th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration on Thursday, September 29 by crowning the new 2016-2017 Miss Keetoowah Cherokee Chelsea Tiger and 2016-2017 Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee Samantha Russell.
The pageant was held at the Jim Proctor Elder Center on the UKB Complex grounds south of Tahlequah.
The young ladies displayed their talents by introducing themselves and modeling of their tribal wear along with reading of their essays themed “Keetoowah Strong”.
For the talent portion of the pageant Miss Tiger sung in her beautiful voice “Amazing Grace” in the Cherokee language. Miss Russell played her Indian flute with her own creation “Keetoowah Wind”. Both young ladies gave outstanding performances.
Finally ending the pageant with a question and answer segment from questions regarding their UKB history.
United Keetoowah Band Chief Joe H. Bunch crowned the new Miss Keetoowah Cherokee and Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee and presenting them with a plaque and flowers along with their gifts.
The role of Miss and Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee is to serve as good will ambassadors for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees and to serve and to promote the culture, traditions, and heritage of the Keetoowah People.
“I feel very honored and I think it’s very special and feel blessed. I am very honored to represent my tribe,” said Chelsea Tiger.
Miss Chelsea Tiger attends Oklahoma State University, studying biology and micro-biology. She is the daughter of Carla and Chebon Tiger of Austin, TX. Her grandparents are Mary and Revis Girty, Marcie Tiger and T.J. Stand all of Tahlequah.
Miss Samantha Russell attends Grandview School and is in the 7th grade. She is in the Grandview honor band under the direction of Harvey Price and is the daughter of Tonya and Tim Russell of Tahlequah. Her grandparents are Juanita and Gary Russell of Oaks, and Dama and Sammy Still of Tahlequah. Samanth’s mother, Tonya Russell, is a former 1998-1999 Miss Cherokee and 2000-2001 Miss Indian Oklahoma.
The United Keetoowah Band (UKB) John Hair Cultural Center & Museum (JHCCM) was recently awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services Grant. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visitwww.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook(link is external) and Twitter(link is external).
The John Hair Cultural Center and Museum will lead the "Missing Pieces: Documenting Keetoowah Heritage" project to identify missing documents fundamental to Keetoowah heritage. Museum staff and advisory team members will visit three museum collections in Oklahoma and three major archival collections. The visits will provide opportunities to identify important Keetoowah heritage documents to copy for use or request for loan to include in future exhibits and programming, resulting in the creation of a resource list of heritage documents not in the museum's collection. Facsimiles and digital copies of documents obtained through the visits will be used to support a refreshed long-term exhibition; six travel briefcases for use in teaching students; and syllabary classes, focusing on the written representation of the Cherokee Keetoowah language.
“The John Hair Cultural Center & Museum is grateful to IMLS for providing the JHCCM the opportunity to recover documents important to the history of the Keetoowah people,” said Ernestine Berry, JHCCM Director. “We have waited a very long time to acquire documents or copies of documents that have been scattered in many different directions to various institutions over several decades,” said Berry. “We have now begun to reclaim the missing pieces of Keetoowah history that have for so long been lost to the people,” Berry said.
A “Missing Pieces” Team will make trips to the Archive in Washington, D.C. and various other repositories to research Keetoowah documents and request quality copies or facsimiles. Collection activities began this month and will continue until February of 2017. Selected Keetoowah documents written in the Sequoyan Syllabary will be translated by the Missing Pieces Team into English. The transcriptions along with the original or copies of the documents will be the focus of a JHCCM exhibit scheduled for September 2017.
“Collecting and having the documents in our museum will make the JHCCM the only place in the world where people can come to learn the true history of the Keetoowah people. This will give our youth an opportunity to know their own history and to be proud of their Keetoowah Heritage,” said Barbara Girty, a UKB member.
Eighteen year old Lakota Doublehead, tribal member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and son of Loretta and Mark Doublehead of Stilwell, signed a letter of intent with the Bacone Warriors football team. Bacone head football coach, Lawrence Livingston, was on hand to witness the signing along with Lakota’s parents and his sister, Marissa.
The six-foot three inch right guard played for Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah. He was a four year starter for the Sequoyah Indians.
Lakota participated in the college combine held in Oklahoma City where several colleges took interest in his talent and skills. He chose to sign with Bacone College, located in Muskogee, OK.
As a young kid, Lakota had always told his mother, Loretta, that he wanted to attend Bacone College and play football for the school. His wishes became a reality as he signed with Bacone.
When asked, Lakota’s mother, Loretta, responded saying, “I proud of him, very proud of him,” as her face gleamed with a big smile.
His goals are to attend Bacone where he will play football for the Warriors and hopefully later transfer to a Division I school, preferably to the University of Oklahoma to play football with the Oklahoma Sooners.
While attending a higher educational school he plans to study sports medicine.
“He’s come a long way, we are both happy,” said Mark Doublehead, Lakota’s dad. “He’s had a lot of struggles in his life, his grandparents, and his aunt passing away. His mother being sick has put a lot on his mind. But with all the struggles he’s endured he has come through it,” added Mark.
While attending Sequoyah High School and playing football for the Indians, Loretta and Mark have always attended all his games for the past four years. Now they plan on attending all his games at Bacone.
“All I can say is how awesome he is,” says Loretta with a laugh.
The Doublehead family is thankful for all the support that everyone has given Lakota and their family.
“I was telling him (Lakota), how much the UKB tribe has supported him, along with the people at home. How grateful we are and how much we appreciate it,” added Mark.
Lakota’s late grandparents were Rev. Willie Pritchett, Shirley Bird, Hiner Doublehead, Josephine Delay and Papa Fred Delay.
