Choctaw Nation Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma http://choctawnation.com/rss/ en-us 40 Mother, daughter team graduate nursing school <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3136/7.26.15_Melinda_Hobbs_original.jpeg" alt='Melinda Hobbs' /><br> <em>Kayla Hobbs Partridge and her mother, Melinda Hobbs, graduate Practical Nursing School.</em><br></p> <h3>Mother, daughter team graduate nursing school</h3> <p><em>By Lisa Reed</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p>Melinda Hobbs started out as a health care provider approximately 26 years ago. At that time, she was a mother of triplets and felt it would be impossible for her to attend any type of training to further her education. However, she knew that she wanted to take care of people. Melinda had always dreamed of being a nurse, but as time passed, her level of confidence continued to drop. During the fall of 2013, she approached Choctaw Nation Career Development for direction and to inquire about funding for CNA training.<br> </p> <p>Once she became a CNA, she went through the Home Health Aid Training in the spring of 2014. During this time her daughter, Kayla Hobbs Partridge, decided she wanted to go through the Licensed Practical Nurse program at Kiamichi Technology Center. She encouraged her mother to go with her and apply.<br></p> <p>The two attended Career Development’s nurse prep workshops and applied at Idabel for the Licensed Practical Nurse program in the spring. They were accepted into the 11-month program which proved to be a very trying time for Melinda. It had been years since she had been in the classroom setting, and because of that, she utilized the tutoring that Career Development provided.<br></p> <p>Finally, this summer, she and her daughter graduated from the Practical Nursing School. This was the first mother and daughter team to attend Idabel KTC Practical Nursing. Melinda is a prime example that with hard work and determination, dreams do come true.<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> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 20:19:19 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/mother-daughter-team-graduate-nursing-school/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/mother-daughter-team-graduate-nursing-school/ Young actor Mayo’s career on the rise <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3083/11783535_536736629815579_1975208851_o_original.jpg" alt='Cody Mayo' /><br> <em>Photo provided by Bjoern Kommerell.</em><br></p> <h3>Young actor Mayo’s career on the rise</h3> <p><em>By Brandon Frye</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Los Angeles, Cali.</strong> - Cody Mayo, a Choctaw Nation member, is living his life-long dream: to be an actor. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma and moving to Los Angeles, his career took off.<br> </p> <p>Most recently, Mayo acted as a guest star alongside veteran actors on TNT&#8217;s television series “Major Crimes,” a police show and spin off to “The Closer.” Mayo’s episode is slated to air on Monday, July 27, at 8 p.m. (C.S.T.).<br></p> <p>Mayo, who grew up in Saginaw, Texas, recalled the support he received as a child from both his parents. His Choctaw heritage came from Dale Mayo, his father, who had spent time with production work, building sets, and designing lights and sound for theatrical shows. His mother, Cathy Green, dabbled in country music performance. Mayo said both his parents supported his dream of becoming an actor and actively encouraged him.<br></p> <p>“My earliest memory would be with my dad who took me to the theater in Fort Worth called Casa Mañana,” Mayo said. “I saw a production there and was hooked immediately.”<br></p> <p>His drive for acting stuck with him through grade school and into high school, when Mayo said he started pursuing acting aggressively and winning awards.<br></p> <p>Mayo was the first in his family to attend university directly after high school. Getting into college was a foreign experience. He said all he knew was he wanted to act. He was drawn to OU for the arts program, the competitive acting school that accepts only 40 people from across the globe each year.<br></p> <p>After graduating, Mayo moved to L.A. He started auditioning right away for several popular television shows. He said they were all big roles.<br></p> <p>In December 2014, Mayo booked his first job, a character named Todd on MTV’s series “Faking It.” Then in 2015 he landed the role of Joe Walker on the NBC pilot “The Curse of the Fuentes Women.”<br></p> <p>His newest casting as a guest star on TNT’s popular series “Major Crimes” is a sign of good things to come.<br></p> <p>“I’m auditioning on a weekly basis for shows you see on TV or movies you see in theaters,” Mayo said. “It’s been a really great experience, and the exciting part is, it’s just the beginning.”<br></p> <p>Mayo says he owes a lot of gratitude to the Choctaw Nation for the support during college, with scholarships. He also expressed an appreciation of Lindy Waters, a Native mentor during his time at OU.