Judge issues final judgment on Freedmen case

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
02/23/2018 12:00 PM
WASHINGTON – Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan issued a final judgment in the case of Cherokee Nation v. Nash, Vann and the Department of Interior on Feb. 20, regarding Cherokee Freedmen citizenship.

This judgment follows the CN’s motion for a final judgment.

Hogan’s judgment states, “There is no reason for delay in entry of a final judgment in this action. The issue of the citizenship rights of Cherokee Freedmen has been litigated for many years and now that ruling has been made, all citizens of the Cherokee Nation are entitled to a final judgment not only for closure but also to facilitate implementation and enforcement of the court’s ruling.”

He added that any claims remaining between the Freedmen and the federal defendants “can be litigated by them fully independent of the claims involving the Cherokee Nation and its officers.”

On Aug. 30, Hogan denied the CN and Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s motion for “partial summary judgment” and granted the Freedmen “cross-motion for partial summary judgment” and the Interior’s motion for “summary judgment” in the case.
https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

Hembree’s term-limit opinion challenged

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
02/21/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen David Cornsilk on Feb. 19 petitioned the District Court to overturn Attorney General Todd Hembree’s opinion regarding four-year administrative term limits and block two current officials from another possible candidacy in 2019.

The petition asks the court to declare Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden ineligible for candidacy in the next general election because they have served after winning “two consecutive” elections in 2011 and 2015.

“I served on the Constitution Convention in 1999, and one of the main things that the Cherokee people had stated that they wanted at that time is term limits,” Cornsilk said. “I really believe in constitutional government and that the Constitution should be interpreted the way the common man understands it, not the way an attorney might twist the language to achieve an end.”

Assistant Attorney General Chrissi Nimmo said the office has reviewed the petition and stands behind Hembree’s opinion. “We obviously believe that the AG’s opinion that we issued is correct on the law and the facts, and we plan to defend it.”

Article VII, Section 1 of the Constitution states the principal chief “shall hold office for a term of four years. No person having been elected to the office of Principal Chief in two (2) consecutive elections shall be eligible to file for the office of Principal Chief in the election next following his or her second term of office.”

Cherokee Phoenix marks 190th anniversary

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
02/21/2018 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH – This year marks the 190th anniversary of when the Cherokee Phoenix was first published on Feb. 21, 1828, in New Echota, Georgia, a former Cherokee Nation capital.

It was the first bilingual newspaper in North America, printed in Cherokee, using Sequoyah’s syllabary, and English.

Since 1828, the Phoenix has only been printed a total of 25 years – from 1828 to 1834 in the old CN and from October 2000 to present day. The Cherokee Advocate newspaper followed the Phoenix and was printed from September 1844 until March 1906 and then from January 1977 until September 2000.

“As a tribal citizen I’m thankful that the Cherokee Nation has always been a leader when it comes to documenting and telling its own story. There isn’t anything more important than having Native voices to represent our communities and people and to tell the stories about tribal issues, said CN citizen Jennifer Bell, editor of the Hownikan, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s newspaper. “As a Cherokee, I’m proud to have the Cherokee Phoenix as an example of how this has been done for 190 years.”

