Choctaw Nation Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma en-us 40 Youth Summer Camp 2016 Application available <p><a href="">Camp Application</a></p> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:56:37 GMT 9th Annual Career Expo brings 'Dream to Achieve' to Expo Center <p>For more information please contact:<br> Kelli Ostman, Marketing Coordinator, Career Development <br> Phone: 580-920-2260 Fax: 580-920-1514<br></p> <p>9TH ANNUAL CAREER EXPO BRINGS ‘DREAM TO ACHIEVE’ TO EXPO CENTER<br></p> <p>“Dream to Achieve!” is the theme for the 9th Annual Career Expo. This year’s baseball-themed event will be held at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Career Expo creates an opportunity for job seekers and students to connect with employers and college or training facility representatives at more than 140 booth spaces. There will be something for everyone at the Career Expo!<br><br> The guest speaker will be Dr. Rick Rigsby. A college professor for two decades, Rick spent most of those years at Texas A&amp;M University where he also served as character coach and chaplain for the Aggies football team.<br><br> Dr. Rigsby now devotes his full attention to empowering people worldwide—from presenting leadership principles in Nigeria to speaking to Fortune 500 companies in the Americas, Europe, and Canada. In high demand among educational, business and service organizations and a favorite among professional sports organizations including the National Football League and the PGA, Rick offers common-sense wisdom to those desiring to rise to greater levels of excellence.<br><br> The focus of the Career Expo is to connect job seekers with employment and training opportunities available throughout the region. Hiring representatives will be onsite from such businesses as: Trinity Industries, Tyson, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, State of Oklahoma, PGT Trucking, International Paper, and Choctaw Casinos, just to name a few. There will also be representatives from colleges and training centers. Some of those attending include: OSUIT, Kiamichi Technology Center, OU, OSU, and Grayson Truck Driving.<br><br> The Choctaw Nation Career Development Program hosts the Annual Career Expo. Career Development assists tribal members in obtaining high quality career and technology training which leads to industry recognized certifications and licensures. Currently, the program supports tribal members in training programs ranging from truck driving, welding, teaching, and heavy equipment operation, and a wide variety of health fields.<br><br> A highlight of this year’s event is the Veterans Resource Center. All Veterans are invited to visit this center to learn how military experience translates to job skills. Veteran-friendly employers will be identified and eager to meet with those in attendance. This year attendees will have the opportunity to swing for the fences by participating in an interactive career exploration baseball game. A life-size baseball field, homerun derby, and hands-on activities will emphasize the importance of making good career choices. Students and job seekers can test their financial aid knowledge, practice on the welding simulator, try their hand at BOTBALL, visit the manufacturing education training trailer, and much more! Experiences in a variety of career fields will be available. Participants will receive a free T-shirt (while supplies last) as well as be entered to win a tablet. <br><br> Transportation will be available to Choctaw tribal members in southeast Oklahoma who make reservations. Members can call Deidre Inselman at (580) 920-2260 to reserve seating. The deadline to sign up for transportation is Monday, February 15, 2016. The Career Expo is open to all persons interested in finding out more information about educational or employment opportunities. Admission is free.<br><br> For more information or if you would like to participate in this February 24th event, contact Stacy Hallmark, Kelli Ostman, or Rhonda Mize with Choctaw Nation Career Development at (866) 933-2260.</p> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:36:50 GMT Groundbreaking ceremony in Heavener <p>January 5, 2016</p> <p>PRESS RELEASE</p> <p>Choctaw Nation holds groundbreaking ceremony in Heavener</p> <p><img src="" alt='Heavener_groundbreaking' /> Chief Gary Batton along with council and community members break ground on new Travel Plaza and Casino Too in Heavener.</p> <p>The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma had a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 5, for its new Travel Plaza and Casino Too in Heavener.</p> <p>The new location, adjacent to the current Travel Plaza, will add a Casino Too and will provide 18 new jobs for a total of 38 at the facility. “If we can put these 18 new jobs here in Heavener, it&#8217;s a win for us in Southeastern Oklahoma,&#8221; said Chief Gary Batton.</p> <p>It will feature a Choctaw Country Welcome Center dedicated to showcasing tourism information and destinations, Choctaw culture and Choctaw-made items.