‘Nanyehi’ short film to debut at local film festival

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/23/2018 08:30 AM
MUSKOGEE – The story of Nancy Ward, legendary Cherokee warrior turned peacemaker, has made its way to the big screen in the short film “Nanyehi.”

The film depicts the struggle between peace and war and the fight to preserve tribal land in the 18th century.

“Sharing the story of Nanyehi has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career and my life,” Becky Hobbs, “Nanyehi” co-writer, said. “There is so much we can learn from her story that we need in today’s world. Her message of peace is one that inspires change and one that I hope will make the world a better place.”

“Nanyehi” features Cherokee Nation citizen Winnie Guess Purdue in the title role, supported by a local cast of 44 from northeast Oklahoma, the vast majority being CN citizens.

“The film incorporated the families of our cast and created a truly magical environment watching them share the story not only of Nanyehi, but of their own ancestors as well,” David Webb, co-producer for the “Nanyehi” film, said. “This cast does an amazing job presenting a compelling story in a way that is both educational and engaging for audiences of all ages.”
“Nanyehi” features Cherokee Nation citizen Winnie Guess Purdue in the title role, supported by a local cast of 44 from northeast Oklahoma, the vast majority being CN citizens. COURTESY
“Nanyehi” features Cherokee Nation citizen Winnie Guess Purdue in the title role, supported by a local cast of 44 from northeast Oklahoma, the vast majority being CN citizens. COURTESY
http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Article/index/42330

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa to expand

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/10/2018 04:30 PM
CATOOSA – Cherokee Nation Entertainment officials have announced that the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is making way for a new expansion by beginning demolition of the resort’s oldest structure on April 12.

CNE officials said work crews would remove tent-like structure on the northeast side of the property during the next month and that a new structure would replace an 18,000-square-foot section built in 2002 that has served as the country and western-themed portion of the casino.

Officials said about 275 of the nearly 400 electronic games from the area would be relocated to other parts of the casino during construction, primarily on the second floor in and near the Grand Hall of the Cherokees.

Details on the expansion will be announced at a later date, officials said.

Since opening the first casino resort destination in Oklahoma in 2004, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa has gone through many transformations, officials said. In that time, two additional hotel towers have been added, along with a 2,700-seat concert venue, multiple restaurants and entertainment venues, a nonsmoking gaming area with a food court and sports bar, 23,000 square feet of convention space and a parking garage.

George Lopez brings stand-up to Hard Rock Tulsa

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/06/2018 03:30 PM
CATOOSA – Grammy-nominated comedian, actor and author George Lopez is bringing his stand-up comedy tour on June 16 to The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

Tickets start at $29 and are on sale now.

“Time” Magazine named him one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America, and the Harris Poll named him one of the Top Ten Favorite Television Personalities.

Lopez remains a hit with television viewers with his comedy series, “Lopez,” on TV Land. Starring and produced by Lopez, the series explores how he struggles between his two worlds and crises that are often of his own making. He also hosted “Lopez Tonight,” a late-night television talk show on TBS that represented Lopez’s return to series television after co-creating, writing, producing and starring his sitcom, “George Lopez,” which ran for six seasons on ABC. “George Lopez” remains among the top five comedies and top 20 weekly programs in syndication.

For more information on Lopez, visit www.georgelopez.com.
George Lopez
George Lopez
http://cherokeepublichealth.org/

Martina McBride to play Hard Rock Tulsa

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/05/2018 08:00 AM
CATOOSA – One of country’s biggest stars, Martina McBride, is set to take the stage at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on Aug. 10.

Tickets start at $55 and go on sale April 5.

McBride’s show comes as part of the second annual Hard Rock Country Gold Series that’s bringing country music legends to The Joint this summer.

More than 18 million Martina McBride albums have been sold to date, thanks to her 20 Top 10 singles and six No. 1 hits like “Concrete Angel,” “A Broken Wing,” “This One’s for the Girls,” “My Valentine” and “Independence Day.”