The American Academy of Nursing today announced the designation of John Lowe, PhD, RN, FAAN, as an Academy Edge Runner for his Talking Circle Intervention, a model of care for the prevention of substance abuse by American Indian/Alaska Native and other Indigenous youth. Dr. Lowe is a Professor of Health Disparities Research and Director of the Indigenous Nursing Research for Health Equity Center at the Florida State University College of Nursing. Edge Runners are part of the Academy's Raise the Voice campaign, which promotes new, evidence-‐based and nurse-designed models that better serve patients at lower costs and have measurable results.
"The Academy is delighted to recognize Dr. John Lowe for his work in creating a replicable framework for a group of individuals to support, and gain insights from one another in moving away from substance abuse, and toward positive goals," said Academy President, Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. "Patient care models developed by Edge Runners show how nurses are leading the way in transforming America's health system for the better."
American Indian/Alaska Native and Indigenous youth begin alcohol use earlier and are more likely to have initiated substance use than other racial/ethnic groups. The death rate for American Indian/Alaska Native youth is double that of youth of other racial or ethnic groups. Early substance use is associated with antisocial behavior, conduct disorder, other mental health disorders, and school failure.
Dr. Lowe's Talking Circle Intervention employs a tradition among American Indian/Alaska Native and Indigenous people that is still in practice today. Because these communities consider the whole greater than the sum of its parts, and believe healing should take place in the presence of a group, Dr. Lowe applies the Talking Circle Intervention to create an environment where participants support one another. Through the Talking Circle intervention, the traditional sense of belonging is fostered and participants experience healing.
Dr. Lowe also has developed and tested video-conferencing to deliver the Talking Circle intervention. Through this technology, the model of care is now being delivered to multiple American Indian/Alaska Native n communities throughout the United States.
Using National Institute on Drug Abuse diagnostic evaluations to compare intervention methods, Dr. Lowe found that the Talking Circle is more effective than standard education for decreasing substance use among American Indian/Alaska Native and Indigenous populations. Furthermore, communities where the Talking Circle Intervention is being implemented have reported a positive impact on their economies due to the decrease in costs associated with substance abuse. The Talking Circle Intervention has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Programs as an evidence-based program affecting juvenile well-being.
A full profile of the project can be read here: http://www.aannet.org/edge-runners--talking-circle-intervention
TAHLEQUAH - The 66th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration begins Thursday, September 29 with the 2016-2017 Miss Keetoowah Cherokee and Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee Pageant.
Friday, September 30, there will be a stomp dance beginning at dusk.
On Saturday, October 1, there will be a kid’s fishing derby, dignitary breakfast, parade, state of the nation ceremony, hog fry, gospel singing children’s activities, turtle races, make and take crafts along with crafts and food vendors. There will also be traditional games including a cornstalk shoot, blowgun shoot, marbles exhibition, and stickball exhibition.
A special highlight this year is the Tradition Keepers Museum Exhibit and Sale in the John Hair Cultural Center and Museum. Tradition Keepers Exhibit is funded by Oklahoma Arts Council. There will also be a UKB Constitutional Ratification reception at the Museum beginning at 2 p.m. A health information tent and health screenings provided by a group of nurses from Florida Atlantic University will be set up on the grounds.
The theme for the 66th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration is “Keetoowah Strong; Celebrating Centuries of Tradition”.
This is more than a theme; it has been a way of life for the Keetoowah people since time immemorial. Given the trials and challenges to the tribe even to this day, it is as meaningful as ever.
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma is a tribe steeped in tradition, and one that is committed in preserving the history, culture and language of its people. What are most important to the attendees of the celebration are not the events, the food or the games. People come to have fellowship and to be together as a tribe.
For more information on the Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration, call 918-431-1818 or 918-457-9440.
Celebrating Centuries of Tradition”
October 1, 2016
Thursday, September 29
6 p.m. 2016-2017 Miss Keetoowah Cherokee &
Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee Pageant
Friday, September 30
Dusk Stomp Dance
Saturday, October 1
7:00 a.m. Kid’s Fishing Derby
7:30 a.m. Chief’s Dignitary Breakfast
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Arts & Crafts, Health Screenings and Food Vendors
10 a.m. Blowgun Shoot
10 a.m. Cornstalk Shoot
10 a.m. Horseshoe Pitching
10 a.m. Traditional Marbles
10 a.m. Parade-Downtown Tahlequah
11 a.m. Children’s Activities
11 a.m. Children’s Make & Take
11 a.m. Storytelling
11:45 a.m. State of the Nation Address by Chief Bunch
Introduction of Council, Special Guests, Tradition Keepers Miss and Jr Miss Keetoowah Cherokee
1 p.m. Traditional Meal
1-4 p.m. Tradition Keepers Museum Exhibit & Sale
2 p.m. Turtle Races
2 p.m. UKB Constitutional Ratification Reception at the Museum
3-5 p.m. Gospel Singing
4 p.m. Stickball Youth Exhibition
All events except the parade will be held on the Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration Grounds
Located off of West Willis Road.
For more information: 918-772-4300
Congressman Mullin Visits United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians
TAHLEQUAH - United States Congressman for the 2nd District of Oklahoma, Markwayne Mullin, and, Field Veterans Representative, William Barnes, met with Native American Veterans Representative for the United Keetoowah Band, Jacob Littledave, on Tuesday, August 30 in the UKB tribal court chambers.
