Choctaw Nation Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma http://choctawnation.com/rss/ en-us 40 Choctaw Defense in seventh year of production for MTVR trailers <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2383/CDefenseJustinYerby_original.jpg" alt='Choctaw Defense Justin' /><br> <em>Choctaw Defense employee Justin Yearby in front of MTVR trailers. (Photo courtesy Choctaw Defense)</em></p> <h3>Renewal of Marine trailer contract announced</h3> <p><em>By ZACH MAXWELL</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</em><br></p> <p><strong>McALESTER, Okla.</strong> – Choctaw Defense has announced a $15 million contract renewal for Marine Tactical Vehicle Replacement Trailers.<br></p> <p>“This is a continuation of a contract we’ve had for seven years,” said Stephen Benefield, President and CEO of Choctaw Defense. “We expect to be in the contract for several more years.”<br></p> <p>The MTVR Trailer, is the most capable off road trailer in the Marines Corps fleet. It is designed to work under extreme off road conditions matching the capability of the MTVR Prime Mover tow vehicle. This next generation trailer will replace the current fleet of trailers not capable of handling the demands of the newest generation of combat vehicles and is designed and manufactured at Choctaw Defense facilities in McAlester and Hugo. Choctaw Defense has approximately 150 employees in both locations combined.<br></p> <p>The MTVR is one of several tactical vehicle contracts awarded to Choctaw Defense. They have also partnered with the U.S. Navy “Seabees,” the combat construction division of the Navy, to convert certain trucks into “field service units.”<br></p> <p>The first of 12 units were delivered this year. Choctaw Defense crews outfit the trucks to include onboard generators and in-the-field fluid replacement capability for heavy equipment such as cranes and dozers.<br></p> <p>Choctaw Defense is a subsidiary of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.<br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:02:44 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-defense-in-seventh-year-of-production-for-mtvr-trailers/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-defense-in-seventh-year-of-production-for-mtvr-trailers/ Choctaws discover Civil War vets <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2382/BF_TecumsehKingMonument_original.jpg" alt='King Monument' /><br> <em>Historic preservation workers install the headstone of Tecumseh King at the King Cemetery near Kinta, OK.</em></p> <h3>Gravesites of vets discovered in King Cemetery near Kinta.</h3> <p><em>By BRANDON FRYE</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</em><br></p> <p><strong>DURANT, Okla.</strong> – Choctaw Nation Historic Preservation employees worked for two months to prepare for the May 24 ceremony honoring two full-blood Choctaw Civil War confederate soldiers at their discovered gravesites in King Cemetery near Kinta.<br></p> <p>“I was doing family research and discovered the cemetery,” Karrie Shannon, Choctaw Nation employee in McAlester, said. “In November, I made a trip to Kinta, Oklahoma to locate the King Cemetery. I found the cemetery unmaintained and abandoned. No one might have entered there for 121 years, it was so thick you had a hard time making your way through the area.”<br></p> <p>Private Henry Cooper and 2nd Lieutenant Jerry Riddle received military government issued headstones and were honored during the cemetery dedication in May. Both were descendents of Chief Mosholatubbee, who had seven sons with the surname King and one daughter surnamed Cooper.<br></p> <p>Skyler Robinson, Cemetery Restoration Coordinator with Historic Preservation, said his crew works to preserve and protect abandoned Choctaw cemeteries like King Cemetery. “It was in really bad shape, thick with briars and bushes,” Robinson said. “We went in and cleaned it up, put a new fence around it with a gate, and then placed a couple of headstones.”<br></p> <p>District 5 Tribal Council Member Ron Perry was in attendance and spoke to dedicate King Cemetery during the event. Gene Arpelar said the prayer and blessing. The Choctaw Nation Color Guard sent members, led by Herbert Jessie, to give the 21-gun salute and play Taps. The Color Guard, while honoring the veterans, also showed gratitude to their relatives. “We were there to do the honors,” Harlan Wright, Color Guard member, said. “They folded a flag and presented it to the next of kin.”<br></p> <p>Karrie Shannon and Cheryl Stone-Pitchford, King descendants, were there to receive the flag. Stone-Pitchford, who had also researched Choctaw genealogy, aided Shannon in uncovering King Cemetery. She said it was a very sacred moment; everyone was there to remember and honor the cemetery and its buried that were too long forgotten.<br></p> <p>“When it became apparent who was buried there, it became a real significance in our family. I also believe it is significant to the Choctaw Nation and history overall,” Stone-Pitchford said.