<br></p> <p>“I owe a lot to my heritage and spirituality. It developed in me a foundation, the spirit of not giving up,” Mayo said. “I knew once I decided on this career it was going to be a very difficult road. You hear ‘no’ a lot. So I knew I would have to have the ability to rise from the ashes.”<br></p> <p>He said he wants his story to be a source of motivation for adolescents in the Choctaw Nation.<br> </p> <p>“It doesn’t matter where you come from, your circumstances. You can really achieve what you want,” Mayo said. “Don’t let yourself be held back. Discover how your heritage can empower you. Because, when you pursue dreams, you have to be able to rebound and not give up. A lot of this power comes from family and heritage.”<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, 23 Jul 2015 15:19:50 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/young-actor-mayos-career-on-the-rise/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/young-actor-mayos-career-on-the-rise/ Grand Opening of the Grand Theater <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3081/WEB_RESORT_RibbonCutting_original.jpg" alt='Resort Ribbon Cutting' /><br></p> <h3>Celebs add glam to noteworthy event at Choctaw Casino Resort</h3> <p><em>By Charles Clark</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - It’s not unusual to find fun and excitement in the Choctaw Casino. But June 28 saw even more thrills and glitz, as the new Grand Theater was opened with a ribbon cutting at- tended by Chief Gary Batton, Choctaw Nation officials, and one of America’s most legendary rock’n’roll bands, Aerosmith.<br></p> <p>No fewer than 200 people—members of the Choctaw Nation, local dignitaries and the public—were on hand to witness the occasion.<br></p> <p>Chief Batton addressed the turnout noting it was an important and joyous milestone in the long and difficult trail of the Choctaw people. Amid the glee of the occasion, Batton’s comments brought gravitas and a sense of pride in this latest accomplishment of Choctaw enterprise. He also pointed out that the 400 construction workers and now 300 added staff members have brought 700 new employment opportunities to southeast Oklahoma.<br></p> <p>Executive Director of Choctaw Gaming Janie Dillard said, “It’s not over yet,” as she zestfully listed the new features of the facility, which opened along with the Grand Theater.<br><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3082/RESORT_Aerosmith1_original.jpg" align="right" width="250" alt='Resort Aerosmith' /><br></p> <p>Vocalist Steven Tyler, guitarist Joe Perry and other members of Aerosmith were on hand to help those at the ribbon cutting ceremony “Dream On.” Attention shifted in all directions as rock stars, top leaders of the Choctaw Nation, flashing lights of the casino, and the bling of new spa hallways, competed for the eyes and ears of the crowd.<br></p> <p>The three suites and 3,000 seats of the Grand Theater had sold out days in advance for the concert by platinum-recording artists Aerosmith. Barely two weeks into its Blue Army 2015 Tour, Aerosmith wowed cheering head bangers in an energy-filled, 90-minute parade of hit songs that included “Cryin’,” “Rag Doll,” “Jaded,” “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion.”<br> Sounds from their 1970’s wild youth-style, through the MTV video star-years, to the perfecting of their rock classics in stadiums took fans on a journey of nostalgia while demonstrating the lexicon of their influence.<br> <iframe width="300" height="200" align="right" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_KS4io3k3GY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br> Dillard said that acts are booked at the venue through December. Standing in the wings are Kenny Rogers and Wynonna, who are in concert Aug. 6; Three Dog Night and Nazareth, Aug. 8; Boston, Aug. 27; Nickelback, Sept. 4; BJ Thomas and The Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley, Sept. 19; and the “Queen of Country” Loretta Lynn, Oct. 3. The Band Perry, Aretha Franklin and more are scheduled before New Year’s Eve arrives.<br></p> <p>The new Spa Tower offers a luxury experience for those needing a getaway. While staying in a choice of hundreds of rooms and suites, guests may enjoy a hair salon, barbershop, mani-pedi nail care, chemical peels, and state-of-the-art fitness center found in the 25,000-square-foot facility. Robes and sandals are provided for those who enter the co-ed mineral baths area. Water terraces over tiles, into the soaking mineral salts from Savoy, Hungary. And if that doesn’t get you relaxed enough, massages, facials and light refreshments can be ordered up. One example is the naturally refreshing cactus toning wrap and foot revitalizing treatment.<br></p> <p>Business travelers can make use of a new Conference Center. The 14,000-square-foot Magnolia Grand Ballroom has its own kitchen, which can accommodate more than 800 diners. Versatile private suites and 16 fully equipped meeting rooms allow for the needs of any size gathering.