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.
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Cherokee Nation citizen Tommy Roe Mitchell uses a grinder to create feather effects into his metal artwork on Jan. 30 in his studio in Yukon. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Tommy Roe Mitchell says he grinds his metalwork to create 3-D shapes, including feathers on birds of prey. He then either paints the piece or heat-treats it to bring out colors in the metal. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Tommy Roe Mitchell’s metalwork piece “Dance of the Phoenix.” Mitchell first sketched the design on paper before transferring it to metal to be cut out and smoothed down with a grinder. Once polished, it was painted and sealed with an automotive clear coat. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Tommy Roe Mitchell also creates “Phoenix Spirit Feathers,” which are his interpretation of what feathers on the mythical bird would look like. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Each piece that Tommy Roe Mitchell creates is also signed and comes with information about its origin on the back so that buyers can understand its significance. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Tommy Roe Mitchell uses a grinder to create feather effects into his metal artwork on Jan. 30 in his studio in Yukon. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Woodsman Trading Co. helps people connect with outdoors

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
02/15/2018 08:00 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY – A love for the outdoors prompted Cherokee Nation citizen Gaylon Cornsilk and his brother-in-law Travis Smith to create Woodsman Trading Co., an outdoor lifestyle store.

The two opened on Nov. 26 to share their love for nature.

“We’re kind of an old-fashioned store. We really try to emphasize quality goods,” Cornsilk said. “If we don’t believe in it, we don’t sell it. If I sell something here, I’ve used it, tried it. I know it inside and out.”

Cornsilk’s love for the outdoors began at a young age when he and his father spent three months camping in Alaska and Canada. “I think it kind of put something in my heart that I never forgot.”

Located at The Village, Cornsilk said it’s a kind of store not “typically” seen in the area.
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Cherokee Nation citizen Gaylon Cornsilk stands among items in the Woodsman Trading Co. at The Village in Oklahoma City. Cornsilk is the co-owner of the store alongside his brother-in-law Travis Smith. The duo used their experiences with the outdoors and decided to open the store in November. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX A hat with artwork from artist Abby Paffrath sits on display at the Woodsman Trading Co. at The Village in Oklahoma City. Cherokee Nation citizen Gaylon Cornsilk, Woodsman co-owner, says he strives to help promote other small businesses by featuring their wares at the store. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX From knives, backpacks and water bottles, the Woodsman Trading Co. at The Village in Oklahoma City has products to fit the needs of the everyday explorer. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Gaylon Cornsilk stands among items in the Woodsman Trading Co. at The Village in Oklahoma City. Cornsilk is the co-owner of the store alongside his brother-in-law Travis Smith. The duo used their experiences with the outdoors and decided to open the store in November. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Gladd uses CN-owned racehorse training center

BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
02/13/2018 12:00 PM
SALLISAW – The former horseracing track Blue Ribbon Downs has continued to serve racehorse trainers from all over, including Cherokee Nation citizen Andy Gladd.

Gladd said because the majority of people who “run” horses in the community are Cherokee, it’s good to see the CN keep BRD open for training purposes.

Purchased from the Choctaw Nation for $2.5 million in December 2009, Cherokee Nation Entertainment opened the nearly 100-acre property as a racehorse-training center in late 2010.

It’s equipped with barns, stalls and a seven-eighths-of-a mile track, which can be rented for training. It has 354 stalls and currently has approximately 180 horses training there.

Gladd has owned his racehorse training business called Gladd Racing for nearly 12 years, but has used BRD for the past three years. He said at BRD he is able to rent stalls and use the track to run his horses for a better price than if he built a training facility.
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Cherokee Nation citizen and racehorse trainer Andy Gladd and assistant trainer Kassie Gladd (Cherokee/Shawnee), of Gladd Racing, stand in a barn where they keep their racehorses at the Cherokee Nation’s Blue Ribbon Downs Training Center grounds in Sallisaw. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen and racehorse trainer Andy Gladd, of Gladd Racing, leads one of his racehorses on the racing track at Cherokee Nation’s Blue Ribbon Downs Training Center in Sallisaw. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen and racehorse trainer Andy Gladd and assistant trainer Kassie Gladd (Cherokee/Shawnee), of Gladd Racing, stand in a barn where they keep their racehorses at the Cherokee Nation’s Blue Ribbon Downs Training Center grounds in Sallisaw. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

CN group tours Muskogee MLK Center programs

BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
02/12/2018 08:30 AM
MUSKOGEE – On Jan. 31, Cherokee Nation leaders took an informal tour of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

MLK Community Center Director and Muskogee City Councilor Derrick Reed led Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., Johnson-O’Malley Program Director Mark Vance and Cherokee National Treasure Tommy Wildcat on the tour.