During Congressman Mullin’s visit to the United Keetoowah Band complex, Littledave discussed several issues relating to our veterans. One of the issues introduced was in regards to a 100 percent service connected veteran or a veteran at 70 percent is declared unemployable. When veterans apply for assistance they don’t qualify because they count the veteran’s disability as income, even though it’s considered non-taxable income. Littledave informed Congressman Mullin that he would like to see a bill introduced in Congress that would waive that requirement for using the veteran’s disability as an income; it creates a problem for the veterans.
Another veteran issue discussed was the absence of debriefing before a soldier is discharged from their service.
“The veterans have served their country, the Vietnam veterans have the highest divorce and suicide rate, and we are losing 22 veterans a day to suicide. In the Afrighanistan and Iraq conflict our warriors are serving two, three, four and five tours, but there’s no debriefing when they come home, that is where we are losing them. We have to change that, this is where the government is making a mistake. Thirty days before their discharge they should be in debriefing,” said Littledave.
Littledave also requested the aid of Congressman Mullin and Veteran Representative Barnes, on a veteran who is full-blood Kiowa-Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian who was a Prisoner of War during the Korean War. Littledave informed them that this Native American has never file a claim.
Congressman Mullin assured Littledave that his office would be as helpful as they can. He shared his admiration to Littledave for his unselfish desire and determination to help his fellow veterans.
“We’ll be as helpful as we can. For what you do, words cannot express my gratitude for what you are doing because no one can help a veteran better than a veteran himself,” stated Congressman Mullin.
“Our office is setup to help with situations like this, and we try to reach out as much as possible, but there is that barrier that gets stop because I am considered government,” added Congressman Mullin.
Littledave expressed to Congressman Mullin the importance of Chapter 14.
“You made a statement earlier that it takes veterans to take care of veterans, but it also takes Native Americans to take care of Native Americans. That’s what Washington doesn’t seem to understand,” said Littledave.
Congressman Mullin commented on the veteran’s disability issue stating that he would look into it, he told Littledave at the moment he didn’t know what category this falls underneath and why it’s not accepted. Congressman Mullin informed Littledave that this was considered double dipping because it fell into two different federally entities. He said that he would look into it.
Congressman Mullin also informed Littledave that he and his office would help with what they could and also help him in the future for the benefit of the veterans.
“We are going to be here to help. If there are any veteran cases that come up you let us know, anything we can help you with,” stated Congressman Mullin.
With that Littledave thanked Congressman Mullin for coming down and sharing his time to meet with him. The meeting ended with a handshake and a promised of support and aid for the veterans from Congressman Mullin.
TAHLEQUAH – United Keetoowah Band Henry Lee Doublehead Child Care Development Center through the Child Care Development Fund will be distributing backpacks and school supplies to children ages 4-12 years.
Children must be exclusive UKB members and enrolled in school. They will be required to bring membership card and enrollment letter from the school or last year’s report card.
This is for backpacks and school supplies only.
Tahlequah and Canadian Districts
July 28, 2015 9:00am-5:00pm
Henry Lee Doublehead CDC
Flint and Goingsnake Districts
July 28, 2015 9:00am-5:00pm
Delaware and Goingsnake Districts
July 28, 2015 9:00am-5:00pm
Illinois and Sequoyah Districts
July 28, 2015 9:00am-5:00pm
UKB Sallisaw Sub-Office
Saline and Delaware Districts
July 28, 2015 9:00am-5:00pm
Kenwood School Library
Cooweescoowee and Saline Districts
July 28, 2015 10:00am-4:00pm
Lincoln Early Center
Eastside building, Pryor Public School
TAHLEQUAH - The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma will be hosting their annual Spring Break Culture Camp beginning March 16 through March 20, 2015.
The Culture Camp will be held at the UKB Wellness Center located at the UKB Tribal complex just south of Tahlequah off of West Willis Road.
The camp is opened to the first 50 applicants and will host children from Kindergarten to 6th grade (12 & under). A $20 registration fee will is required for each camper and is a non-refundable donation.
Parents can register their children at 18263 W. Keetoowah Circle at the UKB Tribal Complex.
Camp activities will include stickball, Cherokee Language classes, basket weaving, nature walk, clay bead making, health fair, and more.
For more information you may call 918-456-8698.
Download the application. (MS Word File)
It was standing room only during the swearing-in ceremony for the newly re-elected and elected tribal representatives and elected Assistant Chief.
The event was held at the Jim Proctor Elder Center, Saturday, January 10.
Joe Bunch was elected in a special election to serve out the final two-years of the late Assistant Chief Charles Locust’s four-year term. With his wife Karen standing beside him as she held Bunch’s grandfather’s bible that was presented to Joseph Proctor in 1939, Bunch placed his left hand on the bible and held his right hand up, taking the oath of office for Assistant Chief which was given by Judge Dewayne Littlejohn, UKB tribal district judge, for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.
After the Assistant Chief swearing-in, UKB District Judge Littlejohn gave the oath of office to the nine District Representatives as each one held up their right hand and took their oath of office.
In a brief speech Chief Wickliffe informed everyone that the tribal officers held four-year terms and that Joe Bunch was elected in a special election to fulfill the last two-years of the late Assistant Chief Charles Locust’s four-year term.
"We have many ongoing issues that are vital to the tribe and I want the council to focus and stay focused on these important issues. The late Assistant Chief Locust had been involved throughout my tenure which began in 2005. I do not want to lose track on where we are going. We are going to continue with all our efforts to get this land in trust and it will happen,” said Chief Wickliffe.
Newly sworn-in Assistant Chief Joe Bunch was given the opportunity to address the audience.
Assistant Chief Bunch thanked everyone who was involved in his election bid for the second-in-command position for the UKB.
“It’s been a long five months, ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate all the work everyone did to make this possible for me and my family,” said Assistant Chief Bunch.
