American Indian tribes are known for preserving their history through storytelling.
Today, tribes like the Chickasaw Nation are embracing technology to keep their cultural values, languages and history alive.
Chickasaw Nation Executive Officer of Communications and Outreach Becky Chandler, and Executive Officer of Creative Services Karissa Pickett, demonstrated the ways their tribe stays in touch with citizens through media, starting with a historical video, during the 41st annual Symposium on the American Indian.
The video is shown to visitors to the tribe’s headquarters in Ada, as well as all new employees.
“Our nation covers 7,648 miles and 13 counties,” said Pickett. “Tishomingo is our capitol and our headquarters is in Ada. We have citizens living in all 50 states, and 12 countries on four continents. Technology plays a large part in our communicating with our citizens.”
Chandler said the tribe’s governor, Bill Anoatubby, encourages citizens to promote the tribe’s culture and pride and share its story with the world.
“The Chickasaw Nation is more than just a government,” said Chandler. “We work very hard to share our story, which is not just a story about the past, but as a thriving contemporary culture.”
According to Chandler, the tribe uses print, audio and video technology, along with social media.
“We offer several products, and print media appeals to our elders who like to receive things in their mailboxes at home,” said Chandler. “We have a calendar of events, an annual report, a monthly newspaper, and a booklet of programs and services we update and send out annually.”
The Chickasaws also use other forms of technology to get their print information disseminated. The newspaper is offered as an online e-edition and through a iPhone mobile phone application.
“We’ve also started a ‘Chickasaw Adventures’ comic book series,” said Chandler. “Each volume follows ‘Johnny,’ a Chickasaw youth, through different events in our history. Volumes 1-7 are available now, and we’re working on 8-12. We’re trying to reach a younger audience and help them make a connection to their heritage.”
The Chickasaw Nation also has its own printing label, which publishes non-fiction works on the tribe’s history and culture.
The tribe runs its own community radio station, KCNP, which offers streaming programming online, too. Programming includes tribal language lessons, a weekly call-in forum, news, sports and weather. KCNP also offers programming on its website for on-demand download.
“In the video realm, we have CNTV, which is a bi-weekly news show, offered online, and we have public services announcements, and two full-length feature films,” said Pickett. “The CNTV programming is also streamed to our offices and health clinics.”
The first feature film, “Pearl,” was released in 2009, and tells the story of Pearl Carter Scott, the youngest female pilot in the United States in 1928. The second is a documentary about the Chickasaw’s contact with Hernando DeSoto, and is currently in production.
“The Chickasaw Nation also operates 20 websites,” said Chandler. “The most prominent is Chickasaw.net, which includes over 4,000 pages. We also have Chickasaw.tv, which is where the CNTV programming is broadcast, and Chickasawkids.com, which allows us to interact with our younger citizens.”
Social sites employed by the tribe include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and several blogs.
“Our government doesn’t use social media yet,” said Chandler. “We’re still working on the policies for use, but plan to launch a Facebook page in a few months. We have also developed a number of apps, including one for our newspaper, radio station, and one that teaches basics of the Chickasaw language. These are just a few more ways to connect people.
“We hope to evoke a sense of pride, not only as tribal citizens, but as Oklahomans. Our motto is, ‘United we thrive.”
American Indian tribes are known for preserving their history through storytelling.
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A stitch in time
They may be seasoned sewing veterans, but local members of the Oklahoma Home and Community Education clubs learned a new stitching craft Monday morning.
Beth Corn led the class, and the objective was to create decorative items from strips of fabric and cotton clothesline cord. Corn and fellow OHCE member Ann Lamons had several completed items on display, including coasters, trivets, throw rugs and even baskets with lids.
“I learned how to do this just watching TV, but I found some instructions in a book and printed them out for everybody,” said Corn. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes while learning, but that’s part of the fun. Once you learn how to do this today, you’ll be able to branch out and use the technique for all kinds of things.”
The class was well-attended, with so many mem bers some attendees ended up having to share sewing machines.
