Phoenix taking names for elder/vet subscriptions

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/12/2018 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Phoenix is now taking names of elders and military veterans to provide free subscriptions of its monthly newspaper.

In November, Cherokee Nation Businesses donated $10,000 to the Cherokee Phoenix’s Elder/Veteran Fund. The fund provides free subscriptions of its monthly newspaper to elders 65 and older and military veterans who are Cherokee Nation citizens. Subscription rates are $10 for one year.

“The Elder/Veteran Fund was put into place to provide free subscriptions to our Cherokee elders and veterans,” Executive Editor Brandon Scott said. “Some of our elders and veterans are on a very limited budget, and other items have a priority over buying a newspaper subscription. The donations we receive have a real world impact on our elders and veterans, so every dollar donated to the Elder Fund is significant.”

Using the Elder/Veteran Fund, elders who are 65 and older as well as veterans can apply to receive a free one-year subscription by visiting, calling or writing the Cherokee Phoenix office and requesting a subscription.

The Cherokee Phoenix office is located in the Annex Building on the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex. The postal address is Cherokee Phoenix, P.O. Box 948, Tahlequah, OK 74465. To call about the fund, call 918-207-4975 or 918-453-5269 or email justin-smith@cherokee.org or joy-rollice@cherokee.org.
http://cherokeepublichealth.org/

CN gives nearly $500K to volunteer fire departments

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/09/2018 05:00 PM
CATOOSA – Northeastern Oklahoma’s rural fire departments received a financial boost on May 7 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino as Cherokee Nation officials handed out checks totaling nearly $500,000 to 131 departments across the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction.

According to a CN press release, volunteer fire departments rely on fundraisers, membership dues and other types of help to maintain their operations. So to help, CN officials gave each department a $3,500 check – totaling $458,500 – to help with equipment, fuel or other items needed, the release states.

The funding is appropriated in the tribe’s budget annually, according to the release.

“Every single day in communities throughout the Cherokee Nation, the men and women of volunteer fire departments are on call,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “Volunteer firefighters are committed to the communities they serve, and they deserve the thanks and support of the Cherokee Nation. That’s why year after year the tribe invests in rural fire departments so they can be better equipped to protect our families, our homes and our property.”

Langley Fire Department in Mayes County and Brushy Mountain Volunteer Fire Department in Sequoyah County were recognized as 2018 Volunteer Fire Department of the Year.
The Cherokee Nation honors 131 northeast Oklahoma volunteer fire departments with $3,500 checks at the tribe’s annual Volunteer Firefighters Awards Ceremony on May 7 in Catoosa. COURTESY
The Cherokee Nation honors 131 northeast Oklahoma volunteer fire departments with $3,500 checks at the tribe’s annual Volunteer Firefighters Awards Ceremony on May 7 in Catoosa. COURTESY

Cherokee Nation hopes to create ‘agents of change’ with Environmental Festival

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
05/02/2018 08:30 AM
CHOUTEAU – On Arbor Day, the Cherokee Nation hosted its seventh annual Environmental Festival at the Mid-American Expo Center with informational booths and cultural activities for three area schools.

Approximately 200 students from Salina, Justus-Tiawah and Adair schools attended the April 27 event to learn more about environmental issues.

Natural Resources Secretary Sara Hill said in the past year the CN has focused on reducing its carbon footprint by 20 percent in the next 10 years. She said the festival is a good way to get the message to kids about what they can do to help the environment.

“Kids are great, and you give them a little bit of information and they really start to apply it all the time to their lives. If these kids walk away just learning a couple of things. It’s important to think about our environment when we make decisions. It’s important to recycle when we can recycle, just some of those basic messages. Once you get that in a kid it spreads to the rest of the family. Children can really start and be an agent of change in that way, so that why events like this are really important to me,” Hill said.

