Cherokee College Prep Institute registration now available

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/23/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation Foundation is accepting applications until June 1 for the seventh annual Cherokee College Prep Institute taking place on July 15-20 at Northeastern State University.

The weeklong camp will connect students with admissions counselors from across the U.S to analyze, prepare and complete college applications, identify scholarship opportunities and explore schools of interest.

Participating universities include the University of Arkansas, Bacone College, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Central Oklahoma, Duke University, NSU, University of Notre Dame, Oklahoma State University, Pomona College, Rogers State University, Stanford University, Swarthmore College, and Yale University.

CCPI’s curriculum, developed in conjunction with College Horizons and other participating university faculty, includes interactive sessions focusing on ACT strategies, essay writing, interview skills and time management.

CCPI is free to CN citizens who are preparing to enter their junior or senior years of high school. Lodging, meals and testing expenses are also provided by CNF, Cherokee Nation Businesses and NSU.
Two students gather information during the Cherokee Nation Foundation’s 2016 Cherokee College Prep Institute. This year’s CCPI will take place July 15-20 at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. The deadline to enroll in the CCPI is June 1. COURTESY
Two students gather information during the Cherokee Nation Foundation’s 2016 Cherokee College Prep Institute. This year’s CCPI will take place July 15-20 at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. The deadline to enroll in the CCPI is June 1. COURTESY
http://cherokeepublichealth.org/

Sequoyah Schools hosting basketball camps

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/21/2018 04:00 PM
TAHELQUAH – Sequoyah Schools is again offering summer basketball camps for girls and boys who will be in first through ninth grades in the fall.

The camps are designed to help youngsters develop skills, master techniques and learn basic concepts of basketball. Sequoyah coaches and members of the Sequoyah high school basketball teams instruct the camps.

The boys’ camp is May 29-31 at The Place Where They Play gym located on the Sequoyah campus. Grades first through fifth camps will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., while grades sixth through ninth will be held from noon to 3 p.m.

For more information on the boys’ camp, call coach Jay Herrin at 918-822-0835.

The girls’ camp will be held June 4-6 at The Place Where They Play gym. Grades first through fifth camps will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and grades sixth through ninth will be held from noon to 3 p.m.

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.
Stand Watie
Stand Watie
https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

Morton, Ford named Sequoyah valedictorian, salutatorian

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/16/2018 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Sequoyah High School recently named seniors Katelyn Morton and Aspen Ford as the class of 2018’s valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.

At 6:30 p.m. on May 18 in The Place Where They Play gym, 99 seniors will graduate from SHS. The class of 2018 has accumulated more than $2.5 million in scholarships and grants so far.

Morton, 18, of Tahlequah, is the daughter of Kathryn Wood and Nason Morton. She graduates with a GPA of 4.56 and is attending the Oklahoma City University Wanda L. Bass School of Music this fall and plans to double major in music and Spanish.

After her audition at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music, Morton received a music scholarship worth $25,600. She also earned a Presidential Leadership Scholarship worth $19,200.

“Being accepted into one of these programs creates a lot of connections,” Morton said. “First, I’m going to focus on those connections and probably intern at a casting agency or under a director so I can know the behind-the-scenes. Then, I’ll begin to audition for anything I can.”
Sequoyah High School seniors Katelyn Morton, left, and Aspen Ford have been named the school’s 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. COURTESY
Sequoyah High School seniors Katelyn Morton, left, and Aspen Ford have been named the school’s 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. COURTESY

CN donates funds for RiverHawks women’s hoops road trip

BY STAFF REPORTS
05/15/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – A recent $5,000 donation by the Cherokee Nation to the RiverHawks Women’s Basketball team will make it possible for Northeastern State University to participate in a two-game basketball classic in Los Angeles over Thanksgiving break.

In addition to competing against Division II basketball programs, the trip will provide a memorable student athlete experience for team members.

“I am so grateful to Cherokee Nation and (Tribal Council) Speaker Joe Byrd for their generosity and commitment to the RiverHawks women’s basketball program,” NSU women’s coach Fala Bullock, said.

“Speaker Byrd made a great statement to me following the photo by reminding me of the positive impact the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah and University can have on each other through possible future partnerships,” NSU Director of Athletics Tony Duckworth said.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Gabe Simpson

BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
05/15/2018 12:00 PM
JAY – Cherokee Nation citizen and Jay High School senior Gabe Simpson, 19, was recently named a 2018 Gates Scholar.

The prestigious Gates Scholarship is a highly selective, full-ride scholarship for exceptional, Pell-eligible, minority, high school seniors who have shown academic excellence, as well as strong leadership abilities. Simpson is one of 300 high school students out of nearly 30,000 applicants from across the United States to be awarded the scholarship.

“I know a lot of people apply for it (Gates Scholarship), so I was really happy when I found out,” Simpson said.

He also said upon graduation in May, he plans to attend Oklahoma State University in Stillwater this fall to play football.