<br></p> <p>From bridal parties, couples retreats and business seminars to the casino excitement of world poker tours and today’s favorite musical entertainment, the Choctaw Casino Resort is an oasis in southeast Oklahoma and the Grand Theater rocks.</p> <p>To go: The Choctaw Casino Resort and the Grand Theater are located at 4418 S. Hwy 69/75 in Durant. It is suggested that those interested in attending a particular concert not delay in making reservations. Several of the upcoming shows are nearly sold out. At this writing, for example, fewer than 50 seats remain for Boston. For Box Office information, call (800) 628- 1403 or visit online <a href="https://www.choctawcasinos.com">choctawcasinos.com</a>.<br></p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3080/WEB_RESORT_Art1_original.jpg" alt='Resort Art' /><br></p> <h3>Choctaw artists create original décor<br></h3> <p>Hotels often display art. But it’s usually from mass printings, mundane in nature—just something to break up lengthy walls of taupe.<br></p> <p>Not so at the Choctaw Casino Resort’s new Spa Tower, where original creations by five contemporary Choctaw artists adorn the new expansion.<br></p> <p>A good starting point is always at the beginning. To view the nouveau art at Choctaw Casino Resort, guests need only to approach the registration desk. Five impressive works can be found directly behind check-in.<br></p> <p>Chief Gary Batton is quoted in a brochure on the project: “I am excited to see our Choctaw artists highlighted in the interior design of the Durant resort expansion&#8230; We invite you to visit the art displays and learn of the great heritage and culture of the Choctaw people.”<br></p> <p>More one-of-a-kind pieces can be observed when strolling the hallways from the lobby into the new 25,000-square-foot facility.<br></p> <p><strong>The Artists</strong><br></p> <p><em>DYLAN CAVIN</em> The Norman artist has said he prefers painting over graphic design: “For me, the artwork was and still is my main connection of my heritage&#8230; It forces me to go back and to read and to do research and to go through the history, and to me that connects me more with my past and it comes around that way.”<br></p> <p><em>NORMA HOWARD</em> As a child, the Stigler artist used to go home and draw the toys that her classmates had: “I live the Choctaw life, so I know it’s from within.”<br></p> <p><em>GWEN COLEMAN LESTER</em> Now calling Claremore home, the artist can’t remember a time when she didn’t draw: “I like to put Choctaw language in there whenever I can.”<br></p> <p><em>DG SMALLING</em> The Oklahoma City-based artist travelled the world as a child of missionaries: “Rather than something being an interior design project, the Nation now has for the first time in hundreds of years a definitive body of work to represent what Choctaw Nation is at this point in the 21st century. That’s the importance of this collection, the standard that it establishes for other artists.”<br></p> <p><em>JANIE UMSTED</em> Calling Durant her home, the artist came by it naturally, receiving art instruction from her mother since age 3: “&#8230;This has become a project that I think about all the time. It really has taken over my life in a very good way.”<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, 23 Jul 2015 13:14:12 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/grand-opening-of-the-grand-theater/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/grand-opening-of-the-grand-theater/ Timber trust lawsuit settled <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3079/WEB_TIMBER_Logging1_original.jpg" alt='Timber Lawsuit Arial ' /><br> <em>An example of clear-cutting on former trust lands in the Choctaw Nation. [Photo Provided by Ackerman McQueen]</em><br></p> <h3>Timber trust lawsuit setttled</h3> <p><em>By Zach Maxwell</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - The Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations have settled a decade-old federal lawsuit regarding former tribal trust land, as announced by Chief Gary Batton. Terms of the early July settlement have not been released, pending official approval from both tribal governments.<br></p> <p>A partial settlement was reached in May on a portion of the suit. The settlement was approved by Choctaw Nation Tribal Council at its May meeting, but details were not available due to a non-disclosure clause.<Br></p> <p>At issue was an accounting of the tribal trust lands taken by the U.S. gov- ernment after Choctaw and Chickasaw governments were dissolved more than a century ago. The Nations filed suit against the U.S. government in 2005, seeking that long overdue accounting and an equitable restoration of the trust.<br></p> <p>“I’m very excited that the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, Gov. Bill Anoa-tubby, along with myself, and the U.S. government have agreed to a settlement of the timber trust account case,” said Chief Gary Batton. “This settlement will begin the healing process for many of our tribal members. This is the first time that the federal government and tribal Nations have worked on a settlement of some of these dark pages of history.”