“My campaign was pretty much small, short, and simple, to bring unity back into the tribe. I’m looking forward to all the progressthat is in place, working with the tribal council and with the Chief. I want to say thank you to the council and together as a team we will get this accomplished, we will get our land in trust and we’re going to move forward,” added Bunch.
Tribal Representatives Eddie Sacks, Canadian District; Clifford Wofford, Cooweescoowee District; Peggy Girty, Illinois District; and Charles Smoke, Saline District; all ran unopposed while Jerry Hansen, Delaware District; Tom Duncan, Flint District; William Christie, Goingsnake District; and Barry Dotson, Sequoyah District; all ran for re-election and defeated their opponents. In the Tahlequah District incumbent Betty Holcomb was defeated in a run-off election by Anile Locust who became the only new representative on the tribal council.
The new Tahlequah District representative said she felt excited about the morning event and looked forward to the new adventure in her life.
“Since I’m very new to the community I am honored that people chose me not knowing me, so I feel real honored about that and I’ll do my best to live up to their expectations. I want to learn all I can about the workings of the government so that I can hopefully improve the way our people live and looking forward to getting our land in trust,” said Locust.
When asked how he felt about being sworn-in as the newly elected Assistant Chief, Bunch responded by saying, “I think it’s a great achievement for the tribal people and I’m honored. We have many hurdles ahead of us, the first thing we need to do is bring the word united back into the tribe.
The people have spoken; they want integrity, accountability, and transparency in their leaders. It’s going to be wonderful sharing new ideas together, having the opportunity to speak and be heard. Not every idea is going to be accepted, but through negotiations and working together we can make it happen,” said Bunch.
A short reception followed before the Chief, Assistant Chief and tribal council adjourned to begin their first 2015 tribal council meeting.
The Eastern Oklahoma Regional Bureau of Indian Affairs, located in Muskogee, OK, is focusing in various tribal programs throughout the eastern region. Some of the programs include education, health, law enforcement, domestic violence and many other programs. Working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is the Chickasaw Nation in assisting in the project by producing a video of the different programs.
The BIA selected the United Keetoowah Band of the Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma Housing department, featuring the Housing Improvement Program (HIP) funded through a grant from the BIA.
The UKB Housing submits applications throughout the year for the HIP program through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Based on the reports sent to the bureau, it is evaluated through a point system, and then BIA selects the applicants who they will assist.
According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Housing Improvement Program the guidelines is comprised of two charts, one for the Lower 48 states and the other for Alaska. The income figures on the chart establish the points they will receive for the first Need Ranking Factor based on Annual Household Income.
The HIP program is designated to help renovate homes of families who have limited resources. In 2014 three families were selected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to receive help through the Home Improvement Program due to a carryover in funding from the year before.
“As tribal members apply for the United Keetoowah Band Housing rehabilitation program, a HIP application is also handed out to the applicant,” said Pat Reese, Director of Housing.
One of the renovated homes featured through HIP funding was the home of Tom and Glenda Handle of the Echota community, located between Wauhillau and Rocky Mountain communities in Adair County.
An extensive renovation was done on Handle’s home. The UKB Housing replaced their furnace, air conditioning unit, replaced their old roof with new roofing, repainted their inside walls, replace their old windows and remodeled one of theirbathrooms back to working conditions, even replaced their vent pipe.
Handle’s home is located on his mother’s restricted land, Maggie Handle. She turned the property over to Tom after his marriage to Glenda. Tom was born in 1955 and raised there in the Echota area. He met Glenda after she moved to Oklahoma from Houston, TX and married her in 1981.
“This was his mother’s land; the land belonged to the family for many generations. When Tom and I got married she gave him the land to build our house,” said Glenda.
“The house was in great condition when it was built, but through the years my sink starting falling in. My son and his wife had to rebuild it to reach me, unless I wanted to do the dishes on the floor. We got our house back now; it needed a lot of work, and we just couldn’t afford it. I’m glad they fixed it, they did a fantastic job, and it was a blessing. They painted the rooms, fixed the bathroom, they redid the roof, it had a leak, they shingled it and they put in new windows,” said Glenda.
“We are proud of it. We’ve lived here since 1991, and probably live here the rest of our lives,” added Glenda.
“I’m very pleased with the project; I feel that we are very fortunate to have that extra funding through the HIP program to help more tribal members. I think it’s very beneficial overall. It allows us to spend more dollars on a house. Some of the homes may need more work, and with that funding that we receive helps,” stated Reese.
The Housing Improvement Program was established under the Snyder Act of 1921. It was a BIA program authorized by Congress to benefit Native Americans. The program is a home repair, renovation, replacement and new housing grant program which is administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
A person has to be a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or Alaska Native to be eligible and have an income that does not exceed 125% of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines.
Distribution of HIP funds to tribes are based upon the number of eligible applicants and their estimated cost of program services through Public Law 93-638 contracts, self-determination compacts or to Bureau of Indian Affairs offices.
For more information you can contact the UKB Housing at 918-431-1808, and ask for Pat Reese, UKB Housing director.
TAHLEQUAH - New business hours for the United Keetoowah Band Tribal Veterans Office will be Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Wednesday, February 4, 2015.
If any veteran has questions or need to file a claim, they can contact Jacob Littledave at the Veterans office at 918-456-8698, ext. 140.
If you cannot make it to the office on Wednesdays, you can contact Littledave at 918-360-5339, seven days a week.
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma’s library is open to the public, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library is located at the UKB Community Services building at the UKB Tribal complex.
A computer lab is available along with a variety of books. The UKB library also hosts guest speakers and events. The library is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
For more information, contact UKB Education Director Susan Adair or Education Intake Specialist Della Wolfe at 918-456-8698.
