOSS Institute
and locally recognized professionals from
NSU, the CN, Fort Gibson Public Schools,
Sand Springs Public Schools and the Limestone
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On June 4-5, the Technology Academy.
“I thought I was coming into just a regular
Cherokee Nation’s Education Services hosted
the Teachers of Successful Students Institute, professional development where you go to a
which allowed teachers throughout the couple of meetings and get about 10 percent
tribe’s jurisdiction to attain and strengthen of information out of it and 90 percent of
educational knowledge and skills in nothing, and it’s kind of the other way around,”
Schools fourth grade
teacher, said. “They
“The Teachers of
Cherokee Nation is
have people that were
stepping up to assist in
really informative and
really gave us things
that we needed and
institute went very
as determined by
could be beneficial in
well,” Dr. Gloria Sly,
institutes’ first day,
152 instructors and
Nation is stepping up
to assist in addressing
system for the local
attended while 160
attended the second
day, representing 32
– Dr. Gloria Sly, Education schools districts.
Services administrative liaison
system for the local
A part of Education Services’ professional reading programs and we’ve gotten all kinds of
development, the TOSS Institute was created really neat ideas,” Niece said.
by the 2012 amended CN Motor Vehicle
Licensing and Code in which 5 percent
of the revenues set aside are allocated for
programs to assist public schools within the
TOSS is a cooperative project between the
tribe, area public school administrators and
higher education institutions. It is part of the
School Outreach Initiative, which addresses
core curriculum needs affecting CN service
area schools and shapes programs and services
to improve education outcomes for students.
“We got an email about professional
development and thought ‘what an excellent
opportunity’ and we wanted to learn more,”
Dawn Aschoff, Foyil Schools fifth and sixth
grade math teacher, said.
Sly said teachers who attended received 15 Chief of Staff Chuck Hoskin Sr. speaks to
hours of staff development credit.
the teachers and school administrators
The two-day program, held at Northeastern attending the Cherokee Nation’s Teachers
State University, consisted of core area of Successful Students Institute, which
workshops from pre-kindergarten to high allowed teachers throughout the tribe’s
school, including chemistry, earth and life jurisdiction to attain and strengthen
sciences, engineering, art, writing, algebra, educational knowledge and skills in
geometry, reading and robotics.
science, technology, engineering and
The workshops were presented by regionally mathematics.
BY TESINA JACKSON
2014 Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
EDUCATION • #nQsd
JULY 2014 • CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Dance academy performs play in Cherokee, English
BY TESINA JACKSON
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – As part of its outreach
program, the Encore! Performing Society
recently performed “Peter and the Wolf ” in the
Cherokee and English languages for Cherokee
Nation Immersion Charter School students.
“(The) immersion (school) is, for this year,
our final stop in our outreach program. And
the reason we want to do it in Cherokee is
because our communities have the majority
population of Cherokee, and we are lucky
enough to have a second language in a school
that conducts training in second language,”
Lena Gladkova-Huffman, Encore! Performing
Society director, said.
Encore! Performing Society is part of the
Academy of Performing Arts, a Tahlequah
dance studio. Gladkova-Huffman, its
director, is originally from Russia where she
“Encore! Performing Society is a young
organization,” she said. “We’ve only been
around for two years and for the two years
we’ve been bringing different ballet and
dance productions to the communities of
The APA provides instruction in Russian
ballet, international ballroom, tap, musical
theater, contemporary and Irish dance. It also
offers recreational classes and almost half of its
students are CN citizens.
“I, myself, am from Russia and I am a second
language speaker all the time, so I love to not
only support the artistic point and the aspect of
this very educational program but the second
language of it as well,” Gladkova-Huffman said.
The story “Peter and the Wolf ” is about a
young man who lives at his grandfather’s home.
One day, Peter goes into the meadow, which
presents the cat, bird and duck. After leaving
the garden gate open, Peter’s grandfather scolds
him for being in the meadow where a wolf
After his grandfather takes him back into
the house and locks the gate a wolf appears
and chases the animals eventually catching
Peter fetches a rope and climbs over the
garden wall into the tree, and with the help of
the bird, is able to tie up the wolf. Some hunters,
who have been tracking the wolf, come out of
the forest ready to shoot, but Peter gets them to
help him take the wolf to a zoo instead.
Performers consisted of CN citizens Bretly
Crawford, who played Peter; Sydney Terry,
who played the bird; Clistia Geary, who played
the duck and a hunter; Hadley Hume, who
played the cat; Sinihele Rhoades, who played
the grandfather; and Conlie Smith and Noelia
Lopez who played hunters.
Erin Wilcox played the wolf and Gracie
Davenport also played the duck.
“Our dance director and choreographer
Cherokee Nation citizens Bretly Crawford, who played Peter, and Sydney Terry, who
played the bird, dance together in a recent production of “Peter and the Wolf,” which was
performed in English and Cherokee for the Cherokee Nation Immersion Charter School
students in Tahlequah, Okla. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
choses who gets what part,” Hume, who has
been dancing for almost eight years, said. “She
just chose by how the dancers danced and got
Hume, 13, added that to help her for her role,
she watched a cat that lives around her house.
Before the dancers performed in English,
the story was told to the immersion students in
Cherokee. The students also got the chance to
say what each character was in Cherokee.
“All of those characters, our students are all
familiar with those words because those are
in our vocabulary terms that we learn at our
immersion school,” Helena McCoy, immersion
school teacher, said.
Immersion school staff members helped
translate the production into Cherokee after
CN citizen Teri Rhoades asked to have it
Teri is Sinihele’s mother. Sinihele has been
dancing since she was 4 and is the current Little
Miss Cherokee Ambassador. She also attends
the immersion school.
“This one, to us, is the most special because
Sini goes to the immersion school and she’s
dancing here for her friends and they get to see
her dance,” Teri said. “Because I came up with
the idea of bringing it to the immersion school,
we were kind of worried about it because it was
in English, so I asked to have ‘Peter and the
Wolf ’ translated and the principal, Holly Davis,
and Tony Workman (academic counselor)
worked with Lena, over at the dance school, to
have it done so that it could be read in Cherokee
whereas before in was in English. That way the
immersion kids could relate to it both ways and
relate to the Cherokee language being applied
to the arts.”
CNF offers ACT
BY STAFF REPORTS
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee
Nation Foundation and Northeastern State
University recently hosted a weeklong collegereadiness camp where Cherokee juniors and
seniors received ACT prep instruction as well
as college workshops focusing on admissions,
financial aid and scholarships, essay writing
and time management.
“This camp is a shining example of what
can be done when we all work together for
our children,” CNF Executive Director Janice
Randall said. “NSU was the perfect partner for
this program, and together we can drastically
increase the number of Cherokee youth we help
achieve their goals.”
The program also included evening social
events and activities highlighting Cherokee
culture, including a trip to the Cherokee
Heritage Center, storytelling and stickball. At
the end of the weeklong camp, students took
the official ACT test.
“The students worked hard all week, and we
applaud their commitment to bettering their
scores and pursuing their dreams of higher
education,” Randall said. “The foundation staff will
continue to be there for each and every student.”
The third annual Cherokee College Prep
Institute was expected to be held at Oklahoma State
University’s Stillwater campus from July 13-18.
With a 5-to-1 student-faculty ratio, students
will analyze, prepare and complete college
applications, identify scholarship opportunities
and explore schools of interest. CCPI’s
curriculum, developed in cooperation with
College Horizons and participating university
faculty, includes interactive sessions focusing
on ACT strategies, essay writing, interview
skills and time management.
This year’s participating university faculty
consisted of the universities of Arkansas, Central
Arkansas, Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma,
Pennsylvania, Illinois at Irbana/Champaign,
Tulsa, Duke University, NSU, OSU, Rogers State
University, Stanford University, Yale University,
as well as Dartmouth and Bacone colleges.
For more information, call 918-2070950 or email Janice Randall at [email protected]
ᎠᏙᏯᏅᎯᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏢᎬ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏏᏊ!
ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎵᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᎾᏞᎬ ᎤᎾᏛᏁᎸᏅ
ᎯᎠ “ᏈᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏩᎭᏯ” ᏣᎳᎩᎭ ᎠᎴ
ᎠᎩᎵᏏ ᏗᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏂᎦᏓ
ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎣᎦᏚᎵ ᏣᎳᎩᎭ ᏲᎦᏛᏗ
ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎣᎦᏤᎵ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎪᏛ
ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏁᎲ, ᎠᎴ ᎣᏣᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᎾᎿ ᎯᎠ
ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᏦᎩᎭ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏩᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ
ᎠᎾᎵᏏᎾᎲᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ,”
ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎵᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏈᎬ ᏗᏘᏂᏙᎯ, ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.
ᏏᏊ! ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎵᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎾᎿ
ᎤᏔᎾ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᎩ. ᏓᎵᏆ
ᎾᏍᎩ Russia ᏂᏓᏳᏂᎩᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎦᏎᏍᏔᏅ
ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎤᎾᏓᏈᎦ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᏔᎵᎭᏃ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᏃᏤᏙᎰᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ
ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏇᎴᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎵᏍᏍᎩᏍᏗ
ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏴᏢᎧᎸᎬ
Ꮎ APA ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ
Russia ᏇᎴᎢ, ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᏧᏔᎾ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᏗᎢ,
ᏖᏇ, ᏗᏂᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎵᏍᎬᎢ, ᏃᏊ
ᎠᎴ ᏍᏆᏂᏯ Irish ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᎩ. ᎤᎪᏛ
ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏂᎪᏒᏓ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎪ
ᎠᎴ ᎠᏰᏟ ᏯᏂ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ
“ᎠᏯ, ᎠᏋᏌ, ᎾᎿ Russia .ᏛᎩᎶᏒ ᎠᎴ
ᏔᎵᏁ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᎥᎢ ᏂᎪᎯᎸᎢ,
ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎤᎾᏙᎴᎯ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵᏁ
ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ,” ᎤᏛᏅ GladkovaHuffman.
ᎯᎠ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅ “ᏈᏓ ᎠᎴ ᏩᎭᏯ” ᎾᎿ ᎧᏃᎮᎯ
ᎠᏫᏄᏥ ᎦᏁᎴᎢ ᎤᏛᏛ ᎤᏫᏒ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ.
ᏌᏊ ᎢᎦ ᏈᏓ ᎤᏪᏅᏎ ᏠᎨᏏ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎲ
ᏪᏌ, ᏥᏍᏆ, ᎠᎴ ᎧᏬᏄ. ᏃᏊᏃ ᎤᏍᏚᎢᏌ
ᎦᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏠᎨᏌ ᏫᎦᎶᏍᎩ, ᏈᏓ ᎤᏚᏓ
ᎤᏍᎦᏤ ᎾᎿ ᎡᏙᎲ ᎾᎿ ᏩᎭᏯ ᎡᎵᏊ
ᏃᏊᏃ ᎤᏚᏓ ᎤᏘᏅᏌ ᏧᏓᎴᎸᎢᏗᏝ ᎠᎴ
ᏍᏓᏯ ᎤᏍᏚᏁ ᎦᎶᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᏬᏩᏃ ᏩᏠᏯ
ᎤᎷᏤ ᎠᎴ ᏚᎩᎯᏙᎴ ᎦᎾᏢᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎧᏬᏅ
ᎠᏫᏒᏗ ᎠᏐᏴᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏡᎬ ᏭᎩᎸᏁ, ᎠᎴ
ᎬᏩᏍᏕᎸᎮ ᏧᏍᏆ, ᎡᎵᏊ ᎤᎾᏢᏁ ᏩᎭᏯ.
ᎢᎦᏓ ᎠᏂᏃᎭᏂᏙᎯ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏃᎷᏂᏙᎲ ᏩᏯ,
ᎤᏂᏄᎪᏤ ᎤᎾᎨ ᎤᎾᎵᏁᏅᏕ ᎤᏂᏲᏍᏗᎢ,
ᎠᏎᏃ ᏈᏓ ᏚᏔᏲᏎᎴ ᎬᏩᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎤᎾᏗᏩᏫᏗ
ᏩᎭᏯ ᎾᎿ zoo Ꭲ ᎾᎿᎢ.
ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎵᏍᎩ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ
ᎠᏁᎳ Bretly Crawford, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏚᏁᎶᏁ
ᏈᏓ; Sydney Terry, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏁᎶᏁ ᏧᏍᏆ;
Clistia Geary, ᎾᎿ ᏚᏁᎶᏁ ᎧᏬᏄ ᎠᎴ
ᎦᏃᎭᎵᏙᎯ; Hadley Hume, ᎾᎿ ᏪᏆ ᎨᏎᎢ;
Sinihele Rhodes, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎤᏂᏚᏓ ᎨᏎᎢ; ᎠᎴ
Connie Smith ᎠᎴ Noelia Lopez ᎾᏍᎩ
Erin Wilcox ᏚᏁᎶᏁ ᏩᎭᏯ ᎠᎴ Gracie
Davenport ᎾᏍᏊ ᏚᏁᎶᏁ ᎧᏬᏄᎢ.
“ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᎩ ᏗᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎠᎴ
ᏗᏑᏱᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏁᎶᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ,”
Hume, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᎪᎢ,
ᎤᏛᏅ. “ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏑᏰᏒ ᏄᏍᏛᏊ ᏓᎪᏩᏘᏍᎬ
ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎩᏍᎬ ᎠᏥᏁᎲ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ
Hume, 13, ᎤᏛᏅ ᎤᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎢᎬᏩᏛᏗ
ᎨᏒ, ᎤᎦᏙᏍᏛ ᏪᏌ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏪᏅᏒ ᎾᎥᎢ.
ᏕᎧᏃᎯᏎᎲ ᏣᎳᎩᎭ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩᎭᎢ
ᎤᏂᏁᎢᏍᏗ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎵᏍᎬᎢ
“ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎵᏍᎩ, ᏦᎦᏤᎵ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ
ᏚᎾᏅᏔ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎾᏂᏪᏍᎬ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ
ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᎥᎢ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏣᎳᎩᎭ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ,”
ᎠᏁᎳ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎵᎲ ᎠᏁᎶᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏃᏢᏅ
ᎤᏅᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩᎭ ᎣᏂ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ
ᎨᎳ Terri Rhodes ᏚᏬᏎᎸ ᎤᎾᏁᎸᏙᏗᎢ.
Terri ᎾᏍᎩ Sinihele’s ᎤᏥ. Sinihele
ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᎪ ᏅᎩ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏥᎨᏒ
ᎬᏩᎴᏅᏓ ᎠᎴ ᏃᏊ ᎤᏍᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏅᏏᏓ.
ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᏓᏕᎶᏆᎢ ᏣᎳᎩᎭ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ.
“ᎯᎠ, ᎾᎿ ᎨᏒ, ᎾᎿ ᎤᎪᏗᏗ ᎤᏤᏟᏓ
ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ Sini ᏓᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ
ᎠᎴ ᎠᎵᏍᎩᏍᎬ ᎠᎭᏂ ᏧᎵᎢ ᎠᏁᏙᎲ ᎠᎴ
ᎬᏩᎪᏘᏍᎪ ᎠᎵᏍᎩᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Terri.
“ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎠᎩᏲᎯᏍᏗ
ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ, ᎢᎬᏱ ᎣᎦᏓᏅᏖᏔᏅ ᎠᎩᎵᏏ
ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎠᏆᏓᏛᏛᏅ ᎾᎿ “ᏈᏓ ᎠᎴ ᏩᏲ
ᎤᎾᏁᎶᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏄᎬᏩᏳᏌᏕᎦ, Holly Davis,
ᎠᎴ Tony Workman (academic counselor)
ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᎨᎳ Lena, ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᏗᎢ
ᎤᏂᎪᎵᏱᏗ ᏣᎳᎩᎭ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏃᏊᏃ ᎠᎩᎵᏏ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏣᎳᎩᎭ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ
ᎢᏧᎳ ᏧᎾᏛᎪᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ
ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᎬᎢ.”
CHEROKEE PHOENIX • JULY 2014
PEOPLE • xW
Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
Smiths have tradition of working at CHC
BY TESINA JACKSON
PARK HILL, Okla. – Since the opening of
the Ancient Village in 1967, working at the
Cherokee Heritage Center has been a tradition
for Rex Smith and his family.
Rex, who works maintenance and grounds
keeping at the CHC, started working in the
recently razed Ancient Village with his mother,
Betty Smith, in 1967. From 1970 to 1985 he
worked with the Trail of Tears drama and, after
some time away, came back in 2000 to work his
“I just, overall, have fun out here. Still enjoy
it,” he said. “This is where I started at and
hopefully this is where I end my career as a
worker. Unless something goes wrong, this is
where I want to be for the next 10 years.”
Rex said that in the past there have been
six sisters and four brothers in his family who
worked at the CHC. “I’ve had a good relationship
with my family and my kids,” he said.
According to a June 2013 Cherokee Phoenix
article, work began on the CHC on Feb. 23,
1966 and the Ancient Village opened in 1967.
The amphitheater, which hosted the Trail of
Tears drama, opened in 1969. Construction
of the CHC’s museum, which was designed to
resemble a Cherokee longhouse from the old
Cherokee country in the southeast, began in
1973 and it opened a year later.
In 1985, the museum was remodeled and
more technology was used for its exhibits, and
in 2001, in cooperation with the National Park
Service, a permanent Trail of Tears exhibit
was installed in the museum that utilizes
artifacts and statues to tell the story behind the
forced removal of Cherokee people from their
southeastern homes in the late 1830s.
“This is one of the places I started at and I
knew I could do this, this is fun, exciting and I
love to do what I get to do out here,” Rex said.
Today, he works with his daughter, Feather
Smith-Trevino, who works as a villager in the
new Diligwa village. His grandson, Talyn, also
occasionally works in the village, and his son,
Justin, used to work at the CHC but now works
at the John Ross Museum.
“It’s kind of the family business,” Feather
said. “My grandmother was one of the first
villagers out in the Ancient Village in 1967, so
my dad grew up out here, and then I came out
here when I was volunteering in 2001. I worked
with the drama for five years before I actually
started here in 2006.”
Smith-Trevino, who works in the Diligwa
village, said working with her family has been
fun and has helped her learned a lot about her
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s been really rewarding
to be out here all these years,” she said. “I’ve
learned a lot about my culture during that time,
but it’s also nice to get to educate people. The
culture, it really defines who I am, who we are.
Feather Smith-Trevino weaves a basket at the Diligwa village at the Cherokee Heritage
Center in Park Hill, Okla. Her grandmother was one of the first villagers of the CHC’s
Ancient Village in 1967. Smith-Trevino now works at the center with her father, Rex Smith.
PHOTOS BY TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
I just, overall, have fun
out here. Still enjoy it.
– Rex Smith, Cherokee
Heritage Center employee
It’s one of those things that when I was younger
I didn’t realize exactly how important it was to
me, but as I grew up I kind of got to realizing
that everything about me revolves around the
Cherokee Nation, and it really helps to define
who I am. It’s been rewarding and has led me to
what it is that I want to do and has helped me
figure out what I want to be in life.”
ᎠᏭᏂᏴᏍᏗ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᏂᏛᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ
ᏧᎵᏍᏚᎢᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲᎢ ᎾᎿ
ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ, ᏂᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎰ Ꮎ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ
ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎯ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᏔᏅ
Ꮎ Rex Smith ᎠᎴ ᏚᏓᏘᎾᎥᎢ.
Rex, ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎭ ᏙᏯᏗᏢ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ
ᏄᏩᎾᏕᎪ ᎦᏄᎸ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎦᎵᏍᎪᎢ ᎾᎿ CHC,
ᎤᎴᏅᎲ ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎾᎿ ᎪᎯᎦ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ
ᏥᏄᏍᏕᎢ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᏥ ᎤᎾᎵᎪᎯ, Betty
Smith, ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ
ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ ᎦᎵᏉᎦ. ᎠᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ
ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎦᎵᏆᏍᎪ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏩᏍᏗ
ᎦᏅᏅ ᏚᎾᏠᏱᎸ ᎠᎴ, ᎣᏂ ᏝᎦ ᎢᎸᏢ ᏭᏪᏙᎸ,
ᎣᎷᏨ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ
“ᏙᎯᏳ, ᏂᎦᏓ ᎨᏒ, ᎤᏬᎸᏓ ᎡᏓᏍᏗ
ᎾᎿᎢ. ᏏᏊ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎡᏓᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Cherokee Nation citizen Nigel Turner, member of the Cambridgeshire Cats, runs with the
football as a member of the Colchester Gladiators tries to tackle him at a June 1 game in
Colchester, England. The Cats won with 38-6. COURTESY
CN citizen playing pro
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Americans have
enjoyed watching and competing in football
for years. Not only is the sport enjoyed in the
United States but also in countries such as
England, where a Cherokee Nation citizen from
Tahlequah is playing the game professionally.
Nigel Turner, 23, plays wide receiver for
the Cambridgeshire Cats. Turner said he
previously played football in high school and
college in America but did not see himself
perusing it any further.
Turner said his wife, Morgan, was assigned
to the Royal Air Force Lakenheath in
England, taking them to the area. He said
while exercising one day a football player
approached him and spoke to him about
playing in the European leagues.
“I was working out when I was approached
by a guy who played for the Ipswich Cardinals.
He said he hadn’t seen many people squatting
so he figured I must be a football player,” he
said. “We chatted for a while and he asked me if
I had thought of giving pro ball a go in Finland,
Austria or Germany. To be honest I hadn’t given
it a thought whatsoever.”
After letting the idea resonate, Turner said
he met the Peterborough Saxons’ head coach,
William White, who sparked Turner’s interest
in playing football again.
“I agreed to give it a couple of practices to
see if it was still something I wanted to pursue,
and honestly to make sure I hadn’t lost it
completely,” he said. “Coach White finally just
said, ‘Play a season or two in the British league,
get your bearings back and get in shape.’ I
finally agreed and here I am playing ball in the
UK (United Kingdom).”
While playing with the Cats, Turner said he’s
received offers from several European teams.
“I’ve had multiple offers for the approaching
season from the Dresden Monarchs, Germany;
the St. Pölten Invaders, Austria; the Seinäjoki
Crocodiles, Finland; and the Lazio Marines,
Italy,” he said. “It’s a big decision, so my wife and
I made the decision that I would give it another
year in the UK to get in shape and we will go
Although Turner is playing in a European
league, he said his goal is to play in the Canadian
Football League. However, his dream, like many
others, is playing in the National Football
“Honestly, I think it’s everybody’s dream to
play in the NFL, but when most don’t see that
happening or they hit a closed door they run for
the European leagues or Canadian,” he said.
When looking for inspiration, Turner said he
finds it in people who are close to him.
“I find inspiration in a lot of people both
athletes and not,” he said. “My mom, my college
teammate Korey Williams, my old high school
buddy Zack Robinson and my wife and cousins
for defending our country overseas.”
He added that being Cherokee also has
helped him be true to himself and others.
“Being a Cherokee citizen has helped me
along the way,” he said. “Mainly because I
have a sense of pride and honor being apart of
such a rich tradition and knowing that I have
a generous fan base and Cherokee family that
always has my back.”
The Cambridgeshire Cats’ remaining regularseason schedule is July 20 against the Bristol
Aztecs, July 27 versus the London Olympians
and Aug. 10 against the Sussex Thunder.
“ᎠᎭᏂᏃ ᎠᏆᎴᏅᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎠᏋᎭ
ᎾᎿ ᎠᎩᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᎠᎭᏂ ᏓᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲ.
ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎡᏍᎦ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᏱᎩ, ᎠᎭᏂ ᎠᏆᏚᎵ
ᏗᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎪᎯ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ.”
