Cherokee Nation

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Students marked their entries into medical school on Friday in a white coat ceremony at OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation.

OSU Center for Health Sciences President and OSU School of Osteopathic Medicine Dean Dr. Kayse Shrum told them while their families and friends couldn’t be present because of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s still plenty of cause for celebration.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Oklahoma’s tribal gaming compacts automatically renewed on Jan. 1, handing a victory to the tribes who sued Gov. Kevin Stitt to renew them.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy DeGiusti rejected Stitt’s argument that the compacts — which define how much of their gambling revenue the tribes must pay to the state and which games are allowed — had expired.

Stitt expressed disappointment at the ruling.

Twitter / @FLOTUS

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — First lady Melania Trump said she hopes to take the Cherokee Nation up on its invitation to visit the tribe’s headquarters in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

The first lady made the comments Thursday after a meeting of the President’s Task Force on Protecting Children in the Indian Health Service System, which is co-chaired by Trent Shores, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Joe Ravi / CC-BY-SA 3.0

The Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole nations and the State of Oklahoma released an agreement on Thursday to help the state’s congressional delegation write legislation that would settle jurisdictional questions in the wake of last week’s McGirt decision.

Courtesy Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation has announced the postponement of the reopening of its cultural sites, originally planned to begin this month, due to the current trends in the local coronavirus outbreak.

"In coordination with the tribe’s phased reopening plans and the recently announced delay of phase three, all tribal museums, welcome centers, retail operations and the Cherokee Heritage Center will begin to reopen in August," Cherokee Nation said in a statement.

The annual celebration of the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution will be a virtual one this year.

The tribe will stream online important events of the 68th annual Cherokee National Holiday, like Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.’s state of the nation address. Hoskin said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is behind the move.

Cherokee Nation

Tahlequah, Okla., the capital of Cherokee Nation, is the latest American city to remove statues honoring the Confederacy amid a widespread national clamoring for an end to systemic racism.

“A lot is going on in this country in terms of racial strife and the Cherokee Nation plays a role in healing, and this is one of the ways we can do that,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

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Cherokee Nation has started reopening its casinos and aims to have Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa open by the end of next week.

The tribe closed its 10 northeastern Oklahoma casinos March 17 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Properties in Tahlequah, Fort Gibson and Sallisaw reopened this week.

"As we entered phase three for Oklahoma and Tulsa this week, the trends seemed to indicate that it would be safe for us to open on a very strategic basis," said Cherokee Nation Businesses CEO Chuck Garrett.

On a videoconference with Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) hosted by the Tulsa Regional Chamber on Wednesday, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. asked the senator to consider allowing any future federal coronavirus aid packages to contain funding that can be used to cover lost revenue, a use currently prohibited in existing aid programs.

US Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today in a case that has enormous implications for Oklahoma.

McGirt v. Oklahoma is the second case before the justices within the span of about 18 months that seeks to resolve whether eastern Oklahoma is still legally an Indian reservation and under the jurisdiction of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole nations,  a status that could upend decades of state criminal convictions of tribal citizens.

Anadisgoi / Cherokee Nation

In a donation spurred by what he called a "dire need of assistance," Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. ordered 5,000 protective facemasks to be sent to Navajo Nation, where COVID-19 rates continue to climb rapidly.

"Today it's the Navajo Nation that's in desperate need," Hoskin said on a Tuesday phone call from Tahlequah, Okla., the Cherokee capital. "The next time around, it could be the Cherokee Nation, and we would want other Indian nations to be there for us."

Tahlequah Area Habitat for Humanity

When Tahlequah Area Habitat For Humanity raised the first walls of its latest house on March 7th, executive director Linda Cheatham expected it to be finished by May. 

Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit.

"We had to stop building in the middle," Cheatham said, adding that when they shut down work, the house had four walls and a roof, but no doors, windows, or siding. The house, she said, had been intended for a Cherokee Nation citizen who is unable to work due to a disability and is considered "very low income." 

