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John Ross Museum

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

, FUN.

Visit the John Ross Museum and see world-class exhibits on the Trail of Tears, Cherokees in the American Civil War, and Cherokee Nation’s passion for education.

V i s i t C h e r o k e e Nat i o n . c o m

Come say hello. Osiyo is the traditional Cherokee greeting.





5 NEWS • Investing in Oklahoma: Tribe announces $2.03 billion impact on Oklahoma economy • A better process: Cherokee Nation Registration processes citizenship applications in record time

Open for business: Cherokee Springs Plaza welcomes new businesses

• Empowering Cherokee community organizations: Tribe hosts annual conference for community organizations

Editor Executive Editor Managing Editor Designer Contributing Staff

Amanda Clinton Travis Noland Karen Shade Stephanie Remer Julie Hubbard Tyler Thomas Tim Landes Jason McCarty LeeAnn Dreadfulwater

• Safety tips, emergency readiness: Getting to know the tribe's Emergency Management Manager Jeremie Fisher

• History for the next generation: Cherokee Nation reopens Sequoyah's Cabin Museum • A Cherokee homecoming: Tribe celebrates 65th Cherokee National Holiday

• A guiding hand: Cherokee Heritage Center announces new executive director

• The fight to save the next generation: Cherokee Nation leads the charge to combat opioid crisis

• Legacy of excellence: Cherokee Nation citizen enters coaches hall of fame

• More fun, more to love: Cherokee Nation Entertainment properties enhance guest experience •




• Reeling in flavor: Sous Chef Mathew Zimmerman combines trout with fresh vegetables and colorful pasta to form a tasty dish

• Traditional skills in a modern world: Cherokee Casino Grove displays Cherokee teen's handmade canoe • Sharing Cherokee history: Remember the Removal Bike Ride promotes Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Corrections/Clarifications: In the Summer 2016 issue of Anadisgoi Magazine, the article entitled "Before Jackie" incorrectly identified two early MLB players, Zack "Buck" Wheat and Rudy York, as having Native American heritage when no supporiting documentation exists. We sincerely regret this error.


Whitney Dittman Leanna Reeder Alicia Buffer Darcy Jackson

Cherokee Nation Color Guard marching in the 64th Cherokee National Holiday parade in Tahlequah, Okla. Photo by Stephanie Remer.

Contact Anadisgoi magazine by email at Anadisgoi (ah-nah-dee-sko-EE): Cherokee for "what people are saying." The Official Cherokee Nation News



MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᏂᏓᏳᏅᏅ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ OSIYO. If you’ve ever been to any Cherokee National

Holiday, I don’t need to convince you that it’s one of the most energetic and spirited weekends to spend in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, capital city of the Cherokee Nation. Every Labor Day weekend, the community bustles with visitors moving between the Cherokee Nation Capitol Square, the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex, the Cherokee Heritage Center and other Cherokee Nation properties. We host a wide array of entertainment and educational options from sporting events, craft shows, choir singing, powwow dancing and art exhibits.   Many people expect the Cherokee National Holiday to offer a glimpse of traditional Cherokee life, and they are never disappointed. Artists still use ancient imagery in their works, marbles players keep score in a game that’s been going on for centuries and storytellers continue to share old tales of heroes and tricksters. Each activity is a testimony to our Cherokee ways and values. It is also a time to see the modern Cherokee Nation, including the expansion and beautification efforts at the tribal complex, the state-

TAKE HOME A TREASURE. Celebrate Cherokee National Treasures with this one-of-a-kind book. Available now, at Cherokee Nation Gift Shop locations and online.

C h e rok e e G i f t Shop . c o m

of-the-art Veterans Center, and the renovation and preservation efforts of our historic sites and museums.   As we honor our heritage and culture, we know Cherokee National Holiday is about coming home for many attendees. Our friends and family return home to celebrate and reconnect in many meaningful ways. I am proud the Cherokee Nation annually offers its citizens and visitors such an exciting array of entertainment, cultural and athletic events. We have been perfecting one of Oklahoma’s largest spectator events for the past 65 years. With more than 100,000 visiting during Labor Day, Cherokee National Holiday has something of interest for everyone.   Special thanks must be given to the hundreds of Cherokee Nation employees and volunteers who work hard to ensure this homecoming remains a remarkable experience. We are blessed as a tribal nation, and we look forward to sharing our culture and values with each one of you. God bless the Cherokee Nation. Wado.

Bill John Baker

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief


Investing in Oklahoma Tribe’s $2.03 billion impact strengthens state’s economy

Cherokee Nation’s impact on the Oklahoma economy now

for more than 37 percent of CNB’s revenue last year. exceeds $2.03 billion, according to a report produced and released   Cherokee Nation Entertainment, CNB’s gaming and by economist Dr. Russell Evans, principal at the Economic hospitality company, continues to see growth throughout the Impact Group and assistant professor of economics at Oklahoma region. In the past two years, the company has opened three new City University. gaming destinations. CNB is also developing Cherokee Springs   “The Cherokee Nation is here to improve the lives of Cherokee Plaza in Tahlequah. Cherokee Nation’s investment in people, which improves the lives of all Oklahomans,” said infrastructure and construction resulted in hundreds of additional Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “I’ve seen temporary construction jobs last year.  firsthand the changes   Other construction we are making in projects include the families and expansion of Cherokee communities Nation’s W.W. Keeler throughout Oklahoma. Complex in Tahlequah. Our focus is creating The nearly completed jobs, investing in project added a second infrastructure, floor, a new HVAC building homes, system and a new improving health care, exterior to the almost supporting education 40-year-old facility. and making a difference Construction is in the lives of children. also underway on Those activities aren’t the $200 million, just an investment in 469,000-square-foot Cherokee Nation. It is outpatient health also an investment in facility being built next Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker speaks about tribe's $2.03 billion impact on the Oklahoma Oklahoma.”  to W.W. Hastings Hoseconomy at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.   Evans’ study showed pital in Tahlequah. The the Cherokee Nation tribe expects the new health facility to be complete in 2019. directly employs more than 11,000 people in Oklahoma and   Along with Cherokee Nation’s direct investment, the tribe across the United States. Combined direct and indirect offers an array of services such as housing, roads and bridges, employment in northeast Oklahoma totals 17,788 jobs, career assistance, commerce services, education, human services supporting $785 million in total wages and benefits.   and community development that have a significant impact on   “Continued growth in the direct impacts of the Cherokee the local economy.  Nation and improvements to the impact models reveal an   “When we invest in the lives of our people, we make a lasting economic impact greater than $2 billion, resulting from fiscal impact on families and on the economy,” said Secretary of State year 2016 operations,” Evans said.  Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Our investment strategy is solid, and our   The Cherokee Nation’s government and business locations people are worth every penny and all the hard work that go into are spread throughout its 14-county jurisdiction in northeast executing that strategy.”  Oklahoma. Cherokee Nation Businesses, the tribe’s corporate   The research team carefully collected and reviewed data to holding company, generated a record-setting $1.02 billion in ensure the Cherokee Nation’s impact on the state is accurately revenue in fiscal year 2016, the year studied by economists. presented. Studies of Cherokee Nation’s economic impact have   The tribe operates more than two dozen businesses that span been conducted every two years since 2010. Reports from 2010, numerous industries, including consulting, health sciences, real 2012 and 2014 showed the tribe’s economic impact as $1 billion, estate, technology, distribution and logistics, engineering, $1.3 billion and $1.55 billion, respectively.  manufacturing, construction and environmental services. These businesses secured more than $600 million in contracts, with For more information about Cherokee Nation’s economic impact, please revenue being spread throughout multiple years, and accounted visit