Its creation in 1825 by the Cherokee National Council was part of an assimilation process by Cherokee leadership. Officials thought if they lived like their white neighbors – building schools, opening businesses and government offices and having a newspaper – that perhaps Georgians would accept them and let them stay on their lands.
A display in the Cherokee Supreme Court Building in Tahlequah profiles the Cherokee Phoenix and Cherokee Advocate newspapers. The Phoenix’s first editor, Elias Boudinot, left, and the Advocate’s first editor, William Potter Ross, are shown in the displays. The Phoenix turned 190 years old on Feb. 21. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Plaques at the New Echota State Historic Site in Calhoun, Georgia, honor the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper, the first bilingual newspaper in North America, printed in Cherokee, using Sequoyah’s syllabary, and in English. The newspaper was first published 190 years ago on Feb. 21, 1828, in New Echota. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX The Cherokee Phoenix’s first editor, Elias Boudinot, was part of a prominent Cherokee family, the brother of Stand Watie, nephew of Major Ridge and cousin of John Ridge. Boudinot, his brother Stand, John Ridge and Elijah Hicks, raised money to start the newspaper. Boudinot also went on a fundraising tour in Philadelphia and New York to find financing for it. COURTESY The Cherokee Advocate replaced the Cherokee Phoenix following the removal of Cherokee people to Indian Territory. On Sept. 26, 1844, the first issue of the Cherokee Advocate was printed, in Cherokee and English, in the Supreme Court building in Tahlequah under the guidance of William Potter Ross, a Princeton University graduate. The newspaper was “to inform and encourage the Cherokees in agriculture, education and religion and to enlighten the world with correct Indian news.” The issue shown was published in March 1997. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Today’s Cherokee Phoenix is one of only a handful of tribal newspapers in the United States that is a free press newspaper, which was made possible by the Cherokee Independent Press Act of 2000. The act protects the newspaper from undue influence from the government. Along with a monthly newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix has a website and uses the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sends a daily email newsletter. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A display in the Cherokee Supreme Court Building in Tahlequah profiles the Cherokee Phoenix and Cherokee Advocate newspapers. The Phoenix’s first editor, Elias Boudinot, left, and the Advocate’s first editor, William Potter Ross, are shown in the displays. The Phoenix turned 190 years old on Feb. 21. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Tour Tahlequah brings Bassmaster College Series to town

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
02/20/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH (AP) – Bassmaster has officially announced the 2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops will take place in Tahlequah.

Tour Tahlequah, more formally known as the Tahlequah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the local sponsor and will partner with Northeastern State University, the Cherokee Nation and local businesses to bring the college fishing tournament July 19-21 to Lake Tenkiller and the city.

“What an honor it is to have the city of Tahlequah chosen for the 2018 Bassmaster Collegiate Fishing Tournament,” said Aubrey Valdez, Tour Tahlequah assistant director. “We are gearing up for this event and are excited to show our Oklahoma hospitality to fishermen and spectators. We already have an enormous amount of support from Northeastern State University, Cherokee Nation, city officials and many others, and know July will be here in a flash. We hope to make this a memorable occasion for everyone involved.”

Presented by Bass Pro Shops, the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship provides the opportunity for college anglers from across the country to compete at a national level. Anglers participating in the championship tournament must first qualify by competing in qualifying tournaments during the 2017-2018 season. At the national championship, one college angler will earn a berth in the biggest tournament in bass fishing: the Bassmaster Classic.

“Competing in a national championship tournament is the ultimate goal,” said Tyler Winn, Tahlequah sophomore and NSU fishing team member. “To think this tournament will be here in Tahlequah is unreal. Anglers from all over the country will fish on the lake I’ve grown up on.”
An angler holds a smallmouth bass he caught out of Lake Tenkiller in this 2016 photo. The 2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops will be held at the lake July 19-21 as part of a collaboration with Tour Tahlequah, Northeastern State University, the Cherokee Nation and local businesses. COURTESY
An angler holds a smallmouth bass he caught out of Lake Tenkiller in this 2016 photo. The 2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops will be held at the lake July 19-21 as part of a collaboration with Tour Tahlequah, Northeastern State University, the Cherokee Nation and local businesses. COURTESY

Blue Star Mothers donate memorial stone

BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
02/20/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizens and members of the Tahlequah Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers on Feb. 8 dedicated a memorial stone honoring military veterans at the Cherokee Warrior Memorial adjacent to the Tribal Complex.

The stone reads: “Honoring our Military Sons and Daughters, Blue Star Mother’s OK21, Tahlequah, OK.”

