‘Nanyehi’ short film to debut at local film festival

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/23/2018 08:30 AM
MUSKOGEE – The story of Nancy Ward, legendary Cherokee warrior turned peacemaker, has made its way to the big screen in the short film “Nanyehi.”

The film depicts the struggle between peace and war and the fight to preserve tribal land in the 18th century.

“Sharing the story of Nanyehi has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career and my life,” Becky Hobbs, “Nanyehi” co-writer, said. “There is so much we can learn from her story that we need in today’s world. Her message of peace is one that inspires change and one that I hope will make the world a better place.”

“Nanyehi” features Cherokee Nation citizen Winnie Guess Purdue in the title role, supported by a local cast of 44 from northeast Oklahoma, the vast majority being CN citizens.

“The film incorporated the families of our cast and created a truly magical environment watching them share the story not only of Nanyehi, but of their own ancestors as well,” David Webb, co-producer for the “Nanyehi” film, said. “This cast does an amazing job presenting a compelling story in a way that is both educational and engaging for audiences of all ages.”
“Nanyehi” features Cherokee Nation citizen Winnie Guess Purdue in the title role, supported by a local cast of 44 from northeast Oklahoma, the vast majority being CN citizens. COURTESY
“Nanyehi” features Cherokee Nation citizen Winnie Guess Purdue in the title role, supported by a local cast of 44 from northeast Oklahoma, the vast majority being CN citizens. COURTESY
http://cherokeepublichealth.org/

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa to expand

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/10/2018 04:30 PM
CATOOSA – Cherokee Nation Entertainment officials have announced that the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is making way for a new expansion by beginning demolition of the resort’s oldest structure on April 12.

CNE officials said work crews would remove tent-like structure on the northeast side of the property during the next month and that a new structure would replace an 18,000-square-foot section built in 2002 that has served as the country and western-themed portion of the casino.

Officials said about 275 of the nearly 400 electronic games from the area would be relocated to other parts of the casino during construction, primarily on the second floor in and near the Grand Hall of the Cherokees.

Details on the expansion will be announced at a later date, officials said.

Since opening the first casino resort destination in Oklahoma in 2004, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa has gone through many transformations, officials said. In that time, two additional hotel towers have been added, along with a 2,700-seat concert venue, multiple restaurants and entertainment venues, a nonsmoking gaming area with a food court and sports bar, 23,000 square feet of convention space and a parking garage.

George Lopez brings stand-up to Hard Rock Tulsa

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/06/2018 03:30 PM
CATOOSA – Grammy-nominated comedian, actor and author George Lopez is bringing his stand-up comedy tour on June 16 to The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

Tickets start at $29 and are on sale now.

“Time” Magazine named him one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America, and the Harris Poll named him one of the Top Ten Favorite Television Personalities.

Lopez remains a hit with television viewers with his comedy series, “Lopez,” on TV Land. Starring and produced by Lopez, the series explores how he struggles between his two worlds and crises that are often of his own making. He also hosted “Lopez Tonight,” a late-night television talk show on TBS that represented Lopez’s return to series television after co-creating, writing, producing and starring his sitcom, “George Lopez,” which ran for six seasons on ABC. “George Lopez” remains among the top five comedies and top 20 weekly programs in syndication.

For more information on Lopez, visit www.georgelopez.com.
George Lopez
George Lopez
https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

Martina McBride to play Hard Rock Tulsa

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/05/2018 08:00 AM
CATOOSA – One of country’s biggest stars, Martina McBride, is set to take the stage at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on Aug. 10.

Tickets start at $55 and go on sale April 5.

McBride’s show comes as part of the second annual Hard Rock Country Gold Series that’s bringing country music legends to The Joint this summer.

More than 18 million Martina McBride albums have been sold to date, thanks to her 20 Top 10 singles and six No. 1 hits like “Concrete Angel,” “A Broken Wing,” “This One’s for the Girls,” “My Valentine” and “Independence Day.”

McBride has earned more than 15 major music awards, including four for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association and three for Top Female Vocalist from the Academy of Country Music. She’s also been awarded 14 gold records, nine platinum honors, three double platinum records, and two triple platinum awards.
Martina McBride will play The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on Aug. 10. COURTESY
Martina McBride will play The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on Aug. 10. COURTESY

Rock icon John Fogerty returns to Hard Rock

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/20/2018 04:00 PM
CATOOSA – John Fogerty, one of the most influential musicians in rock history, is seet to perform June 8 at the The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

Tickets start at $75 and go on sale March 22.

Fogerty became a household name as lead singer and guitarist of Creedence Clearwater Revival in the 1960s and 1970s. During that time, Fogerty wrote some of the most memorable songs in rock ‘n’ roll, including “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Fortunate Sun” and “Born on the Bayou.”
As a solo artist, his success continued to skyrocket in the 1980s with the single “Centerfield.” The Grammy award-winner also wrote the hit songs “Change in the Weather” and “Rock and Roll Girls,” among others.