<br></p> <p>Dena Cantrell, also a King descendant in attendance at the ceremony, said she appreciated the genealogical research that had been done and how it was bringing the family history together. “Learning and knowing we are descendents of ancestors who played a great part in the history of the Choctaw Nation and the United States… is very gratifying,” she said.<br></p> <p>There are approximately 50 gravesites at King Cemetery. Some were identified by grave depressions, bases of headstones or bases of footstones. There are a handful of existing headstones still standing. Approximately 15 out of 50 buried individuals have been identified. Two of Chief Mosholatubbee’s children are buried in the cemetery, and five military veterans.<br></p> <p>Shannon is working to obtain military monuments for all five veterans within the cemetery. She received the monument for the grave of Tecumseh King, youngest son of Chief Mosholatubbee, on July 21. “There’s a lot of Choctaws in that cemetery,” Shannon said. “We’ve got to remember our Choctaw soldiers and what they have done for us. And if we can do anything to give back to them, that’s what this is all about. It’s for them.”<br></p> <p>Robinson, with Historic Preservation, said his department gets calls informing them of abandoned Choctaw cemeteries periodically, occasionally multiple within one week. He said if anyone knows of an abandoned Choctaw cemetery, it would be appreciated if the individual calls (580) 924-8280 ext. 2236. Additionally, Shannon offered to aid anyone researching family genealogy and can be contacted at n13113jme@yahoo.com.<br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:52:20 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaws-discover-civil-war-vets/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaws-discover-civil-war-vets/ Jones Academy extends application deadlines <h3>Fall semester 2014 applications are still being accepted at the Jones Academy through September 21.</h3> <p><em>By STEPHENIE OCHOA</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</em></p> <p><strong>DURANT, Okla.</strong> – The Jones Academy in Hartshorne will be accepting applications for the 2014 Fall semester until September 21. The academy encourages interested individuals to tour the facilities and understand the many program benefits offered to students.<br></p> <p>Jones has openings in grades 1-12 with tuition, travel, and services free for families. In addition to traditional grade level students, students also receive tutorial assistance, rewards for academic achievement, medical and counseling services, cultural and traditional activities, recreational activities, educational trips and agricultural learning opportunities.<br></p> <p>For high school students, Jones offers unique assistance with career counseling, college and post-secondary preparation, as well as vocational training opportunities. Graduation expenses are paid by the academy and students may have additional opportunities for scholarships.<br></p> <p>For applications, tours or additional information, please contact toll free (888) 767-2518 or visit the Jones Academy online at <a href="http://www.jonesacademy.org">Jones Academy</a>. Additional information requests can also be sent to: Jones Academy HCR 74 Box 102-5, Hartshorne, OK 74547.<br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:48:01 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/jones-academy-extends-application-deadlines/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/jones-academy-extends-application-deadlines/ Unknown Choctaw ancestor honored in burial ceremony <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2381/repatriationMississippi_original.jpg" alt='Repatriation' /><br> <em>Collaborating staff members for the reburial were left to right:</em><br> <em>Historic Preservation Senior Section 106 Reviewer Lindsey Bilyeu, Historic Preservation Section 106 Reviewer Daniel Ragle, Cultural Preservation Executive Director Sue Folsom, Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr., USACE Environmental Section Team Leader Chris Koeppel, USACE District Archaeologist and Tribal Liaison Sarah Koeppel, Director of Historic Preservation and Tribal Archaeologist Dr. Ian Thompson, Senior Heritage Resource Technician and Tribal Chaplain Olin Williams and Chief Gary Batton.</em></p> <h3>Choctaw Nation, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers partner together in tribal repatriation and reburial</h3> <p><em>By STEPHENIE OCHOA</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</em><br></p> <p><strong>DURANT, Okla.</strong> – Members of the Choctaw Nation recently journeyed to Mississippi to conduct a repatriation and reburial of an unknown Choctaw ancestor. The Choctaw Nation worked with, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to ensure possession as well as a protected burial for the individual.<br></p> <p>Chief Gary Batton, Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr., Cultural Preservation Executive Director Sue Folsom, Director of the Choctaw Nation Historic Preservation Department and Tribal Archaeologist, Dr. Ian Thompson, Historic Preservation Senior Section 106 Reviewer Lindsey Bilyeu, Historic Preservation Section 106 Reviewer Daniel Ragle, Tribal Chaplain Olin Williams and Nation staff member Sheila Kirven, were present for assistance with the acceptance of remains and burial ceremony.