McBride has earned more than 15 major music awards, including four for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association and three for Top Female Vocalist from the Academy of Country Music. She’s also been awarded 14 gold records, nine platinum honors, three double platinum records, and two triple platinum awards.
Martina McBride will play The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on Aug. 10. COURTESY
Martina McBride will play The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on Aug. 10. COURTESY

Rock icon John Fogerty returns to Hard Rock

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/20/2018 04:00 PM
CATOOSA – John Fogerty, one of the most influential musicians in rock history, is seet to perform June 8 at the The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

Tickets start at $75 and go on sale March 22.

Fogerty became a household name as lead singer and guitarist of Creedence Clearwater Revival in the 1960s and 1970s. During that time, Fogerty wrote some of the most memorable songs in rock ‘n’ roll, including “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Fortunate Sun” and “Born on the Bayou.”
As a solo artist, his success continued to skyrocket in the 1980s with the single “Centerfield.” The Grammy award-winner also wrote the hit songs “Change in the Weather” and “Rock and Roll Girls,” among others.

He’s been featured on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of Top 100 Greatest Guitarists and Top 100 Singers of All Time. He’s also been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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

‘Nanyehi’ returns to The Joint May 4-5

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/04/2018 08:00 AM
CATOOSA – An original musical based on the life of one of the most influential women in Cherokee history is returning May 4-5 to The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

“Nanyehi – The Story of Nancy Ward” is the story of Ward, a legendary woman who was first honored in the 18th century as a Cherokee war woman, but then as a peacemaker during the American Revolution.

Tickets are $15 and go on sale March 1. There is a $5 discount for Cherokee Nation citizens and children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 918-384-ROCK or online in The Joint section of www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com.

The production features Tulsa’s own Tabitha Littlefield in the title role and Tahlequah native Travis Fite reprising his role as Dragging Canoe for the ninth consecutive time.

The musical is written by Nashville-based, award-winning songwriter and recording artist Becky Hobbs and playwright Nick Sweet. It has been presented four times in Oklahoma, twice in Tennessee and single productions in Georgia and Texas.
The “Nanyehi” cast performs during a production at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The musical returns May 4-5. CLIFF MOORE/COURTESY
The “Nanyehi” cast performs during a production at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The musical returns May 4-5. CLIFF MOORE/COURTESY

‘Hollywood Medium’ Tyler Henry arrives to Hard Rock

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/24/2018 02:00 PM
CATOOSA – Tyler Henry, E! Television Network star of “Hollywood Medium” and best-selling author, is bringing a special live evening to The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on May 10.

Tickets start at $49 and go on sale March 2.

For the first time audiences will be treated to his new live show, in which Tyler will share and discuss his “Life Lessons I Have Learned From The Departed.” The show also includes a multimedia video presentation and live interactive Q&A.

Henry, 22, is best known for his hit series, “Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry” on E! Television Network. In each episode, Henry sits down and has one-on-one readings with Hollywood’s top celebrities, including Eva Longoria, Allison Janney, Ellen DeGeneres, Kris Jenner, Bobby Brown, Ryan Lochte, Portia de Rossi, Mel B, Lil’ Kim, Dr. Drew, Tom Arnold, Ru Paul, Khloe and Kim Kardashian, Jamie Pressley and Jewel.

His success crossed over to the best-seller lists with his memoir, “Between Two Worlds,” detailing his journey both in Hollywood and as a medium.
Tyler Henry
Tyler Henry

Hard Rock Tulsa ranked among best U.S. hotels

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/16/2018 12:00 PM
CATOOSA – The U.S. News & World Report has listed the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa at No. 2 on its 2018 Best Tulsa Hotels list, earning the destination with more national recognition as one of the top hotels in the country.

Cherokee Nation Entertainment’s flagship entertainment destination is one of two luxury hotels in the area that were named to the list. The Hard Rock Tulsa earned the Silver Badge based on an analysis of expert and user opinions, considering it among the top 30 percent of all ranked luxury hotels in the United States.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the Hard Rock’s place on the list takes into account the opinion of published travel experts and the overall customer satisfaction expressed in online guest reviews provided under license by TripAdvisor. Awards and hotel class are also taken into consideration.

For more information, visit https://travel.usnews.com/hotels/Tulsa_OK/.