One message conveyed was through the River Cane Initiative and how river cane is important to Cherokee culture. Roger Cain, RCI principal investigator, said river cane was an important resource for Cherokees and had many uses such as feeding cattle, making baskets, weaponry, food and housing.
Video Frame selected by Cherokee Phoenix
Roger Cain, Cherokee Nation River Cane Initiative principal investigator, talks with students about river cane and how it is used to make blowguns and blow darts on April 27 during the seventh annual CN Environmental Festival in Chouteau. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Seedlings for trees and other plants are available for being handed out at the seventh annual Cherokee Nation Environmental Festival on April 27 in Chouteau. The festival was used to teach students and adults about the importance of planting trees and other native flora. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Students take part in archery at the seventh annual Cherokee Nation Environmental Festival on April 27 in Chouteau. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Roger Cain, Cherokee Nation River Cane Initiative principal investigator, talks with students about river cane and how it is used to make blowguns and blow darts on April 27 during the seventh annual CN Environmental Festival in Chouteau. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

Luna receives national health recognition

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/12/2018 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee Nation citizen and licensed practical nurse Dora Luna is receiving national recognition for her successes in the health care field after participating in the CN Career Services’ employment and training programs.

The National Indian and Native American Employment and Training Conference chose Luna, of Claremore, as this year’s Outstanding Participant. Only one candidate from across the U.S. is chosen for the award annually.

Luna first sought assistance from Career Services in 2015 when, as a single parent with three children, she found herself struggling to support her family and seeking a new career path. With Career Services’ help, Luna received a grant for dislocated workers and enrolled at Northeast Technology Center in Pryor, where she became a certified nurse aide in 2015.

“I’d always wanted to get into the health care field or, more specifically, become a registered nurse, with the end dream job being working for my tribe within a hospital or clinic,” Luna said. “It has been a long journey, and I could not have accomplished it without the help of Cherokee Nation.”

When Luna was accepted into Northeast Technology Center’s Practical Nursing Program in 2016, the Career Services’ vocational training program helped cover the costs. She found a health care job in the Pryor area, and in March, earned her LPN license. She is now continuing her education and plans to become a registered nurse.
Dora Luna
Dora Luna

StrongHearts Native Helpline provides advocacy, referral services to abuse survivors

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
04/09/2018 08:00 AM
AUSTIN, TEXAS – For more than a year, many Native Americans affected by dating and domestic violence have turned to the StrongHearts Native Helpline for support and referral services in pursuit of freedom from abuse.

“It seems like the year has gone by so quickly, and it’s just really rewarding to be able to offer a service that so many people need,” said Lori Jump, StrongHearts assistant director. “I think we’re fortunate to have the support of so many tribes and advocates across the country.”

By calling 1-844-7NATIVE (1-844-762-8483) callers affected by intimate partner violence can be connected with a StrongHearts advocate trained to provide confidential, culturally appropriate advocacy and referral tools at no cost.

The helpline is the first of its kind to serve Native Americans nationally, according to StrongHearts. It’s a collaboration between the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program.

During its first year, it expanded from its reach of Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma to 68 tribal communities across 40 states.
The StrongHearts Native Helpline is for survivors of dating and domestic abuse and can be reached by calling 1-844-7NATIVE, or 1-844-762-8483. Advocates are on call between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Central Standard Time. DONOVAN SHORTEY/STRONGHEARTS NATIVE HELPLINE
The StrongHearts Native Helpline is for survivors of dating and domestic abuse and can be reached by calling 1-844-7NATIVE, or 1-844-762-8483. Advocates are on call between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Central Standard Time. DONOVAN SHORTEY/STRONGHEARTS NATIVE HELPLINE

HACN accepting apps for low-rent housing in Claremore, Vinita

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/05/2018 02:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – The Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation is accepting applications for low-rent housing openings in Claremore and Vinita.

Applications are available at http://www.hacn.org/ under the low-income rental housing tab or mailed upon request. Completed applications can be submitted at any HACN office.

The Will Rogers Senior Complex in Claremore and Tom Buffington Heights in Vinita have one-bedroom apartments available. Applicants for Will Rogers Senior Complex must be at least 55 years old.