January 31, 2015 Pucker Toe Moccasin Class (Saturday 9:00-4:00 p.m.)
Participants will learn how to make their own pair of pucker toe moccasins. All materials will be provided. Students that participated in the 2014 class may attend this class free, if bringing own material.
February 28, 2015 Finger Weaving Class (Saturday 9:00-4:00 p.m.)
Students will learn the basic art form of finger weaving using commercial yarn to create a belt, sash, straps, or other similar items through a non-loom weaving process.
March 16-20, 2105 Spring Break Cultural Day Camp (8:00-5:00 p.m.)
Children in grades K-8 will participate in traditional crafts and games, go on scavenger hunts, meet Keetoowah elders and learn about the Keetoowah Cherokee language as well as healthy nutrition, diabetes, first aid, personal hygiene and much more through a variety of age appropriate activities. Activities are designed for children in grades K-8. Admission is $10 per student and helps cover the cost of meals and tee shirts.
April 11, 2015 John Hair Birthday Storytelling (Saturday 12:00-2:00 p.m.)
Public is invited to join us in a birthday celebration for former Councilman and Chief, John Hair, who served the Tribe for twenty-two years, eight of which he served as chief (1983-1991). His influence and compassion for the wellbeing of his people is acknowledged and appreciated at the Cultural Center and Museum that bears his name. Storytelling hosted by UKB Tradition Keeper, Sequoyah Guess and the Turtle Island Liars Club.
Classes are designed for a maximum of 12 students per session, unless being presented as a group assembly program. UKB History Presentations are available by request.
An advance registration fee of $25 per person is required at least 7 days prior to program date. UKB members receive a 50% discount (must present UKB membership card). No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 7 days prior to program date. Registration fee includes lunch for Saturday classes and snacks for evening programs. Some classes will require a $40 registration fee to help cover cost of supplies. Participants will be notified within 5 days of program date if class is cancelled due to lack of minimum registrations and a full refund will be granted.
The John Hair Cultural Center & Museum is dedicated to bringing Keetoowah Cherokee history, culture, and traditions to the public through exhibits, presentations, and cultural demonstrations that stimulate discovery, enjoyment and understanding of Keetoowah Cherokee heritage and ways of living. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. For more information about the Keetoowah Cherokee culture or to register for a class, call 918-772-4389 or visit us at www.keetoowahcherokee.org.
In what has become a holiday tradition, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma will once again be distributing Christmas Gift Cards to Wal-Mart in the amount of $25 to all UKB tribal youth, from newborns to 18 years of age. Youth must be exclusive UKB members. Cards will be distributed by district in December by the UKB District Representatives. Each district representative will have a list of children in their district. Below is a list of distribution dates and meetings by district.
Dec. 9 Saline District Meeting and Gift Card Distribution
Kenwood Gym, 7 p.m.
Saline District Rep. Charles Smoke – (918) 457-7071
Dec. 11 Flint District Meeting and Gift Card Distribution
Stilwell Satellite Office, 6 – 8 p.m.p.m.
Flint District Rep. Tom Duncan – 918-507-1314
Dec. 11 Sequoyah District Meeting and Gift Card Distribution
Sallisaw Satellite Office, 5:30 p.m.
Sequoyah District Rep. Barry Dotson, 918-207-2990
Dec. 12 Tahlequah District Gift Card Distribution
. Wellness Center, 5:30 -8 p.m.
Tahlequah District Rep. Betty Holcomb, 918-822-3805
Dec. 12 Goingsnake and Delaware Districts Gift Card Distribution
Kansas, Oklahoma (located in the building
where the sub-office used to be) 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Goingsnake District Rep. William Christie – 918-822-3803
Delaware District Rep. Jerry Hansen – 918-822-3804
Dec. 15 Delaware District Gift Card Distribution
Jay Community Building, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Delaware District Rep. Jerry Hansen – 918-822-3804
Dec 16 Goingsnake District Gift Card Distribution
Stilwell Satellite Office 10 a.m. -7 p.m.
Goingsnake District Rep. William Christie – 918-822-3803
Dec. 16 Illinois District Meeting and Gift Card Distribution
Sallisaw Satellite Office, 6:30 p.m.
Illinois District Rep. Peggy Girty – 918-457-7067
Canadian District – no date given
Canadian District Rep. Eddie Sacks – 918-822-1957
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians is offering cultural classes in November. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about Keetoowah Cherokee seasonal gatherings, harvesting, using natural materials and how to make stickball sticks.
The Gathering and Harvesting series is a two part class that begins on November 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will meet at the John Hair Cultural Center and Museum and travel to the field where they will learn how to identify, gather, and prepare natural materials such as buck brush for basket making. The second part of the Gathering and Harvesting class will be held on November 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will learn how to prepare and use the natural materials to make their own basket. Registration is $25 per person and includes both parts as well as transportation to the gathering site.
The Stickball Stick Making Class will be held on November 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Class will be held outdoors, around an open fire where participants will learn how to make a handcrafted stickball stick. Registration is $40 per person.
Cultural classes are provided by the John Hair Cultural Center & Museum. Advance registration is required. UKB members receive a 50% discount (must present UKB membership card). No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 7 days prior to program date. Registration fees help cover cost of supplies, instruction and lunch. November classes are open to the general public but designed for adults 18 years of age or older.
The JHCCM opened in October 2011 with a mission to educate the public about the history, customs and traditions of the Keetoowah Cherokee people. For more information about the Keetoowah Cherokee culture or to register for cultural classes, visit us at www.ukb-nsn.gov or call 918-772-4389.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma’s Election Board has released the Official List of Candidates for the 2014 Election. Nine district representatives will be elected and will serve two year terms beginning in January 2015.
