indian country

Photo via signaturesymphony.org

Our guest is the acclaimed Chickasaw classical composer, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate. He's known for blending Chickasaw and other Native American elements with European musical instruments to create compositions that've been performed by the likes of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and others. Tate will be the focus of the next Signature Symphony chamber music concert, happening in-person on Saturday the 16th at the VanTrease PACE on the TCC Southeast Campus.

Courtesy

A U.S. Senate committee advanced a pair of bills last week to help preserve Native languages, including one named for a renowned Cherokee linguist.

Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz is a co-author of S.1402, the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act. It would direct the president to keep tabs on agencies’s compliance with existing law recognizing Natives's right to use their own language and implement surveys of revitalization programs every five years to see where resources are needed most.

Man Whose Case Led To Landmark Ruling Reconvicted By Feds

Aug 6, 2021
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma death row inmate whose legal challenge led to a historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on tribal sovereignty has been convicted of murder and kidnapping in federal court.

A federal jury in Muskogee on Thursday found Patrick Murphy, 52, guilty in the 1999 killing of George Jacobs in McIntosh County in eastern Oklahoma. Murphy faces up to life in federal prison when he is formally sentenced, but will avoid the death penalty.

Joe Ravi / CC-BY-SA 3.0

The state's new attorney general has formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn its decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, the ruling that held Oklahoma for more than a century wrongfully claimed jurisdiction over crimes within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation.

Attorney General John O'Connor, who took office two weeks ago, is calling the court's July 2020 ruling "recklessly overbroad," says crime victims are being revictimized going through the legal process a second time, and says tribes and the state don't agree on a path forward.

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN is cutting ties with former Republican senator and current TV analyst Rick Santorum over disparaging comments he made about Native American culture.

On CNN, Santorum was a senior political commentator who was often tasked with giving the Republican point of view during campaign coverage. His parting ways with the network was confirmed Saturday by Alison Rudnick, vice president of HLN Communications and CNN Diversity and Inclusion.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two of the most powerful Native American tribes in Oklahoma said Monday they’ve reached an agreement on federal legislation that would address concerns over criminal jurisdiction in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

U.S. Department of the Interior

President Biden on Tuesday issued a proclamation declaring Wednesday, May 5th, "Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day" in the United States.

Cherokee Nation/Osiyo TV

The chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Thursday introduced a piece of legislation meant to help with Native American language preservation efforts, named for late Cherokee linguist Durbin Feeling.

Voices across Indian Country are condemning CNN pundit and former Pennsylvania Republican U.S. senator Rick Santorum's remarks dismissing Native Americans and their culture as "nothing" at a conservative forum last week.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin has been a staunch critic of President Biden and his White House, calling his policy priorities "radical," but on Friday he said he is reserving judgment on fellow Native Deb Haaland, the New Mexico Democratic Congresswoman-turned-Interior Secretary.

"You know, it will be interesting in her approach [sic]," Mullin told reporters at a press briefing on Friday following a roundtable discussion on the energy industry hosted by the Congressional Western Caucus at One Williams Center in downtown Tulsa. 

The White House

The White House on Monday released information about President Biden's proposed American Jobs Plan infrastructure package, meant to sell the public on how its passage would benefit states, territories, Tribes and rural America.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Congress must take action to allow American Indian tribes to compact with state governments to prosecute crimes in Indian Country, Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill said Tuesday.

U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

Sen. James Lankford on Wednesday co-sponsored -- and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs unanimously advanced -- a bill to repeal federal statutes that discriminate against Native Americans.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores said this month that alongside issues stemming from the McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling and the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, addressing child sex abuse within the Indian Health Service should be a top priority of the new presidential administration.

Courtesy Cherokee Nation

Following in the footsteps of some other Oklahoma tribes, the Cherokee Nation announced Thursday it will now schedule vaccination appointments for anyone who wants one, regardless of their Tribal citizenship status or even what state they live in.

“Our Cherokee Nation health team was extremely successful in ensuring we reached our most vulnerable populations, including Cherokee elders and first responders, when our first COVID-19 vaccines arrived in December,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement.

NDN Collective

Appearing on a livestream event Monday shortly after her historic confirmation to lead the Department of the Interior, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) shared her first reaction to learning the vote was official.

"My sisters are here and they're cooking, and we're going to have dinner in tonight," Haaland told viewers of the event, hosted by advocacy and activist organization NDN Collective.

Google Maps

The Cherokee Nation announced Tuesday it has opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to individuals who live within their reservation boundaries, including non-Natives.

The White House

Cherokee Nation's nominee to represent the tribe as a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives says President Joe Biden's early actions since taking office in January are encouraging signs for how Indian Country will fare under his administration. 

Haaland's Confirmation Grilling Raises Questions On Bias

Feb 26, 2021
C-SPAN

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — When Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso snapped at Deb Haaland during her confirmation hearing, many in Indian Country were incensed. 

The exchange, coupled with descriptions of the Interior secretary nominee as “radical” — by other white, male Republicans — left some feeling Haaland is being treated differently because she is a Native American woman.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Many Oklahoma health care facilities run by either or both the Indian Health Service and individual tribes have begun greatly expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine appointments, including for non-Native household members and caregivers of tribal citizens. 

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.

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.

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."

On this edition of ST, we learn about a multi-artist, multi-media exhibition opening soon at Living Arts of Tulsa called "Speak: Speak While You Can." The show gathers works by several outstanding Native American artists, all of the creations focused on various indigenous/tribal langauges. Our guests are the co-curators of this show, both of them noted Native artists in their own right: Tony A. Tiger (Sac & Fox/Seminole/Muscogee) and Bobby C. Martin (Muscogee/Creek).

American Indian Group Protests Oklahoma Land Rush Memorial

Jul 13, 2020
visitokc.com

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group of American Indian rights activists demonstrated Saturday in protest of the memorial in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown district to the Oklahoma Land Rush and the state’s other land runs.

The Society to Preserve Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Treaties, or SPIRIT, conducted what it called a “Sit-In Indigenous Resistance” at the memorial to the 1889 Land Rush and the land runs of 1891, 1892, 1893 and 1895.

Facebook / Union Public Schools

Union Public Schools announced Monday that it will "entertain a proposal" to change its mascot from a derogatory term for Native Americans it shares with Washington's NFL team.

“We have been having conversations internally for quite some time about the possibility of making a change,” said Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler in a statement posted to the school district's Facebook page. “Many, both inside and outside our community, have had conflicting emotions over the years regarding Union’s mascot, and we strongly believe that now is the time to take up this issue once again."

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."