http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgThe Gates Millennium Scholars Program funded Cherokee Nation citizen Felicia Manning’s 2016 study abroad trip to Mossel Bay, South Africa. She interned with Oceans Research, an organization that studies marine wildlife in an effort to manage and conserve South African wildlife. COURTESY
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program funded Cherokee Nation citizen Felicia Manning’s 2016 study abroad trip to Mossel Bay, South Africa. She interned with Oceans Research, an organization that studies marine wildlife in an effort to manage and conserve South African wildlife. COURTESY

Cherokee Gates scholars reflect on program’s influence

Cherokee Nation citizen Wrighter Weavel, 20, received the Gates Millennium Scholarship in 2015 and plans to transfer to the University of Oklahoma to complete his undergraduate studies. COURTESY Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient and United Keetoowah Band citizen Corey Still, 26, graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2013 with a bachelor's in Native American Studies with an emphasis in education. COURTESY
Cherokee Nation citizen Wrighter Weavel, 20, received the Gates Millennium Scholarship in 2015 and plans to transfer to the University of Oklahoma to complete his undergraduate studies. COURTESY
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
06/16/2017 09:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – It has been more than a year since the last cohort for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program was announced, giving several Cherokee recipients time to reflect on the scholarship’s legacy and impact it has made on their lives.

“It was just a huge, huge blessing,” Felicia Manning said.

Manning is one of 326 Cherokees who are citizens of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes to receive the scholarship during the program’s 16-year run, according to the American Indian Graduate Center, which oversees the GMSP.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation created the program in 2000. It funds any undergraduate study area and seven graduate study areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and science.

A 2010 scholarship selection, Manning recently completed her first year of graduate study in marine science at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida.

The program also funded Manning’s 2016 study abroad trip to Mossel Bay, South Africa. While there she tagged sharks with Oceans Research, an organization dedicated to Southern African wildlife management and conservation via marine research.

“That’s a group that I had been following for a long time,” Manning said. “The fact that they actually picked my school, and I’m partnered with them and I get to do my thesis work with them, that has just been so awesome. Gates (scholarship) definitely helped pave the way for me to do that.”

The scholarship is also paving a better future for Wrighter Weavel, 20, a 2015 recipient.

“I wasn’t even going to go to college, but when I found out that I got Gates, that opened so many opportunities for me to go anywhere I want, to experience any life, any culture in the entire United States,” he said.

Weavel said he plans to transfer to the University of Oklahoma to complete his undergraduate studies in education or medicine, with an overall goal to obtain a doctorate.

“I want to get my Ph.D. and I want to be called Dr. Weavel because I have a plan,” he said. “I want to have little ones, and I want them to look at me and see where I came from and to understand that it doesn’t matter the background you have, if you want to do something, you can do whatever you set your mind to.”

Weavel said he has also benefited from the scholarship beyond financial assistance.

“They offer mentors, which the mentors are a huge help,” he said. “They really help expand your mind on exactly what the scholarship can do for you.”

Weavel’s mentor is Corey Still, 26, a United Keetoowah Band citizen who received the scholarship in 2009.

Though initially interested in business and law, Still is now obtaining a doctorate in adult and higher education at OU.

“I really began to fall in love with this idea of education and how we can help our communities through education,” he said. “I really wanted to be able to help other people and especially other students.”

Still said he looks forward to joining the few Native American men with doctorates, which he decided to pursue because of the “faith” the GMSP puts into its scholars. “Whether they know it or not, that by selecting us as scholars and putting a little bit of faith into us, we’re going to go out and make something with those scholarships and with those degrees, that we’re going to make some type of impact within our community or greater society.”

Still serves on the Gates Millennium Alumni Advisory Council as the American Indian Graduate Center liaison and said he appreciates the “communal and family ties” the GMSP creates. “You really see the impact this scholarship has, and not just within Indian Country, because the scholarship itself is for minority students in under-represented fields. And so you really see the connections that are created across cultural barriers and across the country and it really does become a family.”

Of the Cherokee recipients, 313 are CN citizens, eight are UKB citizens and five are Eastern Band citizens.

In its 16 years, the GMSP funded more than 20,000 scholars and awarded more than $934 million in scholarship funds. The program ended in 2016, but the Hispanic Scholarship Fund manages a new version.