Rex ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏧᏩᎪᏔᏅᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏑᏓᎵ
ᏗᎬᎩᏙ ᎠᎴ ᏅᎩ ᎣᏣᏟᏅᏢ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲ
ᎾᎿ CHC. “ᎣᏍᏓ ᏦᎦᏓᏰᎸᎯ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎣᏥᏏᏓᏁᎸ
ᎠᎴ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏓᎦᎧᎲᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᏧᎾᏙᎵᏤᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ ᎧᎸ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ
ᏦᎦᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅ ᎪᏪᎸ,
ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎠᏓᎴᏂ ᎾᎿ CHC ᎾᎿ ᎧᎦᎵ
ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏦᎢᏁ, ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ
ᏑᏓᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲ
ᎠᎵᏍᏚᎢᎠ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ
ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ. ᎤᎾᏛᏁᎸᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩ
ᏓᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎬ ᏅᏃᎯ ᏚᎾᏠᏱᎸ, ᎤᎵᏍᏚᎢᏒ
ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ. ᎤᎾᎴᏅᎾ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ CHC’S
ᏚᎾᏟᎶᏛ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏅᎯᏓᎠᏓᏁᎸ
ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅ ᎤᏪᏘ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᎿ
ᎤᎦᎾᏮᎧᎸᎬ ᎢᏗᏢ, ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎲ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ
ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎦᎵᏆᏍᎪ ᏦᎢ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎠᎴ
ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎣᏂ ᎤᎵᏍᏚᎢᏒᎢ.
ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏂᎪᏔᏅᎲᏍᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᏅᏁᎸ ᎠᎴ
ᎤᎪᏛ ᏖᎦᎾᎵᏥ ᎤᏅᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏂᏢᎾᎥᎢ,
ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏌᏊ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ,
ᏚᎾᎵᎪᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ Park Service, ᏂᎪᎯᎸ
ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎦᏅᏅ ᏚᎾᏠᏱᎸ ᎤᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗ
ᏄᏅᏅᏔᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᏗᎨᏥᏱᎳᏫᏛᎲ
ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏚᏁᏅᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎦᎾᏮᎧᎸᎬ ᎢᏗᏢ
ᏚᏁᏅᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏦᏍᎪ
“ᎯᎠ ᏌᏊ ᎨᏒ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᏆᎴᏅᎲᎢ
ᎠᎴ ᎠᏆᏅᏔ ᎡᎵ ᎢᎬᏆᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ, ᎤᏬᏝᏓ,
ᎡᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏓ ᏂᎦᏛᏁᎲ ᎠᎭᏂ,”
ᎪᎯ ᎢᎦ, ᎤᏪᏥ ᎠᎨᏯ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ,
ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁ ᎾᎿ Diligwa ᎤᏂᏚᎲᎢ. ᎤᎵᏏ
ᎠᏧᏣ, Calvin, ᏴᏓᎭ ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎰ ᎤᏂᏚᎲᎢ,
ᎠᎴ ᎤᏪᏣ ᎠᏧᏣ Justin, ᏌᏊ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏛ
ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ CHC ᎠᏎᏃ ᏃᏊ John Ross
“ᏍᎩᏯ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ,”
ᎤᏛᏅ Feather. ᎡᎵᏏ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏌᏊ ᎢᎬᏱ
ᎤᎴᏅᏓ ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎤᏂᏚᎲ
ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ
ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ, ᎡᏙᏓᏃ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎤᏛᏒ, ᎠᎴ
ᏙᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏌᏊ
ᎠᎾᏛᏁᎵᏍᎬ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ Ꮟ Ꮩ ᎾᏆᎴᏅᏓ
ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏑᏓᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ.”
Smith-Trevino, ᎾᎿ ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ Diligwa
ᎤᏂᏚᎲᎢ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎤᎾᎵᎪᎯ
ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᏩᏟᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏍᏕᎸᎭ ᎤᏕᎶᏆᎠ
ᎤᎪᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ.
“ᎢᎦ ᎤᏬᏢᏗ. ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏓᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗ ᎢᎦ
ᎾᎪᎯᎳ ᏂᏓᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎰ,” ᎤᏛᏅ. ᎤᎪᏓ
ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᎠ ᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏥᎨᏎ,
ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏓᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᏗᎨᏲᏗ
ᎠᏂᏴᏫ. ᏯᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎩᏃᎮᏍᎪ
ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏯ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᏌᏊ ᏄᏓᎴ
Ꮭ ᏙᎯᏳ ᏱᎨᎵᎨ ᏄᎵᏍᎨᏗᏴᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ
ᎠᏆᏛᏌ ᎠᏆᎴᏅᎲ ᎦᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎪᎵᎬ ᏂᎦᏓ
ᎠᎦᏚᏫᏍᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏯ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ, ᎠᎴ
ᏙᎯᏳ ᎠᎩᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎠᏆᏓᏙᏟᏍᏗᎢ. ᎣᏍᏓ
ᎠᏓᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏆᏘᏁᎾ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏆᏚᎵᏍᎬ
ᏯᏆᏛᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎩᏍᏕᎸᎭ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏆᏚᎵᏍᎬ
Feather Smith-Trevino stands with her
father, Rex Smith, at the Cherokee Heritage
Center’s Diligwa village in Park Hill, Okla.
The Smith family has been associated with
the CHC since the Ancient Village opened in
1967. Rex said there have been six sisters
and four brothers in his family who have
worked at the CHC. He works there with his
2014 Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
PEOPLE • xW
JULY 2014 • CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Barker was proud of Cherokee heritage, history
Friends of the late Betty
Starr Barker recall her
pride in her Cherokee
heritage and work to
BY WILL CHAVEZ
STILWELL, Okla. – Three months after her
death, the loss of Betty Starr Barker is still being
felt by her friends and admirers.
Barker died March 4 at age 85. Her family
said she believed God intended for her to be
a participant of life, not a spectator. She was
active in civic and community organizations,
including the Adair County Retired Educators,
Stilwell Area Chamber of Commerce and
Stilwell Kiwanis Club. She was honored as a
50-year member of the Alpha Delta Kappa
teacher’s sorority. She chaired the committee
that published the History of Adair County
in 1991 and was on the Adair Family Reunion
Book Committee that in 2003 published “The
Cherokee Adairs: A family history.”
Oklahoma Trail of Tears of Association
President Curtis Rohr worked with Barker
in the association for about 12 years and
knew her more than 15 years. He said Barker
was “a great worker” and was proud of her
“She was really good historian and
genealogist and knew family histories. And
Betty was very, very dependable,” Rohr said.
Barker and Rohr worked with the
National Park Service to establish two Trail
of Tears markers in Stilwell. He said she was
“instrumental” in getting the platforms to hold
the artwork at two historic sites associated
with the Trail of Tears. One marker sits at the
restored Stilwell train depot, now a museum,
and two markers are at the Stilwell Cemetery.
The three markers include the artwork
of Cherokee artist Dorothy Sullivan and
provide background on the Trail of Tears and
the supply depots used by Cherokee people
following the removal.
Rohr said he misses Barker’s “willingness to
help out wherever she was needed.”
Oklahoma Trail of Tears Association member Betty Starr Barker, left and Cherokee artist
Dorothy Sullivan stand with two Trail of Tears interpretive panels. Barker was instrumental
in working with the National Park Service to have the panels placed at a cemetery in
Stilwell, Okla. COURTESY
She was just a great person, and a great one to work with.
– Curtis Rohr, Oklahoma Trail of Tears of Association president
“She was just a great person, and a great
one to work with. She was very appreciative of
anything concerning the Cherokees and her
heritage,” he said.
National Trail of Tears Association President
and Tribal Councilor Jack Baker said Barker is
remembered for her work in getting the Trail
of Tears markers placed in Stilwell, but also for
helping compile Adair County’s history. Three
historical groups from Watts, Westville and
Stilwell were to compile that history when the
project was first discussed in 1990.
“Everyone was talking about doing the
history, but no one did anything about it, and
I thought we should combine all three of these
organizations into a committee to do the book.
So I asked Betty if she would chair that and she
agreed to do it, and of course she spent hours
and hours and hours and hours on that. It was
a major undertaking, but of course she was the
person that could handle it,” Baker said. “Betty
was willing to do what ever was necessary to
preserve our history and culture, and whatever
task was asked of her, she was more than willing
to do it. She was a very dear friend, and I miss
her very much.”
A native and life-long resident of Stilwell,
Barker was the daughter Floyd and Ada Barnett
Starr. She was born in 1929 on her father’s
Cherokee allotment and was the youngest of 12
children. She graduated Stilwell High School
in 1945 and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1949
education from Northeastern State University
in Tahlequah. She later returned to NSU to
obtain her master’s degree. She and Bill Barker
were married in 1950 and were the parents of
Dianne Barker and William Lee (Billy) Barker.
Betty was an educator for almost 40 years and
spent more than 31 years teaching at Stilwell
Elementary School. Although she retired in
1989, she continued to teach adult literacy and
general education development classes.
Roy Hamilton, project manager for Cherokee
Nation History and Preservation, said he was
her student at Stilwell Elementary. He said
Barker spent extra time helping him learn after
he was forced to transfer from a consolidated
school in Wauhillau, west of Stilwell.
“I was in the fourth grade. I had such a
rough time integrating that she gave me special
attention. I think if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t
be where I am today because she paid so much
attention to me and the other kids too,” he said.
“She knew we were having problems because
we were brought up Cherokee. She just gave us
that little extra attention that made it possible
for us to get through.”
Hamilton said he took speech therapy
because he spoke English with a dialect he
picked up listening to his Cherokee-speaking
uncles when they spoke English.
“She would assure me that there was nothing
wrong me that they were just trying to help my
speech,” he said. “And it was because of her
that I discovered books. In my first summer
there I read 138 books. I’d read one and she
would bring one out to the house from the
library and take the other one back for me. She
just really changed my life. From then on she
was my aunt Betty.”
Proud to be a CN citizen, Barker promoted
also Cherokee history. In September 2012,
she was honored as an Elder Statesman of the
CN, and in October 2013 she was one of the
Oklahoma AARP Indian Elder honorees.
She was also a member of the Goingsnake
Historical Society and the Adair County
Historical and Genealogical Association. She
served in various offices in those organizations.
In addition, as a descendent of Nancy Ward,
beloved Woman of the Cherokees, Barker was
an active member of the Nancy Ward Society.
The project of which she was most proud
was the restoration of the Kansas City
Southern Railroad Depot in Stilwell, which was
dedicated on May 7, 2004. Today, it houses the
offices of Stilwell Area Chamber of Commerce
and Adair County Historical and Genealogical
Association, along with a museum and
Cherokee man nearly finished hiking Appalachian Trail
BY WILL CHAVEZ
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On June 12, Gilliam
Jackson was in Vermont on his way to New
Hampshire, about 480 miles away from
completing his goal of hiking the Appalachian
Trail, which goes through 13 states.
Jackson, an Eastern Band of Cherokee
Indians citizen, said he’s completed nearly
1,700 miles as of June 11 on his way to
completing the nearly 2,200-mile trail. He left
on March 15 from Springer Mountain, Ga.,
and hiked northeast through Tennessee, North
Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York,
Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.
After hiking through New Hampshire he had
planned to hike through Maine to Mount
Katahdin where the Appalachian Trail ends.
He said the trail has been tough on his
body, but found support from “trail angels”
and other hikers.
“Back in March, seven of us were climbing a
very long and steep mountain. It started raining
and we got totally soaked. We eventually got
to a shelter and changed into dry clothes,”
Jackson said. “Then the wind started blowing
and howled all night and the temp dropped to
about 10 degrees. It was a very cold and long
night, and then it starred snowing. The next
morning all of us were covered in about one
inch of snow.”
He said the hikers’ shoes, backpacks, water
bottles and socks were frozen.
“None of the others would get up. They were
too cold. I got up, dusted the snow of my frozen
pack and proceeded to hike out. I hiked for
several hours and some of the drifts were up to
my knees. Eventually I got to a road and caught
a ride to a hostel,” he said.
On May 23, he crossed from New Jersey to
New York and traveled to New York City to rest.
While there he visited the outdoor set of “Good
Morning America” and saw the Broadway play
“Wicked” before hiking toward Connecticut.
Jackson said he’s dealt with a sore left knee
and too much weight loss. He stopped for two
days with some “trail angels” on June 5-6 to rest
and eat protein and carbs to regain strength.
“Trail magic is anything that people do for
you, and those people we call trail angels. They
give you a ride, offer juice, water, food, Cokes,
candy bars, and encouragement. And all hikers
appreciate trail magic and trail angels,” he said.
On the trail there are elevations ranging
from 1,750 feet to 6,650 feet in North Carolina.
Hikers refer to Pennsylvania as “Rocksvannia”
because there are so many rocks and snakes
and little water.