</p> <p>The new 10,254-sq.-ft. facility will offer gasoline, diesel and two trucking lanes. Amenities include a full kitchen, a dining area, drive-through service and 25 games in the Casino Too.</p> <hr/> Mon, 18 Jan 2016 16:27:30 GMT 2015 Stickball Team Award winners announced <p>2015 Hattak Shooter of the year Curtis Billy 2015 Ohoyo Shooter of the year Gennavie Tom</p> <p>2015 Hattak Center of the year Jared “ Pinti “ Tom 2015 Ohoyo Center of the year Lisa Rhodd</p> <p>2015 Hattak Defensive player of the year Bobby Baker 2015 Ohoyo Defensive player of the year Valeria Williston</p> <p>2015 Hattak most improved player of the year Kyle Mckinney 2015 Ohoyo most improved player of the year Teela Walton</p> <p>2015 Most Valuable player of the year ( M.V.P ) Jordan Eagleroad</p> <p>2015 Veteran Player of the year Robert Baker</p> Mon, 18 Jan 2016 15:32:33 GMT Department Named Tribal GIS Program of the Year <p><img src="" alt='GIS Program of the Year' /><br> <em>Ryan Spring (left) and David Batton of the Choctaw Nation Historic Preservation De- partment display an award for their work with geographic information systems.</em><br></p> <h3>Department Named Tribal GIS Program of the Year</h3> <p><em>By Brandon Frye</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - The Choctaw Nation’s Historic Preservation Department received a national award on Nov. 18 for its work mapping information of cultural importance.<br></p> <p>The National Tribal Geographic Information Support Center (NTGISC), which represents more than 200 tribes, issued the award for the department’s outstanding performance in geospatial practice, community outreach, and contributing to the development of others.<br></p> <p>Ryan Spring and David Batton are the individuals within Historic Preservation who work most closely with geographic information systems (GIS)–the method of organizing information in a geographic space.<br></p> <p>The landscape is dotted with reminders of the Choctaw ancestors’ presence. These reminders include archaeological sites, burials, sacred places, and artifacts. Unique and irreplaceable, these sites are threatened by looting, development, and the progression of time.<br></p> <p>But, documented historic sites are protected from disturbance at a federal level. When a road needs to be built or a cell tower needs to be constructed, federal construction must first check with Native governments.<br></p> <p>Historic Preservation annually consults on 1,800 to 2,000 federally funded projects within a nine state region, to insure that these projects do not disturb Choctaw ancestral sites. The department also regularly consults with state agencies, tribal members, and the general public to protect Choctaw sites on non-federal land.<br></p> <p>Spring gave a presentation at the Choctaw Nation Tribal Complex in Durant, explaining his GIS work with the Trail of Tears.<br></p> <p><iframe align="right" width="450" height="300" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br></p> <p>In addition to mapping out the Trail of Tears and pinpointing historic locations, Historic Preservation also used GIS in a Place Names Project. “We are able to acknowledge the connection between Choctaw people and our homeland through the research and documentation of place names using Cultural GIS,” Spring said.<br></p> <p>“Cultural GIS allows us to map the landscape without western boundaries and gives us a glimpse into the past,” Spring explained.<br></p> <p>The department shares its work and knowledge with other tribes helping them to start similar programs. It also teaches students at the Talihina Kiamichi Technology EAST program, who get a hands-on experience with GIS equipment and methods.<br></p> <p>See the complete story on For information, contact Ryan Spring with the Choctaw Nation Historic Preservation Department at (800) 522-6170 ext. 2137.<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="//"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Wed, 30 Dec 2015 11:40:17 GMT Dedicated to Diabetic Care and Staph Prevention <p><img src="" alt='BCW Group' /><br> <em>Boyd Miller with the Choctaw Nation’s Preferred Supplier Program stands with business owners Charlotte Burris and Shane Cessnun. Burris and Cessnun teamed up to start a new business, the BCW Group, with the help of Miller.</em><br></p> <h3>Dedicated to Diabetic Care and Staph Prevention</h3> <p><em>By Brandon Frye</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><Br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - Shane Cessnun, a Choctaw born and raised in Denison, Texas, saw a need and dedicated his entrepreneurial efforts to aiding the Native population in Choctaw Country.<Br></p> <p> Wound care is his focus, and it is a balance of preventative and restorative measures. It saves limbs, toes, and legs from being amputated, keeps deadly microorganisms from spreading, and helps patients maintain a healthy lifestyle so sores and injuries will not develop again.