The Official Cherokee Nation News






The Official Cherokee Nation News


A better process

Tribe now registering new citizens at record speed

After five years of hard work and strategic changes to the

  Employee responsibilities were also realigned. Five operators registration process, the Cherokee Nation is processing tribal were assigned to answer applicant questions, and others were citizenship applications in record time. It now takes as little as one assigned to type or process files, address special projects and work to two months for an eligible person to obtain tribal citizenship. on backlogged applications.    The tribe has 355,000 Cherokee Nation citizens across the   Registration’s database application was updated in April 2013 globe and receives up to 1,500 citizenship applications per month.  to more efficiently process citizenship and CDIB cards. New   “When I took office, one of the most common complaints I processes were developed to provide employees with documents received was, ‘Why does it take so long to get my child’s tribal that had been scanned and filed in an electronic database. As a citizenship?’ It made no sense that there was a two- or even threeresult, Cherokee Nation citizenship and CDIB applications filed year wait on some of these cards,” said Cherokee Nation Principal with all necessary documentation can now be processed in as little Chief Bill John Baker. as one month.  “So, one of my top   “To no longer have a priorities was to make backlog of applications is a the process simpler, major achievement in the more efficient and, history of the Cherokee most importantly, Nation,” O’Leary said. faster. I’m happy to say “We have been innovative that after several years in the way we serve the of hard work, we’re people. New technology finally there.”  has saved our staff time,   Baker and Cherokee and processing Nation Registrar Linda applications faster helps O’Leary implemented other Cherokee Nation a multifaceted plan to departments, therefore reduce wait times. Five helping the citizens."  years ago, more than   Chad and Crystal Jones, 23,000 citizenship of Cherokee County, applications were visited the registration pending and another office in March to enroll 15,000 Cherokee their toddler, Nathan. Cherokee Nation citizen Crystal Jones, of Cherokee County, visited the tribe’s Registration Office in March Nation citizens were   “Nathan’s school needs along with 7-year-old Trenton, 4-year-old Amiyah, 3-year-old Sarina, and 1-year-old Nathan. awaiting CDIB cards a copy of his tribal under the old system. citizenship card and CDIB That backlog is now cleared, and a system is now in place to keep card, and so does the hospital, so getting them faster will help us pace with the number of applications submitted.  tremendously,” Crystal Jones said.    “The Cherokee Nation continues to make great strides in our   Aside from issuing traditional citizenship and CDIB cards, the ability to quickly and efficiently process citizenship applications,” Cherokee Nation registration office produces free photo Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “With identifications that serve as a dual citizenship and CDIB card. the support of Chief Baker’s administration and the Cherokee Since 2012, 90,000 photo IDs have been issued.  Nation Tribal Council, Registrar O’Leary and her staff have   For Cherokee Nation CDIB/citizenship, applicants must worked diligently to clear away a years-long backlog of citizenship provide documents connecting their lineage to a direct applications, and we are very proud of their efforts.”  ancestor identified on the Dawes Roll between 1899 and 1906   The plan added nearly 2,000 square feet of space to the tribe’s with a blood degree. In adoption cases, CDIB/citizenship must registration office. The department also received a budget increase, be traced through a biological parent.  which now stands at $2.1 million for fiscal year 2017, more than twice the budget from FY 2011. The additional funding added 22 For more information, call 918-458-6980, email to registration@cherokee. full- and part-time employees.  org or visit

The Official Cherokee Nation News




At 100 feet long and more than 3,400 square feet, The Pool at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa features a Baja shelf that holds 20 in-pool lounge chairs coupled with a 20-person hot tub.

More leisure, more fun, more choices Renovations, additions enhance guest experience across multiple properties By Darcy Jackson

Growth and change has been the theme at Cherokee Nation

manager of Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs. “The upgrades offer a high-quality experience for new guests, while our loyal Entertainment so far for 2017. customer base is overjoyed with the improvements to their favorite   Guests at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs, east of horse racing facility.” Claremore, Oklahoma, now have an upgraded experience with a   Since opening nearly 12 years ago, brand-new venue. The facility Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs received an extensive 43,000-squarehas brought live horse racing and foot renovation that includes an simulcast racing from around the upgraded dance floor, a new gaming world to northeast Oklahoma. floor and simulcast area, and new   Meanwhile, Grove is now home to banquet space. the newest Cherokee Casino property,   CNE invested $5 million to bringing more entertainment and enhance that experience with more dozens of jobs to the Grand Lake area. seating and a variety of games. With The $30 million, 39,000-square-foot more room for race fans and as many facility is the tribe’s 10th casino. It as 250 electronic games in a new opened in January with 400 electronic location, managers are pleased with games, a full-service bar, a live music the results.   “The feedback we’ve received from Dog Iron Saloon at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs offers a new dance floor venue, a dance floor, and upgraded bar. complimentary non-alcoholic drinks our guests made the investment and a full restaurant. worth it,” said Rusty Stamps, general 8