<br> </p> <p>Batton said the settlement funds, whose sum remains undisclosed at this time, will be used to improve the lives of Choctaw and Chickasaw tribal members through economic development and social service programs. Many of these programs are new innovations aimed at improving the lives of low-income tribal members.<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, 23 Jul 2015 12:17:28 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/timber-trust-lawsuit-settled/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/timber-trust-lawsuit-settled/ Choctaw Nation receives Beacon Award <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3078/john_al_q_with_award_original.jpg" alt='Beacon Award 2015' /><br> <em>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s Flight Operations pilots John Wesley, Al Cherry, and Quentin McLarry.</em><br></p> <h3>Choctaw Nation receives Beacon Award</h3> <p><em>By Lisa Reed</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Oklahoma City, Okla.</strong> - Eighty missions … more than 97,000 miles … the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s Flight Operations team has spent hundreds of flight hours on journeys to help wounded heroes. Four years ago, the Choctaw Nation joined Veterans Airlift Command (VAC), a nonprofit organization that provides free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families.<br></p> <p>The Choctaw Nation was recognized for its charitable influence on July 16 with a 2015 Beacon Award during a ceremony at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City. It was among five other category winners who were honored for continuing to embody the spirit of giving.<br></p> <p>“People and companies who give of their time and money to nonprofits don’t do it for the recognition. That’s why the Beacon Awards are so important; it’s an opportunity to salute companies who are making a significant difference, allowing and encouraging their employees to become involved in their communities,” said Joni Brooks, president and publisher of the Journal Record.<br></p> <p>“I am so proud of our pilots for showing their heart and compassion for our veterans by assisting them through the Veteran’s Airlift Command,” said Chief Gary Batton. “They go above and beyond the call of duty to help and I am so thankful that the Choctaw Nation and our pilots are able to help those who have served God and country.”<br></p> <p>It’s often nearly impossible for some veterans to travel on commercial airlines because of injuries, PTSD, or many other concerns. Veterans Airlift Command provides a free, low-stress environment for traveling to and from anywhere in the United States for medical and other compassionate services.<br></p> <p>“Giving back to the community is part of the heart and soul of the Choctaw Nation,” said Al Cherry, director of flight operations. “The concern and understanding of Chief Batton and the Tribal Council for the needs of veterans in these situations, and their generosity, are what make it possible for us to make the trips.” Cherry, Quentin McLarry and John Wesley are the Nation’s three flight operations pilots.<br></p> <p>Passengers assisted on the Choctaw Nation’s VAC flights have included an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) victim who lost both legs above the knee, one arm above the wrist, and severe damage to the other arm. The Choctaw Nation flew him and his wife home for the first time since the explosion. Cherry remembers a huge reception waiting for the veteran with Patriot riders, family, friends, and townspeople – a true hero&#8217;s reception. <br></p> <p>Another flight carried a group of six wounded warriors, most who had been injured in different attacks, back to meet their units when their units returned from deployment. They were there for their units, but the town turned out for them.<br></p> <p>The Choctaw Nation uses its business successes as a means to continue the missionary work of helping others. The Nation has participated in hurricane and tsunami relief, has an active Meals on Wheels program, has assisted many communities and churches with needs, and has several programs for boys and girls. Many tribal members and employees donate untold hours in helping build a sense of community.<br></p> <p>“The Choctaw Nation takes a long-term view of its mission. By assisting with these efforts, we are encouraging our young people to grow and become better partners within their communities,” Cherry said. “In turn, they will encourage the next generation to do the same. The end game is that we are better people.”