<br></p> <p>“The goal is to offer a high quality service with all of the new technologies alongside the traditional therapies,” Cessnun said.<br></p> <p>According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service, American Indians are 2.2 times more likely to have diabetes compared to Caucasians.<br></p> <p> Cessnun aims to work alongside the healthcare of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) in these ways. For the last 18 years, CNO has offered specialized care to patients with diabetes–what started with a small team in a nursing home has grown to a full Diabetes Care Clinic at the hospital in Talihina.<br></p> <p>“We have continuously grown and provided better care,” Janet Maddox, RN, CDE and Clinic Supervisor for the Diabetes Wellness Center, said. “We’ve got educators out in the communities. We have endocrinologists, dieticians, and case managers. We have a structured, accredited program we provide for our patients.”<br></p> <p>To add to these efforts, Cessnun developed two businesses, each working hand-in-hand. Advanced Wound Care, located in Sherman, Texas, heals wounds before they require amputation. And the BCW Group creates clean environments to control infectious contaminants which could lead to more wounds.<br></p> <p>Cessnun enlisted a number of physicians and experts in the field of wound management and preventative surgery to help offer treatment and guidance.<br></p> <p>Dr. Mark Dickson is Cessnun’s partner, and currently works at the limb salvage clinic in Sherman. He said he heals wounds within 16 weeks, though many patients come in with wounds which have been there for longer.<br></p> <p>“If you don’t heal the wound, eventually it will get worse and impact the rest of the limb. Ultimately, if you don’t do anything, it can kill the patient,” Mark Dickson, a general surgeon specializing in minimally invasive surgery, said.  When a wound won’t heal, there is usually a problem with the immune system or blood supply, Dickson explained. And for people living with diabetes, there are many biochemical reasons why immune systems don’t work correctly and blood doesn’t flow.<br></p> <p>The other thing diabetes does is impair the walls of the very small arterial vessels, which can become thick and blocked off from years of extra sugar, preventing proper blood flow to wounds.<br></p> <p>Additionally, if there is too much sugar, it helps bacteria to grow faster, damaging healthy flesh around wounds.<br></p> <p>But diabetes is not the only negative contributor to risky wounds, lifestyle choices play a role. “Smoking is a big problem,” Dickson said, “And if someone is malnourished or taking certain medicines like steroids.”<br></p> <p>Cessnun is currently working to open more wound care centers within the boundaries of the Choctaw Nation.<Br></p> <p>With the help of Boyd Miller and the CNO Preferred Supplier Program, Cessnun and Dr. Jason Willis joined up with Charlotte Burris to found the BCW Group.<br></p> <p>Boyd Miller, Director of the Choctaw Nation Preferred Supplier Program (PSP) said after working with both Cessnun and Burris, he saw how their business goals fit together. Bringing Native business owners in contact with the right people is one of the services the PSP offers. In this case, Cessnun had past experience with medical supplies, and Burris who is also Native from Tuskahoma, has a background in interiors and materials. She has worked in the commercial design industry for six years. She brings to the table not only design but a straight forward approach to product specifications, budgets and contracts. She, like Cessnun, has a passion for caring for our people and culture.<br></p> <p>They, together with direction from a board certified doctor in infectious disease, promote clean products and procedures that will greatly reduce the risk of contracting staph and other bacteria. These clean environments are created not only in new construction but also existing facilities.<br></p> <p>After meeting up, the two founded the BCW group. This business maintains healthy environments using antimicrobial protection and infection control assessment. It is a local Native American and female owned company.<br></p> <p>There is a risk with patients who are recovering from wounds or infections. Once they leave the sterile, safe environment of clinics and centers, they re-enter spaces which pose the same threats which harmed them in the first place.<br></p> <p>“They can be treated, go home, and in four or five months they are back with an infection,” Cessnun said. He explained, most people with a healthy immune system can fight off these infections. But, again, people with diabetes can have impaired immune systems, poor circulation, and a tendency to develop wounds which harbor infection.<br></p> <p>To combat this, the BCW Group sterilizes spaces with a revolutionary product. The treatment ruptures microorganisms found on most hard surfaces, and the non-detectable substance stays put for a year preventing further contamination.