A special election for Assistant Chief will be held to fill the vacated office for the remainder of the four year term. The office was vacated with the passing of the late Charles Locust. The UKB Election will be held on Monday, November 3rd. For more information, contact the UKB Election Board at 918-456-8421.
CANADIAN DISTRICT: Eddie Sacks
COOWEESCOOWEE DISTRICT: Clifford Wofford
DELAWARE DISTRICT: Jerry Hansen and Adalene Smith
FLINT DISTRICT: Tom Duncan and Woodrow Proctor
GOINGSNAKE DISTRICT: William Christie and Marcella Foreman
ILLINOIS DISTRICT: Peggy Girty
SALINE DISTRICT: Charles Smoke
SEQUOYAH DISTRICT: Barry Dotson and George McCoy
TAHLEQUAH DISTRICT: Betty Holcomb, Anile Locust, James Reese, and JC Wilson
ASSISTANT CHIEF: Susan Adair, Elizabeth Bird, Joe Bunch, and Dallas Proctor
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. --- The 64th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration begins Friday, September 12 with a stomp dance at dusk.
On Saturday, September 13, there will be a kid’s fishing derby, dignitary breakfast, parade, state of the nation ceremony, hog fry, gospel singing children’s activities, turtle races, make and take crafts along with crafts and food vendors. There will also be a traditional games including a cornstalk shoot, blowgun shoot, marbles exhibition, and stickball exhibition.
A special highlight this year is a tent which features the UKB Tradition Keepers, who will demonstrate and sell their crafts. There will also be a health information tent and health screenings provided by a group of nurses from Florida Atlantic University.
The theme for the 64th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration is “We Shall Never Give Up Keetoowah, until all of us join hands and fall to the ground (until we all die).
This is more than a theme, it has been a way of life for the Keetoowah people since time immemorial. Given the trials and challenges to the tribe even to this day, it is as meaningful as ever.
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma is a tribe steeped in tradition, and one that is committed in preserving the history, culture and language of its people. What is most important to the attendees of the celebration is not the events, the food or the games. People come to have fellowship and to be together as a tribe.
For more information on the Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration, call 918-431-1818 or 918-456-6533.
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma is accepting applications for the Miss, and Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee. The application deadline is Friday, July 18th, 2014. The pageant will be held on Friday, August 15th, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center, 100 North Water Street, Tahlequah, OK.
Miss and Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee will represent the tribe as a good-will ambassador during her reign. Education Scholarships will be awarded to the winner, first, second and third runner ups of $1,500, $1,000, and $500 for Miss Keetoowah Cherokee and $300, $200, and $100 for Junior Miss Keetoowah Cherokee.
The theme for the 64th Annual United Keetoowah Band Celebration will be, “We Shall All Hold Hands”. Contestants must be between the age of 13 and 17 years old by August 15, 2014 to compete for Jr. Miss, and 18 to 21 by August 15, 2014 to compete for Miss Keetoowah Cherokee. Contestants must be an exclusive UKB Tribal Member and present a copy of Tribal enrollment, show proof of school enrollment, provide two references, must not have been married or cohabitated, no children, and never convicted of a felony.
Pageant applications may be downloaded from the UKB Tribal website at www.unitedkeetoowahband.org beginning July 1st or picked up at the Federal programs building. For any questions on the competition, categories or if assistance is needed please call Georgia Dick at (918) 456-8698 or 1-800-259-0093.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The John Hair Cultural Center & Museum invites everyone to come enjoy cool refreshments while learning more about the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees Indians in Oklahoma. Ernestine Berry, Museum Director, presents Cherokee History as you’ve never heard it! Have you ever wondered why there are two Cherokee Tribes in Tahlequah? Is there really any difference between UKB and CNO? After this presentation, you will have a greater understanding of these two most commonly asked questions. Presentation will be held on June 26, 2014 at the UKB Wellness Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m. A fee of $20 per person and advance registration is required. UKB members are free (must present UKB membership card). Registration fees help support museum and cultural programs.
The JHCCM opened in October 2011 with a mission to educate the public about the history, customs and traditions of the Keetoowah Cherokee people. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
For more information about the Keetoowah Cherokee culture or to register for a class, call 918-772-4389 or visit us at www.ukb-nsn.gov.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Space is still available for the popular Day of Champions football camp sponsored by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma on Saturday, June 7. The camp is open to all area youth, ages 8 to 18 years of age; however, the camp will be limited to the first 150 youth that sign up.
The Day of Champions football camp is led by Coach Ken Heupel and features instruction from current and former college and NFL coaches and players.
The Day of Champions football camp experience is beyond just athletic skill enhancement, it provides one-on-one mentoring and coaching in athletics, health, fitness, life choices and the four principles of leadership - Discipline, Respect, Trust, and Hard Work.
Character, Responsibility, Goal Setting, Dedication, and Integrity are themes throughout the camp and serve to motivate each camp member to reach their full potential on and off the field.
The camp will build football skills for boys. Football skills instruction includes position-specific drills, strength and conditioning, nutritional instruction and individual competitions.
The camp will build also build sports skills for girls, including hand-eye coordination, speed and agility training, strength and conditioning, nutritional instruction, and individual testing on these concepts.
Each position is taught and supervised by the Day of Champions football staff, made up of some of the top Division I, II, and III collegiate coaches in the country, along with past OU football players, and past and current NFL players.
Players from experienced athletes to youth just learning the game will enhance their skills and learn basic fundamentals geared to their age and skill level. The camp is devoted to helping young people believe in themselves and live a healthy and active lifestyle.