BSMOK21 President Billie Walker and Founder Melody Parker dedicated the stone before a small group consisting of Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Deputy Chief and U.S. Navy veteran S. Joe Crittenden, Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd and CN Veterans Center Director Barbara Foreman.

“It took a year to make this memorial a reality,” Walker said. “There are sons and daughters deployed now. This stone will be here long after they get home.”

The stone was Parker’s idea. “Each month our chapter sends boxes of items to our soldiers. Items like gloves, socks, anything we can afford that make their time away easier. It let’s them know we’re thinking of them. One hundred percent of the Blue Star Mother’s funding comes from donations.”
Blue Star Mothers Chapter OK21 President Billie Walker and Founder Melody Parker stand near a memorial stone honoring military veterans at the Cherokee Warrior Memorial on Feb. 8 in Tahlequah. The Tahlequah Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers organization dedicated the stone reads: “Honoring our Military Sons and Daughters, Blue Star Mother’s OK21, Tahlequah, OK.” ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Blue Star Mothers Chapter OK21 President Billie Walker and Founder Melody Parker stand near a memorial stone honoring military veterans at the Cherokee Warrior Memorial on Feb. 8 in Tahlequah. The Tahlequah Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers organization dedicated the stone reads: “Honoring our Military Sons and Daughters, Blue Star Mother’s OK21, Tahlequah, OK.” ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Greater Tulsa Indian Art Festival hits 31 years

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
02/19/2018 04:00 PM
GLENPOOL – Native artists from Oklahoma and out-of-state tribes gathered to show their works and educate the public about their crafts Feb. 9-11 at the 31st Greater Tulsa Indian Art Festival.

The festival, the largest inter-tribal fine art show in the Tulsa area, also ranks among the best fine art shows for genuine Native art in the country. Chairman Robert Trepp said the event began in 1987 and was inspired by the cast of the 1984 American Indian Theater Company production “Black Elk Speaks.”

“It was really inspired by a lot of the cast from ‘Black Elk Speaks’ that was put on here in Tulsa, and it’s just grown through the years,” Trepp said. “It’s nationally known. It’s got a big emphasis on Eastern Woodlands cultures, which most shows do not have.”

Volunteers largely run the festival as it draws various artists including painters, potters and jewelers.

“We have artists from all over the country,” Trepp said. “I think for local artists it’s an opportunity for them especially to see each other again and to have that fellowship to share ideas, compare notes as to what they’ve been up to. And for our people out of state, it’s an opportunity for them to come and meet with our local artists.”
Video Frame selected by Cherokee Phoenix
A group of girls view artwork from Native American artist at the Greater Tulsa Indian Art Festival, which took place Feb. 9-11 at the Glenpool Conference Center in Glenpool. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee National Treasure Jane Osti was the 2018 Greater Tulsa Indian Art Festival Featured Artist.  Here she holds her a pottery piece titled “Woodland Song.” BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee National Treasure Jane Osti had several pieces of pottery on display at the 2018 Greater Tulsa Indian Art Festival, including a turtle with traditional artwork and the Cherokee syllabary. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Ryan Lee Smith conducts a painting demonstration at his booth on Feb. 9 at the Greater Tulsa Indian Art Festival in Glenpool. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A group of girls view artwork from Native American artist at the Greater Tulsa Indian Art Festival, which took place Feb. 9-11 at the Glenpool Conference Center in Glenpool. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

CN judicial branch moves to Tribal Complex

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
02/19/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation’s judicial branch has moved from its downtown location inside the CN Capitol Building to space in the recently built second story of the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex.

The Capitol Building was built after the Civil War, completed in 1869 and occupies the center of Tahlequah’s town square. In 1991, the Tribal Council re-established the District Court to utilize the Capitol Building to hear civil, juvenile and adoption cases.

After 27 years and several attempts at a new facility, the CN court system has moved to a new and more modern location.

“We’ve been in the Capitol Building since 1991, whenever the council passed legislation allowing us to continue doing our District Court. We started out there and we pretty much outgrew this building as our caseload started growing,” Court Administrator Lisa Fields said.