<br></p> <p>BCW Group also works with facilities to get them in alignment with state and federal regulations. Taking it a step forward, the group developed a certification called H.E.I.D.I. or the Healthy Environment Institute against Dangerous Infections. H.E.I.D.I. takes a more strict look at federal regulations and expects more in terms of infection protection. In addition to creating programs like H.E.I.D.I., they also have the drive to use a sustainable, recycled materials. “An important part of responsible product design lies in material selection. Choosing the right raw materials—rapidly renewable materials—we use materials made with a high percentage of recycled content, as well as such renewable materials as wheat board, soy board, sunflower board, linoleum, cork, rubberwood, soy-blend foams, recycled seat belts, and more. In addition, we take the same approach to textiles and fabrics, ensuring that each selection is appropriate for its environment. By using unique materials we are able to provide healthy environments that inhibit the spread and growth of viruses, staph, and other life-threatening bacteria.”<br></p> <p>Anyone looking to protect a space from infectious disease can email the BCW Group at <a href=""></a> or visit <a href=""></a>. For product information contact Charlotte Burris at 918-441-5731.<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="//"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Mon, 28 Dec 2015 11:00:59 GMT Choctaw College Connect Introduces Students to Their Dream Universities <p><img src="" alt='CCC Chief Speech' /><br> <em>Chief Gary Batton addresses the students and families who attended the 2015 Choctaw College Connect as the Choctaw royalty and education department leaders look on. He spoke to support the students pursuing their educational goals.</em><br></p> <h3>Choctaw College Connect Introduces Students to Their Dream Universities</h3> <p><em>By Brandon Frye</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - In a yearly effort to bring students and universities together, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) held the 2015 Choctaw College Connect (CCC) event at the Choctaw Event Center in Durant on Nov. 7.<br></p> <p>CCC is a service offered to Choctaw citizens at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Interested attendees from all over converged on the location in the early morning, and perused the event floor until the afternoon.<br></p> <p>As a rare opportunity for young Natives, a wide mix of state, regional, and highly selective colleges like Dartmouth, Cornell, Oklahoma State University, Brown, Carl Albert State College, Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley, East Central University, Notre Dame, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and Vanderbilt (among many others) stationed representatives across the center with the express purpose of recruiting Choctaws. These recruiters explained why their college was the right fit, and how to apply and enroll.<br></p> <p>This diverse cast of schools sets CCC apart from other college fairs, as it recognizes the varied interests of tribal members and multiple pathways in reaching their goals. <br></p> <p>Chief Gary Batton spoke to the students in attendance, urging them to take full advantage of everything offered during CCC.<br></p> <p>“I can see nothing but pride and success, our culture and our history, with you,” Chief Gary Batton said, addressing the students. “We need to make sure you seize today, help you find opportunities for your future.”<br></p> <p>Over 400 Choctaw students and their parents did just this, making use of the opportunity.<br></p> <p>Lauren Rowland, Director of the Choctaw Nation College and Career Retention Program, had a leadership role in planning and putting on the event. The way she sees it, CCC is quite remarkable.<br></p> <p>“Every year college representatives pour into Choctaw Country with the specific goal of recruiting our tribal members to attend their institutions,” Rowland explained. “Tribal members attend from all over the country, some traveling from as far as Hawaii! That alone speaks volumes about the caliber of this event and the significance tribal members find it has in their college planning.”<br></p> <p>Rowland gave credit to a team effort, which made the event possible. She said the entire Education Department selflessly gave of their time and resources to support and promote CCC, as well as volunteer at the event.<br></p> <p>Kathy Carpenter with Special Projects in the Education Department, and Allison Britton, Director of the Higher Education Program, also played pivotal roles. “It was just a few years ago when most of us thought it was difficult for a student from southeast Oklahoma to attend an Ivy League college,” Carpenter said. “We found that’s just not the case.”