<br></p> <p>Although the identity of the deceased individual is without identification, Thompson explained, “The remains came from an individual who lived in what is now western Mississippi before European contact. He or she did not call themselves Choctaw, but was nonetheless ancestral to today’s Choctaw people, through subsequent mixing of his or her descendants with Choctaw communities. Through this mixing, this person’s genes and culture live on in the Choctaw community today.”<br></p> <p>Kirven stated that while on site, “I couldn’t help but wonder if the remains could even have been one of my ancestors. I often think about my Choctaw ancestors from Mississippi. I wonder about their lives and how the removal affected them. I wonder how they lived; think about their heartaches, about the things that made them happy and even the simple things of life that were taken from them. I always wish that I could know more. As I stood at the grave that day, I couldn’t help but wonder if that could have been one of my people. And then I realized that this person was because the Choctaw people are one family.”<br></p> <p>For additional information about historic preservation, Choctaw repatriation, cultural preservation and the Choctaw Nation, visit <a href="http://www.choctawnation.com">Choctaw Nation</a>. More about the Mississippi Repatriation of a Choctaw Ancestor in the September Biskinik issue.<br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:38:44 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/unknown-choctaw-ancestor-honored-in-burial-ceremony/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/unknown-choctaw-ancestor-honored-in-burial-ceremony/ Choctaw Defense responds to changing times <h3>New focus on engineering and civilian contracts helping create and retain jobs</h3> <p><em>By ZACH MAXWELL</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</em><br></p> <p><strong>McALESTER, Okla.</strong> – Choctaw Defense is expanding its capabilities by seeking and fulfilling contracts for engineering, building and remodeling structures.<br> As the U.S. war machine slowly returns home following a decade of action in the Middle East, support service providers such as Choctaw Defense are diversifying their portfolios to include civilian enterprises.<br> “You’ve got to be entrepreneurial,” said Stephen Benefield, President and CEO of Choctaw Defense. “What we’ve got to do as the Choctaw Nation is build more sustainable businesses.”<br></p> <p>There are numerous recent examples of Choctaw Defense moving into civilian contracts and other opportunities. The recently acquired company Architects in Partnerships Enterprises, a Moore-based “design-build” firm adds a commercial design and construction capabilities to the Choctaw Defense portfolio.<br></p> <p>“We’re off to a rip-roaring start,” Benefield says, explaining that the company has already grown to over $4 million under contract currently, with the latest being a new contract with the Federal Aviation Administration to refurbish aircraft hangars at the FAA Center in Oklahoma City.<br> Another job will take Choctaw Defense to an FAA project at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport while yet another has them designing and building a $1 million elder living center in Stigler for the Choctaw Nation.<br> “This is the product of the dedication of a lot of hard-working, smart people,” Benefield said. “All of the profits from Choctaw Defense go right back into the tribe.”<br></p> <p>Choctaw Defense also recently took over the contracts of a Tulsa-based information technology firm, hiring all 35 people from the firm with the expectation of rapidly expanding the “structured cabling” business. One of its first projects is providing all the security, communication, and computer cabling at the Tulsa International Airport ongoing remodeling effort, but the project “has the potential to expand into some very large operations.” Benefield said Choctaw Defense has set its sights on a $300 million contract with the Air Force to provide a variety of maintenance-level services at military installations. The winner of that contract should be announced later this year. Choctaw Defense is a business totally owned by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.<br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:22:55 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-defense-responds-to-changing-times/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-defense-responds-to-changing-times/ VA, Choctaw Nation hosting veterans summit Aug. 27-28 <h3>Two-day event is free to all veterans and will be held at Choctaw Resort</h3> <p><em>By ZACH MAXWELL</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</em><br></p> <p><strong>DURANT, Okla.</strong> – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is hosting the Southern Plains Region Veterans Training Summit at the Choctaw Nation Hotel and Casino resort this Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 27-28.