Editor’s Note: Reporter Brittney Bennett is a 2011 Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient.
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᎤᎪᏓ ᎠᎪᎯᎸ ᎾᏃ ᏑᎶᏘᏴᏓᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏂ ᎤᎾᏓᏢᎩ ᎠᏂᎦᏟᏯ ᎨᏒ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎩ Gates Millennium Scholars Program ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏢ, ᏓᏂᏅᏁᎲ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏁᏍᎦ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎾᏁᎵᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎸ ᎠᎴ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᏓᎾᎴᏂᏙᎲᎢ.

“ᎢᎦᏃ ᎤᏔᎾ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏰᎸᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Felicia Manning.

Manning ᎾᏍᎩ ᏌᏊ ᎾᏍᎩ 326 ᎾᏂᎥ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎾᎿ ᏦᎢ ᏄᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᎨᎪᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎾᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏗᎬᏩᏂᏁᏍᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎬᏩᏂᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᏧᏂᏁᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏓᎳᏚ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏐᎢ, ᎾᏂᏪᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᏗᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏰᏟ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ GMSP.

ᎾᏍᎩ Bill ᎠᎴ Melinda Gates Foundation ᎤᏬᏢᏅ ᎯᎠ ᎬᏩᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᎲ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎾᎿ Ꮭ ᏧᏍᏆᏛ ᏱᎩ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏔᏅᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᏗᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ: ᎯᎠ ᏥᏕᎪᏪᎵ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗᎢ computer science, ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ, engineering, library science, ᏗᏎᏍᏗᏅ, public health and science.

ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏍᎪᎯ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏑᏰᏓ, Manning ᎾᏝᎬ ᏚᏍᏆᏛ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎨᏒ ᎤᎦᏎᏍᏩᏛᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Marine science ᎾᎿ Jacksonville University ᎾᎿ Jacksonville, Florida.

ᎯᎠ ᎤᏙᏢᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎬᏩᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ Manning ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏗ ᏭᏁᏙᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ Mossel Bay, South Africa. ᎾᎿ ᏪᏙᎲ ᏚᏬᏪᎳᏅ ᎯᎠ sharks ᎾᎿ ᎠᎻᏉ ᎤᏂᏯᎸᏍᎩ, ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ Southern African ᎢᎾᎨ ᎡᎾᎢ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏗᏕᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏔᏅ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ via marine ᎤᏂᏯᎸᏍᎨᎢ.

“ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᏥᏍᏓᏩᏗᏙᎲ ᎪᎯᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Manning. “ᎾᏍᏳᏃ ᎯᎠ ᏧᎾᏑᏰᏒ ᏗᏆᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏥᏙᎩᎾᏦᎸᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏃᎬᏁᎸ thesis ᏂᎦᏓ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᎦᎢ ᎠᏆᎵᎮᎵᏨᎢ. Gates (scholarship) ᎤᏙᎯᏳ ᎬᎩᏍᏕᎸᎲ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎬᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏆᏚᎵᏍᎬᎢ.”

ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏤᏢ ᏫᏥᎦᏛᎢ ᎾᎿ Wrighter Weavel, 20, ᎾᏍᎩ 2015 ᎤᏁᏍᏗᎢ.

“ ᏝᏃ ᏱᏙᏛᎦᏕᎶᏆᎢᏎ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᏣᏆᏕᎶᎰᏒ ᎠᎩᏁᏒ Gates, ᎾᎿ ᎤᎵᏍᏚᎢᏒ ᏓᏝᏅᏓᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏇᏅᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏆᏚᎵᏍᎬ, ᎾᎿ ᎠᎩᎦᏙᎢᎲᏍᏗ ᎦᎴᏂᏙᎲᎢ, ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎯᎲᎢ ᎠᎹᏱᏟ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

Weavel ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏚᏭᎪᏛ ᎤᏁᏟᏴᏍᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ University of Oklahoma ᏧᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ Ꮟ ᎤᏁᏓ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎤᏁᏍᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᎬᏩᏟ ᎠᎴ ᏅᏬᏘ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎨᏒ a doctorate.