In New Hampshire, the White Mountains
pose a different challenge. Mount Washington
has the highest recorded wind speed on Earth
and subject to snow year round.
It’s estimated 2,300 hikers begin the 2,180mile journey in Georgia every spring, and an
estimated 500 to 600 hikers finish the journey
in Maine. Jackson hopes to finish his trek within
100 days, which would be near the end of June.
“I have many, many memorable moments on
this trek. I honestly feel like royalty. People have
been so kind and so giving. I have gotten so
many rides to town and these trail angels don’t
care that we are dirty and often smell,” he said.
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᎾᎿ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ ᏔᎳᏚᏏᏁ,
Gilliam Jackson ᎾᎿ ᏣᏩᎦ ᎡᏙᎲ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ
ᎢᏤ ᎭᎻᏒ ᏩᎦᏛ, ᏯᏛᎾ ᏅᎩᏧᏈ ᏁᎳᏍᎪ
ᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎤᎷᎳ ᎤᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᎠᏎᎸ ᎡᎳᏗ ᎠᎢᏒ
ᎾᎿ Appalachian ᎦᏅᏅᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᎦᏛᎴᏍᎩ
Jackson, ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ
ᎤᏍᏆᏛ ᎾᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᎦᏴᎵ ᎦᎵᏉᎢᏧᏈ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ
ᎾᎿ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ ᏌᏚᏏᏁ ᏩᎦᏛ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏍᏆᏗᏓ ᏔᎵ
ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏔᎵᏧᏈ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᎩ. ᎤᏂᎩᏒ ᎾᎿ
ᎠᏅᏱ ᏍᎩᎦᏚᏏᏁ ᎤᎴᏅᏔᏅ Springer ᎣᏓᎸ,
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians citizen
Gilliam Jackson crosses from New Jersey
to New York on May 23 while hiking the
Appalachian Trail. Jackson is hiking the trail
that spans through 13 states. COURTESY
ᏣᏥᏱ., ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎩᏌ ᎤᏴᏢᎧᎸᎬ ᎤᎦᏛᎴᏌ
ᏔᎾᏏ, ᎦᏯᎴᏂ, ᏩᏥᏂ, ᏭᏕᎵᎬ ᏩᏥᏂ, ᎺᎵᏂ,
ᎤᎩᏓᎵᏱ, ᎠᏤ ᏨᏏ, ᏄᏯᎩ, ᎧᏁᏓᏕᏗ, ᎺᏌᏧᏎᏗ,
ᎠᎴ ᏣᏩᎦ. ᎣᏂᏃ ᎤᎶᏐᏅ ᎠᏤ ᎭᎺᏒ ᏚᏭᎪᏛ
ᏭᎦᏛᎴᎯᏍᏗ ᎺᏂ ᎤᎷᎯᏍᏗ Mount Katahdin
ᎾᎿ Appalachian ᎦᏅᏅ ᎠᎵᏍᏆᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎠᏗᏍᎬᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎢᎦ ᎤᏲᏍᏛ
ᎨᏒ ᏥᏰᎸ ᎢᎦ ᎡᏍᎦ ᎾᏋᏁᎸ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎠᎩᏩᏛᎲ
ᎾᎿ “ᎦᏅᏅ ᎠᏂᏓᏪᎯ”
ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎩ.
“ᎠᏅᏱ ᏥᎧᎸ, ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᏲᏥ ᎣᎩᎸᏒ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ
ᎠᎴ ᎦᏁᏡᎦ ᎣᏓᎸᎢ. ᎤᎴᏅᎲ ᎠᎦᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ
ᏂᎦᏓ ᏚᎩᏚᎳᏨ. ᎬᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᏒᏍᏛ ᏬᎩᎷᏨ
ᎠᎴ ᏙᎩᏁᏟᏴᏒ ᏙᎦᏒᏮ ᏧᎧᏲᏗ ᏙᎦᏄᏬᎥᎢ,”
ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Jackson. “ᏃᏊᎴ ᎤᏴᏟ ᎦᏃᎸᏍᎬ
ᎤᎴᏅᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏪᏍᎬ ᎤᎵᏨᏓᏩᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎦ
ᎤᏴᏢ ᏅᎵᏍᏔᏅ 10 degress ᎨᏒ. ᎢᎦ ᎤᏴᏢ
ᎠᎴ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᎤᏒ ᎨᏒ, ᎠᎴ ᏃᏊ ᎤᎴᏅᎲ ᎫᏘᏍᎬ.
ᏌᎾᎴ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᎾ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᏅG ᏙᎦᏅᏬᏍᏛ
ᏌᏊ ᎢᏏᏔᏗᏍᏗ ᎢᎦ ᎤᏭᏔᏅᎢ.” ᎾᏍᎩᎾ
ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎩ’ ᏧᎾᎳᏑᎶ, ᎤᏂᎸᏔᏅᏙᏗ, ᎠᎹ
ᏧᏂᏟᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᎵᏲ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏚᏁᏍᏓᎸ.
“ᎠᏂᏐᎢ Ꮭ ᏳᎾᏗᏓᏁᏎ. ᏓᏂᎾᏬᎬ. ᎠᏆᏗᏛᎲ,
ᎠᎩᏅᎪᏅᏔᏅ ᎤᎾᏥ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏁᏍᏓᎵ ᎠᎩᏟᏗᏓᏅ
ᎠᎴ ᎠᏆᏂᎩᏒ. ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᏩᏥ ᎤᏪᏅᏍᏗ
ᎠᏆᏂᎩᏒ ᎤᏭᏔᏅ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᎦᎢᏒ ᏗᏥᏂᎨᎾ ᎢᎦᏟ
ᎨᏒ ᎤᎾᏥ. ᎩᎳᎯᏃ ᏅᏃᎯ ᏩᎩᎷᏨ ᎠᎴ
ᎠᏆᏓᏣᏁᎸ ᏧᏂᏒᏗ ᏩᎩᎷᏨᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.
ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏍᎬᏘ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏦᎢᏁ, ᏚᎾᏗᏫᏒ
ᏂᏓᏳᏂᎩᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏤ ᏨᏏ ᏭᎷᏨ ᏄᏯᎩ ᎠᎴ
ᎾᎿ ᎤᏣᏪᏐᎸᏍᏔᏅ. ᎾᎿ ᎡᏙᎲ ᏚᏩᏛᎯᏙᎸ
ᏙᏯᏗᏢ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎬᎢ “ᎣᏍᏓ ᏌᎾᎴ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ”
ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᎲ Broadway ᏓᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎬ “Wicked”
Ꮟ ᏄᏂᎩᏓ ᎧᏁᏓᎦᏗ ᏫᏚᏳᎪᏛᎢ.
ᎤᏕᏯᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏣᏘᏃ ᎤᏲᏎᎸ ᏄᏓᎨᏒ. ᏔᎵ
ᏧᏩᏙᏓᏆᏗ ᎤᎴᏫᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏁᏙᎲ “ᎦᏅᏅ ᎠᏁᏙ
ᎠᏂᏓᏪᎯ” ᎾᎿ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ ᎯᏍᎩᏁ ᎠᎴ ᏑᏓᎵᏁ
ᎤᏣᏇᏐᎸᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎵᏍᏓᏴᏙᏔᏅ protein
ᎠᎴ carbs ᎤᏟᏂᎪᎲᏍᏗᏍᎩ.
“ᎦᏅᏅ magic ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏓᎴᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ
ᎠᏂᏓᏫᎯ ᏙᏦᏎᎰᎢ. ᏱᎪᏯᎥᎦ, ᎤᏓᏔᏅ ᎤᎦᎹ
ᏱᎪᏁᎲᏏ, ᎠᎹ, ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ, cokes, ᎧᎵᏎᏥ,
ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏓᎦᎵᏍᏔᏗᏗᏍᎪᎢ. ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ
ᏓᎾᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᎯᎠ ᎦᏅᏅ magic ᎠᎴ ᎦᏅᏅ
ᎠᏂᏓᏪᎯ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ. ᎾᎿ ᎦᏅᏅ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎨᏐ
ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏂᏛᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ 1,750 ᎢᏯᎳᏏᏓ ᎾᎿ 6,650
ᎢᏯᎳᏏᏓ ᏩᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏯᎴᏂᎢ. ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ
ᎤᎩᏓᎵᏱ “Rocksvannia” ᎠᏃᏎᎰ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ
ᎢᎦ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏅᏯ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎾᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏲᏟ ᎠᎹ.
ᎾᎿᏃ ᎠᏤ ᎭᎺᏒ, ᎾᎿ ᎤᏁᎦ ᏙᏓᎸᎢ ᏃᎴ
ᏄᏓᎴᎢᎦ. Mount ᏩᏒᏓᏃ ᎾᎿ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ
ᎤᏂᏩᏛᏓ ᎤᏃᏪᎵ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏃᎴ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᎬ ᎦᏚᏗᏢ
ᎡᎶᎯ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎫᏘᏍᎪᎢ.
ᎠᏎᎸᏃ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏦᎢᏧᏈ ᏯᏂ
ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎪᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈᏁᎵᏍᎪ
ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎪ ᎾᎿ ᏣᏥᏱ ᎪᎨᏯ
ᏱᏄᎵᏍᏔᏂ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏎᎸ ᎯᏍᎩᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏧᏈ ᏯᏂ
ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᎪ ᎯᎠ ᏳᎾᏂᎩᏌ ᎺᏂ
ᏩᏂᎷᎦ. Jackson ᎤᏬᎯᏳ ᎤᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᎠᎢᏒ
ᎾᎿ ᎭᏫᎾᏗᏢ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏧᏙᏓᏆᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏱᎩ
ᏕᎭᎷᏱ ᎤᏍᏆᏗᏕᎾ ᏯᏍᏆᏓ.
“ᎤᎪᏓ ᎠᏆᏅᏓᏗᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏙᏢᎾ ᎯᎠ ᏥᎦᏂᎦ.
ᏙᎯᏳ ᎨᏒ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎦ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏘ.
ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎢᎦ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏘ ᎠᎴ ᎬᎩᏁᎸᏍᎬᎢ. ᎤᎪᏓ
ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏗ ᎠᏆᏓᏣᏁᎳ ᏗᎦᏚᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎯᎠ ᎦᏅᏅ
ᎠᏂᏓᏫᎯ Ꮭ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏯᏁᎵᏍᎪ ᎠᏓᏬᏓ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ
CHEROKEE PHOENIX • JULY 2014
SERVICES • nnrpH
Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
Water projects in works
for CN communities
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Serenity Terhune, of Locust Grove, Okla., waters vegetables at Cherokee Heights Head
Start in Pryor as part of the Cherokee Nation’s Learn to Grown garden project. COURTESY
Learn to Grow garden project
teaches better nutrition
BY STAFF REPORTS
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – More than 3,300
children in five counties are growing
squash, lettuce, broccoli, corn and more as
part of Cherokee Nation’s Learn to Grow
garden project, which focuses on teaching
and practicing a higher level of nutrition for
The project, a joint effort between the tribe’s
Child Care Resource and Referral Office and
Healthy Nations, is in its second year. It has been
expanded to 102 child care facilities in Craig,
Mayes, Delaware, Nowata and Ottawa counties.
“Learn to Grow has been an inspiring and
educational project for hundreds of Cherokee
kids,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr.
said. “Generations ago, growing our own
food and sustaining our environment were
something we always passed on to our
children. With this program, we are getting
back to that way of thinking.”
All child care providers in the program
have received two garden beds of soil and
multiple varieties of seeds, including summer
and fall vegetables. Once the vegetables are
ripe, the providers use them to prepare meals
for the children.
“In the first year of the Learn to Grow
garden project, we were able to witness
firsthand children becoming more interested
in nutrition from simply growing their own
vegetables,” project coordinator Lisa Evans
said. “It was amazing to see the children being
active participants in their gardens and the
pride and ownership they took in them.”
Cherokee Heights Head Start teachers in
Pryor use the project to teach children how
to work together to care for the plants while
implementing the food into the nutrition
curriculum. Teacher Rhonda Kingfisher said
the children love to go outside to take turns
watering the plants and watching the progress.