The participants will be given water breaks every 30 minutes and lunch will be provided. Applications are available at all UKB offices. For more information, call 918-456-6533. Download the application.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- The Sequoyah Alumni Association Re-union is set for May 2 and 3, 2014. All former students, staff and their families are invited to attend.
The Sequoyah Alumni Association will conduct a Scholarships Benefit, May 2, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Tsa La Gi Community Meeting room. Fundraising activities include an Indian Taco sale, three auctions, and a cake walk. All benefit proceeds provide scholarships to three Sequoyah High School graduating seniors each academic year.
A Benefit Golf Tournament is set for Saturday, May 3rd at Cherokee Trails Golf course. The team format will be a four-man scramble. At least one of the team members must be an alumnus. The entry fee is $240 per team.
First, second and third place prize money (based on the number of teams) will be awarded. Registration is from 8 to 8:45 a.m. The shotgun start is at 9 a.m.
The annual meeting and picnic is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, in the recreation room at the Place Where They Play. The annual banquet will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday evening at the cafeteria.
Inductees into the Sequoyah Alumni Hall of Fame will be announced during the banquet. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
For more information on the golf tournament, contact Jefferson Adair at 918-458-0878 and for other information, contact Susan Adair at 918-456-8698.
By Marilyn Craig
Public Relations Coordinator
WASHINGTON, D.C. --United Keetoowah Band employees Ernestine Berry, Executive Director of the John Hair Museum and Cultural Center and Della Wolfe, Education department intake specialist and language instructor traveled to Washington, D.C. during the first week of April to participate in Cherokee Days at the National Museum of the American Indian, an active and visible component of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex.
The event featured all three Cherokee tribes – the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. It featured Cherokee language, art, culture, films and history.
Live performances included a traditional dance performance by the Eastern Band of Cherokees and a musical performance by the Cherokee National Youth Choir, as well as flute music, piano music and storytelling.
Educational sessions included Cherokee genealogy, language, and history. Demonstrations included pottery making, basket weaving, carving and textiles. Those attending had the opportunity to ask questions of the demonstrators in order to gain a better understanding of the skill involved. UKB Tradition Keeper Dorothy Ice was in attendance and demonstrated textile weaving. Della Wolfe and Ernestine Berry provided history and language lessons, syllabary charts, language booklets, and John Hair Cultural Center & Museum information booklets.
“It was surprising. Everyone who came to our table was very interested in the language and the history. Most of the people there knew nothing about the United Keetoowah Band,” said Berry. “I was very gratified to share the history of the UKB with the visitors.”
"I want to thank the United Keetoowah Band for sending me as an ambassador to the "Cherokee Days" event at the National Museum of the American Indian. I enjoyed giving information to the patrons about who the Keetoowah are and what we stand for. While at the museum I gave mini Cherokee lessons. It was a joy to hear all the Patrons attempt to say the Cherokee words. I feel that our time at the museum was a success. I cannot say enough of how proud I am to have been a part of that gathering of Cherokees with all three Cherokee tribes coming together to share our pride in our strong heritage. I met so many wonderful people, said Wolfe.
There were several craft making hands on activities that attendees could participate in such as cornhusk dolls, clay medallion making, and mini-stickball sticks.
NMAI director Kevin Gover (Pawnee) said, “We are honored to host this historic joint endeavor of the Cherokee here at the museum. Their contributions to the national story and history are legendary, but their legacy continues with events like this to teach others about their contemporary tribal successes and how they maintain their culture in the face of a changing cultural landscape.”
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. –The John Hair Cultural Center and Museum will host a Storytelling event and reception to celebrate former Chief John Hair’s 82nd birthday. The event will be held Saturday, April 5, 2014, from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. at the UKB Wellness Center located at the United Keetoowah Band Tribal Complex. Storytelling will be presented by the Turtle Island Liar’s Club.
“We are looking forward to a fun time with the Turtle Island Liar’s Club and visiting with family, old friends, new friends, and the public at the reception. Everyone is welcome—family, friends, UKB members and the public to celebrate,” said Ernestine Berry, Museum Director.
The Cultural Center and Museum is named in honor of former Councilman and Chief, John Hair, who served the Tribe for twenty-two years, eight of which he served as chief (1983-1991). When Chief Hair served, neither the Council nor the Chief were paid for their services. Chief Hair worked in the Avionics Department of American Airlines in Tulsa and spent much of his own earnings to support the activities of the Tribe and sustain the Keetoowah Government. During Chief Hair’s tenure, his focus was on economic development for the tribe. He advanced the tribe economically with the initiation of a bingo hall and smoke shops. Chief Hair’s devotion to and focus on the advancement of the Keetoowah People never wavered. His influence and compassion for the wellbeing of his people is acknowledged and appreciated at the Cultural Center and Museum that bears his name.
The John Hair Cultural Center & Museum opened in October 2011 with a mission to promote awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the history, culture, and traditions of the Keetoowah Cherokee people from the earliest times to the present through exhibits, educational and cultural classes, archival collections, and special events.
The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. General Admission is $3; Seniors and Youth $2; and, children age 11-6 is $1. Children 5 years and under are free. UKB members also receive free admission with their tribal enrollment card. For more information about the Keetoowah Cherokee Culture Center & Museum or the Storytelling event, call 918-772-4389 or visit us at www.ukb-nsn.gov
3/24/2014 - The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma mourns the passing of Assistant Chief Charles Locust. Mr. Locust passed away Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Stilwell Memorial Hospital after a lengthy illness.
Services have been set for the late assistant chief of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.