“ᎠᏆᏚᎵ ᎠᎩᏁᏍᏗ Ph.D. ᎠᎴ ᎠᏆᏚᎵ ᎬᎩᏯᏅᏙᏗ Dr. Weavel ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏓᏊᎪᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎠᏆᏚᎵ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏗᎩᎧᎯ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᎬᎩᎧᏃᏗ ᏃᎴ ᎤᎾᏅᏘ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏳ ᏂᏛᏆᏓᎴᏅ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏃᏟᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏂᏓᏣᏓᎴᏅ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎢᏳᏃ ᏱᏣᏚᎵ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎢᏣᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏱᎾᏛᎦ.”

Weavel ᎤᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ Corey Still, ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏑᏓᎵ ᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎩᎳ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏁᏎ ᎠᎴ ᏚᎩᏎ ᏧᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏐᏁᎳ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ.

ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᎢᏳᏛᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎧᎾᏩᏛᏍᏗ, Still ᏃᏊ ᏓᏕᎶᏆᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ doctorate ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏔᏂ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ OU.

“ᏙᎯᏳ ᏥᎸᏉᏗᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎦ ᏗᎬᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎨᏒ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏕᏲᏗ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏙᎯᏳ ᏯᏆᏚᎵ ᎡᎵ ᏯᏆᏛᏗ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎦᎦᏥᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ.”

Still ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎦᏖᏃᎯ ᏧᏖᎳᏕᏗ ᎠᏂᎦᏲᏟ ᎠᏂᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᏱᏟ ᎠᏁᎯ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ ᎾᏍᎩ doctorates ᏧᏂᎾᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᏁᎶᏗ ᎤᏁᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ “ᎤᏬᎯᏳᏒᎢ” ᎾᏍᎩ GMSP ᏧᏢᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ. “ᎢᏳᏃ ᏳᎾᏅᏘ ᎠᎴ ᏝᏱᎩ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏑᏰᏍᎬ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎪᎪᎯᏳᎲᏍᎬ, ᏓᏲᏣᏂᎩᏏ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎣᏍᏗ ᏗᎬᏙᏗ ᏂᏙᏓᏲᏨᏁᎵ ᎯᎠ ᏙᏣᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᏓᏲᏣᏁᎶᏔᏂ ᏄᏓᎴ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏧᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ.”

Still ᏓᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎾᎿ Gates Millennium Alumni Advisory Council ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᏗᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏰᏟ liaison ᎠᎴ ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᎾᏍᎩ “ᏴᏫ ᏓᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᏚᎾᏓᏂᏴᏛ” ᎾᏍᎩ GMSP ᎪᏢᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏂᎯᏃ ᏙᎦᏳ ᎢᏥᎪᏩᏘᏍᎪ ᎯᎠ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎨᏒ, ᎠᎴ Ꮭ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎢᎦ ᎠᏁᎲᎢ, ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎦᏲᏢ ᎢᏗᏝ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏓᏁᎲᎢ ᎰᏩ ᎾᎾᏛᎩᏍᎬᎾ. ᎢᏗᎪᏩᏘᏃ ᏓᏓᏂᏴᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏗᏫᏍᏗ ᏓᏁᎲ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᏚᏓᎴᎾᎥ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏗᏫᏍᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏙᎯᏳ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎪᎢ.”

ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏚᏂᏢᎥ, 313 ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏁᎳ, ᏧᏁᎳ ᎾᏍᎩ UKB ᎠᏁᎳ ᎠᎴ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏯᏂ ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎠᏁᎳ.

ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᎳᏚ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᎾᏍᎩ GMSP ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎾᏃ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᎢᎦᏴᎵ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎨᏥᏅᏁᏗ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎾᏃ 934 ᎢᏳᏆᏗᏅᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ. ᎯᎠ ᎤᏙᏢᎯ ᎠᏍᏆᏗᏍᎬ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏓᎳᏚ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ Hispanic Scholarship Fund manges a new version.

Editor’s note: Reporter Brittney Bennett is a 2011 Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient.

About the Author
Brittney Bennett is from Colcord, Oklahoma, and a citizen of the United Keetoowah Band.  She is a 2011 Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and summa cum laude honors.
 
While in college, Brittney became involved with the Native American Journalists Association and was an inaugural NAJA student fellow in 2014. Continued mentorship from NAJA members and the willingness to give Natives a voice led her to accept a multimedia internship with the Cherokee Phoenix after college.  
 