The new location encompasses 15,385 square feet of more space and “state-of-the-art” equipment.
The Cherokee Nation Capital Building in Tahlequah has served as the tribe’s courthouse since 1991. On Feb. 16, the CN court system saw its final court docket in the building and has moved to the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex. ARCHIVE The Cherokee Nation court system now has a new and larger courtroom on the second floor of the W.W. Keeler Complex in Tahlequah. The complex is the judicial branch’s new home. On Feb. 16, the court system saw its final court docket in the CN Capitol Building. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHEONIX
The Cherokee Nation Capital Building in Tahlequah has served as the tribe’s courthouse since 1991. On Feb. 16, the CN court system saw its final court docket in the building and has moved to the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex. ARCHIVE
http://www.wherethecasinomoneygoes.com

First Oklahoma Cherokee immersion students to graduate

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
02/19/2018 08:30 AM
TAHELQUAH (AP) — Thirteen years ago, in an unguarded moment on her first day of kindergarten, Emilee Chavez spoke a single word of English. And a classmate immediately ran to tell the teacher.

“Hey,” the teacher raised her voice harshly, “you can’t use English here. Speak Cherokee, or don’t say anything at all.”

Chavez’s parents would have gotten in trouble if a teacher had caught them speaking a word of Cherokee, which is one reason the language began plummeting toward extinction. Schools banned it, so nearly an entire generation stopped speaking it.

For Chavez and her classmates, however, the Cherokee Immersion Charter School turned the tables. They were punished for speaking English.

Launched in 2001 on the grounds of the tribal headquarters, the school started with 23 students. But Cherokee is a hard language. Only nine made it all the way through the program.
From left to right are Sequoyah High School seniors Emilee Chavez, Maggie Sourjohn, Alana Harkreader, Lauren Hummingbird, Cambria Bird and Lauren Grayson. In the middle of them is Principal Chief Bill John Baker. The seniors are the first Cherokee Immersion Charter School students to graduate. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX This 2012 photo shows, from left to right, Cheyenne Drowningbear, Cree Drowningbear, Lauren Grayson and Emilee Chavez as they graduate from the Cherokee Immersion Charter School in Tahlequah. This May they will graduate high school. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX  Cherokee Immersion Charter School teacher Curtis Washington, left, finishes shaking hands with Emilee Chavez after giving her a diploma during the Cherokee Immersion Charter School’s graduation ceremony in 2012. Chavez is one of nine students from the school’s initial class who graduated from the school. This year she graduates Sequoyah High School. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
From left to right are Sequoyah High School seniors Emilee Chavez, Maggie Sourjohn, Alana Harkreader, Lauren Hummingbird, Cambria Bird and Lauren Grayson. In the middle of them is Principal Chief Bill John Baker. The seniors are the first Cherokee Immersion Charter School students to graduate. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Report shows funding gaps for Native causes?

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/18/2018 02:00 PM
LONGMONT, Colo. – A new First Nations Development Institute report highlights that community foundations often fall short when it comes to philanthropic giving to Native American organizations and causes.

In its report titled “Community Foundation Giving to Native American Causes,” First Nations researchers find that on average only 15/100ths of 1 percent of community foundation funding goes to Native American organizations and causes annually.

The report looks at giving by 163 community foundations in 10 states. In all of the states studied, except Alaska, which was an outlier, the dollar amount of grants given to Native American organizations and causes was lower than might be expected given Native American population size and levels of need.

“Our data suggest that there is very little funding interaction between Native communities and local community foundations,” First Nations Vice President Raymond Foxworth, who was the lead researcher on the project, said. “Obviously we think that’s a problem that can be addressed, so we conclude the report by highlighting strategies and practices we think can expand collaboration between community foundations and Native nonprofits. Overall, we hope that community foundation giving can, in the long term, become more reflective of the rich diversity within states, and this includes supporting Native American organizations.”??