<br></p> <p>In offering the CCC event, Choctaw Nation education staff like Rowland and Carpenter hope young Choctaw students realize the same thing–it is entirely within reach to attend a university, even in the Ivy League.<br></p> <p>As an added incentive for students to attend, three scholarships of up to $1,000 were awarded as door prizes. This year, John Sokolosky, Jerai Billy, and Paula Talley received scholarships.<br></p> <p>CCC offers something for tribal members at every stage of the college planning process. High school students may come to connect with Choctaw Nation education programs such as High School Student Services and the Higher Education Program to gain information about available resources. Someone who has already made applications to schools may come to introduce themselves to the representatives from those schools, visit with the Chahta Foundation about scholarships they should apply to in the spring, and attend a breakout session on what to expect their first year in college. Someone working towards an undergraduate degree may come to talk to representatives from graduate or professional schools, sit in on a breakout session about graduate school admissions, and visit with CNO Human Resources about internship opportunities.<br></p> <p>Thomas Williston, Speaker of the Choctaw Tribal Council, spoke to the students and parents during the event. He addressed the importance of having a purpose. “Everyone here got here by way of a purpose. And you got here by the purpose of your ancestors a long time ago, and the thoughts and hopes they had for the future–and their future is you, each and every one of you,” Williston said. “You as leaders of tomorrow, future parents and grandparents, you’ve got your lives ahead of you, and the Choctaw Nation is here for you.”<br></p> <p>Though this year’s event has come and gone, students should plan to attend next year’s CCC. For more information, visit <a href="">Choctaw College Connect</a>. Remember to pre-register for the event. Additionally, the CNO Higher Education Program can be reached at 800-522-6170, ext. 2518.<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="//"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Wed, 23 Dec 2015 11:21:54 GMT Iti Fabvssa - The Big Hunt <p><img src="" alt='Iti Fabvssa - The Big Hunt 2' /><br></p> <h3>Iti Fabvssa - The Big Hunt</h3> <p>Choctaw society developed out of a long and intimate relationship with the plants, animals, soil, and water of our homeland in the southeast. Through this relationship, Choctaw ancestors engineered a food way that minimized their risk of going hungry by relying on a combination of four independent food systems: agriculture, gathering wild plants, fishing, and hunting. This food way was flexible enough to adapt to fluctuating conditions. For example, if it was a bad year for crops or wild plants, Choctaw communities relied more heavily on hunting and fishing to get their sustenance and vice-versa. This month, Iti Fabvssa presents some information about the Choctaw fall and winter hunts.<br></p> <p>In the Choctaw calendar, the months after the agricultural fields were harvested are known as Little Hunger Month and Big Hunger Month, roughly corresponding with November and December. This is when Choctaw men would leave the villages on an extended hunting trip known as Owachito (meaning big hunt). The Owachito was so-named because it could last for months, and take hunters over hundreds of miles of territory. Little and Big Hunger Months received their names because Choctaw hunters would take limited, light-weight food rations with them on the Owachito, and because fasting for spiritual purification was an essential part of hunting. It was a hungry time of year.<br></p> <p>The regions that Choctaws hunted in the fall and winter changed over the years in connection with changes in the natural and political environment. During the centuries before European contact, most of the ancestral Choctaw population was concentrated in major farming communities located on the central Tombigbee, the central Alabama, and the Black Warrior Rivers and also around Mobile Bay. The neutral ground between these communities was maintained as hunting preserves. In response to European arrival, disease, and slaving raids, Choctaw populations started to reorganize into communities located in what is now east-central Mississippi and western Alabama. In the early 1700s, these communities conducted winter hunts in the Tombigbee River valley, the area just north and east of Mobile bay, and also in what is now central Mississippi. Through the 1700s and early 1800s, Choctaw communities and our neighbors, became increasingly involved in the hide trade with European groups. Ultimately deer were hunted at an unsustainable level and became rare in and around the Choctaw homeland. This compelled hunters to travel still farther west on the Owachito. By the 1750s, after making peace with the Chickasaw, if not before, Choctaw hunting parties were traveling as far west as the bank of the Mississippi river. Some of the names given by Choctaw hunters