She left the Cherokee Phoenix in early 2016 before being selected as a Knight-CUNYJ Fellow in New York City later that same year. During the fellowship, she received training from industry professionals with The New York Times and instructors at the City University of New York. As part of the program, she completed a social media internship with USA Today’s editorial department.
 
Now that Brittney has made her way back to the Cherokee Phoenix, she hopes to use the experience gained from her travels to benefit Indian Country and the Cherokee people.
brittney-bennett@cherokee.org • 918-453-5560
Brittney Bennett is from Colcord, Oklahoma, and a citizen of the United Keetoowah Band. She is a 2011 Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and summa cum laude honors. While in college, Brittney became involved with the Native American Journalists Association and was an inaugural NAJA student fellow in 2014. Continued mentorship from NAJA members and the willingness to give Natives a voice led her to accept a multimedia internship with the Cherokee Phoenix after college. She left the Cherokee Phoenix in early 2016 before being selected as a Knight-CUNYJ Fellow in New York City later that same year. During the fellowship, she received training from industry professionals with The New York Times and instructors at the City University of New York. As part of the program, she completed a social media internship with USA Today’s editorial department. Now that Brittney has made her way back to the Cherokee Phoenix, she hopes to use the experience gained from her travels to benefit Indian Country and the Cherokee people.

