‘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

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
http://cherokeepublichealth.org/

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.

https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

‘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

Cherokee artists win at Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival
BY STAFF REPORTS
07/10/2018 08:30 AM
INDIANAPOLIS – At the 26th annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival held June 23-24, Native American artists, including Cherokees, were awarded nearly $16,000 in cash prizes, as well as ribbons for art works they entered into competition.

Cherokee artist Bryan Waytula, of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, received first place in the Painting Category and the “Best of Class” award for his painting titled “We Stand As One.” He also received first place for his drawing titled “A Cherokee Treasure,” which is a colored pencil piece with a piece of mat weaving placed at the bottom of the artwork.

Waytula said he used remnants from one of his mom’s traditional river cane baskets.

His mother, Vivian Garner Cottrell, and his grandmother, Betty Scraper Garner, are both Cherokee National Treasures, which means they have been honored by the Cherokee Nation for their basketwork and for sharing their knowledge of basket making with others.

“I’m trying to follow big footprints left my grandmother and mother, both treasures. Those two are rock stars to me,” Waytula said.

He said it was his first time visiting the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival and was “impressed” with the facility, the artwork and the staff.

“I was very impressed with how amazing the staff was towards all the extremely-talented artists I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing their amazing work,” he said. “My dad, who is now retired, came along and helped me drive so it was a fun bonding trip too.”

Cherokee basket artist and Cherokee National Treasure Mike Dart, of Stilwell, Oklahoma, also won first place and "Best of Class" for his basket titled “Four Winds.” And he won a first place ribbon in the Non-Native Materials Category, a third-place ribbon in the Traditional Basketry Category and second place in the Contemporary Basketry Category.

“Eiteljorg Indian Market is a top of the line show with some of the ‘Best of the Best’ artists from across the nation and Canada. Seeing my name among the list of division winners was an honor. I’m proud and honored to be able to represent the Cherokee Nation in these art markets,” Dart said.

Also, Cherokee artist Lisa Rutherford won third place in the Contemporary Pottery Category and third place in the Cultural Items Category.

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis hosted more than 100 artists from 60 Native American tribes who showed their jewelry, pottery, baskets, beadwork, carvings, paintings and cultural items. The two-day market and festival drew thousands of visitors who met the artists, purchased their art and enjoyed music, food and performances on the museum’s grounds.

“The Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival creates opportunities for collectors and artists to connect and it builds support for today’s Native American artists,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “The beautiful art works the artists have created make a powerful impact on our market goers and have contributed to the success of the Indian Market and Festival during its 26 years.”

Images of the winning artworks in 11 categories are on the Eiteljorg Museum’s Facebook page, and a complete list of award recipients in all categories and prize sponsors is at www.eiteljorg.org/explore/festivals-and-events/indian-market-festival.

Education

Cherokee Nation College Resources serves college, concurrent students
BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
07/11/2018 08:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation’s College Resources continues to provide scholarships to concurrent, undergraduate and graduate students to help them continue their educational endeavors.

College Resources serves 147 high schools in the jurisdiction and surrounding counties. In the 2017-18 school yea, 4,325 undergraduate and graduates students and 417 concurrent students received financial aid.

“We’re primarily focused toward high school juniors and seniors and then the current students that we have trying to keep them in school and trying to make sure they meet the deadlines,” Jennifer Pigeon, CN Education Services’ fiscal management and administration manager, said.

College Resources provides concurrent enrollment scholarships, high school valedictorian and salutatorian scholarships, undergraduate scholarships, graduate scholarships and financial assistance for directed studies.

Concurrent students who are high school juniors receive financial aid for tuition, books and fees for up to six hours of general education courses. Seniors only receive financial aid for books and fees due to a state waiver that pays for tuition.

Senior valedictorians and salutatorians receive a one-time scholarship upon graduating high school. Valedictorians receive up to $1,000 and salutatorians receive up to $750.

Undergraduate and graduate students receive up to $2,000 per semester.

“Once they’re accepted, undergrads are required to maintain a 2.0, concurrent a 2.5, and our graduates just need to remain in good standing with the college that they’re in,” Pigeon said.