The Official Cherokee Nation News

ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ NEWS   “We are known for quality guest service, being a great place to work, and being an excellent community partner,” said Shawn Slaton, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses, parent company of CNE. “It’s exciting to be a part of this vibrant economy, and we look forward to serving this market.”   The property created 175 new jobs, a benefit critical to the area, said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.   “The jobs and business growth mean Cherokee Nation is investing our money locally and helping build a stronger economy,” Baker said. “Most importantly, the revenue we create through our gaming dollars enables Cherokees to live better, healthier lives.”   The tribe invested $3.8 million in local infrastructure for the casino, collaborating with the city of Grove, Grove Municipal Services Authority and Delaware County Rural Water District 10 for a water line that services the entire community in that area of the lake.   The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa also saw an expansion of amenities just in time for summer. The new pool opened in May, allowing hotel guests a relaxing experience in the sun. The pool is 100 feet long and has 20 in-pool lounge chairs and a hot tub big enough for 20. Luxury cabanas line the new pool and come with extra amenities. Guests can also enjoy live entertainment and a full-service bar. The existing pool was converted to a separate but easily accessible, family-oriented pool.   “We strive to provide our guests the best experience they can find in our region,” said Martin Madewell, senior director of hospitality services.   The pool opening followed the grand opening of The Spa earlier this year. The Spa offers hotel guests massage therapy, body treatments, manicures, pedicures, and skin care and facial treatments. Adjacent to the pool, The Spa was designed to ensure guests feel renewed and rejuvenated when they leave Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. For more information on Cherokee Casinos' entertainment venues, visit and

Taco Bueno and Buffalo Wild Wings are among the first additions to Cherokee Springs Plaza.

Open for business

Cherokee Springs Plaza continues to attract new businesses By Tim Landes and Karen Shade

Businesses are opening at Cherokee

Springs Plaza, just two years after plans for the $170 million dining, entertainment and retail development in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, were announced.    Major franchises Buffalo Wild Wings and Taco Bueno are new to the Cherokee Nation’s capital city, and SONIC DriveIn opened its second Tahlequah location at the plaza. Auto dealership Stuteville Ford also has relocated its operations to the new development along Muskogee Avenue. Together, these businesses have created more than 150 new jobs.   “Cherokee Springs Plaza is the destination to bring more dining and entertainment options to Tahlequah, and more local jobs,” said Chuck Garrett, Cherokee Nation Businesses executive vice president. “The feedback has been extremely positive, and we look forward to bringing more businesses to the plaza in the future.”   The 6,000-square-foot Buffalo Wild Wings delivers on the brand’s motto, “Wings. Beer. Sports.” The menu features 21 signature wing sauces and seasonings but includes other items, such as burgers, wraps, flatbreads and salads. More than 50 high-definition televisions broadcast live sporting events seven days a week.   Taco Bueno opened its 2,850-squarefoot space last fall, providing an unrivaled Mexican fast food experience using fresh ingredients to create a variety of options. In 2016, the chain was voted America’s favorite Mexican quick service restaurant

in a national survey by global market research firm Market Force Information.   Stuteville Ford opened its new 27,000-square-foot facility on 5 acres at Cherokee Springs Plaza, with plans to expand operations by 30 percent. It features a full-line Ford sales and service operation with expanded inventories and a new “quick lane” service option. The quick lane will offer faster service and maintenance on all makes and models in a customerfriendly environment.   SONIC’s new restaurant utilizes 36,000 square feet of space. The Oklahoma-based restaurant chain specializes in made-to-order fast food and is known for its specialty menu items and personal carhop service.   The 1.3 million-square-foot, mixeduse space is being developed by Cherokee Nation Businesses.   As the first phase of the development winds down, business recruitment and construction continue. Phase two of the project is the construction of a new, larger Cherokee Casino Tahlequah, which will include a resort hotel and convention center. The third phase involves creation of a retail strip, which will enhance the pedestrian and shopping experience. For more information, visit

The Official Cherokee Nation News

Anadisgoi 9


Empowering Cherokee community organizations

Nearly 500 attend 13th Annual Conference of Community Leaders

Nearly 500 representatives of the 23 at-large and 136 in-

jurisdiction Cherokee organizations traveled to Tulsa for the Cherokee Nation’s 13th Annual Conference of Community Leaders.   The two-day conference hosted by Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach featured workshops led by experts in sustainability and culture, and also a meeting with tribal leaders, including Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr.   "These Cherokee Nation citizens deserve to be recognized for the critical work they are doing to improve the lives of others in their cities and communities," Hoskin said. "Whether it's mentoring youth or creating greater cultural awareness or volunteering to help elders in need, these individuals and groups define the values of community and family that are so important to us as Cherokee people."   Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach works to strengthen Cherokee communities. Its mission is to provide organizations technical assistance for improving effectiveness, enhancing services to those in need, and building organizational capacity of each community through resources diversification and collaboration.   To conclude the conference, the tribe presented the Community Impact Awards honoring organizations doing

Orchard Road Community Outreach representatives receive the Mary Mead Volunteerism Award at the 13th Annual Conference of Community Leaders. 10


The Official Cherokee Nation News

outstanding volunteer work, promoting culture and making other significant contributions. This year’s honorees include the following: Newcomer of the Year Award – Mid County Community Organization Newcomer of the Year At-Large – Cherokees of the Greater Central Valley Mary Mead Volunteerism Award – Orchard Road Community Outreach Most Improved Award – Family Support Center of Oaks Best in Technology Award – Adair County Historical & Genealogical Association Best in Technology At-Large – Cherokees of Northern Central Valley Continuing Education Award – Boys & Girls Club of Adair County Elder Care Award – P.O.T.L.U.C.K. Society Hunger Fighters Award – Fairfield Community Organization Hunger Fighters Award – Marble City Food Pantry & Youth Services Best in Reporting Award – Native American Association of Ketchum Best in Reporting At-Large – Cherokees of the Inland Empire Technical Assistance Award – Cherokees for Black Indian History Preservation Foundation Grant Writer of the Year Award – Grand Nation, Inc. Strong Hands Award – Native American Fellowship, Inc. Cultural Perpetuation Award – Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club Cultural Perpetuation At-Large – Valley of the Sun Cherokees Historical Preservation Award – Cherokee National Historical Society Historical Preservation At-Large – Cherokee Citizens League of Southeast Texas Lifetime Achievement Award – Ollie Star (Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club) Lifetime Achievement Award – Carol Sonenberg (No-We-Ta Cherokee Community Foundation) Community Partnership Award – Stilwell Public Library Friends Society Community Partnership At-Large – Mt. Hood Cherokees Community Leadership Award – Brushy Cherokee Action Association Community Leadership At-Large – Mt. Hood Cherokees Above & Beyond Award – Encore! Performing Society Youth Leadership Award – Spavinaw Youth Neighborhood Center Youth Leadership At-Large – Kansas City Cherokee Community Mission Accomplished Award – No-We-Ta Cherokee Community Foundation Community Inspiration Award – Cherokee Nation Treasures Association Organization of the Year Award – Cherokees for Black Indian History Preservation Foundation Organization of the Year At-Large – Capital City Cherokees Sponsor Award – Cherokee Nation Businesses