“There was a lot of Division IIs that wanted me and a few DI schools,” he said. “OSU offered me a preferred walk-on, and I always wanted to play at a big powerhouse college like that, so I thought I would give it a shot.”
Gabe Simpson
Gabe Simpson

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Ashlee Fox

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
05/15/2018 08:00 AM
LONDON, ENGLAND – Cherokee Nation citizen Ashlee Fox, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is a junior studying economics at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

“I decided to study economics because after taking my first economics class as a freshman at Reed it changed the way I thought about the world. Economics has given me the tools to think about policy, ask big questions and solve problems with a combination of theory, math and critical thinking,” Fox said.

While at Reed, Fox won four fellowships that advanced her in different areas of economic studies – the Financial Services, Evan Rose Fund, Winter International Travel and the Opportunity fellowships. She also founded American Indians at Reed, which is a Native student union.

“When I got to Reed, thousands of miles from home, I knew no Native students. It was a steep learning curve. I didn’t want new Reedies to walk on campus and have that same experience, so I wanted to create a community for Native students at Reed,” she said.

In September she traveled to England to begin study at the London School of Economics.
Ashlee Fox
Ashlee Fox

Bacone College to temporarily suspend operations due to lack of funds

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
05/11/2018 12:30 PM
MUSKOGEE – Bacone College officials said the school would temporarily suspend operations due to lack of funding beginning May 14.

Outgoing President Frank Willis made a Facebook live statement to Tulsa’s KJRH Channel 2 on May 8 announcing the suspension of operations.

The school had an estimated 700 students enrolled in the spring 2018 semester with about 100 students to graduate at the college’s May 12 commencement ceremonies.

“We’ve run out of money, and so we’re temporarily closing as of this coming Monday,” Willis said. “We’ll complete the semester then we’ll lay almost everybody off.”

He said about 95 full-time and part-time faculty and staff will be laid off, with some already receiving notices on May 4.
Bacone College in Muskogee is temporarily closing its doors on May 14. Because of a lack of funding for the college its summer and fall classes are pending. President Frank Willis said the college is in need of about $2 million to continue operations. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Bags of trash and other items lay outside Isaac McCoy Hall, as students were expected to be out of their dormitory rooms on May 11. Nearly 700 students were enrolled for the 2018 spring semester with about 100 students expected to graduate at May 12 commencement ceremonies on campus. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Bacone College in Muskogee is temporarily closing its doors on May 14. Because of a lack of funding for the college its summer and fall classes are pending. President Frank Willis said the college is in need of about $2 million to continue operations. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Group seeks to overturn Oklahoma tax hikes for teacher raise

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
05/10/2018 12:15 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An anti-tax group filed paperwork on May 1a seeking a public vote on whether to overturn a package of tax increases approved by the Legislature this year to pay for teacher pay raises and fund public schools.

The group Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite, which includes former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, now has until July 18 to gather about 41,000 signatures needed to place the question on the ballot.

Ronda Vuillemont-Smith of Tulsa, who co-founded the group with GOP political consultant Brooke McGowan, said the Legislature should have looked for waste and fraud within state government instead of seeking more money from taxpayers.

“I’m fighting for the taxpayers,” Vuillemont-Smith said. “We are the forgotten man.”

The group is seeking to overturn HB1010XX, a package of tax increases on cigarettes, motor fuel and oil and gas production that is expected to generate about $430 million annually. The bill narrowly received a three-fourth’s majority vote in the Republican-controlled House and Senate and was signed by Gov. Mary Fallin. The revenue from the bill was used to fund an average pay raise for teachers of about $6,100 a year, as well as increased funding for textbooks, health benefits and raises for education support personnel.

Culture

CN hosts inaugural ‘Sequoyah Day'
BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
05/22/2018 04:00 PM
AKINS – Visitors to the first “Sequoyah Day” event held May 20 experienced all things Cherokee such as art, music, lectures, performances, demonstrations and National Treasures all on the grounds of the historic Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum where the Cherokee syllabary creator lived.

“This is a chance to celebrate Sequoyah’s life and his legacy,” Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Director Travis Owens said. “We’ve had a flute-playing performance, the Cherokee National Youth Choir performed. We had the Girty Family Singers and presenters on our language today.”

Others attending the event included Cherokee National Treasures Lorene Drywater and David Scott, as well as Cherokee artists Roy Boney, Jeff Edwards and Mary HorseChief. Tribal Councilors Bryan Warner and E.O. Junior Smith, and 2017-18 Miss Cherokee Madison Whitekiller also attended.

Another highlight was the Traditional Native Games competition. CN citizen and games coordinator Bayly Wright said “Sequoyah Day” was a great place to hold Cherokee marbles, cornstalk shoot, horseshoes, blowgun, a hatchet throw and chunky competitions.

“Today is the second of the five competitions leading up to the championships, which will be held on Aug. 25, the weekend before the Cherokee National Holiday,” she said.

For more information on cultural events, visit www.visitcherokeenation.com or call 1-877-779-6977.