“We’ve shown the kids the process of how
vegetables are grown, and they love getting
to taste them when they’re ready,” Kingfisher
said. “We’ve taught them the nutritional values
of the vegetables and even given parents
information on gardening at home.”
The child care facilities are given materials,
but some providers have taken it upon
themselves to add a personal touch to the
project. The providers at Community Action
Resource and Development Head Start in
Pryor have planted flowers in cans and hung
them around their vegetable garden. A child’s
grandmother also volunteered to help plant
and harvest vegetables, while teaching the
children about the plants.
The Nation’s partners in the Learn to Grow
project include the OSU Extension Office,
Department of Human Services Licensing and
Native American Associations of Ketchum
WEST SILOAM SPRINGS, Okla. – The
Cherokee Nation is working to upgrade
water systems in West Siloam Springs, Oaks
and Colcord in Delaware County to better
Billy Hix, director of CN Environmental
Health and Engineering, said West Siloam
Springs is undergoing construction of a
500,000-gallon water tower, along with new
waterlines and a new booster pump station.
The town was not receiving enough water
to supply its citizens with basic water needs.
Hix said the improvements should ensure
the town has enough water to welcome new
businesses and homes without worrying
about water problems.
West Siloam Springs Water Superintendent
Henry Ward said the town receives its finished
water from Siloam Springs, Ark., which is fed
to the town through a small line that goes
through a subdivision.
“There are a lot of users who use off this
line. During periods of high usage the town
runs out of water over here. We cannot supply
citizens and the (Cherokee) casino,” he said.
“Therefore there was a need to upgrade the
system and put in a water tower for a reservoir.
So during peak hours we would have enough
water to supply everyone.”
He said water pressure at times would drop
to as low as 5 pounds per square inch. The
minimum pressure required is 25 psi. The
low numbers usually occur in the summer
because of the water demand in Arkansas.
With the improvements, the pressure should
stay at approximately 60 psi.
Ward said the projects are under
construction and the deadline for the projects
is Dec. 31.
The West Siloam Springs projects cost
approximately $2.7 million with CN donating
$262,150 and Cherokee Nation Entertainment
donating more than $2.5 million.
In Oaks, the town is undergoing an
upgraded wastewater lagoon system. The
town originally had one small wastewater
lagoon, but the project will create two
bigger lagoons with a third lagoon as an
Oaks City Clerk and Treasurer Darla
Whorton said the new lagoon system was
necessary because the town was on the verge
of being fined for the current system.
“The lagoon that we did have was way too
small, and it was over flowing into the creeks
(Spring Creek) down here,” she said. “They
had to fix them, at least good enough to where
it wouldn’t flow into the creek. Then they had
to start on this project.”
With the new lagoons, the town should be
able to accommodate buildings being added
onto the town’s sewer line. Before, the town
was unable to add a new building for Oaks
school or any houses.
Whorton said the lagoons are being lined
and that the project should be done by
The project cost approximately $1.5 million
with CN donating $351,453.44.
Oaks, as well as Colcord, are also receiving
waterline extensions to better supply water to
Hix said Colcord is under a consent order
for only having one working well, when two
“Water does not meet all maximum
containment levels at the tap for primary
contaminants set by the Environmental
Protection Agency,” he said. “The Department
of Environmental Quality requires a
minimum of two wells.”
Colcord will receive a waterline that will
connect the Colcord Public Works Authority
to Delaware County Rural Water District
No. 11. Oaks is also supplied water via an
emergency connection to RWD No. 11.
“This emergency waterline connected to the
northern end of the Oaks system and flows
through about 1.5 miles of 2-inch waterline,”
Hix said. “This project will replace that 2-inch
line with a new 6-inch line to improve water
pressure and volume available to the Oaks
Hix said the new waterlines in the towns
should provide clean water to CN citizens.
“Providing clean water to our communities
is of the utmost importance, for the health
and well being of the community members,
as well as providing the stability necessary for
economic development,” he said.
Hix said the Colcord project is slated to be
finished within the next year. He said the Oaks
waterline project is in the planning phase but
should be done within 120 days after it begins.
The Colcord waterline costs approximately
$1.1 million with CN donating $5,000. The
Oaks waterline project cost approximately
$165,165 with CN donating $5,000.
Clothing vouchers available in July
Eligible students will receive
Stage gift cards to help with
BY TESINA JACKSON
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Since 2006, the
Cherokee Nation has distributed school clothing
vouchers to eligible candidates. This year, CN
Human Services will begin distributing the
vouchers in July.
“This clothing assistance program is
important because first of all it helps our
Cherokee children,” Angela King, Human
Services Family Assistance manager, said. “It is
our belief that each Cherokee student should be
able to start school with at least one new outfit
so they can feel better about themselves, to help
Students eligible to receive the $100 vouchers,
which are Stage gift cards, include those who will
be or are in kindergarten through 12th grade,
CN citizens and reside in the tribe’s 14-county
jurisdiction. More than 6,700 Stage gift cards
were given in the summer of 2013.
A custodial parent or legal guardian must
complete applications and all information will
need to be verified with documentation. To
receive a voucher, the family must also meet
If students are approved for clothing
assistance, they will also receive letters to pick
up their coat gift cards in the fall.
“It is also important for each Cherokee
student to attend school with a warm, winter
coat,” King said.
Gift cards will be distributed from 10 a.m.
until 7 p.m. at each site. South Coffeeville will be
from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. For more information,
call King at 918-453-5266.
July 7 South Coffeeville Community Center
215 Oklahoma St.
July 8 Bartlesville Community Center
300 S.E. Adams Blvd.
July 9 Nowata High School
707 W. Osage
July 10 Sequoyah High School Gym
Hwy 62 South
July 15 Vinita High School
801 N. Adair St.
July 16 N.E. Technology Center in Kansas, Okla. 450 N. Hwy 59
July 17 Salina Middle School
July 21 Delaware County Fairgrounds
38267 US Hwy 59
July 22 Stilwell High School
1801 Locust St.
July 23 Sallisaw High School
2301 Ruth St.
July 24 Porum High School Gym
Fourth & W. Osage
Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare volunteer Chrissie Sugar, right, helps Nakita Walker,
middle, and her two grandchildren – Jonia Green, far left, and Joe Green – with clothing
voucher applications in 2012. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
July 29 Claremore High School Cafeteria
July 30 Sequoyah High School Gym
July 31 Collinsville High School
201 E. Stuart Rosa
Hwy 62 South
2400 W. Broadway
Family size and Income maximum
1 – $14,588
2 – $19,663
3 – $24,738
4 – $29,813
5 – $34,888
6 – $39,963
7 – $45,038
8 – $50,113
9 – $55,188
10 – $60,263
11 – $65,338
12 – $70,413
SERVICES • nnrpH
2014 Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
JULY 2014 • CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Tribe adds Stilwell-to-West Siloam Springs transit route
Cherokee Nation Transit
offers rides at a discounted
price to CN employees and
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation
Transit recently added a Stilwell-to-West
Siloam Springs route to the KI BOIS Area
Transit System for CN employees and citizens
to ride at reduced costs. The KATS route was
expected to begin June 17.
CN Transit Director Michael Lynn said the
route was created with CN Career Services. He
said Career Services helped create CNT’s routes
because it trains staff for different tribal casino
operations throughout the CN jurisdiction.
“One of the routes from Tahlequah to
Catoosa, as well as the Stilwell to West Siloam
(Springs) that just started, were through Career
Services,” Lynn said. “In fact, Career Services
are actually funding those particular routes.”
Both routes fall under the fixed-route
category, which means the routes are open
to the public and available to those traveling
to exact locations in certain timeframes. For
tribal employees and citizens to receive the
discounted price of 50 cents to a location or
$1 for round trip, they must present their work
identification badges or Certified Degree of
Indian Blood or tribal citizenship cards upon
The tribe works with three transit systems
within its jurisdiction, all with fixed routes.
KATS has five fixed routes: Stilwell to West
Siloam Springs, Tahlequah to Claremore,
Tahlequah to Catoosa, Sallisaw to Tahlequah
and Stillwell to Tahlequah.
The Pelivan Transit System, which operates
in the northern part of the tribe’s jurisdiction,
has four fixed routes: Pryor to Catoosa, Salina
to Tahlequah, Jay to Tahlequah and Tahlequah
to Catoosa routes.
The Muskogee County Transit works with the
tribe for just a Muskogee-to-Tahlequah route.
There is also a demand-response category,
which is available for Native Americans needing
rides to health care facilities, governmental
facilities, jobs, grocery shopping and other
locations of this nature. For tribal citizens to
receive the discounted price of 50 cents to a
location or $1 for round trip, they must present
their Certified Degree of Indian Blood or tribal
citizenship cards upon pick-up. They must
also provide a minimum of 72 hours advanced
notice, if available.
“They can haul folks from their homes
basically to wherever they need to go,” Lynn
said. “We do not fund rides that take them to
casinos or things of that nature.”
Lynn said the transit program is to help
people save money by providing rides so that
they don’t have to spend money driving their
vehicles. He said in fiscal year 2013 the program
provided nearly 55,000 rides.
“If every time they can ride the bus and save
a dollar or two for fuel and wear and tear on
their vehicle we feel it puts dollars back into
their pocket and gives them a more disposable
income,” he said.
CN Transit Clerk Lois Leach is an employee
who uses the transit program. She said while
using the service she saved money from not
having to commute to Tahlequah from Salina.
“I think a lot of them it helps their full
mileage. For me, it would be wear and tear
on a car because I live on a country road,” she
said. “I think that’s a big plus to be able to have
another alternative if anything happened to
your car, then you know you’ll be able to get to
Cherokee Nation Transit began in 2008
working with just KATS and only provided one
fixed route. Since then, it has expanded to 10
fixed routes and now works with KATS, Pelivan
Transit System, Muskogee County Transit and
Cimarron Public Transit.
The Stilwell-to-West Siloam Springs route
has a pick-up time from Stilwell at 7 a.m. Its
pick-up time from West Siloam Springs is 3
p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday.
For more information, visit
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ Transit
ᎾᏞᎬ ᎤᏂᎪᏔᏅ ᏍᏗᎵᏪᎵ ᎾᎿ ᏅᏬᏘ
ᎦᎶᏍᎩ ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᎾᎿ KI BOIS ᎤᏙᏢᏒ Transit
System ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ
ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏂᏁᎳ ᎤᎾᏦᏗ ᎦᏲᏟᎨ ᎢᎬᏁᎸ
ᏚᏂᎬᏩᎶᏛᎢ. ᎾᎿ KATS ᎡᏙᎯ ᎤᏂᏍᏚᎢᏍᏗ
ᎨᏒ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ ᏥᎧᎸ ᎦᎵᏆᏚᏏᏁᎢ.
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ Transit ᎧᏁᏥᏙ Michael
Lynn ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏃᎬᏁᎸ
ᎣᎦᎵᎪᎯ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ Career ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ.
ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Career ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᎲ
ᎪᏢᏅ CNT’S ᎤᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ
ᎤᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎤᏁᏲᎲᏍᎪ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ
ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏧᏂᏆᏂᏲᏍᏗ ᏕᎪᏢᏒ
ᏓᎢᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎢᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ.
“ᏌᏊ ᎦᏅᏅ ᎤᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᏂᏛᏂᎩᏍᎩ
ᏓᎵᏆ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏚᏏ ᏫᎦᎷᎩ, ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᏍᏗᎵᏫᎵ
ᎠᏂᎩᏍᎩ ᏅᏬᏘ ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏃᏊ ᎠᏓᎴᏂ,
ᎾᎿ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏖᎸ Career Services,”
ᎤᏛᏅ Lynn. “ᏙᏳᎪᏛ ᎧᏃᎮᏗ, Career
ᏗᏂᏍᏨᎸᎯᏙ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗ ᎤᎾᏈᏴᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ
ᎢᏧᎳ ᏕᎦᏅᏅ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏂᏙᎬᏗ
ᏧᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ, ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ
ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬ ᏧᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᏓᏟᎶᎥ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏍᏚᎢᏓ
ᎾᎿ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏙᏢ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ
ᎾᎿ ᎤᏅᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏟᎶᎥ ᏩᏥ ᎠᎢᏒ
ᏱᏓᏙᎵᎦ ᎤᏁᏅᏍᏗᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ
ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏂᎥ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏓ ᎡᎳᏗ
ᎢᎬᏁᎸ ᏚᏂᎬᏩᎶᏛ ᎠᏰᏟ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᏌᏆᎦᏘ
ᎾᏕᏲᎸ ᎤᏃᏍᏗ, ᎠᏎ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᏅᏗ
ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎠᏆᏂᏲᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᎾᎥ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎦ
ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎨᏒ ᎪᏪᎳ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ
ᎠᏁᎳ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏆᏂᏲᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᎾᎥ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᏅᏗ
systems ᎾᎿ ᎭᏫᎾᏗᏢ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏓᏟᎶᎥᎢ,
ᏂᎦᏓ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏗᎬᏁᎸ ᏧᏬᏓᏍᏗᎢ.