Local fire departments Public schools receive honored needed funds

Tribe’s district court seats new judge

The Cherokee Nation donated a record

The Cherokee Nation District Court

amount of nearly half a million dollars to 131 rural volunteer fire departments in northeastern Oklahoma.   Each department received a check for $3,500 during the tribe’s annual Volunteer Firefighter Ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa in May.   Cherokee Nation sets aside the donation in the tribe's budget each year to help volunteer fire departments with equipment, fuel or other items needed to protect lives and properties of families in rural northeastern Oklahoma.   The tribe also honored two fire departments with Fire Department of the Year awards and five individuals with Firefighter of the Year awards.

The Cherokee Nation gave a record $5

million to 107 school districts in Oklahoma during its annual Public School Appreciation Day.   Funded by a 38 percent allocation of revenue from the sale of tribal car tags, the gifts are a boost in funding for many schools struggling under the weight of state budget cuts. School districts use the funds for salaries, much-needed supplies, support programs or other projects facing elimination.   Since 2002, the tribe has awarded $45.1 million in education contributions from car tag revenue to school districts in northeast Oklahoma. The districts receiving the money educate more than 30,000 Cherokee students, although the contributions benefit all students. 

has a new judge on the bench.   Nominated by Principal Chief Bill John Baker and confirmed by the Tribal Council, T. Luke Barteaux, of Bixby, Oklahoma, was sworn into office in May by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Garrett.   Barteaux obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law. Since 2011, Barteaux has worked as a trial attorney with Tulsa law firm Fry & Elder. He served on the editorial board of the Cherokee Phoenix from 2014 to 2017.    Barteaux will serve in the tribe’s district court through Feb. 10, 2018, completing the unexpired term of the late District Judge Bart Fite.


CAS INGOES O MO NEY “We’re really thankful for the Cherokee Nation and the COTTA program. Because of it, we’re able to do more for our community.” – Steve Sands Read the entire story online at

Pictured: Steve Sands (left) and David Sands.

The Official Cherokee Nation News ©2017 Cherokee Nation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.




Safety tips, emergency readiness

Q&A with Emergency Management Manager Jeremie Fisher Cherokee Nation Mobile Command Center after an EF-1 tornado touched down in the Greasy community in March 2017.

A better response   Cherokee Nation Emergency Management is equipped to respond to a range of disaster situations after receiving Type 3 all-hazard incident management team status from the Federal Emergency Management Agency this spring.    As defined by FEMA, a Type 3 team can respond within hours to a natural disaster, a public health emergency, a large-scale crash or another crisis within tribal boundaries. Teams are made up of personnel from multiple tribal departments to effectively address local incidents in crisis situations.   Only about 120 entities nationwide attained the Type 3 status, with Cherokee Nation being one of the first tribes to earn it. The status allows the team to remain active and on scene for several days to help coordinate with other agencies in response to disasters.    Cherokee Nation Emergency Management uses a new, 36-foot mobile command center to coordinate logistics with relief agencies during disaster situations. Purchased through a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant, the command center is equipped with satellite communications and Wi-Fi.   The tribe used the Cherokee Nation Mobile Command Center in March when an EF-1 tornado touched down in the Greasy community in Adair County, Oklahoma. It served as a hub for volunteers to help with cleanup, meet with the Red Cross and survey the area. 

For more information on Cherokee Nation Emergency Management, visit www. or call 918-453-5000. 12


The Official Cherokee Nation News

By Jason McCarty

Name: Jeremie Fisher Hometown: Durant, Oklahoma Tribal Affiliation: Cherokee Nation School: Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant

Where did you work before joining Cherokee Nation? Prior to joining the Cherokee Nation, I worked with the Oklahoma State Department of Health as an emergency preparedness and response planner overseeing pandemic planning, preparedness training and public health response. That experience was useful to me in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

What’s your most memorable experience? My most memorable emergency event was the May 2013 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. I was deployed with the state incident management team and provided support to manage the event as a liaison officer working with more than 150 agencies. That week, we coordinated support from nontraditional agencies eager to assist families affected by the tornado. Hillsdale Free Will Bible College in Moore came and offered their computer lab to let people let their relatives know they were safe. A local gymnasium also offered their showers to residents. They, along with many other businesses and services, were able to help without interfering in the main disaster management operations going on at the same time.

when it happens.

What are your top 3 tips for weatherrelated emergency preparedness? 1) Maintain situational awareness: pay attention to what is going on around you. 2) When outdoors, watch for lightning and seek shelter where available. 3) When in a vehicle, never drive into moving water: turn around, don’t drown.

How does the tribe benefit by having a focused agenda on emergency management? I believe in emergency management and its capacity to overcome the most terrible incidents. I have seen disasters where it was not a priority and there was no direction to follow during the disaster. I know that if we plan and prepare for what’s possible, it lessens the impact on us and expedites the recovery so we can get back to normal life. That’s why I work in emergency management and why I feel the Cherokee Nation will be more able to face future disasters.