U.S. Treasury

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Several Native American tribes sued the federal government Friday, seeking to keep any of the $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief for tribes kept out of the hands of for-profit Alaska Native corporations.

The U.S. Treasury Department is tasked with doling out the money by April 26 to help tribes nationwide stay afloat, respond to the virus and recover after having to shut down casinos, tourism operations and other businesses that serve as their main moneymakers.

Tribal leaders from across Oklahoma sent Gov. Kevin Stitt a letter on Friday urging him to issue a shelter in place order for the entire state.

A total of 26 tribal leaders signed the letter, including Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton and Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief David Hill.

Courtesy

Casinos operated by the Cherokee and Muscogee (Creek) nations will stay closed through April.

Both tribes shut down their casinos throughout Oklahoma on March 16 as part of their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All casinos are closed, from the tribe’s flagship Hard Rock and River Spirit hotel-resorts in Tulsa to smaller operations, including those at travel stops. Employees are still being paid while the locations are closed.

Cherokee Nation museums and retail operations are also closed.

Jimmy Emerson on Flickr, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Following the death of a tribal official, Cherokee Nation is preparing to face the coronavirus crisis head-on.

Our guest is the novelist Margaret Verble. Her new book, which she tells us about, is "Cherokee America." Set on the American frontier in the spring of 1875, and specifically in the Cherokee Nation -- which would later be part of Oklahoma -- this novel follows a series of complex family alliances and cultural and racial clashes in the aftermath of the Civil War. It's a vivid (and often funny) novel of blood relations and home lands, of buried histories and half-told truths, and of past grief and present-day harm.

The 2017 Tulsa American Film Festival, or TAFF, showcasing indie features and shorts from across the United States -- with a focus on local, classic, student, Native American, and Okie-rooted films -- continues here in T-Town at several different venues. Tonight, the 13th, the TAFF will present the Oklahoma Premiere of a new documentary film about the life and work of Wilma Mankiller, who in 1985 was the first woman elected as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about the work of Kay WalkingStick, a widely celebrated American landscape artist who once referred to herself as "a New York painter and a Cherokee woman." Now 82, and equally (and impressively) adept in both abstract and representational styles, WalkingStick is the subject of a newly opened retrospective exhibition at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa.

On this installment of ST, we listen back to great discussion from May of last year, when we spoke with Steve Inskeep, co-host of National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to a discussion with Steve Inskeep, co-host of NPR's Morning Edition, which originally aired back in May. Inskeep tells us about his book, "Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab." As was noted of this book by Kirkus Reviews: "Inskeep [offers] a review of the forces and events leading to the expulsion of the Cherokees from their ancestral homelands.... In this lively narrative aimed at general readers, the author carefully avoids demonizing or patronizing his main characters.

Steve Inskeep, co-host of NPR's Morning Edition, is our guest today on StudioTulsa. He tells us all about his new book, "Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab." As the noted historian H.W. Brands has observed of this book: "History is complicated, and in its complications lies its appeal. Steve Inskeep understands this, and his elegantly twinned account of Andrew Jackson and John Ross shows just how complicated and appealing history can be.

file Photo

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — Leaders of three federally recognized Cherokee tribes have met for the first time in their historical homeland since 1838.

Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees and the Eastern Band of Cherokees gathered Friday for a Tri-Council meeting in North Carolina, the home base for the Eastern Band.

Casino Tops Out Construction

Apr 23, 2012
KWGS News Photo

The largest gaming and entertainment destination in northeast Oklahoma is one step closer to adding more hotel rooms, entertainment options and amenities.

Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and Flintco officials celebrated the topping out of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino-Tulsa’s new 10-story tower. The tower will add 100-new suites and more than 55,000 square feet of entertainment, gaming and convention space to the resort.

The new tower will make Hard Rock Hotel and Casino-Tulsa the largest hotel in the area with over 450-rooms.