She said to renew their scholarships students must turn in their grades and community service hours. One hour of community service is required for every $100 received.

Pigeon said students taking part in directed studies are limited to a University of Oklahoma rate of an equivalent degree meaning. For example, if a student is studying to become a doctor, dentist, or lawyer and do not choose to attend OU, College Resources will pay up to whatever OU’s rate would charge by paying for the tuition, books, fees, any required equipment and a housing stipend.

CN citizens and citizens of federally recognized tribes are eligible to receive College Resources financial aid. However, federally recognized tribal citizens besides CN citizens are only awarded if they qualify for the federal Pell grant known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. The award varies based on the number of applicants.

College Resources also provides a computer lab at the W.W. Keeler Complex equipped with six computer stations, printers and scanners to help students with the application process, and College Resources staff also participate in college and career fairs such the tribe’s College and Career Night to promote scholarship opportunities to students.

Information, applications and deadlines for the 2019-20 school year can be found at www.cherokee.org/Services/Education/College-Resources or by calling 1-800-256-0671, ext. 5465 or emailing collegeresources@cherokee.org.

Council

Tribal Council approves $31M Indian Housing Plan
BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
07/12/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – At the July 9 Tribal Council meeting, legislators unanimously authorized the submission of the fiscal year 2019 Indian Housing Plan, estimated at more than $31 million, to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The FY2019 funds will be used for housing assistance such as $5.6 million for housing rehabilitation, nearly $4.5 million for the Rental Assistance Program and $3.4 million for the Mortgage Assistance Program.

Legislators also unanimously adopted revisions to the FY2018 IHP because the Cherokee Nation’s $31.8 million Indian Housing Block Grant allocation was higher than estimates provided. The CN’s submitted FY2018 IHP, as required by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, had an original estimate of nearly $29 million.

“The actual appropriations are based on what Congress approves in the federal budget. For this year it was $655 million for NAHASDA and our part was the $31,856,007,” Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation Executive Director Gary Cooper said. “The current two appropriations being considered, one in the House, the other in the Senate, both include amounts equal to 2018. Assuming that Congress does pass a budget or omnibus or other type of appropriations bill for next year at the same (amount), we should receive more than the estimate.”

Legislators also unanimously authorized the submission of a tribal soil climate analysis network, also known as TSCAN or a weather station. The weather station will be placed on tribal property near the buffalo ranch in Delaware County.

The resolution said the CN recognizes the importance of addressing food, agriculture and natural resource needs within the CN boundaries through the utilization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Services, Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“This is an NCRS project. It will give us more soil climate data, soil moisture information. It will be really helpful for researches and people who are really involved in agriculture. So it will be a good thing,” CN Natural Resources Sara Hill said in a June 11 Resource Committee meeting.

In other business, legislators:

• Authorized a grant application for an economic development feasibility study for FY2019 on creating a blackberry processing and marketing program utilizing organic blackberry growers who are CN citizens,

• Amending the comprehensive FY2018 capital budget with an increase of $8 million for a total budget authority of $260.2 million, and

• Amended the comprehensive FY2018 operating budget with an increase of $29.7 million for a total budget authority of $724.7 million. The changes reflecting the increase include increases in the General Fund budget of $312,725; the DOI-Self Governance budget of $388,958; the Indian Health Service Self-Governance Health budget of $24.6 million; and the IHS-Self Governance TEH budget of $4.5 million.

Health

Fallin signs emergency rules, infuriates marijuana advocates
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/13/2018 12:45 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on July 11 signed into place strict emergency rules for medical marijuana that pot advocates say are intentionally aimed at delaying the voter-approved use of medicinal cannabis.

The term-limited Republican governor signed the rules just one day after her appointees on the state’s Board of Health adopted them at an emergency meeting after last-minute changes to ban the sale of smokable marijuana and require a pharmacist at every pot dispensary.

Those late additions to the rules infuriated longtime medical marijuana advocates who helped get the measure on the ballot in June, when nearly 57 percent of Oklahoma voters approved it. Her quick signature also came just as medical pot advocates were rallying supporters to urge her to reject them.