to places in this area are still in use today, including Issaquena (from issi okhina, meaning “deer creek”). and Nita Yuma, probably meaning “bears are there”. By the late 1760s, at the invitation of the Spanish governor, some Choctaw people began moving into what is now Louisiana. By 1800, Choctaw hunting parties were traveling all the way to present-day southern Oklahoma. In fact, the Ouachita mountains may derive their name from the Choctaw term “Owachito”. The familiarity that Choctaw hunters had with the west was demonstrated when, in negotiations for the 1820 treaty of Doak’s Stand, Chief Pushmataha drew out the course of the Canadian River and the upper part of the Red River (between present-day Oklahoma and Texas) for future president Andrew Jackson, whose aides had never been there before. For several decades, Pushmataha and other Choctaw men had been traveling to this area, hunting, encroaching on the territory of the Quapaw, Caddo, and Osage and fighting along the way. <br></p> <p>As alluded to above, deer were the main query of Choctaw hunters on the Owachito. The Owachito was not the only time that deer were hunted, but it was the main time. During the fall, deer were to be found in largest numbers in patches of oak/hickory forest, eating fallen nuts and acorns. Later in winter, they moved into dense cane breaks, where they were harder to reach. After deer, bear were the next-most important Choctaw game animal. More essential than the bear meat itself, was the fat, which was rendered into grease (see Illustration 2). During the 1600s, and up until about 1740, bison herds lived in the heart of the Choctaw homeland, and were regularly hunted. As Choctaw hunters moved west in the 1700s and early 1800s, they continued to hunt small numbers of bison. From today’s perspective, we only have partial glimpses of what life was like in a Choctaw hunting camp on the Owachito. Able-bodied women may have been present, but primary sources speak of men. We know that parities hunting in distant lands built temporary houses by setting a line of posts in the ground, and then laying sheets of stripped bark from the top of the posts down to the ground on each site. This created an “A” frame-like structure. The ends, left open, had camp fires burning near them to keep the occupants warm. (see Illustration 1). Hunting was a spiritual activity. In camp, hunters fasted and prepared themselves to go out and get meat and other products for their community that was depending on them.<br><img src="" align="right" width="300" alt='Iti Fabvssa - The Big Hunt ' /></p> <p>We know a little more about the hunting techniques that they used. The surround was an ancient one, whereby hunters went out and encircled herds of deer, sometimes with the use of fire. By the late 1700s, deer were mostly being hunted through stalking. Sometimes, hunters used elaborate decoys made from a stuffed deer head to get close enough to the animals for a good shot. These hunters often walked 30 miles in a day in stalking their query. When a successful hunter brought meat back to camp, it was shared. The kidneys were cut up, distributed, and burned in the hunters’ fires as a way of giving thanks.<br></p> <p>Meat was preserved by cutting it into strips and drying it over a smokey fire. Hides were scraped fresh and then dried into rawhide for transport. Fat was taken from the bear and rendered pure in a clay pot over the fire. It was preserved by mixing it with sassafras root chips, and placing it in a pot that had been buried in the cool ground up to its rim. Choctaws probably transported the bear grease in containers made from sewn-up green deer hides. Once emptied, the bags could be un-sewn and, already exposed to the bear grease, would be ready for tanning. When it was time to head back home, hunters would pack up the dried meat and other items on the back of their Choctaw ponies. Two 50-pound packs would be suspended on each side of the horse, and a third one set on top. For protection from rain, all would be covered by a hide.<br></p> <p>When a hunting party returned to their village, it was a time of joy and celebration, both because the men had made it home safely, and because of the essential food and materials that they brought with them. Hunters are said to have shared the bounty with their estranged wives and other households that had no one to provide meat. <br></p> <p>After spending some time in the village, hunters would again go out in the heart of winter in search of animals with prime pelts. This was during Koichito Hvshi and Koichusk Hvshi (Panther Month and Wildcat Month, respectively), which roughly correspond with January and February. These month names come from two of the animals that were hunted for peltry. Hunters would set up temporary camps , sometimes with their women and children, in places several miles from their village where they could easily access the swamps and cane breaks where pelt-bearing animals lived during that time of year. Among all