What can people do at home to better prepare for an emergency? Create an emergency plan and then practice it. People usually fail to plan and prepare for an emergency, then they panic

Cherokee Nation Emergency Management Manager Jeremie Fisher


A guiding hand

Gourd returns to head Cherokee Heritage Center By Whitney Dittman

More than 50 years ago, Charles Gourd led tour groups at the

Cherokee Heritage Center Executive Director Charles Gourd

Cherokee Heritage Center, back when it was known as “Tsa La Gi.” This summer, he returned to lead in a much different way. He assumed the institution’s top post of executive director.    At 19, Gourd was hired by the Cherokee National Historical Society as a tour guide in the ancient village at the newly opened Tsa La Gi. He was a full-time student pursuing an undergraduate degree in history at Northeastern State University and eager for the opportunity to educate visitors about the Cherokee people.   “It was an exciting time in Tahlequah, and the Cherokee Heritage Center was at the center of it all,” said Gourd. “I have always had a strong appreciation for Cherokee culture and a passion for education, so working at the heritage center allowed me to embrace both. I have the best memories from that time in my life and learned so much. I even served as a dancer in the Trail of Tears drama for the first four years of production.”   The Cherokee Heritage Center is the premier cultural center for Cherokee history, culture and the arts. It features an outdoor living exhibit replicating a 1710s Cherokee village and a rural village from 1890s Indian Territory. It also hosts a permanent exhibit on the Trail of Tears. A variety of art shows and sales are held throughout the year in addition to rotating exhibits.   After his first stint at the center, Gourd went on to earn various academic achievements, including multiple master’s degrees and a doctorate in anthropology. He has worked with many tribal nations on cultural programs, economic development and governance. Throughout his career, he has been a steadfast advocate for tribal sovereignty, once serving as executive director of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission, which was dissolved under Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.   “I have had a wonderfully fulfilling career, and I am thankful for every opportunity I was afforded,” said Gourd. “The truth of the matter is I was ready to retire, but my experience positioned me perfectly to fulfill the need at CHC. To me, it felt more like a calling than a job and really brought my career full circle.”   With more than 30 years’ experience and specialized training in federal programming and grant writing, Gourd hopes to bring new possibilities to the organization.   “We have an outstanding staff here, and they are all very passionate about what they do,” said Gourd. “I want to be sure that we are utilizing every resource available to support their efforts, and I am working hard to find new funding sources to help us long term. My priority is ensuring the Cherokee Heritage Center will continue to preserve, promote and teach Cherokee culture for generations to come.”

The Official Cherokee Nation News




Cherokee Nation citizen and UCO head wrestling coach Todd Steidley is a recent inductee into the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of University of Central Oklahoma.

Legacy of excellence

Cherokee Nation citizen inducted into Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame By Tyler Thomas

After a storied high school wrestling coaching career and

landing his dream job as the University of Central Oklahoma head wrestling coach, Cherokee Nation citizen Todd Steidley added another honor to his illustrious resume with his induction into the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame.   Steidley joined eight other coaches as part of the 2017 class. This year’s class was inducted during a banquet in July at the Southern Hills Marriot Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma.   “To even be considered to be inducted into the hall of fame with so many great people is overwhelming,” Steidley said. “I’m proud of my profession as a coach, and I know the impact coaches have on young people’s lives. Coaches had a huge impact on my life.”   Steidley became UCO’s head wrestling coach in May 2016, replacing David James, who led the school to 12 national championships in his 34-year career. In his first season, Steidley led the wrestling team to an 18-0 record, including a fourth place finish at regionals and 17th at nationals. Two of his wrestlers earned All-American honors this season.   “This honor could not go to a more deserving person than Todd Steidley,” said Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Keith Austin. “He has devoted his life to not only coaching, but education.”



The Official Cherokee Nation News

  Steidley began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UCO in Edmond, Oklahoma, following a standout high school and college wrestling career that included winning a 142-pound division national title as a junior at UCO in 1987 and finishing runner-up in 1988.   After coaching two years at UCO, he served as an assistant coach at Clemson University in South Carolina for one year before taking the head coaching job at Enid High School in Enid, Oklahoma. Steidley left Enid after one year and took the head coaching job at Bristow High School.   Steidley led Bristow wrestling to three Class 3A state championships during his six-year tenure and then guided the Ponca City High School wrestling team to four straight Class 6A state titles starting in 1998.   “The most important thing about being a good coach or a good educator is building strong relationships with your students and athletes. It’s not about gold trophies and gold rings. It’s about friendships and relationships,” Steidley said. “Those are the things I remember the most when I think about places we have been.”   He finished his high school coaching career with a 211-18 dual record. Steidley left coaching in 2006 to serve as principal at Claremore High School, until he was named the head coach at his alma mater last year.


Traditional skills in a modern world Cherokee teen’s handmade canoe on display at Grove casino By Tim Landes

In a digital age when many teenagers are consumed by social

media and video games, 19-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Mason Gray’s interests turn the clock back well before the industrial revolution.   In recent years, Gray has devoted a lot of time to flint knapping and making traditional bow and arrows. He’s spent endless hours in Diligwa, the Cherokee Heritage Center’s 18th century village, absorbing as much information as he can to hone his cultural skills.   With construction of the new Cherokee Casino Grove, Gray had the chance to put a few of those skills to use. Cherokee Nation Businesses’ cultural team needed to fill the property with artwork emphasizing the tribe’s use of nearby waterways. They wanted a canoe made using traditional techniques for the facility, and Gray was just the Cherokee to do it. In fact, he was working on a dugout canoe for himself when he was asked to make one for Cherokee Casino Grove.   “I knew how our traditional Cherokee dugout canoes looked from old documentation, and citizens of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians were still making the traditional style of canoe. I spoke with other people who either studied or made dugout canoes to get more knowledge of how they were made,” Gray said.

  The Arkansas State Park Service delivered a donated cottonwood tree log, and Gray went to work on the project. It took two months and three days to burn out and carve the hull of the full-size canoe, all by hand, aided only with the skills and tools used by his ancestors. When he finished, the canoe was taken to the Grove casino and placed in a detailed display at the main entrance just in time for the property’s grand opening in January.   “It means a lot to me to have something I worked so hard on to be displayed for so many people to see it,” Gray said. “To have something I created with my mind and my hands be appreciated by those who visit the casino and see my canoe is a really good feeling.”   Now that he has experienced making a dugout canoe by hand, Gray is ready to finish his own canoe and create more.   “I enjoyed making this one. Hopefully in the future I will have another chance to make a dugout canoe that’s a step up,” said Gray. “I also want to attempt to make a larger war canoe.”   And while Mason has proven himself an accomplished artist working with his hands, that’s not his only passion within the Cherokee culture. He’s currently enrolled in the Cherokee Language Master-Apprentice program, an intensive two-year, 40-hour per week, adult Cherokee language program.

Cherokee Nation citizen Mason Gray sits in front of the handmade dugout canoe that is on display at Cherokee Casino Grove.