In 2017, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa earned the AAA Four-Diamond Rating, putting the destination among the exclusive ranks of the best hospitality establishments in the country. Fewer than 6 percent of the 28,000 AAA-approved and diamond-rated establishments in the nation receive the prestigious distinction.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa recently garnered a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa Silver Badge award based on an analysis of expert and user opinions, considering it among the top 30 percent of all ranked luxury hotels in the United States. COURTESY
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa recently garnered a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa Silver Badge award based on an analysis of expert and user opinions, considering it among the top 30 percent of all ranked luxury hotels in the United States. COURTESY

Loretta Lynn cancels upcoming show at Hard Rock Tulsa

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/02/2018 02:15 PM
TULSA – Loretta Lynn is cancelling her upcoming stop at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Loretta Lynn date, scheduled May 17, 2018, in Tulsa has been canceled,” a statement from her management said. “Refunds are available at point of purchase.”

Guests may request refunds by calling 918-384-ROCK or in person at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The Joint box office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is located off Interstate 44 at exit 240.

Culture

Cherokee National Treasures host art show
BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
07/19/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee National Treasures hosted their first Children’s and Student Art Show on July 7 in the Tsa-La-Gi Community Ballroom featuring artwork made by youth and adult students who were mentored and trained by Cherokee National Treasures.

Some student artists who presented are already accomplished artists but wanted to learn another artistic medium. Such was the case with Cherokee Nation citizen Harry Oosahwee.

“I’ve been carving stone and wood for years, and I’ve been painting for years” he said. “And so I decided I wanted to do something different. And when (Cherokee National Treasure) Bill Glass’s class came along, I decided to take it. I’ve really enjoyed working with ceramics, and think it might be a new medium I’ll start really working on.”

Oosahwee wasn’t the only adult Cherokee looking for a new artistic avenue. CN artist Tana Washington and Oosahwee’s daughter, Sedelta, along with several other CN citizens, signed up for the mentorship program. That is fine with CNT Committee Chairwoman Jane Osti, who said the mentorship program is crucial for developing future artists.

“Every treasure…has from two to 10 students.” Osti said. “The mentors who are teaching are experts in their field. In many cases, some of them have taught for 40 and 50 years, and they have knowledge that we’re going to lose if we don’t teach someone. This program is teaching a lot of people and they’re doing very well. In some instances, we have students who could actually go out and teach. And whether they teach the next generation or a daughter or grandchild, it’s going to produce more people practicing our cultural arts.”

Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said he was pleased with how the mentoring program is reaching communities. He said it’s another example of how the CNTs are helping save traditional Cherokee arts.

“Primarily their jobs have been to nominate or recommend new National Treasures, but they’ve been doing a lot of other things in the last few years. This student art competition is just a great example of how they’re getting artwork into the communities and inspiring new artists to get involved,” Hoskin said.

For more information on the CNT mentorship program, call 918-453-5728.

Education

Oklahoma sorority chapter bring home national award
BY STAFF REPORTS
07/20/2018 04:00 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two Oklahoma chapters picked up top honors as Alpha Pi Omega announced its national award winners on July 14.

The sorority’s newest chapter, the Iota Pi Chapter in Cherokee County was named the 2017-18 Professional Chapter of the Year.

To be considered for the award, the chapter submitted a portfolio, highlighting its members’ community involvement, individual awards and commitment to community service. The chapter’s current roster features a 2018 “Remember the Removal” bike ride participant, a current member of Leadership Tahlequah and one of UNITY’s 25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders.

“It’s an honor to have the national recognition from our other sisters,” Iota Pi Chapter president and Cherokee Nation citizen Haley Noe said. “Hopefully we can continue to show more involvement both in the community and for our area sisters.”

Council

Tribal Council approves $31M Indian Housing Plan
BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
07/12/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – At the July 9 Tribal Council meeting, legislators unanimously authorized the submission of the fiscal year 2019 Indian Housing Plan, estimated at more than $31 million, to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The FY2019 funds will be used for housing assistance such as $5.6 million for housing rehabilitation, nearly $4.5 million for the Rental Assistance Program and $3.4 million for the Mortgage Assistance Program.