Education

Educators seek impeachment of Oklahoma teacher union leaders
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
05/06/2018 04:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Some educators are at odds over two Oklahoma Education Association leaders' actions during the statewide teacher walkout and have conflicting statements regarding the impeachment effort against those executives.

The Tulsa World reports that a petition for the impeachment of association President Alicia Priest and Vice President Katherine Bishop began circulating on social media Friday.

Some are defending the association's leaders, acknowledging the executives took some missteps but that those errors are being remedied.

Educators seeking the removal of the leaders say they are close to reaching the 15 percent of association delegates required to begin impeachment proceedings.

Dawn Brockman is a Norman high school teacher who initiated the impeachment petition. She says she's leading the effort because of the association's ineffective lobbying of legislators and a lack of communication.

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

Children 9-12, teens must establish diets that provide for development
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
05/25/2018 08:30 AM
SALINA – Proper diets reflecting the onset of puberty and growth for children ages 9-12 and teenagers should be a critical focus for parents, said Cherokee Nation Clinical Dietitian Tonya Swim.

“Encouraging healthy choices to help provide adequate energy for growth and development should be the focus,” Swim said. “There is a change that not getting adequate nutrients can result in deficiencies, which could lead to loss of height, osteoporosis and delayed sexual maturation.”

Swim recommends establishing healthy habits early for children, including breakfast. “Having a healthy breakfast enhances brain function related to memory, testing and school attendance. Having a high-fiber breakfast with protein, fruit and a low-fat dairy is a great way to start the day off. An example of this could be a whole-grain English muffin with an egg patty prepared using a cooking spray and sliced avocado – the perfect quick breakfast sandwich.”

As children mature into teenagers, Swim said they need diets that provide proper nutrients and fuel. “Many teens will double their weight and can add up to 20 percent in height, and they need to make sure and get enough nutrients like calcium to support healthy bone growth. Teens will continue to have growth spurts, and it’s important for them to remember that their body needs food to help fuel healthy growth, especially if they are an athlete. But food for fuel is also important for those active with music or art. Their brains are working to hardwire their ability to process the skills needed for all activities.”

Parent should keep taste and appearance in mind when preparing meals, Swim said, as they seem to be important factors to teens. “Health and energy needs don’t matter so much to (teens), so as parents we need to provide those healthy choices in a way that is pleasing to eat and look at.”

Staying hydrated is also important as children and teenagers begin participating in sports and other activities. Swim recommends drinking two, 8-ounce glasses of water two hours before an event, as well as sports drinks during and after an event as a way to stay hydrated.

“Sports drinks provide fluid, carbohydrates and electrolytes during extreme exercise,” she said. “This helps provide fuel for muscles, help maintain blood sugar levels and quench thirst. They also help to prevent dehydration. For specifics on what you or your student-athlete need contact a registered dietitian who is a board-certified specialist in sports nutrition.”

For families on the go to, Swim said planning is a way to keep eating healthy. “Every sporting event has a schedule. Take time once a week to map those out on a calendar and then sit down with the family to see who can help out where. Also, think about preparing extra on nights that you can cook. Then you just need to heat something up. Using the crockpot can be a lifesaver, then dinner is ready when you get home.”

For late night events, she said prepare sandwiches when possible and keep snacks handy such as whole fruit, apples, bananas, oranges, walnuts, almonds and skim mozzarella string cheese.

Swim said parents must also keep in mind that males and females mature differently and to alter their diets accordingly. “Because girls and boys mature at different ages and their growth spurts occur at different times, there are separate calorie needs. For example, as girls mature one place to focus would be on getting enough iron. The body uses iron to make hemoglobin, the part of the red blood cells that carry oxygen.”

Swim said multi-grain rice with salmon and dark green salads are ways to add iron into meals, but recommends contacting a pediatrician or registered dietitian for diet needs.

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

Jones named NAJA scholarship recipient
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/27/2018 12:00 PM
NORMAN – Cherokee Nation citizen Storme Jones, a University of Oklahoma student, has been named as one of the five Native American Journalists Association Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship recipients.

The Facebook Journalism Project and NAJA established the scholarship to support quality journalism that strengthens and connects communities. For the 2018-19 school year, Jones will receive the $10,000 scholarship for pursuing a media career.

Jones is a student at the OU Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication where he has produced content highlighting social issues and underserved communities. His experience in reporting includes in-depth stories with KGOU Radio and the University’s National Public Radio member station, where he has reported on interactions between law enforcement and people with autism and the elevated issues that often harmed people with special needs. His reporting eventually led to a change in the way an Oklahoma police department trained its officers.

This summer, Jones is working on a national reporting project through the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Through the investigative project, he will build upon research conducted this semester to tell the stories of people who have been victimized by hate crimes. In the fall, he will be part of Gaylord College’s inaugural Washington, D.C., program where he will live in the nation’s capital and report on issues affecting Oklahomans, for mainstream media outlets.

NAJA will award a total of $250,000 in scholarships through the Facebook Journalism Program over the next five years. Students who applied but were not selected in 2018 are encouraged to re-apply in 2019.

For more information, visit www.naja.com.
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