<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> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:01:49 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-receives-beacon-award/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-receives-beacon-award/ President Obama pledges to do better by our ‘first Americans’ <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3076/PresidentObama_Online_original.jpg" alt='President Visit' /><br> <em>President Obama pledges to do better by our ‘first Americans’ community center on March 4.</em></p> <h3>President visits Choctaw Nation to unveil new program and meet with Choctaw youth</h3> <p><em>By Ronni Pierce</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p>Chief Gary Batton, the Choctaw Nation, and the city of Durant were host to a historic event on July 15. Tribal youth and elders were invited to join the Chief, Council, and community members to hear first-hand as President Barack Obama announced a new initiative that will ensure digital opportunities for all Americans. ConnectHome will expand high-speed broadband Internet services to families in the Choctaw Nation and 27 other communities across the country.<br></p> <p>After taking the stage and shouting out an enthusiastic “Halito!” to nearly 1,000 people gathered in the Durant High School, the president thanked Chief Batton and the other tribal leaders for their attendance. The president acknowledged the fact that some American communities “have been neglected and fallen behind. And as part of that, I said we’re going to do better by our first Americans.<br></p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YecINneNkac" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <p>“Now, we can’t reverse centuries of history—broken treaties, broken promises. But I did believe that we could come together as partners and forge a new path based on trust and respect.”<br></p> <p>He spoke of naming the Choctaw Nation as one of America’s first Promise Zones a little over a year ago. The Promise Zone areas are where the federal government teams with local communities and businesses to create economic development and to jump-start job creation, expand educational opportunities, increase affordable housing, and improve public safety.<br></p> <p>The ConnectHome initiative will take the Promise Zone designation even further.ConnectHome will use partnerships to bring broadband, technical assistance, and digital literacy training to students living in public and assisted housing across America, according to the White House.<br></p> <p>Chief Batton said, “The ConnectHome initiative is about helping our people who are in poverty-stricken areas, to help them gain access to broadband Internet because so many of our tribal members do not have access to the world like everyone else does. And so in our low-income housing and in our elderly living sites that’s what this is going to be about—to help them get an education and to find employment. “The ConnectHome initiative will link our homes to a world beyond southeastern Oklahoma, and tie our lives to greater opportunities.”<br></p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KpDSEqvA7zM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <p>The president and HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced 27 cities and the Choctaw Nation will participate in ConnectHome.<br></p> <p>The communities were selected through a competitive process that took into account local commitment to expanding broadband opportunities.<br></p> <p>Prior to the event, President Obama and Chief Batton met with a group of Native youth and discussed the recent White House Tribal Youth Gathering and opportunities for young Native boys and girls. The president called out to 16-year-old Kelsey Janway in the audience. Janway is a member of the Choctaw Youth Council who represented the Choctaw Nation at the White House. President Obama made note that her family could only get phone reception at their home in Heavener if they stood on a certain rock. She laughingly agreed and many of the audience who were from rural areas were nodding their heads in understanding. The president emphasized that kids like Kelsey have big dreams, that we need to invest in those dreams through advancing technology in rural and low-income areas. He said, “When we make those commitments to all of our children, the great thing about it is the blessings are returned back to us—because you end up having a workforce that is better educated, which means suddenly companies want to locate, which means businesses start booming, which means businesses start hiring, which means everybody does better.”<br></p> <p>This is only the second Native American community President Obama has visited during his term in office. In June 2014 the president visited the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation in North Dakota. And this is only the second time a sitting president has visited this community. President Theodore Roosevelt passed through Durant during a whistle stop tour on his way to San Antonio in 1905. President Obama’s visit last week is the first time a current president has made an official visit to our tribal nation.