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P.O. Box 908 Lawton, OK 73502-0908 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED June 2012 PR SRT STD US POSTAGE PAID Lawton, OK PERMIT NO 49 STIGLER, OK 74462 VOLUME 12 EDITION 6 Sovo Retires After 23 Years in Education Star of Twilight Movies Releases New Native Vote Video Encouraging Native Voters to “Be the Native Vote” Tiffany Smalley/ NCAI Native American Actor Chaske Spencer, best known for his role in the Twilight movie saga, is the star of a new video released to inspire Native Americans to get out the “Native Vote.” Native Vote, a non-partisan initiative of the National Congress of American Indians, released the video almost exactly six months before national Election Day on November 6, 2012. The video highlights the power and importance of the Native Vote and encourages voters in tribal communities to understand that every voice—and every vote—counts. “Native American voters are one of the country’s most under represented and disenfranchised group of voters. Native Vote is focused on turning out the largest Native Vote in history in 2012. Estimates show that over one million eligible Native voters are unregistered. It’s going to take people like Chaske Spencer stepping forward to help spread the word,” said NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Pata. “This is a true grassroots effort and we need everyone to be involved to spread the word. We hope that Indian Country and non-Native people alike are inspired, especially young people, to get more involved in civic activities such as voting.” “Nothing is more important to me than the future of our people. I started an effort called ‘Be the Shift’ to encourage young people to be involved, that’s why I support Native Vote in encouraging American Indians and Alaska Natives to vote in federal, state, and local elections,” says Chaske Spencer in the video, making its way around social media site and can be viewed on YouTube. Spencer continues, “In 2012, people all over the United States will be voting for the next President and Native people cannot be left out of the process. Be the shift, be the Native Vote. Every voice counts.” Recent data suggests that over one million eligible American Indians and Alaska Natives were not registered to vote during the last election cycle; 34 percent of the total Native population is over 18 and eligible to vote. NCAI’s Native Vote initiative works to inform Native voters of key deadlines, registration guidelines, voting locations and process, candidates, ballot measures, and more. The 2012 campaign has four main focus areas: Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) and Voter Registration, Voter Protection, Voter See NATIVE VOTE, Page 2 Lenniel Ted Sovo holds up his retirement cake that says, “Congratulations Ted and Best Wishes,” with the Elgin School mascot owl decorating it. Photo and story by Candace Wilson/ News Staff Photo by Jolene Schonchin/News Staff The colors of the Comanche Nation flag, followed by the Apache flag, shimmer in the sunset May 12 as it is brought in at the Grand Entry of the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association. The organization, which consists of rodeo athletes over the age of 40 years, honored the Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche tribes during its annual event in Grandfield, Okla. For more pictures of the rodeo, see page 15. Comanche Nation Water Park Re-Opens for Summer Season By Jolene Schonchin/News Staff An announcement of the re-opening of the Comanche Nation Water Park in Lawton, Okla. was made May 18, as the spring season changes to the hot summer days that Oklahoma has been known for. The Comanche Nation has collaborated with Jar Holdings LLC to have the water park re-open on Memorial Day weekend, with May 26, being Native American Day, to kick off the season. Jar Holdings LLC, will work with the Comanche Nation as the park’s management team. Aso Pogi, former Lawton High and OSU football player and Roy Williams, former Dallas Cowboy and Oklahoma Sooner, have made it a goal of theirs to better this community, focusing on the youth. "In every way, shape, or form, they're our future," said Pogi, in a KSWO Channel 7 interview. "It allows our young people the opportunity to continue to do something, to go somewhere in Lawton, to have something to that they can call their own." Comanche Nation Chairman, Johnny Wauqua, said timing and finding the right management team was the key to re-opening the water park. The water park staff has been busy prepping it for the re-opening. Native American Day, May 26, will have free admis- Retiring from Elgin Middle School, Lenniel Ted Sovo has been educating students for a total of 23 years. Sovo taught at the Oklahoma schools of Sterling, Walters, Geronimo, Stoney Point, Riverside Indian School, Ryan High School, and Elgin Middle School. Four of the 23 years were at Elgin Middle School, where he retired May 1. A reception was held in the Elgin Middle School library. Sovo also coached Softball, Jr. High Girls Basketball, Jr. High Boys, Sixth and Seventh Grade Baseball, and was the Assistant Coach with the High School Basketball Girls team throughout his teaching years. Sovo educated students in the subjects of Eastern Hemisphere, and History Sixth and Seventh grade. Sovo said, “My highlight was being on the staff of Elgin when we were awarded a National Blue Ribbon School out of 635 other schools.” He said his plans are to relax, spending time with grandchildren, and travel. Single Parent Forum Helps Families By Paula Karty/News Staff The Comanche Nation hosted a Single Parent Forum sion for intertribal members on May 11 at the Comanche who present a valid enrollment Nation Elder Center in Lawcard from their tribe. Free ad- ton, Okla. The forum was to dismission under this condition cuss issues that single parents will be from noon until 6 p.m. face on a day-to-day basis that day. Season passes are while raising a family. Issues discussed were: available. For a single pass is $70, and if four or more are • High cost of child care purchased at the same time, it • After school care • Expenses of school supis $50 for each pass. plies and activities The hours for Memo• Career Development rial Weekend aren noon-6 p.m. Beginning May 28, the • Parenting Classes hours of the water park will • Single Parent Support Group be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.- 8 • Tribal Youth Program located in the City of p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Lawton 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sundays. The Women’s Shelter, For more information, Youth Program, Child Care, call (580) 353-6110. See FORUM, Page 2

June 2012

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