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Sharing Cherokee history

Remember the Removal Bike Ride receives National Park Foundation grant

The Remember the Removal Bike Ride received a $25,000 2017

where they came from and the strength of their ancestors,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Because Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation to promote the Trail of Tears routes are preserved and well marked, the the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail during the tribe’s annual public can see the historic places commemorative ride. firsthand and retrace the journey   As part of the grant, Remember the through several national parks across Removal cyclists stopped at several sites multiple states.” along the northern route of the Trail of   The Trail of Tears National Historic Tears to share the history of the Trail passes through nine states and program and educate the public about commemorates the forced removal of the forced removal of the Cherokee the Cherokee people from their Nation. The 14 Cherokee Nation homelands in the southeastern United cyclists and six Eastern Band of States to Indian Territory. Cherokees Cherokee Indians cyclists traveled were forced to relocate by foot, horse, 1,000 miles across seven states, wagon or steamboat in 1838-1839. starting June 4 in New Echota,   Since 2008, the National Park Georgia, and ending June 22 in Foundation has granted nearly $3.8 Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The 2017 Remember the Removal cyclists ride on the Trail of Tears million through its Active Trails   “Cherokee Nation is grateful for National Historic Trail in Missouri on June 13. program. Now entering its ninth the opportunity to partner with the successful year, the multifaceted Active National Park Foundation to bring Trails program enriches national parks; strengthens relationships heightened awareness to the Remember the Removal Bike Ride. between parks, community members and organizations; and Our annual event pays homage to the darkest chapter in the tribe’s supports individual growth and well-being. history and enables our young Cherokees to always remember

2017 Remember the Removal cyclists (L to R) Mentor Will Chavez, Ellic Miller, Israel Rodriguez, Hunter Scott, Trey Pritchett, Skylar Vann, Zane Wachacha,Sheyashe Littledave, Brian Barlow, Susie Means-Worley, RTR Trainer Sarah Holcomb, Shelby Deal, Macie Sullateskee, KenLea Henson, Gaya Pickup, Chavella Taylor, Raven Girty, Breanna Anderson and Taylor Wilnoty.



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CHEROKEE DAY AT GILCREASE MUSEUM Sunday, Sept. 24 | 10 am to 5 pm Enjoy a day of musical performances, traditional storytelling, as well as artist and cultural demonstrations. During the celebration, experience the new “After Removal: Rebuilding the Cherokee Nation” exhibition. This event is FREE for Cherokee Nation citizens.

George Lowery, Oil on canvas, Unknown Artist, Gilcrease Museum, 0126.2180

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CHEROKEE national holiday sixty-five L A B O R D AY W E E K E N D 2 0 1 7 TA H L E Q U A H , O K L A H O M A

Arts & Crafts | Children’s Events | Parade | Powwow | Sports Tournaments | Traditional Activities, Food & Games

H O M E S . H E A LT H . H O P E .

The interior of Sequoyah's cabin is furnished to appear as it might have when Sequoyah lived there. There are relics and documents associated with his life on display.

By Tim Landes

Regular visitors to Sequoyah’s Cabin near Sallisaw, Oklahoma,

will notice improvements and changes to the Cherokee treasure, while first-time tourists will be in awe of the artifacts and serene feeling of the expansive grounds.   The historical home of Cherokee statesman Sequoyah reopened to the public this summer after several months of renovations and updates to the popular tourist attraction. Cherokee Nation officials acquired the landmark in November from the state of Oklahoma, which was forced to sell the landmark due to budget cuts. In the months following, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism created new permanent exhibits to better share the story of the man who created the Cherokee syllabary.   “Adding Sequoyah’s cabin to our cultural tourism holdings only strengthens our ever-growing abilities to share Cherokee heritage,” 18


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said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “For years, people have traveled to Sallisaw to learn more about the man who revolutionized the way Cherokees communicate. We anticipate even more visitors in the coming years as we promote the unique offerings under the Cherokee Nation’s brand. From educational awareness to the natural beauty of the landscape, there will be something for every visitor to the cabin.”

Sequoyah's Life   Sequoyah, also known as George Guess or George Gist, was born in Tennessee around 1778. In the 1820s, he completed his creation of the Cherokee syllabary, the first written language among Indian tribes. Literacy rates among Cherokees soared within only a few years.


  Sequoyah was part of the Old Settlers and migrated to what is now western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma prior to the Trail of Tears, building his modest cabin in 1829. A popular tourist attraction, the cabin welcomes more than 12,000 visitors each year. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and a National Literary

  The new exhibits include large displays that share the story of Sequoyah, his development of the Cherokee syllabary and Cherokee language today. Additional displays showcase the history of the Cherokee Old Settlers, Cherokee Nation post-removal and the Cherokee Nation today. The museum also features a new retail space offering Cherokee

Change for the better

Sequoyah, the revered Cherokee

Cherokee Nation leaders cut the ribbon at the reopening of Sequoyah's Cabin Museum in June.

Landmark in 2006. The complete homestead includes the one-room cabin and nearly 200 acres of land.

Acquisition of Sequoyah's Cabin   “With the acquisition of Sequoyah’s cabin, we had the unique opportunity to update the exhibits at the property to pay tribute to one of our most revered Cherokee people, Sequoyah,” said Travis Owens, director of cultural tourism, Cherokee Nation Businesses. “We are thankful for the work that the state of Oklahoma has done over the years to celebrate and preserve Sequoyah’s legacy and hope to build off their work to share his amazing story with the public.”

Nation apparel, gifts and souvenirs. The improvements bring the landmark up to the standards of Cherokee Nation’s other cultural properties and museums.   “Our operation of the cabin and the surrounding land enables us to tell the story of Sequoyah through a uniquely Cherokee perspective,” Baker said. “We will ensure this site thrives and continues to operate forever.”