The apartment complexes are managed by the HACN and provide affordable homes for low-income families. Rent is not to exceed 30 percent of the family’s adjusted income. Security deposits will also be waived.

Eligibility requirements for housing are:

National Indian Women’s Health Resource Center promotes healthy living for Natives

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
03/29/2018 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH – For nearly 20 years, the National Indian Women’s Health Resource Center has supported Native American women, their families and the communities in which they call home.

“We’re a national women’s resource center, but it’s not just for women. It’s for women and their families, so of course men and children are also involved, especially if we have parenting classes,” Janie Dibble, NIWHRC executive director, said.

The nonprofit organization began in 1999 with an Indian Health Service grant to provide Native women resources and prevention education on various topics.

“Prevention education is the key,” Dibble said. “We do a lot of prevention education on topics including HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, drugs and alcohol, suicide prevention and hepatitis C.”

The NIWHRC operates under a board of directors that covers all 12 IHS areas and relies on grant funding for its services.
Since 1999 the National Indian Women’s Health Resource Center has been educating American Indian women and their families about how to live long, healthy lives. The organization provides women with pamphlets and educational trainings on topics including sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol abuse and suicide prevention. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Janie Dibble, National Indian Women’s Health Resource Center executive director, sorts through education materials in her office at 228 S. Muskogee Avenue in Tahlequah. Dibble has been with the organization since its inception and said despite its name, it’s for women and their families to receive education and resources. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Since 1999 the National Indian Women’s Health Resource Center has been educating American Indian women and their families about how to live long, healthy lives. The organization provides women with pamphlets and educational trainings on topics including sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol abuse and suicide prevention. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Cherokee marshals conduct active shooter training for tribal employees

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
03/23/2018 08:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation Male Seminary Recreation Center employees on March 16 partook in an ALICE active shooter training at the center with the CN Marshal Service. ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate.

The training is to teach employees what to do in an active shooter situation. They were given scenarios and had to decide what was the best plan of action if they came across an active shooter – whether to run, hide or fight.

The CNMS has conducted trainings the past three years for several tribal departments.

“I think this training’s important for both the police and the public, so one, the public knows what to expect when the police come to the scene, and for the police to observe and help with training helps the police teach the public how to react to a violent situation. You can’t always fight. A lot of times you can run. Sometimes you can hide. But you need to be prepared to do all three,” marshal Mike Roach said.

Roach, who played the shooter in the March 16 training, used a firearm that fired 9-millimeter blank cartridges and had a paintball on the end to mark where shots were fired. The blanks emulated the smell of gunpowder.
Video Frame selected by Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation marshal Shawna Roach speaks with CN Male Seminary Recreation Center employees during active shooter training on March 16 at the MSRC in Tahlequah. Employees learned what actions to take during the event of an active shooter situation. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation marshal Mike Roach plays the part of an active shooter as he comes through an entrance of the Male Seminary Recreation Center during active shooter training on March 16 in Tahlequah. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation Male Seminary Recreation Center employees learn a takedown technique during active shooter training on March 16 at the MSRC in Tahlequah. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation marshal Shawna Roach speaks with CN Male Seminary Recreation Center employees during active shooter training on March 16 at the MSRC in Tahlequah. Employees learned what actions to take during the event of an active shooter situation. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Claiming Indian exemption on taxes

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/21/2018 12:00 PM
WASHINGTON – According to the Indian Health Service, American Indian and Alaska Natives who are citizens of federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Corporation shareholders can apply for health care coverage in Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program or the Marketplace any time of the year.

American Indians, Alaska Natives and people eligible for services through IHS, tribal or urban Indian health programs may claim an exemption from the tax penalty for not maintaining health care coverage throughout the tax year. One may do so by completing IRS Form 8965 when filing a federal income tax return.

For more information, visit https://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/announcements/2018-announcements/indian-tax-exemption/

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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