Sheppard takes place of Tinnin on TPS board
Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education reorganized, swore in a new member, and passed a further adjustment to the 2013-14 school calendar.
TPS has missed 13 days during the school year due to inclement weather, and classes will not be held on March 31 for a professional development day approved by the school board in the consent docket.
The district has invited teachers, parents and community leaders to attend the Oklahoma Education Coalition rally at the state capitol to demonstrate support for increased education funding.
Cherokee Nation touts minimum wage hike, credit rating upgrade
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. made an appearance at Monday night’s tribal council meeting, as both Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden were out of town.
“As you know, it’s a very busy and crucial time at the state capitol this week,” said Hoskin. “As such, Chief Baker is in Oklahoma City tending to issues that relate to the tribe. Joe Crittenden in Washington, D.C., this week, attending the National Congress of the American Indian.”
Hoskin touted the recent executive order raising the tribe’s minimum wage, as well as news that the Cherokee Nation’s credit rating has been upgraded to triple B.
Greenwood Elementary’s fourth-grade robotics team headed to world competition with innovative project
When five Greenwood Elementary School fourth-graders volunteered to be part of a newly-forming robotics team this past October, they never dreamed that six months later, they’d be competing in a world championship tournament in Anaheim, Calif.
Bryson Page, Lyndsie Kinney, Rylee Jafrie, Ryan Mattox and Ashton Kinsey, along with two robotics teams from Tahlequah Middle School, fared well enough at VEX robotics team regional and state competitions to earn slots among 72 other teams competing for world recognition.
“Back in October, we received a donation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum from the Cherokee Nation,” said Nikki Molloy, Greenwood parent liaison and robotics team coach. “The donation was a robotic kit, and each elementary site, along with TMS, received kits. The first time we gave the kids the kits, we just let them have at it.”
Seizure issues growing more controversial
Aside from the texts and the rights they enumerate, there are some stark contrasts between the Third and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Virtually no one disagrees about the Third Amendment. There are only rare instances of its being litigated, and it has never been the legal basis for a decision of the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, litigation and dissension over the Fourth Amendment is routine.
Education and consolidation topics at forum
State legislators enter the final week of bill hearings and committee meetings next week, and education and agency consolidation remain key concerns for local residents.
Friday morning, five area legislators made presentations and fielded questions from constituents during Legislative Focus at Go Ye Village. Lawmakers included Sen. Earl Garrison, D-Muskogee; Sen. Wayne Shaw, R-Grove; Rep. Will Fourkiller, D-Westville; Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove; and Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah.
Plea deal arranged for ex-fire chief
A former Cherokee County volunteer fire chief has agreed to plead guilty to forgery and embezzlement charges in exchange for a suspended sentence and payment of restitution.
Third Thursday Art Walk
Shoppers will have a chance to visit downtown merchants in the evening during the Tahlequah Main Street Association’s first Third Thursday Art Walk and After Party on Thursday, March 20.
Participating downtown businesses will keep their doors open to offer specials until 8 p.m., and artists will display their work at different locations. Art exhibitors, including the Cherokee Art Center’s Spider Gallery, will stay open late.
Sex offender bill reaches House
By a unanimous 44-0 vote of the Oklahoma Senate, a bill that would make it more difficult for registered sex offenders to change their names has reached the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 1421, authored by Kyle Loveless, Oklahoma City Republican, underwent its first reading in the House on Feb. 27.
Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said he did not know of any instances, during his service with the department, of registered sex offenders evading detection with new names for any length of time.
SB 1497 may aid transparency
Government transparency advocates were pleased, and some were surprised, when a proposed bill designed to strengthen Oklahoma’s Open Meetings Act passed the Senate Judicial Committee recently.
Senate Bill 1497, by Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, would allow citizens who are denied access to public meetings to bring civil lawsuits, and if the court rules in favor, to collect attorney’s fees. A continuing resolution has already been filed.
Should the legislation pass into law, it would become effective Nov. 1 this year.
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