He’s been featured on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of Top 100 Greatest Guitarists and Top 100 Singers of All Time. He’s also been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

‘Nanyehi’ returns to The Joint May 4-5

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/04/2018 08:00 AM
CATOOSA – An original musical based on the life of one of the most influential women in Cherokee history is returning May 4-5 to The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

“Nanyehi – The Story of Nancy Ward” is the story of Ward, a legendary woman who was first honored in the 18th century as a Cherokee war woman, but then as a peacemaker during the American Revolution.

Tickets are $15 and go on sale March 1. There is a $5 discount for Cherokee Nation citizens and children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 918-384-ROCK or online in The Joint section of www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com.

The production features Tulsa’s own Tabitha Littlefield in the title role and Tahlequah native Travis Fite reprising his role as Dragging Canoe for the ninth consecutive time.

The musical is written by Nashville-based, award-winning songwriter and recording artist Becky Hobbs and playwright Nick Sweet. It has been presented four times in Oklahoma, twice in Tennessee and single productions in Georgia and Texas.
The “Nanyehi” cast performs during a production at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The musical returns May 4-5. CLIFF MOORE/COURTESY
The “Nanyehi” cast performs during a production at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The musical returns May 4-5. CLIFF MOORE/COURTESY

‘Hollywood Medium’ Tyler Henry arrives to Hard Rock

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/24/2018 02:00 PM
CATOOSA – Tyler Henry, E! Television Network star of “Hollywood Medium” and best-selling author, is bringing a special live evening to The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on May 10.

Tickets start at $49 and go on sale March 2.

For the first time audiences will be treated to his new live show, in which Tyler will share and discuss his “Life Lessons I Have Learned From The Departed.” The show also includes a multimedia video presentation and live interactive Q&A.

Henry, 22, is best known for his hit series, “Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry” on E! Television Network. In each episode, Henry sits down and has one-on-one readings with Hollywood’s top celebrities, including Eva Longoria, Allison Janney, Ellen DeGeneres, Kris Jenner, Bobby Brown, Ryan Lochte, Portia de Rossi, Mel B, Lil’ Kim, Dr. Drew, Tom Arnold, Ru Paul, Khloe and Kim Kardashian, Jamie Pressley and Jewel.

His success crossed over to the best-seller lists with his memoir, “Between Two Worlds,” detailing his journey both in Hollywood and as a medium.
Tyler Henry
Tyler Henry

Hard Rock Tulsa ranked among best U.S. hotels

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/16/2018 12:00 PM
CATOOSA – The U.S. News & World Report has listed the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa at No. 2 on its 2018 Best Tulsa Hotels list, earning the destination with more national recognition as one of the top hotels in the country.

Cherokee Nation Entertainment’s flagship entertainment destination is one of two luxury hotels in the area that were named to the list. The Hard Rock Tulsa earned the Silver Badge based on an analysis of expert and user opinions, considering it among the top 30 percent of all ranked luxury hotels in the United States.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the Hard Rock’s place on the list takes into account the opinion of published travel experts and the overall customer satisfaction expressed in online guest reviews provided under license by TripAdvisor. Awards and hotel class are also taken into consideration.

For more information, visit https://travel.usnews.com/hotels/Tulsa_OK/.

In 2017, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa earned the AAA Four-Diamond Rating, putting the destination among the exclusive ranks of the best hospitality establishments in the country. Fewer than 6 percent of the 28,000 AAA-approved and diamond-rated establishments in the nation receive the prestigious distinction.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa recently garnered a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa Silver Badge award based on an analysis of expert and user opinions, considering it among the top 30 percent of all ranked luxury hotels in the United States. COURTESY
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa recently garnered a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa Silver Badge award based on an analysis of expert and user opinions, considering it among the top 30 percent of all ranked luxury hotels in the United States. COURTESY

Loretta Lynn cancels upcoming show at Hard Rock Tulsa

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/02/2018 02:15 PM
TULSA – Loretta Lynn is cancelling her upcoming stop at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Loretta Lynn date, scheduled May 17, 2018, in Tulsa has been canceled,” a statement from her management said. “Refunds are available at point of purchase.”

Guests may request refunds by calling 918-384-ROCK or in person at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The Joint box office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is located off Interstate 44 at exit 240.

Culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Education

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

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

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

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

The suggested names haven’t been made public.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Council

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

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

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

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

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

Each month the CN recognizes Cherokee service men and women for their sacrifices and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which the tribe holds all veterans.

To nominate a veteran who is a CN citizen, call 918-772-4166.

Health

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

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

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

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

Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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