<br></p> <p>All veterans, anyone who has ever served in the military in any capacity, are welcomed and encouraged to attend. This event will teach attendees about available grants, give updates on services and benefits, offer employment training and bring veterans in contact with agencies aimed at offering services.<br></p> <p>The summit will have a distinctively Choctaw flavor, but is open to all U.S. veterans regardless of race, age, economic status and service branch. The summit is free, no pre-registration is necessary and it is open to residents of Oklahoma, Texas and all other states.<br></p> <p>Cooperating agencies which will be on hand to provide information to veterans include: Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Social Security Administration, Small Business Administration (SBA) and tribal programs for Native American veterans.<br></p> <p>The summit will open at 8 a.m. Wednesday in the Choctaw Ballroom of the South Casino with opening ceremonies hosted by the Choctaw Nation. Opening remarks are scheduled by Gen. Rita Aragon (Ret.), State Rep. Seneca Scott and Jacque Hensley, tribal liaison to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.<br></p> <p>Wednesday sessions will be held on VA medical collaboration with the Indian Health Service, Veteran’s employment, Veterans Upward Bound program, the VA Home Loan Program and benefits.<br></p> <p>Thursday sessions, beginning at 8 a.m., will focus on the veterans homeless program, family support services, Veterans Justice Outreach, SSA, SBA and health issues. Mary Culley, regional specialist for the VA Office of Tribal Government Relations, will offer closing remarks at 1 p.m.<br></p> <p>For more information about the Southern Plains Region Veterans Training Summit, call Mrs. Culley at (405) 626-3426.<br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:19:10 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/va-choctaw-nation-hosting-veterans-summit-aug-27-28/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/va-choctaw-nation-hosting-veterans-summit-aug-27-28/ Campers learn to "Make a Change" for the better <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2374/Raccoon_original.jpeg" alt='Raccoon' /><br> <em>A young raccoon frolics with a camper during a visit from Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation staff at the Make A Change Summer Youth Camp at Jones Academy.</em><br> </p> <h3>Choctaw Nation, Jones Academy host 90 children at three day event</h3> <p><em>By ZACH MAXWELL</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</em><br></p> <p><strong>DURANT, Okla.</strong> – Ninety children attended the second year of Make A Change Summer Youth Camp held at Jones Academy hosted by the Choctaw Nation.<br></p> <p>This represents an increase in participation over the inaugural 2013 event in which 80 children took part. The camp is a new take on the summer retreat concept focusing on culture, fitness, nutrition, and self-respect.<br></p> <p>“We just wanted to give the kids a positive outlook on life, give them some confidence and social skills. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since working at the Choctaw Nation,” said Raina Sparks, coordinator of the youth camp. “A lot of these kids have never been away from home until they come here. We have different grants that help cover it.”<br></p> <p>Unlike most other Choctaw Nation youth camps, Make A Change was open to all children between ages 8-12 living within tribal boundaries. Participation was made available on a first-come, first-serve basis advertised through the public schools.<br></p> <p>World record holder and Native American inspirational speaker Brian Jackson addressed the group and helped the children set a record for paper football making. “I want to teach you to hold onto something you love to do – and never let that go,” Jackson said to the children. “Impossible situations will come at you in all shapes and sizes. When we get a second chance handed to us, what we do with that second chance is completely up to us.”<br></p> <p>Participants were treated to a variety of events and activities over the two-and-a-half day camp. Choctaw culture was on full display with Dr. Ian Thompson showing kids how to make flint arrowheads, as well as native beadwork.<br></p> <p>Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation staff member Dalton Lyons brought live animals to teach the children about nature. Indoor and outdoor physical activities included tug-of-war, taekwondo, and a nighttime, one-mile glow-run.<br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:09:55 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/campers-learn-to-make-a-change-for-the-better/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/campers-learn-to-make-a-change-for-the-better/ Choctaw artist showcases culture in works <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2373/Carole_Ayers_original.jpeg" alt='Carole Ayers' /><br> <em>Carole Ayers shows art enthusiasts one of her recent watercolor paintings depicting a horse, a subject she wishes to produce more art with in the future. Her art was spotlighted during July’s Meet the Artist Event. (Photo by BRANDON FRYE)</em><br></p> <h3>Carole Ayers July’s Choctaw Nation sponsored “Meet the Artist”.