The states studied were Alaska, Arizona, California, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon and South Dakota. The full findings and recommendations can be downloaded at https://firstnations.org/knowledge-center/strengthening-nonprofit/reports. If you don’t already have one, you will need to create a free online account to download the report.

Culture

Mitchell’s metalwork finally hits its stride
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
02/23/2018 08:00 AM
YUKON – Though it’s taken several years for Cherokee metal artist Tommy Roe Mitchell to find his stride, his distinctive style is now giving him the opportunity to pursue his passion while stepping out from his father’s shadow.

He grew up close to the art business, as his father Ron is a well-known Cherokee artist who began his career in the 1970s. While both have experience in metal art, Tommy said he’s now setting his work apart with painting and grinding techniques.

“Dad was doing metal artwork, but he wasn’t doing it to the extent that I am now, not with the color,” Tommy said. “He would actually cut the piece out, grind the edges and heat-treat it, but he wasn’t putting the grinding marks in it like I have. Dad never even thought about using the grinder the way I was doing, so already this was out of his league.”

Tommy said he usually draws inspiration from things he sees on television and YouTube. Once he completes a design on sketchpad, he transfers it onto poster board and then onto 14- to 18-gauge sheet metal with a magic marker.

The design is then cut with a plasma cutter before he uses a grinder to smooth jagged edges and polish out imperfections. Once satisfied, he grinds grooves into the metal to give the illusion of feathers and depth.

“I want a nice, smooth, flat surface to start creating, and that’s when I start with the grinding effects,” he said. “I want a three-dimensional look. People have come up to it and actually felt behind it because it looks thicker than it really is. It’s just the way the grinding is.”

Once the overall look comes together, Tommy heat-treats the piece or moves it to his paint booth before sealing it with an automotive clear coat for a smooth finish.

While expanding his range to include hummingbirds and cardinals, his roots lie in mythical symbolism, including his piece “Dance of the Phoenix.”

“Metal artists, they like doing the eagle feathers. I wanted to do something similar, but I don’t want to copy anybody’s work. We thought, ‘Phoenix, why not?’ Who knows what a Phoenix feather looks like? It’s a mythical bird so this is my interpretation of what the flaming feathers look like. It’s the bird that rose from the fire, kind of like me.”

In addition to creating versions of the phoenix, Tommy creates his interpretation of what individual feathers might look like on the creature. The feathers are called “Phoenix Spirit Feathers.”

He has also taken inspiration from Cherokee myths and legends, including that of the Raven Mocker, a feared witch that preys on the sick and frail.

“I was wanting something a little scary, and I started looking into the Cherokee myths, and we came up with something rather scary, which was the Raven Mocker,” he said. “That one is just a little more dramatic, a little more scary.”

Strangely enough, the blooming of Tommy’s metalwork came after being diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder. “When I was diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder, I did not want to rely on the medication. They gave me that to begin with, and I couldn’t take it. I struggled with that so we talked to a therapist, and he suggested art is a relaxing way of dealing with stress. So I thought, ‘OK, I can do this. This is something right up my alley.’”

Tommy said this is the first time his artwork has been something he “truly enjoys” and is “eager” for the public to see more. “I think they’re really nice-looking, and I feel really comfortable doing it. The greatest compliment on this artwork is when I take it to an art show and someone loves it so much that they’re willing to pay for it and take it home and hang it up on their walls. That’s the compliment that I like.”

For more information, visit www.dragonfiremetalart.net or search “DragonFire Metal Art” on Facebook.

Education

Hoskin earns NSU Centurions honor
BY STAFF REPORTS
02/22/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Chief of Staff Chuck Hoskin is being honored as one of nine Northeastern State University 2018 Centurions.

Centurions are individuals whose leadership and commitment, in the course of helping others, have made a significant impact during NSU’s history. Honors are given to university alumni, faculty, staff, students or any member of the NSU community, past or present, who impacted the NSU community or the public at large.