Education

BY STAFF REPORTS
01/18/2018 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Beginning this fall, Northeastern State University will increase the number of President’s Leadership Class scholarships awarded to incoming freshmen each year. According to NSU officials, the President's Leadership Class is a unique leadership and scholarship program designed to cultivate the outstanding potential of proven student leaders. Previously offered to about 15 incoming students each fall, the President’s Leadership Class scholarship will be awarded to 20 incoming freshmen in the fall 2018 semester and will increase to 25 over the next two years. The expansion will allow for a more comprehensive scholarship experience for student leaders, officials said. In the fall 2018 semester, incoming members of the President’s Leadership Class will receive more than $5,000 per semester for four years for housing, tuition and foundation support. “The President's Leadership Class is among the very best student aid programs in the state in terms of length (four years) and total value,” NSU President Steve Turner said. “By increasing the number of leadership scholarships over the next two years, we are demonstrating our commitment to meet our state's need for highly skilled college graduates.”? Applicants for the President’s Leadership Class should display outstanding leadership capabilities and must have an exceptionally strong academic record. High school seniors are required to have an ACT composite score of 20 or higher for consideration. Applications are available online at <a href="http://www.scholarships.nsuok.edu" target="_blank">scholarships.nsuok.edu</a>.
BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
12/15/2017 08:15 AM
NORMAN, Okla. – The application process for the Native American Journalists Association’s student-training program is open through Jan. 31. The Native American Journalism Fellowship is a student-training program committed to creating the next generation of storytellers through hands-on training in a weeklong immersion experience with professional journalists. “The Native American Journalism Fellowship is NAJA’s flagship program for Native media students. It has evolved over more than 25 years into a hands-on experience and has launched the careers of many successful NAJA members through mentorship, training and professional connections,” Rebecca Landsberry, NAJA executive director, said. College and graduate students will be able to broaden their reporting and multimedia skills by receiving multimedia training, a professional NAJA mentor, skills for job-readiness, connections to media jobs and internships though NAJA’s national network and upper-level college credit hours. Selected students will attend the 2018 National Native Media Conference set for July 16-22 in Miami, Florida, where they will attend regular meetings with a mentor and participate in all planned webinar trainings. Throughout the remainder of the fellowship, students are required to participate in online check-ins and trainings throughout the year, write and edit reporting assignments for inclusion on the NAJA Native Voice website and seek media-focused internships. “All fellows attend our national conference with all expenses paid, covering the event and local community as working journalists. In addition, they get on-site newsroom experience working with some of the best Indigenous media professionals from across the U.S., including other fellows. It’s an immersive experience, and they really get a chance to dig into the nuances of covering Indian Country, ask questions in a safe space and emerge from the experience as better reporters,” Landsberry said. Mentors can also apply to help oversee the fellows in their training. Mentor requirements include being a current NAJA member in good standing; journalism experience in print, broadcast or digital media; and are encouraged to bring any professional equipment to the newsroom experience such as cameras, video equipment, recording gear, etc. Visit <a href="http://www.naja.com" target="_blank">www.naja.com</a> to apply for the student fellowship or mentorship and to renew or become a new NAJA member. Annual memberships dues are $20 for college students and $55 for individual professional members. For more information, email NAJA Education Committee Chairwoman Victoria LaPoe at <a href="mailto: vlapoe@naja.com">vlapoe@naja.com</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
12/13/2017 03:15 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Northeastern State University American Indian Heritage Committee is accepting proposals for individuals interested in presenting at the 46th annual Symposium on the American Indian. Priority consideration will be given to proposals received by Dec. 15. The symposium will be April 16-21 on NSU’s Tahlequah campus. The theme, “Walking with our Ancestors: Preserving Culture and Honoring Tradition,” will provide a space for the Indigenous community to examine American Indian history and reflect on how the collective past influences who American Indians are as Indigenous peoples today. According to a NSU press release, American Indian people are often left out of conversations about minority groups, and many people believe they are only a part of the past not the present nor the future. “On the contrary, American Indians are still here preserving their culture and honoring their traditions by incorporating this knowledge into their present day professional careers,” the release states. “While Indigenous communities may look different, they still managed to maintain their identity and hold fast to their language, sovereignty, and Indigenous ways of living.” Proposals should focus on one of the following: cultural preservation, Indigenous knowledge (multi-disciplinary), history (from an Indigenous perspective), intergenerational/historical trauma (impact, healing, etc.), tribal sovereignty and/or language revitalization. The committee will conduct a blind review of each proposal. The best proposals will articulate a clear objective and purpose as well as importance of the point of view to be expressed. Proposals need to show evidence of scholarly care, clear and effective argument and/or a basis in research. Proposals can be sent to <a href="https://offices.nsuok.edu/centerfortribalstudies/NSUSymposium.aspx" target="_blank">https://offices.nsuok.edu/centerfortribalstudies/NSUSymposium.aspx</a>. The Symposium on the American Indian is a community event. There is no registration fee and events are open to the public. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.cts.nsuok.edu" target="_blank">cts.nsuok.edu</a> and follow the link to the NSU Symposium or email <a href="mailto: tribalstudies@nsuok.edu">tribalstudies@nsuok.edu</a> or call 918-444-4350.
BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