Sequoyah’s Cabin is located northeast of Sallisaw at 470288 Oklahoma 101, 7 miles east of U.S. Route 59. For more information, visit

statesman and inventor of the Cherokees’ written language, is commemorated on the U.S. Mint’s 2017 Native American $1 coin.   With a design created by Chris Costello and sculpted by Charles Vickers, the commemorative coin depicts Sequoyah with a quill pen writing in Cherokee syllabary the words “Sequoyah from Cherokee Nation” along the outer border.   “Having Sequoyah grace the U.S. dollar coin is a wonderful national recognition for our tribe’s renowned statesman and creator of the Cherokee syllabary. Last year, the flip side of the Sacajawea dollar was a tribute to American Indian code talkers, and this year builds on the foundation of honoring Indian people who have played a critical role in shaping our great country,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr.   The Native American $1 Coin Program began issuing gold-colored $1 coins in 2000 with the image of Sacajawea, the Shoshone guide of the 1804-06 Lewis and Clark expedition. The reverse side’s design has changed annually since 2009 to depict various aspects of different Native cultures. The coin is now available to purchase in rolls, bags, boxes and as part of special coin sets at

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Cherokee National Holiday returns with tradition and fun By Karen Shade

Summer is ending, but the festivities are just beginning for the 65th Cherokee National Holiday in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

  Cherokee Nation’s annual celebration of Cherokee culture, tradition and family takes place every Labor Day weekend to commemorate the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution in 1839. This year, the holiday is Sept. 1-3 and is expected to draw more than 100,000 people.   The theme for 2017’s event is “Water is Sacred,” represented in original artwork created by Cherokee National Treasure Dan Mink.   "This year's Cherokee National Holiday theme is one that resonates with all of us as Cherokees and as Oklahomans,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.“Over the past year, we’ve renewed our efforts to preserve our water rights and natural resources. We’ve been active within our 14 counties and across Indian Country when it comes to water conservation."   Heavy with imagery and symbolism from Cherokee lore, the artwork features a stream winding from rain-drenched hills in the background. The guwisguwi, a legendary water fowl, represents the people’s connection to the ancient past. It stands in the stream as seven sycamore leaves float atop the water’s surface. The leaves mirror the seven Cherokee clans and recall the sycamore tree upon which the water spider from old stories received the first fire. The leaves also represent the Cherokee medicinal practice of immersing oneself in a creek or river before the cold of winter arrives.

Passport to Heritage Cherokee National Holiday is the perfect time to connect with your heritage, as all Cherokee National museums in and around Tahlequah are open and free to the public.

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FEATURES ᏗᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ   With Cherokee Nation’s focus on safeguarding the tribe’s environmental resources, the theme carries forward this attention to preservation.   "Water is sacred to our people and has been forever. Water is part of our traditional ceremonies. Water has sustained us with food and the ability to grow our crops. Water is something we share and celebrate with our families,” Baker said. “As a tribal government, we will fight unequivocally for the rights of our people to live safely in their communities. Part of that mission means protecting our water. It is our duty now and for the next seven generations.”

  The Cherokee National Holiday provides an opportunity for the tribe to showcase its history and culture.   “The holiday is an opportunity for us to put a spotlight on the Cherokee Nation and our capital city of Tahlequah,” said Travis Owens, director of Cherokee Nation cultural tourism. “Holiday enhances the experience at our museums and cultural sites. It’s an opportunity to educate the world about who Cherokees are, where we came from, and what the future holds for us.”

Here’s what you’ll find: Cherokee National Capitol 101 S. Muskogee Ave., Tahlequah, Oklahoma On display: The capitol building is the backdrop of key holiday events, including the State of the Nation address.

Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum 122 E. Keetoowah St., Tahlequah, Oklahoma On display: “Oddities of the Cherokee Advocate” highlights the unusual and more unexpected stories printed in the Cherokee newspaper between 1844 and 1906.

State of the Nation Address Hear Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s 2017 State of the Nation address live at the Capitol Square at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 2 or live stream the event at the Cherokee Nation Facebook page,

  Chief Baker will deliver his annual State of the Nation address following the parade. The centerpiece of the weekend, the address updates citizens on the year’s progress and sets the vision of the tribe moving forward.   Often, the holiday is called a homecoming because it brings families and loved ones together for three days of art shows, traditional Cherokee games and activities, sports tournaments, historical attractions, a huge powwow, Cherokee foods and plenty to do for all ages.   “It’s a time to celebrate and reconnect with family and friends. It’s a time to reflect on the past and look to the future,” said Bayly Wright, Cherokee Nation community tourism manager and coordinator of the Cherokee National Holiday. “To me, it’s also about just having a good time.”



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Tell us you’re here and get social! Check in on Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, or even use our special Cherokee National Holiday Snapchat filter. Be sure to use the hashtag #CherokeeHoliday2017 no matter what social media platform you’re using!

ᏗᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ FEATURES Cherokee National Prison Museum 124 E. Choctaw St., Tahlequah, Oklahoma On display: “The Pardoned” examines several cases in which detainees held during Indian Territory days were granted pardons for their alleged crimes.

Stay current Need to update your information or get a tribal citizenship card? Cherokee Nation’s registration office will be open Sept. 2 from 1-4 p.m. at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex.

For more about Cherokee Nation tribal citizenship, visit

John Ross Museum 22366 S. 530 Road, Park Hill, Oklahoma On display: “The Life of Lewis Downing” takes a look at the man who assumed leadership of the Cherokee Nation after John Ross and his role in rebuilding a nation in a new land.

Other nearby sites key to the Cherokee story:

Powwow 101

Cherokee Heritage Center

The Cherokee National Holiday Intertribal Powwow is the weekend’s biggest attraction. Be a part of the fun, but keep a few things in mind:

21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill, Oklahoma

Seminary Hall at Northeastern State University 600 N. Grand Ave., Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Murrell Home

1. Leave the pets at home. Only service animals are allowed at the powwow. 2. Alcohol and tobacco are not allowed.

19479 E. Murrell Home Road, Park Hill, Oklahoma

3. Seating is limited, so get comfortable by bringing your own lawn chair or blanket.

For your complete guide to Cherokee National Holiday, visit

4. Spectators may enter the arena only when the emcee invites them.

The Official Cherokee Nation News



Anna Jurkovska/Shutterstock


The fight to save the next generation As Cherokee Nation leads the charge to combat opioid abuse, the tribe works to help the smallest victims By Tim Landes ikki Baker-Limore reads through a stack of case studies a few N inches deep. Each page details reports of infants born addicted to

prescription opioids.   The story is the same for most. In the baby’s first minutes of life outside the womb, there is uncontrollable shaking and crying. Down the road, the infant is likely to experience developmental and cognitive delays or permanent damage that will require a lifetime of treatment.   Baker-Limore, executive director of Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare, has overseen hundreds of cases during her time in charge. She said the rise of the opioid crisis in recent years is staggering.   In 2012, just less than 15 percent of all ICW cases that required removing a child from the home involved newborns who tested