Hoskin graduated from NSU in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and earned his master’s degree in education in 1998. Along with his service to the CN as chief of staff, Hoskin served 12 years on the Tribal Council, between 1995 and 2007, and is now serving his sixth term as an Oklahoma State Representative for Dist. 6.

“Like so many Cherokees in northeast Oklahoma, my experience at NSU helped define my personal life, as well as my professional career as an educator and administrator. I am profoundly honored to be recognized as a Centurion by my alma mater, an institution where I earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees,” Hoskin said. “One of the most important lessons I learned at NSU is the value of public education. As a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and as a former Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor, I have endeavored to make life-changing educational opportunities more accessible. I am proud of NSU, whose rich history is tied directly to the education of Cherokee Nation citizens, and hope its mission continues to flourish.”

Hoskin is a U.S. Navy veteran and a former Ironworkers Union Local 584 member. He also spent nearly two decades working in public education as a high school teacher and school administrator for Locust Grove Public Schools.

As chief of staff, Hoskin oversees Education Services and is an advocate for the tribe’s continued support of NSU. He is a member of the leadership team that contributed funding to restoration and enhancement efforts for NSU’s historic Seminary Hall.

“Chuck Hoskin’s selfless devotion to serving others is a model that few of us can match,” NSU President Dr. Steve Turner said. “He continues to impress me with his humility and tireless effort to improve the lives of Cherokee citizens and all Oklahomans. He embodies all the values of an NSU Centurion. I am honored to call him my friend and to participate in the ceremony of recognition for this honor.”

Hoskin resides in Vinita with his wife, Stephanie. He has three children, Amy, Chuck Jr. and Amelia, along with three grandchildren.

He and eight other new NSU Centurions will be honored during a March 6 luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the NSU Event Center in Tahlequah. The luncheon is open to the public, and tickets are $25 per person. To reserve a seat, visit www.nsualumni.com/centurions or call the NSU president’s office at 918-444-2000.

Council

Hastings Hospital lease with OSU med school approved
BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
02/19/2018 02:30 PM
TAHLEQUAH – During its Feb. 12 meeting, the Tribal Council unanimously authorized a lease with Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences to put a medical school in the current W.W. Hastings Hospital after the new Outpatient Health Center opens.

“Cherokee Nation is joining with Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, an entity within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, to bring health care education to W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah,” the resolution states.

The lease will encompass part of Hastings’ floor space and parking space.

Earlier in the day during the Resources Committee meeting, Dr. Charles Grim, Health Services interim executive director, said the leased portion would be located where the current physical therapy, diabetes, orthopedics and optometry locations are. Those departments will move to the new primary health care facility, which is expected to be finished in 2019.

Grim said because OSU is a state university the medical school would not have a Native American preference. However, he said the architecture within the remodeled facility for the school would highlight Cherokee culture. He also said officials would ask Indian Health Service to set aside scholarships and/or loan repayment for Native students wishing to attend the school.

“Its not really an Indian medical school per se, but it will be the first college of medicine campus on Indian land in the country,” Grim said.

Grim said the lease would be for seven years with the option to renew.

In other business, Cherokee Nation Businesses CEO Shawn Slaton told Tribal Councilors that CNB is preparing to break ground on April 1 on additional “projects” in the Cherokee Springs Plaza in Tahlequah.

In 2014, CN and CNB officials announced plans to build the plaza with venues for dining, shopping and gaming. In a previous Cherokee Phoenix article, officials said the plaza is anticipated to be 1.3 million square feet of mixed-use space, developed at an estimated cost of $170 million. Officials also said it was to be completed in three phases.

The tribe completed Phase 1 of the project in 2016,which included road construction and pad sites where businesses would be developed. Since then Taco Bueno, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic and Stuteville Ford have opened businesses at the site.