of the Southeastern Tribes and European communities, Choctaw men were said to be the best at the dangerous job of hunting panther and bear. Black bear migrated into Choctaw country during late fall, to avoid colder temperatures to the north. Although bear were hunted on the Owachito, this later season hunt was favored by Choctaw hunters because by December the bear were at their fattest and they moved slowly. In hunting bear, hunters would go out into cane break and look for a rotten, hollow tree showing signs that it was being used as a bear den. They would build a fire at the base of the tree, causing the rotten wood to smolder. Eventually, the bear would be awakened by the smoke and forced to jump from the top of the trunk. Hunters would shoot the bear with arrows in mid-air or on the ground. Choctaw oral stories indicate that hunting dogs were also sometimes used to harass the bear.<br></p> <p>The Owachito and the winter pelt hunt were dangerous, but enjoyable times for Choctaw men. The hunts provided them with an opportunity to show their skill and their spiritual efficacy. Through the hunts, they provided their communities not only with animal protein, but also the raw materials such as hides, tendons, antlers, horns, bison wool, glue stock, bones, and hooves that Choctaw people used to make a variety of life-supporting implements, structures, and tools. Today’s Choctaw people who prepare themselves spiritually to go into the woods in November, December, and January, to hunt for meat and other animal products for their families are carrying on a very ancient and storied tribal tradition.<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="//"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Tue, 22 Dec 2015 15:04:25 GMT Rev. Bertram Bobb Funeral Services <p><img src="" width="300" alt='Bertram_with_Bible_web' /><br></p> <h3>Rev. Bertram Bobb Funeral Services</h3> <p>Funeral services for Rev. Bertram Bobb will be held on Friday, December 18, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. in the Hugo Agriplex at 5th and Rena in Hugo, Oklahoma. Rev. Olin Williams will be officiating with Choctaw Nation’s Tribal Relations Senior Executive Officer Judy Allen giving the Eulogy. Burial will follow in the Antlers City Cemetery with Military Honors. Bertram Bobb passed away Friday, December 11, 2015, in the Choctaw Nation Hospital in Talihina, Oklahoma, at the age of 91.<br></p> <p>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton states, “The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma mourns the loss of a great man and leader, Brother Bertram Bobb. When you saw Brother Bobb in his iconic flat rimmed hat, you knew by his actions he was deeply rooted in his faith and his commitment to helping others. My prayers and deepest sympathy to Brother Bobb’s family during this difficult time.”<br></p> <p>Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr. adds, “What an example of a great Choctaw. He truly exhibited Choctaw values. He will be missed but I am thankful for my memories of him and what he has passed along to all Choctaws.”<br></p> <p>Bertram Edward Bobb was born March 30, 1924, in Smithville, Oklahoma, the son Johnson and Mae Estelle (Edwards) Bobb. He attended Goodland Indian School in Hugo, Oklahoma, Jones Male Academy in Hartshorne, Oklahoma, and Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Bertram served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He married his Beloved Mary Ann (Greenwood) Bobb in Antlers, Oklahoma, in 1950, and had lived in the Antlers community since 1971. His was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Mary.<br></p> <p>Bertram leaves to cherish his memory his family: three sons, Johnson Wilson Bobb of Antlers, Oklahoma, Wesley Edwin Bobb of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Frederick Bertram Bobb of Antlers, Oklahoma; grandchildren: Deborah Estelle Tepe and husband Jeremiah of Antlers, Oklahoma, Bertram Edward Bobb II of Chickasha, Oklahoma; one great-grandchild, Talia Tepe; one sister Evangeline Wilson of Chickasha, Oklahoma; niece, Cynthia Mae Ouellete and husband Roland and children Alexander and Lauren of Dallas, Texas; special nephew, David &#8220;Liwi&#8221; Greenwood; cousin, Anella and Phil Garcia and family; numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, and a host of other relatives and friends.<br></p> <p>Bertram received a BS in Accounting/Business Administration at Northeastern Oklahoma State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He attended the Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas, and was ordained in ministry at Scofield Memorial Church, Dallas, Texas. He was the Founder, and Director of the Christian Indian Ministries, Antlers, Oklahoma, from 1963 to present; Bertram Bobb Bible Camp in Ringold, Oklahoma, from 1971 to the present, the Native American Bible Academy in Ringold, Oklahoma, from 1990 to the present. Bertram served as the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chaplain, from 1996 to the present, and the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes Chaplain for 27 years. He is the only person to be appointed Tribal Chaplain for his lifetime. Bertram was a member of the Choctaw Code Talkers Association for 20 years. He repeats to the youth of today the wise words told him by his coach, “People may take everything you have, but they can’t take away your education. Get your education.”