“After Cherokee Nation’s sponsorship on Martin Luther King day, we thought we should get to know each other better,” said Reed. “We feel honored to have them back in the building today. Here at the center, we’re always excited about partnerships. That’s what Dr. Martin Luther King stood for is that we all could come together as brothers and sisters, and I feel like that’s the kind of relationship we’re forming at this time.”

Twelve-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Mayara Sage King has been coming to the MLK center for three years.

“It helps me in ways like when I struggle with math.” said King, “It (the program) gives me the opportunity to get better at it. The teachers who tutor us here, they have a lot of patience. They’re here to help you with your homework but more than that, they’re here to help you.”
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Cherokee National Treasure Tommy Wildcat performs for staff members and after-school program participants at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center on Jan. 31, in Muskogee. A small Cherokee Nation delegation toured the facility. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee National Treasure Tommy Wildcat performs for staff members and after-school program participants at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center on Jan. 31, in Muskogee. A small Cherokee Nation delegation toured the facility. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Less sodium, altered recipes can lead to healthier life

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
02/09/2018 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Making meal alterations such as using less salt or taking it out completely can lead to a healthier life for most people. Even making simple changes to old favorites such as mashed potatoes can lead people down a healthier path.

Mark Keeley, a clinical dietitian and 34-year Cherokee Nation employee, said while working with Native Americans he’s stressed that salt doesn’t need to be added to food and could adversely affect a person’s health.

“Salt will retain fluid on your body…that fluid is going to take up lung space. So now you’re trying to breathe around lungs that are trying to fill up,” he said. “If your heart’s not able to pump as well as it used to then the slower your blood stream moves the more some of that salty water will leak off into your ankles and legs, and so now you’re carrying weight around and it kind of waterlogs your system.”

Keeley said he’s had people tell him that they salt their food even before tasting it.

“People have told me, ‘Here’s what I used to do. I use to salt food before I even tasted it and salt it heavy and then taste it.’ Then they say, ‘I don’t do salt anymore.’ I come across a lot more people that tell me that. Those folks are becoming more common, but there’s room for work,” he said.
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Mark Keeley, a clinical dietitian and 34-year Cherokee Nation employee, prepares vegetables for a vegetarian minestrone soup at the tribe’s Food Distribution demo kitchen in Tahlequah. Keeley stresses that there are healthier ways to make foods, with the first step being to either limit or cut salt completely. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Prepared mashed cauliflower potatoes sit in a pot at the Cherokee Nation’s Food Distribution demo kitchen in Tahlequah. Mark Keeley, a CN clinical dietitian, prepared the dish using a head of cauliflower, two potatoes and a small portion of salted butter. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX A pot of vegetarian minestrone soup sits ready to serve at the Cherokee Nation’s Food Distribution demo kitchen. CN clinical dietitian Mark Keeley prepared the soup in his efforts to introduce people to healthier entrée options. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Mark Keeley, a clinical dietitian and 34-year Cherokee Nation employee, prepares vegetables for a vegetarian minestrone soup at the tribe’s Food Distribution demo kitchen in Tahlequah. Keeley stresses that there are healthier ways to make foods, with the first step being to either limit or cut salt completely. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Tribal registered voter number nears 70,000

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/02/2018 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – At its Jan. 9 meeting, the Election Commission Administrator Marcus Fears said as of Jan. 2 there were 69,240 registered voters in the Cherokee Nation.
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CHEROKEE EATS: Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
02/02/2018 08:45 AM
PARK HILL – The Cherokee Phoenix visited Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café for its first installment of Cherokee Eats, a series highlighting Cherokee-owned eateries and their specialties.

Namesake Nancy Bryan said the realization of her establishment took decades and several jobs in between, but when she finally opened in 2017 the effort was worth the wait.