Legislators also unanimously adopted revisions to the FY2018 IHP because the Cherokee Nation’s $31.8 million Indian Housing Block Grant allocation was higher than estimates provided. The CN’s submitted FY2018 IHP, as required by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, had an original estimate of nearly $29 million.

“The actual appropriations are based on what Congress approves in the federal budget. For this year it was $655 million for NAHASDA and our part was the $31,856,007,” Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation Executive Director Gary Cooper said. “The current two appropriations being considered, one in the House, the other in the Senate, both include amounts equal to 2018. Assuming that Congress does pass a budget or omnibus or other type of appropriations bill for next year at the same (amount), we should receive more than the estimate.”

Legislators also unanimously authorized the submission of a tribal soil climate analysis network, also known as TSCAN or a weather station. The weather station will be placed on tribal property near the buffalo ranch in Delaware County.

The resolution said the CN recognizes the importance of addressing food, agriculture and natural resource needs within the CN boundaries through the utilization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Services, Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“This is an NCRS project. It will give us more soil climate data, soil moisture information. It will be really helpful for researches and people who are really involved in agriculture. So it will be a good thing,” CN Natural Resources Sara Hill said in a June 11 Resource Committee meeting.

In other business, legislators:

• Authorized a grant application for an economic development feasibility study for FY2019 on creating a blackberry processing and marketing program utilizing organic blackberry growers who are CN citizens,

• Amending the comprehensive FY2018 capital budget with an increase of $8 million for a total budget authority of $260.2 million, and

• Amended the comprehensive FY2018 operating budget with an increase of $29.7 million for a total budget authority of $724.7 million. The changes reflecting the increase include increases in the General Fund budget of $312,725; the DOI-Self Governance budget of $388,958; the Indian Health Service Self-Governance Health budget of $24.6 million; and the IHS-Self Governance TEH budget of $4.5 million.

Health

Oklahoma Medicaid approved for drug pricing experiment
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/19/2018 04:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved Oklahoma’s Medicaid program for a first-in-the-nation drug pricing experiment that supporters say could save taxpayer dollars and provide patients with the most effective medications for their ailments.

Under the “value-based purchasing” program approved in late June, the state and a pharmaceutical company would agree to a set payment if its medication works as advertised, but only a fraction of that if the drug is not as effective as promised.

“When a company signs an agreement, we hope that they’re going to agree to only have us pay for the therapy that works .... and if it doesn’t work we should get a rebate on it,” said Nancy Nesser, pharmacy director for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which administers the Medicaid program in the state.

“One thing we’ve learned is that some companies don’t really stand behind their drugs, and it’s kind of scary,” Nesser said. “We’re paying a premium for them and they’re not willing to say that they will work.”

The companies are not required to take part, but Nesser said several, which she declined to identify, have shown interest and discussions are underway with three. She said she hopes the program can begin by Aug. 1.

“This is a good thing,” said Matt Salo, executive director of the nonpartisan National Medicaid Directors Association, which represents state programs. “It paves the way for states and other payers to start really thinking about how to do value-based purchasing for prescription drugs.”

The federal waiver would allow Oklahoma to get around a potential obstacle to value-based contracts.

A possible pitfall is Medicaid’s “best price” requirement, which says if any purchaser gets a really good deal on a drug, then Medicaid has to get that lower price too.

Some interpret that to apply to value-based deals as well, Salo said. That means that if a drug didn’t work too well, and a state paid only 10 percent of the original price, then every other Medicaid program could get the drug for that rock-bottom price, too.

“This seems to allow for paying less for a failed treatment without triggering the ‘best price’ requirement,” Salo said.

Oklahoma spent about $650 million on prescription drugs in the fiscal year that ended June 30, Nesser said, and the change could save “a couple of million, maybe.”

Medicaid patients, primarily children who do not pay for prescriptions and the elderly, whose costs are fixed, would see no pocketbook impact, according to Oklahoma Health Care Authority spokeswoman Jo Stainsby.

“The change we’re looking for is improved health outcomes,” Stainsby said.

Oklahoma is “taking the lead” in working to bring down the cost of medications, the AARP director for the state, Sean Voskuhl, said.