<br></p> <p>The family will receive friends on Thursday, December 17, 2015, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Mt. Olive Funeral Home Chapel. Wake services will begin Thursday at 7:00 p.m. with Rev. Travis Bankester officiating. Family and friends are also invited to sign the guest book or send private condolences to the family at <a href=""></a>.<br></p> <p>Contact information for the funeral home is as follows: 303 N. 2nd Hugo, OK 74743 ~ (580) 326-9627<br></p> Mon, 14 Dec 2015 12:05:17 GMT Rural Broadband Dream on Way to Becoming Reality <p><img src="" alt='Talihina Connect Home' /><br> <em>Connecting after the ConnectHome meeting in Talihina are, from left, Stacy Shepherd, SEO of Choctaw Nation Member Services; Scott A. Gros- field, Regional Director with Housing Authority of the Choctaw Nation; and from everyoneon, Washington, D.C., Chike Aguh, Chief Programs Officer, and Amber Petty, national program coordinator.</em><br></p> <h3>Rural Broadband Dream on Way to Becoming Reality</h3> <p><em>Charlie Clark</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Talihina, Okla.</strong> - Three public meetings have been held concerning the Choctaw Nation and its Connect-Home program: Hugo, McAlester, and most recently Talihina.<br></p> <p>President Obama visited the Choctaw Nation in Durant on July 15 and unrolled the ConnectHome initiative, a followup to ConnectED, which seeks to have 99 percent of K-12 students have high-speed Internet in their classrooms and libraries by 2018.<br></p> <p>Along the same line, ConnectHome means to bring high-speed, broadband Internet to designated low-income residences in rural America.<br></p> <p>In his talk, President Obama referred to targeting residents of HUD housing for the assistance. Residents of the Choctaw Nation’s HUD-type program, under the Housing Authority, will benefit from this plan. But there have been some misunderstandings about who is eligible.<br></p> <p>Scott A. Grosfield said his office had received more than 60 calls in the week before the Nov. 20 meeting in Talihina, including one from Utah, wanting to know when their new tablets would arrive.<br></p> <p>Scott A. Grosfield, Regional Director of Rental Property Services &amp; ConnectHome Project of the Housing Authority of the Choctaw Nation, explained who can expect a free device and training to the more than 100 area residents at the Choctaw Nation Community Center in Talihina. He also sent an email the following week: “The ConnectHome Project is bringing wifi to rental units within the Choctaw Housing’s inventory only. If you don’t live in any of our rental sites, this program will not impact you. The tablets that GitHub donated to Choctaw Housing this past Friday the 20th is strictly for residents with children who reside in our low income or ARH sites only. Our Rental Managers for those sites will be signing all of the devices out to the children’s parents sometime after the Thanksgiving break. The devices already have programs installed in them to get started on their learning process. The Connect-Home team is working diligently behind the scenes to negotiate the best data plans and the overall best infrastructure to bring broadband wifi to all of our rental sites within our service area. We are trying to roll out the service to these sites at one time and are projecting that time frame to be sometime in January 2016.”<br></p> <p>After entertainment by traditional Choctaw dancers and a dinner, Fred Logan, Connect-Home Coordinator of the Choctaw Nation Housing Authority, emceed the meeting, which among other things, sought to explain ConnectHome and its goal of “bridging the digital divide.”<br></p> <p>Representatives from participating agencies and companies delivered brief presentations and answered questions from the crowd. Among the private-public supporting organizations attending were EveryoneOn and GitHub. Other organizations that have announced support of the Choctaw program, and attended previous meetings, are OETA, Best Buy, the Oklahoma Public Library System, the Boys &amp; Girls Club and several Internet companies. GitHub announced that it plans to provide 58 free tablets to Talihina families participating in the program. <br></p> <p><em>For additional information on the Connect-Home Initiative in southeastern Oklahoma, contact: Scott Grosfield, Regional Director of ConnectHome for the Choctaw Nation, 580-743-5360,</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="//"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Mon, 14 Dec 2015 09:41:56 GMT