Visitation for Charles Locust, 57, will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at Reed-Culver Funeral Home in Tahlequah, with services taking place at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at the Cherokee Baptist Association Tabernacle in Briggs.
01/16/2014 - Tahlequah, OK --- The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma has achieved another victory in its fight to right a long-standing historical wrong responsible for the Tribe’s right to acquire trust land within the bounds of the historic Cherokee reservation being controlled by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. This victory came on January 6, 2014, when the Interior Board of Indian Appeals dismissed the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma’s appeal of a May 24, 2011 decision of the Acting Eastern Oklahoma Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs to acquire a seventy-six acre parcel of land, located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in trust for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma Corporation. The January 6, 2014 IBIA decision follows years of challenges by Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma aimed at preventing the Keetoowah people from enjoying the benefit of tribal trust land within the reservation of their ancestors, and a series of favorable decisions by the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs recognizing the rights of the UKB as equal to those of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
The parcel of land now set to be acquired in trust for the UKB Corporation, known as the “Community Services Parcel,” serves as a village center for the Keetoowah people and is home to the Tribe’s sacred dance grounds, elder center, museum, and other governmental offices. UKB Chief George Wickliffe explained that he and the Tribal Council have worked tirelessly to see that the Keetoowah Cherokee people are recognized and treated by the federal government as equal to the members of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and stated “It is our sincere belief that the Keetoowah people are ready to enjoy the benefits of tribal trust land, including the exercise of responsible jurisdiction over the lands that embody the traditional spirit of our people.” While it is anticipated that the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma will appeal to the federal court to further its effort to permanently extinguish the Keetoowah fire, the UKB will pursue all legal remedies to protect the rights of the Tribe and its people and will continue seeking justice, fairness, and equality for the Keetoowah people.
Read the IBIA Ruling (PDF)
For more information, go to http://www.indianz.com/News/2014/012249.asp
The UKB Human Services office hours will change starting 12/23/13. The new office hours will be from 8:30-4:00 pm Monday-Friday. Currently, the Human Service Department offers LIHEAP assistance, this is limited to one visit every 6 months. The Human Service office also offers health assistance in the form of eye glasses, dentures, medication, and gas voucher assistance, as well as necessary medical equipment as prescribed by a physician. All programs are income-based.
Applications are accepted at the UKB Community Services building.
Thank you for your cooperation.
As you know, the Keetoowah Cherokee Casino has been closed by the state until the Bureau of Indian Affairs is successful in getting our land in trust. We believe this will happen in the coming months. Right now, our budgets have been greatly reduced, and many of our programs are on hold at this time. We have always been an elderly-led tribe and we wanted to continue the elder assistance checks even though we had to reduce the amount given to each elder. Therefore the elders winter 2013 assistance program will continue but $100 is the amount provided for each elder.
TAHLEQUAH—The United Keetoowah Band LIHEAP is switching to winter heating after Oct. 1, 2013.
This means that LIHEAP can assist with gas, propane, wood and electric only if the house is all-electric.
The qualifications remain the same as the summer program. This is a federal program so all documents are needed for this service—three paystubs, Workforce registration if unemployed and over 18, social security cards for everyone in household, photo ID and address verification.
If the applicant receives LIHEAP from DHS, then they do not qualify for LIHEAP from the UKB.
Also, the utility bill must be in the UKB member’s name.
The UKB Human Services Department is seeking wood vendors for the winter. Interested parties need to contact Human Services for an application.
The Human Services Department takes General Assistance applications on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Tahlequah office.
This program is for those having a hardship from the loss of a job or those unable to work due to documented health related reasons. The household must have zero income to be eligible.
For more information, call Human Services Director Carrie Haney at 918-456-8698.
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -- The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma’s John Hair Cultural Center and Museum will host a Basket weaving class, October 24, at 6:00 p.m. UKB Tradition Keeper Cindy Hair will provide instruction in the craft of basket making at the UKB Wellness Center, located at the UKB Tribal Complex on Keetoowah Circle, south of Tahlequah off West Willis Road.
The cost is $20 per person, which includes all materials. UKB members will receive a 50% discount if they present their tribal membership card.
Hair was named the very first UKB Tradition Keeper at the 55th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration in 2005. The Keetoowah Cherokee Tradition Keepers award is designed to honor Keetoowah Cherokee craftspeople, artisans, and elders who are committed to education and cultural preservation.
While basket weaving is one of the widest spread crafts in the history of any human civilization, it is hard to say just how old the craft is because natural materials like wood, grass, and animal remains decay naturally and constantly. Therefore, without proper preservation, much of the history of basket making has been lost and is simply speculated upon.
The technique of weaving has been passed along, re-discovered, and expanded upon throughout the years, and is still being expanded upon today. Baskets were at one time used simply for storage and transportation of goods. Today, functional baskets are still in use, but many are made for more decorative purposes.
For more information or to register for the class, call JHCCM at 918-772-4389.
In response to the lawsuit filed by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma releases the following statement:
“In its never ending quest to destroy its Cherokee brothers and sisters, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) has this day filed a request that the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma enter an order to prohibit the Department of Interior from taking land, presently owned by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, into Trust.
The effect of this injunction, if granted, would immediately throw some 300 Keetoowahs out of work. We trust that the federal court, upon hearing all of the evidence, will decline to issue an injunction and permit the Department of Interior provisionally to take the land into Trust.”
--James C. McMillin, attorney at McAfee & Taft, for the UKB
The UKB Department of Health & Human Services are taking applications for LIHEAP assistance. Tribal member must meet income guidelines. Documents to bring are the most recent three paycheck stubs, social security cards for everyone in the household, if no income and over the age of 18 must register with workforce, and the utility bill.