“It is a great example of how states can implement change in the absence of reform at the federal level,” Voskuhl said.

Opinion

OPINION: Expanded laws allow CN to better enforce VAWA
BY BILL JOHN BAKER
Principal Chief
07/05/2018 12:00 PM
The Cherokee Nation remains committed to protecting our women and children from violence. As principal chief, I reinforced that dedication by creating the ONE FIRE program for survivors of domestic violence, and recently, the Tribal Council passed laws that strengthen our ability to protect Native women and children within our own jurisdiction.

The amended titles 21 and 22 of the Cherokee Code Annotated allow the tribe to better enforce the Violence Against Women Act tribal-jurisdiction provisions aimed at preventing domestic abuse and violence against women and children on tribal reservations.

These amendments authorize the CN to prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence, dating violence or violations of protective orders within our jurisdiction. The CN has the authority to hold offenders accountable for their crimes against women and children regardless of the perpetrator’s race. This law will apply to a spouse or partner of a CN citizen or other tribal citizen with ties to our jurisdiction.

Additionally, the Tribal Council also modified Title 12 of the Cherokee Code Annotated, which gives the CN’s District Court the expanded ability to issue and enforce protective orders for acts of domestic violence occurring within the CN. The amendments enable CN courts and CN marshals to combat domestic abuse more effectively.

Native American women suffer from violent crime at some of the highest rates in the United States. With non-Indians constituting a significant percent of the overall population living on tribal lands, it is imperative that we take this action to close the jurisdictional gap in the CN. This will have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of women and children within the CN’s 14 counties.

I want to commend the CN attorney general’s office for working on this new law for more than two years, and the Tribal Council for taking this major step in flexing the CN’s sovereign muscle to bring justice to Native American victims.

We will continue to offer programs and services that curb the rate of domestic abuse. Our people deserve to live healthy and secure lives within the CN. We have always looked at how our decisions will impact the next seven generations, and providing a safe future for our children and grandchildren is an important part of securing that future.

People

Tehee named Muskogee police chief
BY STAFF REPORTS
07/17/2018 04:15 PM
MUSKOGEE – As of July 14, Cherokee Nation citizen Johnny Tehee, of Vian, was expected to take over as the new chief for the Muskogee Police Department.

Tehee has been with the MPD for more than 30 years. For the past 15 years he’s been the deputy chief to Chief Rex Eskridge, who was to retire on July 13. For about 10 years on the force, he’s specialized in investigating child abuse. Before the promotion, Tehee served as the deputy chief of the Investigation Division.

Tehee said he believes the most important thing to concentrate on is community relations. He wants the community more involved on what the police are doing, and the police more involved on what the community is doing.

“Back about 20 years I ran the Muskogee Police Athletic League, which means all the police officers would coach young kids’ football, baseball and basketball,” Tehee said. “We quit doing that about five or six ago, and I definitely want to get that back in place. I just think it’s a big asset for the community if you have officers involved in young kids’ lives.”

In the 1990s, Tehee said Muskogee had a problem with drugs and gangs with the murder rate high going into the 2000s. Since that time, he said the MPD has put more officers on the street and crime rates have gone down.

“We went from having double digits homicides to one or two a year. For the most part it’s a matter of keeping things going in the right direction,” Tehee said.

He added that he’s “excited and looking forward to the challenges” of being the police chief.

“I want to continue to move the Muskogee Police Department forward and carry on the legacy that was created by Chief Eskridge to remain one of the top law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma,” he said.

Tehee graduated Vian High School in 1982 before studying criminal justice at Northeastern State University. He also graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He said he’s been a member of First Baptist Church of Muskogee for more than 30 years and has spent years travelling the world on mission trips. He also said he’s been a long-time teacher in the church’s youth department.

“Deputy Chief Tehee has the experience, the community relationships and leadership skills needed to be an outstanding chief of police,” Muskogee City Manager Mike Collier said. “He has big shoes to fill, but I know he’s more than capable and will do great things in our community.”
Click To Subscribe

Call Justin Smith 918-207-4975

Cherokee Phoenix Daily
Digital Newsletter