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positive for opioids. In 2013, the number doubled to 29 percent and then rose to 33 percent in 2014. It increased to a staggering 40 percent in 2015. On average, Baker-Limore said, there are about 80 children in ICW custody at any time. In 2015, at least 30 babies among them were born addicted to opioids.   “Our children are the future of our tribe. If this epidemic continues, we’re talking about destroying the future of the tribe. Without our children, our tribe can’t go on,” Baker-Limore said. “Opioid addiction has the potential to impact our tribe going into the next century.”   In April, Cherokee Nation filed suit against six major corporate distributors of opioid pharmaceuticals: Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen. The tribe charges these companies failed to report suspicious orders and


illegitimate prescriptions inside the Cherokee Nation. This show signs of stunted growth, heart defects, poor vision and other negligence to follow federal law, the suit states, has fueled an health issues. Because the Cherokee Nation operates a closed addiction epidemic among Cherokees. To date, at least 25 states, health care system for Native Americans, the Cherokee counties, cities and other bodies have filed similar suits against Nation, Indian Health Service, Medicaid and Medicare will distributors and manufacturers of opioid drugs. incur the cost to treat these patients for potentially their entire   While lawsuits make headlines, Cherokee Nation’s ICW lives. This can make it even more difficult to find families fights the battle on a personal front. The department has five willing to foster children born to this epidemic. workers in its child protective   While the Cherokee services unit. When a newNation ICW child protective born has symptoms of opioid services unit responds to crisis dependence, medical staff situations, ICW also takes contacts an ICW case worker, preventive measures by who immediately goes to the helping known opioidhospital to begin an addicted mothers tackle investigation. their addiction before   “The worker administers becoming pregnant again. a drug test, conducts in  Because reunification terviews and observes the of the family is always the baby’s parents at the hospital, preferred outcome, ICW and maybe at their home. provides those parents whose We consider removing the children have been taken into child from the parents’ protective custody the steps custody based on the totality to legally regain their parental of circumstances,” Bakerrights. Limore said. “If needed, we   “It’s basically, ‘Fix the contact the attorney general’s problems or you’ll office and go before a judge. possibly lose your children,’” We don’t just automatically Baker-Limore said. “If we’re remove children. It’s a system successful and get the parents of checks and balances that off opioids, then any future involves the Indian Child children they have will Welfare office, the attorney not be born drug-positive general’s office and finally the if they continue to remain judge, who is also an attorney clean. Any work you do to and makes the final call.” improve the family, you   If deemed in the best feel like you’re saving interest of the child, a baby future children.” can be removed from paren  Baker-Limore said tal custody. It next falls to although there will always be Nikki Baker-Limore, Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare Executive Director, ICW to locate another family some children who must be examines case files of recent newborns who tested positive for opioid addiction. member or another Cherokee removed from their parents’ Nation citizen to care for and custody due to other issues, foster the child. she hopes Cherokee Nation’s lawsuit will drastically reduce the   “It’s tough. The baby could be in the hospital for a couple of number of babies born with opioid addiction, which in turn could days or a couple of weeks. When they come home, they’re end one of the worst epidemics the tribe has faced in many years. probably going to cry inconsolably,” Baker-Limore said. “We’ve   “I hope these children are at least given a chance. They’re at had people tell us they can’t take a child going through least born whole. There isn’t any amount of money or medical withdrawal right now. And as the case moves forward, that child treatment that can fix the developmental issues they’re born with is going to have additional needs. It’s taxing because you start the that are permanent,” Baker-Limore said. “That’s what I hope we’re case at a high level of need, and everyone is affected.” able to change, giving kids a better chance at life because opioids   As opioid-addicted babies grow, Baker-Limore said they can are destroying it right now.”

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Reeling in flavor Trout blends with fresh vegetables, colorful pasta for a refreshing fall dish By Karen Shade



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Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs Sous Chef Mathew Zimmerman is used to cooking for a crowd. But whether cooking for a few or for many, his trout dish is sure to leave everyone at the table satisfied.   “I like using trout because it’s locally caught, and it’s something everyone can relate to around here,” Zimmerman said.   Chef Zimmerman’s dish combines the flavorful trout with colorful pasta, a greattasting sauce and fresh vegetables, forming a savory combination. According to Chef Zimmerman, “The sauce incorporates it all.”  

Broiled Rainbow Trout with Vegetable Medley Pasta Tilapia or red snapper may be substituted. Recipe yields 2-4 portions.

Ingredients: 2 8-10 oz. fresh rainbow trout filets 8 oz. farfalle (bowtie) pasta 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 cup zucchini, cubed 1 cup yellow squash, cubed 1 cup red bell pepper, diced 1 cup red onion, diced 1 cup white wine 1/4 cup unsalted butter 1 lemon, cut in quarters 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped 2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1 tbsp. coarse black pepper 1 tbsp. kosher salt 2 tbsp. olive oil To make dish: 1. In a large pot, heat 5 quarts of water with 1 tsp. of salt and bring to a boil. When water comes to a rolling boil, pour in pasta and boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente, or still firm to the bite. Drain the hot water and run cool water over pasta to halt cooking. Set aside. 2. Set oven to broil. Use nonstick cooking spray on the inside of an oven-safe dish or skillet and place rosemary sprigs in it (save one for garnish). Set aside.

3. Prepare fresh trout filets by rinsing them in cold water. Avoid salting filets at this stage, as salt will dry it out. Set aside in the refrigerator. 4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over mediumhigh heat and sauté zucchini, squash, red onion and red bell pepper together. After 5 minutes, add the minced garlic and simmer 5 minutes more. 5. Deglaze the pan with vegetables by pouring in white wine. Cook until liquid is reduced by half and set heat to low. Add in butter and juice squeezed from the quartered lemon (save the quarters), stirring frequently. After the butter has melted completely, add in the heavy cream, chopped thyme and parsley. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes and fold in the pasta. Keep on low heat until ready to plate. 6. In prepped baking pan, place trout filets skin-side down over the rosemary sprigs. Season filets with remaining salt and coarse black pepper. Toss in squeezed lemon quarters and broil in the oven for 5-10 minutes until done. 7. Spoon pasta and vegetable mix on a platter or in a bowl, and place the cooked trout filets on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garnish with the remaining rosemary sprig.

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Anadisgoi - summer/fall 2017  
Anadisgoi - summer/fall 2017