Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court ruled Monday the term ‘by blood’ is void and should be removed from the tribe’s laws and Constitution.

The decision was in response to a 2017 federal case that determined descendants of Black slaves, known as Freedmen, who once were owned by members of the Cherokee Nation have a right to tribal citizenship.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — It is time for Jeep to stop using the Cherokee Nation’s name on its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs, the chief of the Oklahoma-based tribe said.

Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. said in a statement first reported by Car & Driver magazine that he believes corporations and sports teams should stop using Native American names, images and mascots as nicknames or on their products.

“I’m sure this comes from a place that is well-intended, but it does not honor us by having our name plastered on the side of a car,” Hoskin said.

C-SPAN

Cherokee Nation's nominee to serve as the tribe's delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives is hopeful she could be seated in Washington soon.

"I anticipate this administration supporting a delegate to Congress and I anticipate us getting seated this year -- in this session, knock on wood," Kimberly Teehee, Cherokee Nation's director of government relations, said on a Thursday virtual forum hosted by Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday invited leaders of the Five Tribes of Oklahoma to begin formal negotiations related to last year’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on tribal sovereignty.

Stitt said in a statement he will welcome the leaders of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole nations to begin discussions “to address and resolve the potential issues that have arisen” as a result of the ruling. Stitt didn’t say when those discussions might begin.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tribe leaders of the Cherokee and Chickasaw Nations want Congress to allow them to make agreements with the state of Oklahoma in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding criminal jurisdictions.

OSU Center for Health Sciences

The OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation is officially open after a private ribbon cutting.

Medical school students and faculty started using the building earlier this month.

Cherokee Nation officials had been discussing a Tahlequah medical school for about a decade before announcing a partnership with OSU in October 2018. The $40 million, 84,000-square foot facility is on the campus of W.W. Hastings Hospital.

Cherokee Nation

As Monica Harvey watched, crowds flocked to a Sam’s Club in northern Arizona where she works, picking shelves clean of toilet paper and canned goods. Native American seniors couldn’t move fast enough, and Harvey saw their faces fall when they reached empty shelves.

The Navajo woman wanted to help tribal elders get household staples without leaving their homes and risking exposure to COVID-19, so she started Defend Our Community, a group that delivers supplies.

Courtesy Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation has started vaccinating health care workers at their tribal health complex in Tahlequah, Okla.

Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation unveiled in a video presentation on Monday some of the work being done on the Durbin Feeling Language Center, which will house all of the tribe’s language programs under one roof in Tahlequah.

The old Cherokee casino is undergoing a $5 million renovation as part of a broader, $16 million initiative to save the Cherokee language announced last year.

There will be more than classrooms and offices there.

Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic is drawing praise from public health experts and attention in the national media.

A recent feature story in STAT, a news outlet focused on health and medicine, quotes Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, as calling the tribe's pandemic response "very impressive."

Oklahoma tribes and U.S. attorneys are the first in the nation to work together in a new federal program to handle missing and murdered indigenous persons cases.

The Muscogee (Creek) and Cherokee nations will take the lead in developing guidelines for local, state and federal agencies to work with them on such cases. The plans will address law enforcement, victim services, community outreach and communication.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Family Violence Prevention Program Director Shawn Partridge said the program will build on work the tribe has been doing for itself.

Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. is urging citizens to follow federal recommendations and avoid gathering for Thanksgiving amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

"Our ICU beds at Hastings Hospital are staying full as we see and help more of our citizens hospitalized by this virus," Hoskin said. "The best thing we can do is stay in this holiday, and if you're around other people, wearing a mask is critical."

Hoskin said the tribe's public health team is seeing positive test rates three times higher than in recent weeks. 

Image Credit: The National Judicial College

Earlier this year, in its landmark McGirt v. Oklahoma decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that, regarding the Major Crimes Act, much of the eastern part of our state remains as Native American land, since that land was never disestablished by Congress. So, how is McGirt playing out now in court rooms and legal offices across Oklahoma? And what does the immediate future hold vis a vis the McGirt ruling? Our guest is Aila Hoss, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law.

Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation is buying the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch in Oologah from the state of Oklahoma for a price to be disclosed later.

"It was very fitting that we did this on Will Rogers’ birthday. He said that being a Cherokee was his proudest possession, and I think if he were here today, he’d be very proud of the Cherokee Nation and the state of Oklahoma," Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said by phone after a ceremony formalizing their acquisition at the ranch Wednesday morning.

Cherokee Nation is spending $9 million of federal coronavirus relief funds to provide direct assistance payments to tribal citizens with disabilities living on the reservation.