“People are completely angry. They voted for (State Question) 788 and now you have the health department and our governor pull these shenanigans?” said Isaac Caviness, president of Green the Vote, a marijuana advocacy group that pushed for the passage of the state question. “It’s a slap in the face to all activists. It’s a slap in the face to all Oklahomans who voted on 788.”

Groups that opposed legalizing medical marijuana – including ones that represent doctors, pharmacists, hospitals and chambers of commerce – earlier this week called for new restrictions on the industry, including a ban on the sale of smokable pot and the pharmacist restriction. The board approved the two provisions against the advice of the health department’s general counsel, who said the rules likely were beyond the agency’s legal authority. Marijuana advocates say they’re considering legal action against the board.

In a statement on July 11, Fallin said she thinks the rules were the best way to quickly set up a regulatory framework for medical marijuana.

“I know some citizens are not pleased with these actions,” Fallin said. “But I encourage everyone to approach this effort in a constructive fashion in order to honor the will of the citizens of Oklahoma who want a balanced and responsible medical marijuana law.”

Opinion

OPINION: Expanded laws allow CN to better enforce VAWA
BY BILL JOHN BAKER
Principal Chief
07/05/2018 12:00 PM
The Cherokee Nation remains committed to protecting our women and children from violence. As principal chief, I reinforced that dedication by creating the ONE FIRE program for survivors of domestic violence, and recently, the Tribal Council passed laws that strengthen our ability to protect Native women and children within our own jurisdiction.

The amended titles 21 and 22 of the Cherokee Code Annotated allow the tribe to better enforce the Violence Against Women Act tribal-jurisdiction provisions aimed at preventing domestic abuse and violence against women and children on tribal reservations.

These amendments authorize the CN to prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence, dating violence or violations of protective orders within our jurisdiction. The CN has the authority to hold offenders accountable for their crimes against women and children regardless of the perpetrator’s race. This law will apply to a spouse or partner of a CN citizen or other tribal citizen with ties to our jurisdiction.

Additionally, the Tribal Council also modified Title 12 of the Cherokee Code Annotated, which gives the CN’s District Court the expanded ability to issue and enforce protective orders for acts of domestic violence occurring within the CN. The amendments enable CN courts and CN marshals to combat domestic abuse more effectively.

Native American women suffer from violent crime at some of the highest rates in the United States. With non-Indians constituting a significant percent of the overall population living on tribal lands, it is imperative that we take this action to close the jurisdictional gap in the CN. This will have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of women and children within the CN’s 14 counties.

I want to commend the CN attorney general’s office for working on this new law for more than two years, and the Tribal Council for taking this major step in flexing the CN’s sovereign muscle to bring justice to Native American victims.

We will continue to offer programs and services that curb the rate of domestic abuse. Our people deserve to live healthy and secure lives within the CN. We have always looked at how our decisions will impact the next seven generations, and providing a safe future for our children and grandchildren is an important part of securing that future.

People

3 Cherokee youths win golf tournaments
BY STAFF REPORTS
07/10/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Three local Cherokee youths competed in the U.S. Kids Golf – Tulsa Spring Tour held between March and June that consisted of seven tournaments.

Kylie Fisher, Edwin Wacoche and Chase Jones also competed in the season-ending Tour Championship at the Cherokee Hills Golf Course at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa on June 10. They received points based on how they finished in each tournament with each player with the most points winning the division.

Fisher, of Tahlequah, competed in the Girls 7-Under Division and won all seven tournaments played at Tulsa-area golf courses, plus the championship on June 10 with a score of 36 for nine holes. Wacoche, of Tahlequah, won the Boys 6-under Division and Jones, of Park Hill, won the Boys 10 Division.

Fisher also recently won the U.S. Kids Golf Texas State Invitational for girl’s 7-under held June 18-19, by shooting 35 and 35 for a score of 70. The competitors in the tournament played 9 holes each day at the Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch, Texas.

“We were surprised she won it. She shot her best score to date in that tournament,” her mother Shauna Fisher, said.
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