The next phase is the construction and relocation of Cherokee Casino Tahlequah, officials said. The new casino is expected to feature a resort hotel, convention center and golf clubhouse. The final phase includes the creation of a retail strip.

CNB has not confirmed a completion date as of publication.

Legislators also:

• amended the Concurrent Enrollment Scholarship Act of 2011 to revise the eligibility requirements,

• reappointed T. Luke Barteaux as a District Court judge,

• confirmed Dr. Charles Grim as a Cherokee Nation Health Partners board member,

• authorized the Vocational Rehabilitation Program to donate surplus equipment to the United Wrestling Entertainment Foundation in Cherokee County.

Health

CN receives Indian Health Services settlement funds
BY MARK DREADFULWATER
Multimedia Editor – @cp_mdreadfulwat
02/23/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – At the Jan. 17 Rules Committee meeting, Deputy Attorney General Chrissi Nimmo reported that the tribe was to receive settlement funds from the federal government. The settlement between the Cherokee Nation and Indian Health Service recoups contract support cost totaling more than $8.2 million.

The money was for unpaid support costs for 1998 in correlation to underpayments of more than $31 million, including interest and underpayments, between 2005 and 2013 and as a result of the Supreme Court case Cherokee Nation, et al v. Leavitt.

According to the 2004 Supreme Court opinion, the “Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act authorizes the Government and Indian tribes to enter into contracts in which tribes promise to supply federally funded services that a Government agency normally would provide.”

It also states the act “requires the government to pay…a tribe’s ‘contract support costs’ which are ‘reasonable costs’ that a federal agency would not have incurred, but which the tribe would incur in managing the program…”

However, in that timeframe the opinion states the reasoning the government did not pay the contract support costs as promised is because Congress had not appropriated enough funds.

“In the first case, the Tribes submitted administrative payment claims under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978, which the Department of the Interior (the appropriations manager) denied. They then brought a breach-of-contract action,” the opinion states. “The District Court found against them, and the Tenth Circuit affirmed. In the second case, the Cherokee Nation submitted claims to the Department of the Interior, which the Board of Contract Appeals ordered paid. The Federal Circuit affirmed.”

Nimmo said the tribe had to cover the IHS contract costs that were denied by using CN General Fund dollars.

“There were questions about whether or not half of it will go to the newly created Sovereign Wealth Fund because that law says that half of all settlements will go there,” Nimmo said. “This money…the reason it all goes to the General Fund is because it was improperly expended. And I say improperly not in the sense that we did anything wrong, but we should have, in 1998, we should have gotten this money from the federal government to support IHS contracts. Because we didn’t, we had to spend general tribal dollars to support those IHS contracts. So this money goes into basically replenish tribal dollars that were spent to support federal contracts.”

Nimmo added that the Tribal Council is able to appropriate the recouped funds however it deems necessary.

“The $8.2 million settlement will go into the tribe’s General Fund, where it will help provide the expanded and improved health care services our citizens deserve.” Nimmo said. “Going forward, we expect contract support costs to be funded in full as designated by treaty and federal trust responsibility.”

Opinion

OPINION: CNB investment expands Cherokee language program
BY BILL JOHN BAKER
Principal Chief
02/01/2018 10:15 AM
Preserving the Cherokee language is preserving Cherokee identity, as the heritage and traditions of the tribe are rooted in our language. Our language allows us to pass along traditional Cherokee knowledge and values to our children and grandchildren. That is why I am so proud that Cherokee Nation Businesses has pledged unprecedented financial support to the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program.

Through a signed memorandum of understanding, CNB is providing $180,000 to cover the costs of a language program called the 14th Generation Master Apprentice Program, a pilot program designed for students who originally learned to speak Cherokee at the tribe’s Cherokee Immersion Charter School. We hope it encourages language usage as they progress through junior high and high school. CNB’s monetary commitment will further advance the preservation and usage of the Cherokee language, as graduates of the adult master apprentice program are placed in supervised teaching and mentoring roles.