<br> </p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HgCJZsq1fMU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <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> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 22:25:47 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/president-obama-pledges-to-do-better-by-our-first-americans/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/president-obama-pledges-to-do-better-by-our-first-americans/ Choctaw to continue baseball career at Hillsdale College <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3070/WEB_SpencerTidwellCOLOR_original.jpg" alt='Spencer Tidwell' /><br> <em>Spencer Tidwell, Durant High School, shows his Hillsdale College cap after signing a letter of intent to play baseball for the Saints.</em><br></p> <h3>Choctaw to continue baseball career at Hillsdale College</h3> <p><em>By Zach Maxwell</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - Spencer Tidwell of Durant will continue his baseball playing days at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College.<br></p> <p>Tidwell, a Durant High School graduate, played shortstop for the Lions. He was also a member of the football squad at Durant. He signed a letter of intent to play for the Saints at a ceremony in May at his high school.<br></p> <p>Parents Tina Vaughn and Shelby Tidwell, as well as little brother Skyler Tidwell, joined coaches and teammates at the ceremony.<br></p> <p>“It’s just a blessing,” Tidwell said. “This opportunity to go to the next level is something I’ve wanted since I was a little kid.”<br></p> <p>Durant had three athletes sign collegiate letters of intent at the ceremony, including cheerleader Brooke Podany (OBU) and soccer player Breanna Cedillo (MSC).<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> Mon, 13 Jul 2015 14:08:03 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-to-continue-baseball-career-at-hillsdale-college/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-to-continue-baseball-career-at-hillsdale-college/ President Obama to visit the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma <h3>President Obama to visit the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma</h3> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - On Wednesday, July 15th, the President will travel to Durant, Oklahoma, where he will visit the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and deliver remarks on expanding economic opportunity&#8230;.Further details regarding the President&#8217;s travel to Oklahoma will be available in the coming days.<br></p> <p><strong>Outside Links</strong><br> <a href="http://kfor.com/2015/07/10/president-obama-coming-to-oklahoma-next-week/">http://kfor.com/2015/07/10/president-obama-coming-to-oklahoma-next-week/</a><br> <a href="http://www.ktul.com/story/29520562/president-obama-to-visit-oklahoma-wednesday">http://www.ktul.com/story/29520562/president-obama-to-visit-oklahoma-wednesday</a><br> <a href="http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/state/president-obama-heading-to-oklahoma-next-week/article_64636ecf-ef75-502c-8a11-e55e720bda10.html">http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/state/president-obama-heading-to-oklahoma-next-week/article_64636ecf-ef75-502c-8a11-e55e720bda10.html</a><br> <a href="http://newsok.com/president-obama-heading-to-oklahoma-next-week/article/5432912/?page=2">http://newsok.com/president-obama-heading-to-oklahoma-next-week/article/5432912/?page=2</a><br></p> <p><strong>This post will be updated with relevant information</strong><br></p> <p><em>Last edit 7/10/15 at 2:20PM</em><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> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 19:20:33 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/president-obama-to-visit-the-choctaw-nation-of-oklahoma/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/president-obama-to-visit-the-choctaw-nation-of-oklahoma/ Choctaw Nation and Indian Health Services partner on regional health clinic in Durant <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3060/Durant_Clinic_Groun_1B71CF9_original.jpg" alt='Durant Clinic Groundbreaking' /><br></p> <h3>Choctaw Nation and Indian Health Services partner on regional health clinic in Durant</h3> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> – A ground breaking ceremony was held July 6 to celebrate a Joint Venture between the Choctaw Nation and Indian Health Services (IHS) to construct and operate a regional health clinic in Durant.<br></p> <p>The medical campus will include a 143,000-sq.-ft. clinic, 17,000-sq.-ft. administration building, and an 11,000-sq.-ft. facilities building to be located north of the Choctaw Nation Community Center and Child Development Center off Big Lots Road.<br></p> <p>The medical campus will be adjacent to a new tribal headquarters building on which construction is expected to begin this fall.<br> </p> <p>The investment is for the tribal people, said Chief Gary Batton. “It’s to create a better way of life and to create jobs. It’s about making sure their life is longer.” He recognized the Tribal Council and the many individuals who worked diligently to make this possible.