</h3> <p><em>By BRANDON FRYE</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</em><br></p> <p><strong>DURANT, Okla.</strong> – “It has a picture of several generations of women and they are passing on things to the next generation,” Choctaw artist Carole Ayers said, explaining “The Thread of Life,” one of her watercolor paintings. “There are four women in the picture, but they are all connected by the umbilical cord, which I call the thread of life. They are passing on the spirit of the earth, the hope of the future.”<br></p> <p>A young girl watched attentively as Ayers reached over to help her paint a small watercolor during Meet the Artist on July 18. A red cloth, in sharp contrast to the purples and greens of the girl’s painting, covered the table they worked on. A palette of paint, a cup of colorful water, and assorted brushes rested at arms reach in wait to aid the two. Once finished, the girl held the painting up to her mother and received praise for her work.<br></p> <p>Ayers, who is also the president of the Durant Senior Community Center, was a featured artist for Meet the Artist, a monthly event managed by the Choctaw Nation Marketing Department aimed at giving exposure to Choctaw artists and culture. These events are held at the Choctaw Welcome Center in Colbert, which displays cultural items, pieces of art, and handcrafted gifts for travelers interested in Choctaw culture.<br></p> <p>“We had people from all over this time,” Carolyn Cross, Manager of the Choctaw Welcome Center, said. “After it was posted online, some people drove all the way out.” Ayers has had art booths set up at different art shows, including at the Choctaw Labor Day Festival, Red Earth, Haskell Indian Art Market, Tulsa Indian Art Market, the Chickasaw Festival, among others. She said she sees her art less as business and more as sharing her culture and preserving it for future generations. “After I retired from my nursing job—I worked 35 years as a nurse—my husband asked me what I wanted to do with my time and I said I’d like to study my heritage more and do more painting,” Ayers said. “He got me a very nice camera. I went to Red Earth and took my camera and become fascinated with the dancers and the colors and the music.”<br></p> <p>Soon, Ayers began painting the photographs she took while at cultural gatherings. She said she preferred to work in watercolors, and preferred to work with people as her subjects. “There is a special thing to water coloring, you have to look at the light, and you have to leave the light. Once you put paint on it, you can’t go back,” she said. “For me, one of the main things was, I discovered that I like to do pictures of people. It’s almost as if the face in the paper comes out, the personality of that person comes out of the paper.” “This little girl…” Ayers said, beginning a story. “I was in my booth one day and a lady came in and had her child stand there and look in the same direction as the painting. She was a dead ringer for my picture. I had never seen anything like that.”<br></p> <p>Verree Shaw, Marketing Director for the Choctaw Nation, said there are currently 285 Choctaw artists like Carole Ayers registered with the nation, and they aim to reach 1,000 artists. “The artists are invited to cultural meetings and meet-the-artist events at the Choctaw Welcome Center. And we are striving to have Choctaw artist bazaars four times a year,&#8221; Shaw said.<br></p> <p>Shaw also said, through the events, with marketing plans, everyone who loves both traditional and contemporary Choctaw culture should have the capability of getting in contact with the artists and their artwork. Additionally, art lovers can view the artists on display at <a href="http://www.choctawstore.com">Choctaw Store</a>.<br></p> <p>Ayers said, with her art, she hopes “people get a sense of the history of our culture, and it will make them think about where they are today, and what they want to preserve of their past and their ancestors.”<br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --> </p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:03:33 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-artist-showcases-culture-in-works/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-artist-showcases-culture-in-works/ Choctaw Nation receives Innovation Award from REI <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2372/REI_Award_original.jpeg" alt='REI Award' /><br> <em>Minority Business Development Agency Project Director, James Ray, Executive Director of Tribal Policy, Brian McClain, and REI Oklahoma President and CEO, Scott Dewald.</em><br> </p> <h3>Choctaw Nation receives Innovation Award from REI</h3> <p><em>By STEPHENIE OCHOA</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</em><br></p> <p><strong>DURANT, Okla.</strong> – The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was given the “Innovation Award” during the Oklahoma Minority Enterprise Development (MED) banquet coordinated by the REI Native American Business Centers.