The new endeavor can be a bridge that unites the mission of our Cherokee Immersion Charter School and the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program, which has graduated six students since it began three years ago and is expected to graduate six more students in 2018 and another eight students in 2019. Both programs have proven successful in their respective area, and now we can connect their goals and participants.

This multigenerational effort will help preserve and promote the use of the Cherokee language for generations to come and fill the gap between the immersion school and high school. Our youth, who have been educated in the immersion school, are among the most valuable Cherokee language assets going forward. We have made significant investments in these children, and we must keep exposing them to language-learning opportunities after completing the sixth grade. Now that we have graduates of the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program, we have developed an expert pipeline and grown the personnel to keep our youth engaged after immersion school graduation. That means language lessons can be utilized at Sequoyah High School as well as within community settings. Creating new Cherokee speakers, and in turn letting them pass along what they have learned, will keep our language flourishing for generations to come.

Supporting cultural education and growing the language curriculum will help Cherokee children succeed on their lifelong journey and allow them to reach their God-given potential in school, in life and as Cherokee speakers. The 14th Generation Master Apprentice Program already has about a dozen Sequoyah High School students gathering for lessons after school. Plans are in place for a summer program with participants gathering from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for 10 weeks. Those students, if they participate over multiple summers, could potentially get about 2,000 hours of language education just through summer participation. CNB continues to support the tribe in its pursuit of preserving Cherokee culture and heritage. Without the aggressive commitment from our tribal government and our business endeavors, the future of the Cherokee language would be in jeopardy.

People

Dreadfulwater continues loom-weaving tradition
BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
02/22/2018 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH – For the past 15 years, Cherokee Nation citizen Janice Dreadfulwater has been perfecting the craft of loom weaving that she learned from her sister-in-law and Cherokee National Treasure, Dorothy Dreadfulwater Ice.

Since she was 5 years old, Dreadfulwater said she’s always “dabbled” in some type of craftsmanship.

“I was sewing when I was like 5 years (old), making doll clothes. My first (craft) was sewing. Then I went over to crochet and cross-stitch. I’ve done some silversmithing, and I’ve done some beadwork. You know, I’ve dabbled in a lot of areas,” Dreadfulwater said.

Once she learned how to loom weave, she said she thoroughly enjoyed it.

“My first attempt was awkward, of course. But once I got the hang of it, it started going really fast,” she said. “It was just addictive.”

In a two-month span, she said she made approximately 20 loom-woven blankets.

Aside from making blankets, she makes scarves and shawls, but blankets are her specialty.

To loom weave, Dreadfulwater said she uses Ice’s loom. However, she’s making her own loom.

“One of my projects is to get my big loom together and hopefully have a place that I can put it. You’ve got to have the space in order to do it,” she said. “I’m in the process of putting one together. I’ve got the frame made, but as far as the hardware, that’s hard to locate for a larger loom.”

She said loom weaving one quilt can take anywhere from a day to a day and a half. “It takes (time) to get it all set up to start weaving, which I don’t like that part, but it’s necessary. The fun part is actually weaving.”

Dreadfulwater said she uses diamond, herringbone and non-traditional patterns in her work and different-sized yarn. She also said she’s never marketed her creations and has only sold one blanket. She said she mostly makes them for “enjoyment.”

“I’m proud to carry on the traditions that the Cherokee people have established and to be creative,” she said. “I just hope that whoever receives the blanket respects what labor of love that went into the project.”

Her donation to the Phoenix is a blanket with a diamond pattern. The drawing will be held April 2. For every $10 spent on elder fund donations, subscriptions or merchandise, one entry is entered in the quarterly giveaway drawing.

For more information, call Justin Smith at 918-207-4975 or email justin-smith@cherokee.org, or Samantha Cochran at 918-207-3825 or email samantha-cochran@cherokee.org.
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Call Justin Smith 918-207-4975

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