Kats ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᏍᎩ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏂᏚᏅᏁᎵ
ᏧᏪᏓᏍᏗᎢ: ᏍᏗᎵᏪᎵ ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᏅᏬᏘ, ᏓᎵᏆ
ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᎦᎴᎻᎢ, ᏓᎵᏆ ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᎦᏚᏏ, ᏌᎷᎾᎨᏴ
Cherokee Nation Transit Clerk Lois Leach sits in a Pelivan van after work on June 11 in
Tahlequah, Okla. Leach, like many CN employees, ride tribal transit routes to and from
work to save money. STACIE GUTHRIE/ CHEROKEE PHOENIX
If every time they can ride the bus and save a dollar or
two for fuel and wear and tear on their vehicle, we feel it
puts dollars back into their pocket and gives them a more
– Michael Lynn,
Cherokee Nation Transit director
ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎠᎴ ᏍᏗᎵᏪᎵ ᏭᎦᎷᎩ ᏓᎵᏆ.
ᎾᎿ Pelivan Transit System, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎡᏙᎯ
ᎾᎿ ᎤᏴᏢᎢᏗᏢ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏍᏗᏅᏅ,
ᏅᎩ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏗᎬᏁᎸ ᏧᏪᏓᏍᏗᎢ: ᎧᏩᏲ
ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᎦᏚᏏ, ᎠᎼᎯ ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᏓᎵᏆ, ᏜᏴᎬ
ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎠᎴ ᏓᎵᏆ ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᎦᏚᏏ
ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎰ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎾᎿ ᎫᏐ
ᏂᏛᏂᎩᏍᎩ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎦᎷᎩ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᏐᎢ ᎾᏍᏊ ᏗᎦᏬᎯᎵᏴᎡᏗ-ᎠᏂᎦᏘᏯ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵ ᎤᏂᏩᏛᏗ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ
ᎠᎹᏱᏟ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎦ ᎤᎾᏦᏗ ᎠᏁᎦ ᎾᎿ
ᎦᎾᎦᏘ ᏯᏛᎾ, ᏩᏥᏂ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏳᏂᏂᎬᎦ,
ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ, ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᏳᏂᏂᎬᎦ ᎠᎴ
ᏐᎢ ᎢᎸᏢ ᏳᏂᏂᎬᎦ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎳ
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᎡᎳᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᎸ
ᏓᎬᏩᎶᏛ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎧᎵ ᎾᏕᏲᎸ ᎤᏃᏍᏗ, ᎠᏎᏃ
ᎤᎾᏓᏎᎮᏓ ᎢᎦ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎨᏒ ᎪᏪᎳ ᎪᏪᎵ
ᎠᎴ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎨᏒ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏆᎾᏲᏍᏗ
ᎠᏎᏃ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᏅᏗ ᎦᎵᏆᏍᎪ ᏔᎵ
ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎨᎫᏖᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᎡᎵᏊᏃ ᏧᎾᏘᏅᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᏚᏁᏅᏒ
ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎬ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ,”
ᎤᏛᏅ Lynn. “ᏝᏃ ᏱᏓᎦᏲᏣᏘᏄᎦ ᏧᏂᏆᎾᏲᏍᏗ
ᏳᎾᏚᎵᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗᏓᏂ.”
Lynn ᎤᏛᏅ transit ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᏧᏂᏍᏕᎸᏗ
ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᎾᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎦᏲᏟ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ
ᎤᎾᏦᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ Ꮭ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎤᏂᏱᎸᏍᏗ ᏱᎩ.
ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏦᎦᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ
ᏚᏂᏍᏕᎸᎲ ᎾᎠᏂᎨᏍᏗ ᎯᎦᏍᎪ ᎯᏍᎩ
“ᎾᎾᏣᏂᏒ ᎠᎾᎵᏏᏅᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᎴ
ᎤᏅᏌ ᎤᎾᏤᎵ ᏗᎦᏚᎴᏂ ᎤᎾᎵᏏᏅᏔᏅ
ᎡᎵᏊ ᎤᎾᏠᏩᏛ ᎠᏂᏢᏍᎬ ᎤᎾᏓᏩᏛ,”
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ Transit ᏗᎪᏪᎵᏍᎩ Lois
Leach ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᏗᏍᎪ ᎯᎠ
transit ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ. ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎬᏗᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ
ᎠᎵᏏᏅᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏣᏍᎬ ᏂᏛᏂᎩᏍᎩ
ᎠᎼᎯ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎦᎷᎪᎢ.
ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏓᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎾᎿ
ᎠᎾᏣᏅᏍᎬᎢ. ᎠᏯᏃ ᎨᏒ, ᎾᎿ ᏧᎬᏨᏅᏓ
ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ Ꮭ ᎠᏱᏍᏓᎢ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎩᎶᎯᏍᏗᎢ,”
ᎠᏗᏍᎬ. “ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎢᎦ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏛ
ᏐᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᏫᎦᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎢᏳᏃ
ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏳᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᏗᎦᏚᎴᏂ, ᏣᏅᏙ Ꮟ ᎡᎵᏊ
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ transit ᎤᎾᎴᏅᎲ ᏔᎵ
ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎤᏳᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᏙᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲ
ᏪᏌ ᏧᏙᎩᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏛ ᎾᎿ ᏌᏊ ᎪᏢᎯ
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ, ᎤᏁᏉᏣ ᏃᏊ ᏍᎪᎯ ᏗᎪᏢᎯ
ᏧᏫᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏃᏊ ᎤᎾᎵᎪᏐ ᏪᏌ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ,
Pelivan Transit System, ᎫᏐ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ transit
ᎠᎴ Cimarron Public Transit.
ᎾᏍᎩ ᏍᏗᎵᏪᎵ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᎩ ᎤᏕᎵᎬ ᏅᏬᏘ
ᏫᎦᎷᎩ ᎤᎭ ᎢᏴ ᏧᏭᏖᏍᏗ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᏍᏗᎵᏪᎵ
ᏂᏓᏳᏂᎩᏓ ᎦᎵᏉᎦ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᏌᎾᎴᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ
ᏧᏭᏖᏍᏗ ᎤᏕᎵᎬ ᏅᏬᏘ ᏂᏛᏂᎩᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ
ᏦᎢ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒᎯ ᏒᎯᏱᏯ ᏔᎵᏁᎢᎦ ᏙᏓᏈᏕᎾ
ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᏲᏚᎵ, ᏪᏓᏍᏗ transit.
CN offers burial assistance for needy families
The Burial Assistance
help for families
who are considered
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – When a
loved one dies, many times paying
funeral bills can be a financial burden.
However, that burden can be lifted
or eased by the Cherokee Nation’s
Burial Assistance Program, which
helps citizens of federally recognized
tribes pay funeral expenses.
Family Assistance Director Jerry
Snell said the tribe has provided
part of the program’s funding for
approximately 15 years with the
Bureau of Indian Affairs providing
administered the Burial Assistance
Program for years and years,” he said.
“It’s funded through the BIA. At least
the greater portion of it is funded by
The BIA and CN provide the
program for tribal citizens who
live at poverty levels, which means
they have no money or resources
available to pay towards the burial or
“It’s not an entitlement program,”
he said. “Simply put, by virtue of
being a Cherokee doesn’t entitle you
the benefits of the Burial Assistance
To receive help, the deceased must
be a citizen of a federally recognized
tribe with a tribal citizenship card.
The deceased also must have a Social
Security card and proof of income
for the past year from the deceased or
his/her immediate family such as pay
stubs, proof of all available resources
such as checking/savings account
statement. The deceased must also individuals who for practical reasons
have lived in tribe’s jurisdiction for are not impoverished,” Snell said. “As
a matter of fact, we average about
the past six months.
Also, the remaining family 225 to 230 burials a year,” he said.
select a funeral
say, that’s a
home that has
As a matter of fact, we compared to
an active burial
average about 225 to
the CN, and
230 burials a year.
– Jerry Snell, that
probably lose in
Family Assistance director the year’s time.”
not have an
income greater than 150 percent of offers assistance for approximately
the National Poverty Level standards 60 funeral homes throughout its
for the past 12 months. Also, if jurisdiction, as well as in Siloam
family members have resources of Springs, Ark., and Coffeyville, Kan.
$2,500 for burial they are not eligible
“We have contracts with all of
for assistance. Resources include the funeral homes in northeastern
banking accounts, savings accounts, Oklahoma,” Snell said. “There may
life insurance and veteran’s benefits.
be a funeral home or two that we
“By the time you incorporate don’t have contracts with.”
income eligibility and resource
Two options are offered through
eligibility that rules out all the program. Option 1 is only
available to CN citizens and provides
a burial notice in the deceased’s
local paper, one death certificate, a
memorial package, a cloth covered
wooden casket, concrete outer
container, tent and cemetery set up
and a professional service provided
by the funeral home.
The BIA and CN pay this option in
full, eliminating the financial burden
for the family. The BIA provides
$2,500 and the CN provides $500.
Option 2 is available to citizens
of other federally recognized tribes,
and in some cases, CN citizens.
The option allows the family to
choose any service the funeral home
provides. The BIA will provide a onetime, maximum amount of $2,400
towards the funeral service. The
family will have to pay the remaining
For more information, call 918453-5000, ext. 6266 or email [email protected]
CHEROKEE PHOENIX • JULY 2014
HEALTH • aBk 0sr
Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
Melanoma survivor touts skin protection
Ways of protecting ones
skin include sunscreen of
35 SPF or more, sunglasses
According to the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, when
planning activities during the summer
outside, its important to determine
how much sun protection is needed.
One can check that by checking the
Environmental Protection Agency’s
(EPA) UV index. Visit http://www2.
epa.gov/sunwise/uv-index for more
BY JAMI MURPHY
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – With summer in full
swing its important to take precautions when it
comes to enjoying the day out in the sun. Skin
protection is vital in preventing skin cancer.
Fifteen-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen
Cierra Fields of Fort Gibson protects her skin
daily by wearing protective clothing, as well
as taking other precautions, because she is a
melanoma survivor of 10 years.
“I had congenital melanoma, which means I
inherited it, and I have a 50 percent chance of
any freckle to turn into skin cancer,” Fields said.
Because of melanoma, she said as a young
child she didn’t get to do many things other
kids did or had to do them differently such as
swimming at night.
Fields has worked with the Nation’s Cancer
Programs and its Public Health Educator
Greg Bilby for about three years. She said it’s
important that she tell her story and encourage
people to protect their skin.
On June 6, Bilby and Fields conducted a
presentation for Greenwood Elementary School
and its summer school program in Tahlequah.
The presentation included a skin cancer photo
slide show, as well as Fields telling her story.
“I go around and talk to the kids about my
skin cancer, share my story because it helps the
youth a lot because when Greg (Bilby) talks
about it they just say ‘oh he’s an adult.’ When
they see me and I say how young I am, kids
kind of get this ‘oh’ moment and really realize
what cancer can do,” Fields said. “I wasn’t able
to do as many things (due to skin cancer) and I
How to protect your skin
- Wear proper clothing.
- Remember to protect your head and
eyes with a hat and ultraviolet-resistant
- Avoid sunburns because they can
significantly increase one’s risk of
developing skin cancer.