<br></p> <p>REI Native American Business Centers deliver technical assistance and training programs in an effort to build successful Native American and minority-owned businesses. Companies utilizing the Centers receive specialized assistance with bids, contracting and procurement opportunities, training and business counseling, access to capital, and more.<br></p> <p>With the recent nomination of the Promise Zone, the Choctaw Nation is expected to be an even bigger part of the growth of new businesses and services throughout the southeastern Oklahoma areas. As an incubator for many minority owned small businesses, utilizing its servant leadership role, business growth is anticipated.<br></p> <p>James Ray, Minority Business Development Agency Project Director said, “The progressive work of the Choctaw Nation continues to open the doors of development within the communities its people live.”<br></p> <p>For additional information about the Choctaw Nation and business development, visit the <a href="http://www.choctawnation.com">Choctaw Nation.</a><br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:58:30 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-receives-innovation-award-from-rei/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-receives-innovation-award-from-rei/ Choctaw Nation Community Health Nurses offer vaccines at annual festival <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2371/Health_Care_Van_original.png" alt='Health Care Van' /><br> <em>Choctaw Nation Community Health Caring Van.</em><br></p> <h3>Choctaw Nation educates and assists public with Tdap and Pneumovax vaccines</h3> <p><em>By Kelly Adams, RN/CHN Director</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</em><br></p> <p><strong>DURANT, Okla.</strong> – Most people don’t know the details when it comes to vaccines, but this year, the Choctaw Nation hopes to educate and vaccinate the public about Tdap (a combined vaccine aimed to immunize against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough) and Pneumovax (immunization for the prevention of the streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria).<br> </p> <p>Along with the facts, the Choctaw Nation Community Health Nurses will offer both vaccines from the Caring Van located behind the Healthy Living Tent at the Tushka Homma Capital grounds. Vaccines are free to the public.<br></p> <p>Here’s what the public can learn about from the Choctaw Nation Nurses:<br></p> <p><strong>What is Whooping Cough and Tdap?</strong> <br> Whooping cough—or pertussis—is a very serious respiratory (in the lungs and breathing tubes) infection caused by the pertussis bacteria. It causes violent coughing you can’t stop. Whooping cough is most harmful for young babies and can be deadly.<br></p> <p>Everyone around a baby needs a whooping cough vaccine Anyone who comes in close contact with a baby, from older siblings and cousins to grandparents and caregivers, should be up to date with whooping cough vaccination. CDC recommends only one dose of Tdap for most people 11 years and older. Currently, the only group that CDC recommends get more than one dose of this vaccine is pregnant women, who should get the vaccine each time they are pregnant.<br></p> <p>The recommended time to get Tdap is at 11 or 12 years of age. Teens who didn&#8217;t get Tdap as a preteen should get one dose the next time they visit their doctor. CDC recommends that all adults 19 years of age and older who didn&#8217;t get Tdap as a preteen or teen should also get one dose of Tdap.<br></p> <p>If you aren’t up to date with Tdap vaccine, getting vaccinated at least two weeks before coming into close contact with a baby is especially important. These two weeks give your body enough time to build up protection against whooping cough. You can get Tdap no matter when you got your last tetanus shot.<br></p> <p><strong>Who needs Pneumovax?</strong> Pneumococcal disease is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria and it is a leading cause of vaccine preventable illness and death in the United States.<br></p> <p>Although anyone can get pneumococcal disease, some people are at greater risk than others: Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria, including those most likely to cause serious disease.<br> • People 65 years and older<br> • Smokers<br> • People with certain health problems (i.e., heart or lung disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, asthma, alcoholism, cirrhosis)<br> • People with a weakened immune system<br> • HIV/AIDS<br> Pneumococcal disease can lead to serious infections of the:<br> • Lungs (pneumonia),<br> • Blood (bacteremia), and<br> • Covering of the brain (meningitis).<br></p> <p>Pneumococcal pneumonia kills about 1 out of 20 people who get it. Bacteremia kills about 1 person in 5, and meningitis about 3 people in 10. For further information, you may contact Kelly Adams, RN/CHN Director at 580-584-6697 ext. 33008.<br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:51:46 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-community-health-nurses-offer-vaccines-at-annual-festival/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-community-health-nurses-offer-vaccines-at-annual-festival/