<br></p> <p>Joint Ventures between tribes and IHS are very competitive. There were 36 applications from across the country for a Joint Venture this year. The Choctaw Nation was one of three to be selected to participate.<br></p> <p>RADM Kevin Meeks, IHS Area Director for the Oklahoma City Area, described the partnership, explaining the Choctaw Nation provides funding for construction of the facility and IHS works with Congress to obtain funding for staffing to operate the facility.<br><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3061/WEB_DUR_ClinicRendering1-1_original.jpg" align="right" width="250" alt='Durant Clinic Render' /></p> <p>“I commend the Choctaw Nation for your commitment, for your investment in the health care of Native American patients,” said RADM Meeks. “The real reason we are here is because of the commitment to improve the health of our patients who utilize the Indian Health Care system in the Choctaw Nation.”<br></p> <p>Choctaw Nation Health Senior Executive Officer Teresa Jackson said this is the first tribal IHS program to have an outpatient ambulatory surgery clinic. Other services will also include primary care, dental, pediatrics, a lab, diabetes care, community health nurses, optometry, radiology services (including MRI, CT, bone density, mammography, ultrasound, fluoroscopy and x-ray), pharmacy, behavioral health, physical therapy, and numerous specialty care services.<br> </p> <p>Construction of the health center is expected to be complete in January 2017.<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, 08 Jul 2015 15:16:10 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-and-indian-health-services-partner-on-regional-health-clinic-in-durant/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-and-indian-health-services-partner-on-regional-health-clinic-in-durant/ Choctaw Nation Health Clinic Opens in Poteau <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3057/DSC_0068_original.JPG" alt='Rubin White Ribbon Cutting' /><br> <em>Surrounded by local dignitaries and clinic physicians and staff, Chief Gary Batton cuts a ribbon symbolizing the grand opening of the Ruben White Health Clinic in Poteau, OK.</em><br></p> <h3>Choctaw Nation Health Clinic Opens in Poteau</h3> <p><em>By Brandon Frye</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Poteau, Okla.</strong> - Chief Gary Batton cut through a red ribbon July 2, 2015 at 10 a.m., symbolizing the opening of an extensive expansion to the Ruben White Health Clinic in Poteau.<br></p> <p>Dignitaries including Poteau Mayor Jeff Shockley, Poteau city council members Jimmy Holstead and Tommy Robinson, and District 4 royalty Junior Miss Jase Cassey and Little Miss Gracie Mattox, attended the ribbon cutting.<br></p> <p>Representatives from Manhattan Group Construction, which built the new facility, were also present alongside the physicians and staff of the clinic.<br></p> <p>Teresa Jackson, Senior Executive Officer for Choctaw Health Services, said this expansion was needed in Poteau because it will provide many of the services found at the hospital in Talihina to locals, without their having to make a longer drive.<br></p> <p>&#8220;This is for you, our tribal members,&#8221; Chief Gary Batton said. &#8220;We want to provide the best health care to our members. We want to improve health so you can have long life, that&#8217;s what it&#8217;s all about.&#8221;<br></p> <p>According to Todd Hallmark, Executive Director of Health Operations, the health clinic was already offering services such as a family practice, pediatrics, and pharmacy prescription refills but the expansion has made more services available.<br></p> <p>These new services include an employee clinic, offering emergency health care to employees, their spouses, and their children. This new employee clinic will draw in workers from the travel plazas, casinos, recycling center, and everyone else working for the Choctaw Nation in and around Poteau.<br></p> <p>New also is the optometry office, which will provide two optometrists for tribal members.<br><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/3058/DSC_0091_original.JPG" align="right" width="250" alt='Jessica Vaughn ' /></p> <p>A physical therapy program is now housed at the back of the expansion. Included in the rehabilitation equipment is a physical therapy pool with a treadmill and current-based resistance—a first for the tribe.<br></p> <p>Behavioral health was expanded and will now offer more counselors to tribal members.<br></p> <p>Open for recreational use, as well as rehabilitation, are the new wellness center and half-court basketball gym. Treadmills, free weights, and other workout machines are now available.<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, 02 Jul 2015 19:40:22 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-health-clinic-opens-in-poteau/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-health-clinic-opens-in-poteau/