Fifteen-year-old Cierra Fields, who is a Cherokee Nation citizen from Fort Gibson, speaks
to students on June 6 at Greenwood Elementary in Tahlequah, Okla., about skin cancer and
how to protect one’s skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
wanted to help my friends and others take care
of their skin. I have to always where sunscreen,
hats, wraparounds, sunglasses, long sleeves,
pants, even when its 110 degrees.”
She said she wants to make as many people
aware as possible, especially Native Americans
because “they believe with darker skin that they
can’t get skin cancer.”
“I hope to help my people and others that
they come more aware,” she said. “They can
With an increased chance of getting skin
cancer, Fields had another scare in 2013 on
her leg. Fortunately, because of the extra
precautions she takes, doctors were able to
catch it in time before it spread.
“And I was able to notice it because I have to
Surgical Technology Program
founder named instructor of year
Tommy Hayes started the
Cherokee Nation’s student
surgical tech training five
BY TESINA JACKSON
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – After starting
the Cherokee Nation’s Surgical Technology
Program five years ago, Tommy Hayes
recently received the Association of Surgical
Technologists’ Instructor of the Year Award.
“I wanted to do something to give back,” the
CN citizen said.
After seeing the need to educate more
Cherokees with training programs at the
Nation’s W.W. Hastings Hospital, Hayes
decided to start the student surgical
Hayes, who has worked in the medical
field for 20 years, is a certified surgical
technologist, certified surgical first assistant,
licensed practical nurse and the instructor of
the tribe’s program.
Surgical technologists assist the operating
room process by preparing surgical tools
for use, sterilizing materials to avoid
contamination and help during surgery by
providing doctors with the correct equipment.
The program trains Cherokees to become
surgical technologists in 9-1/2 months.
When Hayes decided to create the program,
he said it was a leap of faith.
“The way that I went about and did it, a
lot of people thought I jumped off the edge
because I literally quit my job, took all the
money I had saved, started traveling, going
to these conferences, learning how to write a
program and how to start a program up and
accreditation. It was scary,” he said.
Hayes said he marketed the program to
the CN hoping it would become solely a
tribal program. Once the tribe adopted the
class in 2010, it became the CN Surgical
“My hat’s off to the first two years classes
because they were just literally tables and
chairs and books and just what I taught them,”
Hayes said. “We didn’t have a lot of hands-on,
so they had it hard. Later classes that got the
lab, they really got a more visual of what the
whole perioperative operating wheel is.”
Hayes said the classroom’s location would
change frequently to what room was available
or reserved at that time. Occasionally, class
would be held outside at a picnic table if a
room wasn’t available. Currently, the program
is housed at Southgate Business Center on
Highway 62 in Tahlequah and consists of a
classroom, lab and sterile supply room.
Also, the CN program is the only tribal surgical
technology program in the United States.
“And it’s the only one where the Cherokee
Nation will fund a student to go through and
they’re debt free,” Hayes said.
Five to six students are selected per class,
which is taught twice a year, and receive a
$7.25 per hour stipend.
Hayes said at times there are 60 to 70
candidates and it’s always hard to select for the
“That’s what we come across,” he said. “It
all boils down to the student though. What
you put into it is what you’re going to get out
of it. If you put a lot into, put a lot into your
studying, it shows.”
Hayes said he hopes to expand the program
via a bigger facility and being able to accept
In 2010, the program became nationally
accredited. This let students to be nationally
certified and work across the country if they
passed the national certification exam.
CN Career Services provides students
taking the class with three sets of scrubs,
class supplies and materials. Because of
the program’s intensity, students tend to
only spend their time in the classroom and
studying, not working a regular job.
Hayes said because of the program’s
compressed schedule, some students don’t
make it through.
“That’s really kind of hard to swallow
especially for me as an instructor but one
thing is this program is nine and a half months
where some programs are two years,” he said.
“This program is really compressed, and if a
student gets behind it’s hard for them to catch
up. It’s all about commitment, you really have
to budget your time.”
Hayes said the first five months consist
of bookwork and lab, while the remaining
months is clinical.
“It’s all academics the first five months. If
you neglect that in any way, you get behind
and then you’re constantly playing catch up
and it makes it miserable for the students
because it’s so compressed and sometimes
we don’t have time to go back because we’re
constantly moving everyday. It builds,” he said.
Some students who have completed the
program are working at Hastings Hospital,
Tahlequah City Hospital and hospitals in
Muskogee, Tulsa and Arkansas.
“It’s always sad for me to see students leave
because I get close to them and I’m a part of
them and they’re a part of me. It’s a bonding
relationship,” Hayes said.
Established in 1969, the AST represents
more than 80,000 surgical technologists and is
governed by a board of directors. Hayes also
received recognition for outstanding service at
W.W. Hastings Hospital and with the program
at the June 16 Tribal Council meeting.
For more information, call Patricia Sumner
at 918-316-0718 or email [email protected]
take picture of all my moles to keep track,” she
said. “I noticed that one had started to change
and I just got (a) punch biopsy and I was very
lucky because it was about to start changing
and spreading. But we caught it early enough.
That was early stage melanoma.”
A punch biopsy is considered the primary
technique for obtaining diagnostic fullthickness skin specimens for skin disorder tests.
Fields said optimum hours to take skin
precautions are from noon to 4 p.m. She added
that it’s important to avoid the sun on heavy
smog days or when people are warned of the
sun being “extremely intense.” On those days
it’s important to either stay indoors or be out
as little as possible while using additional skin
protection methods, she said.
- Go for the shade and stay out of the
sun, if possible, between the peak sun
hours of noon and 4 p.m.
- Use extra caution when near reflective
surfaces such as water, snow and sand.
- Use extra caution when at higher
altitudes. You can experience more UV
exposure at higher altitudes, because
there is less atmosphere to absorb UV
- Use broad-spectrum sunscreen and
*Information was taken from
the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services
honor Dr. Grim
BY JAMI MURPHY
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation
Health Services held a surprise lunch on
June 11 at the Cherokee Springs Grill for
Dr. Charles Grim, Health Services deputy
executive director, to celebrate “Charles W.
Grim Day.” In 2003, former Gov. Brad Henry
dedicated the date in honor of Grim.
Grim said when that occurred it was during
his Senate confirmation hearing for his
director of Indian Health Service.
He said usually when a presidential
appointee gets nominated either one or both of
the senators from the appointee’s state come in
and introduce the nominee to the committee
before the hearing.
“So the two senators from the state of
Oklahoma came in and were setting on either
side of me and were saying something nice
about me. And prior to the meeting I had to
go meet with each of them separate, so they
got to know me a little better,” he said.
Grim said during the hearing the two
Republican senators approved of his
appointment to IHS and said they agreed with
Gov. Henry’s dedicating June 11 as “Charles
W. Grim Day” in Oklahoma.
“That’s kind of how they ended their talk
about me, and I was surprised and shocked and
didn’t even know you could do such a thing.
But I felt very humbled and very honored by
it,” Grim said.
Health Services Executive Director Connie
Davis said the department decided to celebrate
Grim because of him being an asset to Health
Services, as well as for it being “Dr. Charles W.
“He was appointed by President (George
W.) Bush to that position, and you know we’re
just honored that he helps us run this health
system. I couldn’t do it without him,” Davis
said. “He’s a great resource and a great friend.”
Grim said it was a surprise and honor that
his fellow workers honored him on his day.
“For this group of people to remember that
or to know that even and then do it, I was just
sitting here thinking what a special group of
people I really work with,” he said.
Dr. Charles Grim, right, is celebrated by members of Cherokee Nation Health Services at
a June 11 lunch held in his honor at Cherokee Springs Golf Club in Tahlequah, Okla. In
2003, Gov. Brad Henry dedicated June 11 to be Charles Grim Day in Oklahoma after his
being named Director of Indian Health Services. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
2014 Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
HEALTH • aBk 0sr
JULY 2014 • CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Tick season is here so take precautions
Ticks can carry diseases
such as the Heartland Virus
BY JAMI MURPHY
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – With warmer
weather among us, people tend to spend more
time participating in outdoor activities. But it’s
important to remember that warmer weather
brings ticks and the illnesses they can carry.
Although a small percentage of ticks carry
disease-causing bacteria, it’s important to take
precautions such as using insect repellent,
wearing long sleeves and pants while outdoors,
avoiding bushy and wooded areas and check
thoroughly after spending time outside.
One disease that ticks can carry is the
Heartland Virus. Earlier this year, a Delaware
County man died from the illness, Oklahoma
State Department of Health officials confirmed.
Officials said it was the first case and death
caused by the virus in Oklahoma.
According to the OSDH, the virus is found
in the Lone Star tick and was first seen in
Missouri in 2009.
“The Oklahoma case is only the 10th person
confirmed with the virus and the second person
to die from it. Other cases have occurred
in Missouri and Tennessee,” according to
the OSDH. “All of the patients diagnosed
with Heartland Virus reported spending
several hours per day in outside activities or
As of March, there have been eight cases
reported of the disease in Missouri and Tennessee.
Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headaches,
muscle aches, loss of appetite, nausea, bruising
easily and diarrhea. Most patients require
hospitalization but fully recover.
Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi,
Shown are four examples of the Lone
Star tick which can carry deseases such
as Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Borrelia
miyamotoi and, Colorado tick fever.
TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The money will help
purchase radiology and
dental equipment, as
well as wheelchairs and
BY STAFF REPORTS
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Lone Star tick can carry the
Heartland Virus, which killed a Delaware County man earlier this year. COURTESY
The Oklahoma case is only the 10th person confirmed with
the virus and the second person to die from it. Other cases
have occurred in Missouri and Tennessee.
– Oklahoma State Department of Health
Colorado tick fever, Lyme disease, Powassan,
Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, Rocky Mountain
spotted fever, Southern tick-associated rash
illness and Tickborne relapsing fever.
Communications, CN infection preventionist
Jennifer Belden said from October 2013 to May
2014 CN Health Services reported 34 cases of
Ehrlichlosis and six cases of Tularemia to the
Oklahoma Department of Health.
According to the Centers for Disease
Control, Ehrlichlosis symptoms develop one
to two weeks after being bitten by an infected
tick. Symptoms include fever, headache,
chills, malaise, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, confusion, conjunctival injection (red
eyes) and rash.
Ehrlichlosis can be fatal if not treated
correctly, even in previously healthy people.
Patients who are treated early may recover
quickly on outpatient medication, while
those who experience a more severe case may
require intravenous antibiotics, prolonged
hospitalization or intensive care.
Signs and symptoms of Tularemia vary
depending on how the bacteria enter the body.
Illness ranges from mild to life-threatening. All
forms are accompanied by fever, which can be
as high as 104 ° F.
Two tick-associated forms of the disease are
ulceroglandular and glandular.
Ulceroglandular is the most common form
and usually occurs following a tick or deer fly
bite or after handing of an infected animal. A
skin ulcer appears at the site where the organism
entered the body. The ulcer is accompanied by
swelling of regional lymph glands, usually in
the armpit or groin.
Glandular is similar to ulceroglandular
tularemia but without an ulcer. Also generally
acquired through the bite of an infected tick or
deer fly or from handling sick or dead animals.
The CDC states that Tularemia symptoms can
be mistaken for other more common illnesses.
It is important to share with your health care
provider any likely exposures, such as tick
and deer fly bites. Blood tests and cultures can
help confirm the diagnosis. Antibiotics used
to treat Tularemia and treatment usually lasts
10 to 21 days depending on the stage of illness
and the medication used. Although symptoms
may last for several weeks, most patients
TickborneDiseases.pdf for more information
on infectious diseases cause by tick bites.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Through a Indian
Health Services grant, the Cherokee Nation
recently received $2,577,845 that will be
disbursed at W.W. Hastings Hospital and
four of its health centers.
Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah will
receive $910,645, while the Sam Hider
Health Center in Jay will get $469,203. The
Redbird Smith Health Center in Sallisaw
will get $402,293, while the Cooweescoowee
Health Center in Ochelata will receive
$397,852. The Wilma P. Mankiller Health
Center in Stilwell is set to get $397,852.