“I had the desire to start a business at a young age, when I started baking with my nanny,” Bryan said. “She taught me how to make pie crusts when I was probably 11-years-old and from that time on, every time I went to visit her we would make pies. I would think, ‘someday I want to do this. I want to have my own business.’ And after working at Keys Public Schools for 32 years, I decided to retire and open up a little shop with pies.”

Everything Bryan makes, including pies and cakes, comes from family recipes.

“I made everything from a recipe, nothing in a box,” she said. “My mother also taught me more skills on making homemade cakes. So from that time on, growing up it was always a treat to me to make something for someone coming into my home.”
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Cherokee Nation citizen Nancy Bryan opened Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café in 2017 after years of baking and selling sweets out of her home. Her establishment is known for its pies, cakes and pumpkin rolls. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX In addition to serving homemade sweets, Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café also serves sandwiches such as this turkey, bacon and Swiss. Potato soup is also served every day to compliment entrées. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Nancy Bryan opened Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café in 2017 after years of baking and selling sweets out of her home. Her establishment is known for its pies, cakes and pumpkin rolls. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
http://www.wherethecasinomoneygoes.com

Cherokee Copper hopes to sell jewelry worldwide

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
01/26/2018 08:30 AM
MOUNDS – With hopes of getting Cherokee jewelry in fine jewelry stores worldwide, Greg Stice, owner and artist of Cherokee Copper, is on his way to doing just that with a key part of his jewelry consisting of copper and pearls.

“Our goal is to take the Cherokee, our tradition to the world…so that you can walk into any fine jewelry (store) and you will be able see Cherokee fine jewelry,” he said.

Stice said he takes traditional Cherokee jewelry pieces and brings them into the 21st century by using modern tools such as engravers.

“In using that technology, as the engraving machine, is the way that we can take technology and produce something very unique and customized and everything is handmade. I mean, printed on the engraver, but once I pull that off every keychain, every cuff will be a little bit different because it’s (crafted with) my hands,” he said.

Stice credits his grandmother, Pebble Ross, for his creativity. “My grandparents were always making things for a large family.” And family still plays a large part as Stice’s children and wife help design, create, test and market the jewelry.
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Cherokee Nation citizen Greg Stice hammers a heart to harden it for it to become a necklace in the Cherokee Copper’s Valentine line. Stice and his family manage and create pieces for Cherokee Copper out of their Mounds home. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX A bracelet and a copper heart are a few items that are part of Cherokee Copper’s Valentine line. Greg Stice, Cherokee Copper owner and artist, said he hopes to have Cherokee fine jewelry on display across the world. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Greg Stice, Cherokee Copper owner and artist, looks at a finished necklace at his studio in Mounds. Cherokee Copper creates anything from cuffs with Oklahoma-shaped outlines to necklaces with pearls and copper and includes pieces for women and men. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Greg Stice hammers a heart to harden it for it to become a necklace in the Cherokee Copper’s Valentine line. Stice and his family manage and create pieces for Cherokee Copper out of their Mounds home. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Nagel showcases Native American flute talent

BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
01/25/2018 08:00 AM
FAYETTVILLE, Ark. – When 15-year-old Gaby Nagel isn’t listening to music she is playing it, particularly on the Native American flute. Her enjoyment and talent with the instrument has led her to playing numerous events and partaking in flute competitions.

Nagel, an Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian citizen, has been playing the flute for five years. She was introduced to it while walking Fayetteville Square and coming across a man playing one. Listening to him play, she said she became mesmerized. Her mother bought her a flute and she began taking lessons from the same man, Jerry Doubting.

She said the flute just came “natural” to her.

“A lot of the tricks it took him years to learn, all came natural to me. He would be sitting there and telling me about a technique, and he would say ‘it’s OK, don’t get frustrated if you don’t get it on the first try.’ Well, I would get it on the first try,” she said.

Nagel has competed in eight flute competitions of all sizes. However, she said the biggest competition she’s won was the Musical Echo’s in Florida. “I was the first female and youngest competitor to ever win. I got a blue ribbon from them and a check. It was really cool.”
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Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians citizen Gaby Nagel is a 15-year-old Native American flutist who has only been playing for five years, yet her talent has led her to play at events and competitions. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians citizen Gaby Nagel holds three flutes she uses when performing. Each flute is in a different tune and is used for specific songs and styles of music she plays. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians citizen Gaby Nagel is a 15-year-old Native American flutist who has only been playing for five years, yet her talent has led her to play at events and competitions. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

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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