Courtesy Cherokee Nation / Sequoyah High School

Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah, operated by the Cherokee Nation, reopened for in-person learning Monday after the tribal government received new, rapid test kits from the federal government, allowing school administrators to test all students and staff weekly before they enter the building.

Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission

The city of Tulsa's fourth annual Native American Day was held remotely Monday due to the coronavirus pandemic, with streaming performances, speeches, presentations and even a virtual vendors' market.

"Four years ago, the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission, Mayor [G.T] Bynum and the city council made a commitment to celebrate and recognize Native America Day each year on the second Monday of each October," said Matt Roberts, the event's emcee. "We appreciate Mayor Bynum's progressive and inclusive leadership."

Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation announced Friday its plans to open a meat processing facility in Tahlequah funded at least partially with federal coronavirus relief money.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, beef and other meat sources were harder to supply to elders through emergency food distributions, and opening a meat processing facility will help sustain foods for Cherokee citizens and bring in jobs and agricultural opportunities for the tribe," the tribe said in a written statement.

We are pleased to welcome Mark Dolph back to StudioTulsa. He's Curator of History at Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa. He tells us about an exciting new exhibition at that museum presenting the work of Shan Goshorn, the late Tulsa-area artist.

Music of the Indigenous Peoples of North America

Oct 8, 2020

The Rhythm Atlas Celebrates Indigenous Peoples' Day
Sunday, October 11, 6 - 7 p.m. on KWGS Public Radio 89.5

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — U.S. Attorney Bill Barr promised more manpower and federal aid to Oklahoma on Wednesday to help tribal governments and federal prosecutors deal with an increase in criminal cases stemming from a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

During a visit to the Cherokee Nation headquarters, Barr said the U.S. Department of Justice plans to fund two federal prosecutor positions in the northern and eastern U.S. districts of Oklahoma to handle the increased caseloads.

Shane T. McCoy / U.S. Marshals

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — U.S. Attorney General William Barr is planning a visit to Oklahoma on Wednesday with leaders of the Cherokee Nation and federal prosecutors from Tulsa and Muskogee.

Barr is expected to lead a roundtable discussion at the tribe’s headquarters in Tahlequah with Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., the tribe’s Attorney General Sara Hill, and U.S. attorneys from the northern and eastern districts of Oklahoma.

Among the topics Barr is expected to discuss is funding for staff increases, according to a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The latest tenant of the Cherokee Industrial Park has opened its doors.

Milo’s Tea has a 108,000-square foot production and distribution center there now. It’s the beverage maker’s first location outside its home state of Alabama.

It’s served by Tulsa’s municipal water supply, and the company famously took a tanker truck full back to Bessemer, Alabama, to test its quality in their products. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said he’s been asked why he’s so big on the Milo’s facility, which is in Owasso and is bringing 110 jobs there.

Courtesy Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation has begun distributing direct-assistance payments to Cherokee elders, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said Friday.

"I'm proud to announce that our Respond, Recover and Rebuild Elder Assistance Initiative has been a tremendous success," Hoskin said in a video announcement.

Courtesy Cherokee Nation Wildland Fire Program

The Cherokee Nation has deployed members of its Wildland Fire Management team to assist Indian nations in Western states battle this season's wildfires.

"The suppression program goes all over the United States helping with fires," said program coordinator DeWayne Chuckluck during a Friday phone interview. "They could be East Coast, West Coast, it really doesn't matter. When other tribes request help and we've got some people available, we'll actually send people there."

Cherokee Nation

Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. reflected on a year of difficulties and triumphs in his State of the Nation address.

A recorded speech was made available at noon Saturday during the Cherokee National Holiday. The 68th version of the annual event was held virtually because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus, of course, has been the tribe’s primary challenge in 2020. Cherokee Nation has more than 1,500 cases, and 17 citizens have died. Hoskin said he is proud of their response.

National Park Service

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt recommended three Native Americans and two Black Oklahomans as national heroes who should be considered for inclusion in a new National Garden of American Heroes.

Cherokee Nation/Osiyo TV

The Cherokee Nation is mourning the loss of perhaps the greatest contributor to its language since Sequoyah.

Durbin Feeling died at the age of 74. He wrote the Cherokee dictionary and developed versions of the language for computers and smartphones.

Feeling spoke to Osiyo TV last year about his love for the Cherokee language and was asked whether he thought it could be saved.

"It can be, but there’s — there’s a lot of work behind it," Feeling said.

Courtesy

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.

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