The grant will help purchase state-of-theart radiology equipment, dental equipment,
wheelchairs, defibrillators and more. The
Redbird Smith and Wilma P. Mankiller
Health centers will also use funds for new
equipment in their respective expansion
“The Cherokee Nation’s mission is to
increase access to quality care for Cherokee
people, and the Indian Health Services
investment will allow us to provide more
essential services for more families,”
Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “The
additional IHS funding helps provide
state-of-the-art medical equipment for our
people, because every Cherokee citizen
deserves the best possible health care we can
CN Health Services Executive Director
Connie Davis called the money an
“The Cherokee Nation will have new
health facilities opening over the next year,
and our citizens deserve the best equipment
to go along with them,” she said. “New
facilities and state-of-the-art equipment
allow Cherokee Nation Health Services to
continue to better the lives of our citizens
and be the leader in health care throughout
2014 Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/
BY WILL CHAVEZ
WAUHILLAU, Okla. – On Easter Sunday
1887, the Female Seminary at Park Hill burned
to the ground, requiring the Cherokee National
Council to come to Tahlequah to discuss
funding another one. Tribal Councilor Ned
Christie traveled to the Cherokee capital in
early May from his home in Wauhillau, about
12 miles east.
“He was a popular person in the government
and he gave great speeches, they say, and he was
interesting to look at,” Roy Hamilton, special
projects officer in the tribe’s Office of History
and Preservation and Christie’s great-nephew,
Ned was born on Dec. 14, 1852, to Watt
Christie and Lydia Thrower in Wauhillau
where his family had settled after the Trail of
Tears. In his lifetime, he married four times and
had two daughters and a son.
Written accounts state Ned was a blacksmith
and a good Cherokee marble player. Elected to
the council in 1885, he was known for being a
tribal sovereignty advocate.
At the same time the council met in
Tahlequah to discuss rebuilding the seminary,
U.S. Deputy Marshal Dan Maples was in town
searching for illegal whiskey.
Hamilton said the deputy was shot and
killed near the town’s creek, south of where the
Female Seminary would later be rebuilt, which
is today’s Northeastern State University.
“It was called it Big Branch back then. The
next day they (council) find out Ned Christie
has been accused of the killing,” Hamilton said.
“He (Ned) had been in town that night at a
speakeasy...called Nancy Shell’s place where she
would sell illegal whiskey.”
Ned purchased a bottle of liquor and allegedly
only sampled the whiskey before heading back
to where he was staying for the night. He later
told his family he took his bottle of whiskey and
left. He said his last recollection would be down
by Big Branch where he sat down because he
was dizzy and he fell asleep, Hamilton said.
After he awoke, he learned he had been
accused of killing Maples. He asked a relative
for advice and then goes home to Wauhillau.
His accusers included men who had been at
Shell’s the night before.
“They had been arrested, but as they gave
testimony accusing Ned, they had been let go,”
Ned is asked to turn himself in to the federal
court in Fort Smith, Ark. But fearing he would
not get a fair hearing, he refuses.
“It’s a jury of white persons and all older
men, and he just doesn’t think there’s a chance
for him. So he asks for a short amount of time
to defend himself and find out what happened
by sending a note to the court in Fort Smith.
The response is no. They have already issued
a warrant and a procedure for him to turn
himself in to stand trial. He says he’s not going
to do that,” Hamilton said.
His family rallies around him and agrees that
he should stay in Wauhillau.
“It’s only a matter of time before the first
posse arrives to capture him. There’s a shootout
and they don’t realize that it’s just him and his
wife at the time (in his home). He’s actually shot
through the side of his head,” Hamilton said.
CULTURE • i=nrplcsd
JULY 2014 • CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A Cherokee Patriot
An 1885 tintype photograph of Cherokee blacksmith Ned Christie, left, and his half-brother,
Jim Christie, is considered one of the few images of Ned, who is known as both a hero and
an outlaw. The picture, from the Cherokee National Historical Society, was recently one
of Oklahoma’s top 10 artifacts to be recognized by the Oklahoma Cultural Heritage Trust.
The posse didn’t realize Ned had been shot
and they see his wife leave the back of the
house. Hamilton said the posse believes she is
going for help and his family will soon be there
to help, so they leave.
The wife returns with Ned’s brother Goback
Christie and a white man named Nicholas
Bitting, who was a doctor and living with a
Cherokee woman in Wauhillau.
“So they come and they doctor him, and
they (community) decide they have to do more
because this is going to continue to happen,”
Community members decides to build Ned
a home and make it impervious to bullets by
building it with thick logs cut by a steam-driven
sawmill brought to Wauhillau by Goback, who
is a wood worker.
“They begin the process of building the
house, which is double-wall thick. And in
between those walls they pour sand and they
don’t put any windows, but they leave slots
to look out of where they can put their rifles
through. So it becomes quite a fortress, and
over time it becomes known as ‘Ned’s Fort,’” he
Women also built a rock fence around the
“fort” and a lookout was established west of
the Ned’s home on a tall hill that is called “Ned
Mountain” today. It enabled lookouts to watch
Hamilton said a system was developed where
if something suspicious was seen or heard,
people would pass yells down the valley until
Ned was warned.
“Every once in a while somebody would
come, a bounty hunter or U.S. marshal or
someone that thinks they’re brave enough to
capture him for the reward that’s been set,”
Ned held out for nearly five years. On Nov.
3, 1892, a posse of about 30 men arrived from
Fort Smith, armed with a small cannon, to
arrest him. They wait for dawn near a spring
west of Ned’s home.
“Toward morning a young man that has been
living with Ned Christie for several years, who
calls himself Arch Christie, gets up to go down
to the spring to get water,” Hamilton said. “As he
gets close to the spring, he hears a rustle above
it and he realizes something or somebody is
there. As he turns to run back to the cabin, they
(posse) shoot at him. They shoot him through
the neck, but they don’t mortally wound him,
and he makes it back into the house.”
Arch makes it back to the house to warn
Ned, who is there with his wife Nancy, their
daughter Charlotte and her baby, and another
man named Ned Adair.
Nancy, Hamilton’s great-grandmother,
married Ned’s brother Jack Christie after Ned’s
death and passed down stories to the family
about Ned and the day he was killed.
Hamilton said Ned told Nancy the night
before that he had a premonition and he knew
that it was his time, but he would continue to
fight because he was innocent. So, he asked
Nancy to cut off his long hair and they used
Cherokee medicine to bless Ned.
In the morning a “small battle” breaks out
and the cannon, which used bullet-shaped
projectiles meant to penetrate the home’s thick
walls, wakes the whole valley. Hamilton said
about 30 cannon rounds were fired at the home
before the barrel overheated and exploded. The
cannon did not damage Ned’s home.
Meanwhile, Ned was trying to get his family
to leave the home through a back door. They at
first refused but eventually left.
Next, the posse placed dynamite on one side
of the home and ignited it, which started a fire.
At this time only Ned and Arch were in the
“He (Ned) finally tells him ‘you go out the
back, I’ll draw their fire from the front to
protect you and you’ll get away,” Hamilton said.
“So, Arch finally goes out the back and as he
does Ned takes his rifle and opens the front
door and he walks out. He has no ammunition
left at that time. He walks out holding up the
gun and of course the marshals shoot him and
he falls to the ground.”
Ned’s family asks for the body, but the
posse tells them they must take the body to
collect their reward. The body is tied to a cellar
door and taken to Fayetteville, Ark., where
photographs are made, and then to Fort Smith
where the reward was paid.
The body is later given to the family, and Ned
is buried in the family cemetery in Wauhillau.
In 1918, a man named Dick Humphreys
claimed to be an eyewitness to the killing of
Maples. He said a man named Bub Trainor,
a boyfriend of Shell, killed Maples, but
Humphreys was afraid to tell the truth fearing
Trainor would kill him.
“He tells the story of how he saw him
(Trainor) take a gun and coat off of Ned and go
shoot Maples and then return and put the coat
down beside and lay the pistol in his pocket,”
He said, after Ned was killed, four men
killed Trainor in the Choctaw Nation during
an altercation, which gave Humphreys peace of
mind to tell his story.
Hamilton said the Christie family and other
Cherokee people in the area consider Ned a
patriot who fought for his rights and the rights
of the Nation.
Diligwa village celebrates first anniversary
The attraction provides
guests with an experience
of authentic Cherokee life
in the 1700s.
BY TESINA JACKSON
PARK HILL, Okla. – The Cherokee Heritage
Center’s Diligwa village, where guests are
provided with an enhanced experience of
authentic Cherokee life and history, celebrated
its first anniversary in June.
Located on the CHC’s grounds, it’s an
outdoor Cherokee town set in the 1700s where
visitors can witness how Cherokees traded with
European settlers. Tribal officials opened the
attraction on June 3, 2013.
“In celebration of Diligwa’s one-year
anniversary we are having recreations of trade
encounters that would have been happening
in 1710 in Cherokee villages,” Dr. Candessa
Tehee, CHC executive director, said. “So we are
going to have someone who is representing a
trader; we’re going to have a Cherokee man and
a Cherokee woman who are involved in a trade
Visitors can see villagers interact with
“European traders” to understand how trade
functioned in a Cherokee village.
“It has a lot to do with how the Cherokees
first started to trade and how our society and
culture starts to change in the 1710 period,”
villager Danny McCarter said.
McCarter, who has worked at the CHC for
more than 30 years, said the attraction helps
educate visitors about the Cherokee people.
The trade demonstration includes a
Cherokee man and woman negotiating with a
European settler. One item Cherokees sought
was the lightweight cotton shirt because it was
more breathable, easy to repair and allowed
them to focus on other tasks instead of making
clothing from deerskin.
While visiting the village, which took two
years to construct, visitors are guided through
Cherokee Heritage Center Diligwa villager Noel Grayson inspects a musket during a
demonstration of villagers interacting with European traders at the CHC in Park Hill, Okla.
TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
stations where crafts are demonstrated, stories
are told and life ways are explained.
“Whenever you arrive you are greeted inside
of an open air structure. There is seating there
that is made of river cane, so you’ll be greeted
by your tour guide there and then you’ll be take
to the first summer and winter home, which
is sort of our trade area,” Tehee said. “And
whenever you enter that area, you’re told about
how trade would’ve happened, how many furs
a musket costs and things like that. From there
you make your way down to the finger-weaving
station where they talk about some of the textile
arts that we had.”
The village includes eight residential summer
and winter homes, a corncrib and a kitchen
garden, 14 interpretive stations, a primary
council house and summer council pavilion
and a stickball field area.
Tehee said after the finger-weaving station,
visitors are directed to the blowgun area
and then the stickball area where they can
participate in a stickball game.
“And they will move around to pottery where
they are able to view pottery and be educated
about the roll and coil method that Cherokee
potters use, stamping and paddles, pinch pots,”
she said. “And then they move to the bowmaking station where flint napping and bow
making are demonstrated.”
Tehee added that visitors also see a basketry
demonstration area before going to the council
house where information about dances and the
seven clans is provided.
Tehee said that during the first year more
than 40,000 people visited Diligwa.
“In 1967 when the original ancient village
was constructed, and we have actually recently
completed demolition and cleanup on that
area, it was the biggest tourist attraction in
Oklahoma for the first 10 years of its opening. It
was unparalleled in terms of tourism,” she said.
“So for us now to be able to take historically
accurate information, so we’re able to get the
size of the homes accurately portrayed in the
village that we have, it’s really amazing.”
Diligwa is a name derivative of Tellico, a
village in the east that was once the principal
Cherokee town and is now underwater. Tellico
was the Cherokee Nation capital and center of
commerce before the emergence of Echota in
today’s Monroe County, Tenn.
Tellico was often referred to as the “wild rice
place” and became synonymous with a native
grain that grew in the flats of east Tennessee.
Many believe when the Cherokees arrived in
Indian Territory, the native grasses that grew
around the foothills of the Ozarks reminded
them of the grassy areas of Tellico. They called
their new home “Di li gwa,” Tah-le-quah or
Teh-li-co, “the open place where the grass
“People hear about Diligwa. They hear about
the new village and they had experienced
the ancient village with their fathers or their
grandparents or on a school trip many years
ago, and they want to bring their kids through
and they want to come and experience the
new village the same way they experienced
the new one,” Tehee said. “And we’ve had a lot
of comments on that from people who come
through that they just want to experience the
new village, so we try to accommodate them as
best as we can.”
Diligwa tours are offered every half hour
from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
For more information, 918-456-6007.
CHEROKEE PHOENIX • JULY 2014
Ewf #>hAmh • JB?/