12/08/2017 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On Dec. 2, the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program graduated four students at a graduation ceremony in the Armory Municipal Center. Larry Carney, of Tulsa; Ronnie Duncan, of Bell; Lisa O’Field, of Hulbert; and Toney Owens, of Rocky Mountain received a certificate of completion, copper gorget and Pendleton blanket. Operated through the Cherokee Nation’s Community and Cultural Outreach, participants are taught the Cherokee language by master speakers Doris Shell, Cora Flute and Gary Vann. The program is geared towards teaching CN citizens to be proficient conversational Cherokee language speakers and teachers. Howard Paden, CLMAP manager, said the program stemmed from a “need” for the language. “This program gets people speaking our language again. You know, we seen a need for it because a lot of the (Cherokee) Immersion (Charter) School parents seen a need to not only push their kids to learn the language but to learn themselves and start having Cherokee speaking households,” Paden said. Students spend two years and typically 40 hours a week learning the Cherokee language in a classroom from the master speakers. Students are also encouraged to visit with fluent Cherokee-speaking elders to practice and learn from them. However, to ensure individuals are able to dedicate the needed time to the program, they each receive a $10 an hour stipend. “They learn a lot of Cherokee. From when they first walk into the classroom to probably two months they already learn about 5,000 words,” Paden said. “The first year is primarily learning as much as they can, and by the second year we expect them to start teaching. Of course they have a master speaker there that can assist them, but they begin to teach phrases to the next group that comes in. So every January we get a new group, so the people that are in their last year will begin teaching in January to the new group that we have coming in.” Since its inception nearly three years ago, the program has graduated six students and is expected to graduate six more in 2018 and eight in 2019. Gary Vann, CLMAP master speaker, said he’s seen an increase in applicants since the program’s first year. “When we first started out there was only a handful of applicants, this past application process we saw 100 applications come in,” Vann said. “It makes me feel good because there are people out there that still want to learn our language and that are interested in speaking our language again, especially the younger generations.” Owens, 30, said the program has influenced his life and set him on a path of teaching the Cherokee language. “I’ve always wanted to learn Cherokee, and I heard about the program, and I couldn’t believe it was real. Now it kind of comes in to your everyday life you start to think about things different and naturally you start speaking Cherokee instead of English, so it just becomes your life, it becomes a part of who you are,” Owens said. “Since I will no longer be employed by the program I will have to find a form of income, but I will continue to pursue a teaching degree at Northeastern State University to hopefully teach Cherokee. My goal is to one day teach at the immersion school because it has the most chance of forming Cherokee speakers.” Owens said he believes the program has helped him so much to become a proficient speaker that it’s the most effective way to acquire the language. He suggests the program to those who are interested in learning to speak the Cherokee language. For more information, call 918-453-5445.
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
12/07/2017 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation Foundation and Northeastern State University’s Native American Support Center hosted a scholarship workshop Nov. 28 for students wanting to get ahead of CNF’s Jan. 31 scholarship deadline. “This is our first (workshop) through the Native American Support Center as far as hosting the Cherokee Nation Foundation, and so we are looking forward to working with them more and bringing them on campus and getting them involved in our program,” Jade Hansen, NASC advisement and career specialist, said. The NASC, part of NSU’s Center for Tribal Studies, provides Native students services such as financial aid information to increase retention and graduation rates. “We really focus these workshops for our new freshmen because a lot of things I’m seeing working here at NSU is that these students are running out of money going into their second year and their third year and their fourth year,” she said. “And so with CNF, it’s pretty much like a hidden gem. It’s getting that information out that a lot of students don’t really know about with the CNF programs.” Hansen said she was a CNF scholarship recipient while attending NSU. “Whenever I was in college I got this scholarship, and not a lot of people knew about it, and it helped out,” she said. “It takes a lot to apply for this scholarship as far as recommendation letters, transcripts and different things like that, but hopefully doing it now will get (students) prepared so they’re not waiting around last minute in January.” Marisa Hambleton, CNF executive assistant, said CNF conducts workshops when an organization or school with a high number of Cherokee students reaches out to it. “We’re more than happy to travel and come out and help those students apply for those scholarships,” she said. “We really try to reach any schools that really show an interest. We don’t have a specific (process) where we set it up and anything like that yet. With the more scholarships that we receive, we try to market that as best that we can.” Hambleton said CNF scholarships are not income-based, and students who participate in the workshops should come prepared with updated transcripts and their CN citizenship cards. The CNF scholarship application is a two-step process. Students must first visit <a href="http://www.cherokeenation.academicworks.com" target="_blank">www.cherokeenation.academicworks.com</a> and complete the general applications, which matches them to individual scholarships for which they are eligible to apply. “The general application is just basic information, their name, their address, what school they’re interested, what field of study,” Hambleton said. “That information is then what matches them to specific scholarships, and then they apply for those scholarships individually.” Hambleton said each scholarship includes at least one essay question and asks students to submit information for a reference questionnaire. “A reference questionnaire is where the student chooses someone who is not a family member, someone that knows them like a teacher or a coach or someone in their community,” Hambleton said. “They’ll put in their email address and their name and it will send a link to a short survey that really asks them to rate the student from one to 10 in different areas.” The Academic Works website also allows students to check if their reference questionnaires have been completed, and if not, students can resend the links or change their references. Hambleton also said a student is not required to complete the application in one sitting. “Our application’s pretty simple, and you can save for later if you need to, so it’s not just a one-time sit down,” she said. “Sometimes you don’t have all the information that you need right then and there, and so it’s easy for students to save and keep editing and then submit at a later date.” CNF scholarship recipients will be notified by the end of the 2018 spring semester. Students needing assistance with the scholarship application or organizations and schools interested in hosting a scholarship workshop should call 918-207-0950.
BY STAFF REPORTS
12/06/2017 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Northeastern State University’s Center for Tribal Studies is accepting applications for Emergency Fund Grants, which are designed to assist students with one-time emergencies. The funds awarded are not intended for tuition, fees or campus housing. They are allocated for emergency needs that can affect a student’s ability to be successful in his or her academic endeavors. Emergency needs include transportation-related expenses, unexpected utility bill increases, loss in family income due to illness or death and expenses related to dependent care and/or food shortages. Grant awards range from $20 to $400 and all applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. The recipient must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at NSU, have proof of citizenship in a federally recognized tribe and be willing to complete the required three hours of volunteer service within 30 days of receiving the award. More information about the grant and the application can be found at <a href="https://offices.nsuok.edu/centerfortribalstudies/Forms.aspx" target="_blank">https://offices.nsuok.edu/centerfortribalstudies/Forms.aspx</a>.