Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Approves More Funding to Teach Cherokee History, Culture in Area Schools

By Native News Online Staff - November 14, 2019 at 12:02AM

Members of the 2019-20 Tribal Youth Council ntroduced themselves to Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilors prior to the business portion of Tuesday night’s meeting.

Published November 14, 2019

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Council of the Cherokee Nation on Tuesday approved legislation that will provide additional funding opportunities for educators in northeast Oklahoma who want to teach Cherokee history and culture in their classrooms.

Each year the Cherokee Nation donates millions of dollars to more than 100 school districts in Oklahoma. Funds donated to these schools are from the sale of tribal car tags, with the Cherokee Nation allocating 38 percent of its annual car tag revenue for education. Tuesday’s modification to the Cherokee Nation motor vehicle licensing and tax code provides additional dollars for school programs that teach Cherokee language, culture and history.

“Across the Cherokee Nation, many of our hard-working educators are looking for new ways to teach Cherokee history and culture to their students,” Deputy Speaker of the Council Victoria Vazquez said. “This new change will allow us to provide them with the training and materials to accurately teach Cherokee culture and history to their students. I believe this will open up the door to new and exciting opportunities at many of our area schools and I look forward to seeing how this funding can help our teachers in sharing the Cherokee story.”

The Council of the Cherokee Nation also approved adding $6.5 million in funding for the Durbin Feeling Cherokee Language Preservation Act. The Act, previously proposed by Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and approved by the Council, allows the tribe to make its largest investment ever into its language programs. Of the funding, $5 million is provided by Cherokee Nation Businesses to create the Durbin Feeling Language Center, which will house the Cherokee Immersion Charter School, Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program and the tribe’s team of Cherokee translators. Another $1.5 million is for operational costs associated with the language program’s expansion.

The Council also approved an additional $1 million for skilled training services as part of the Career Readiness Act, which was also previously proposed by Chief Hoskin and approved by the Council of the Cherokee Nation. The legislation doubles the tribe’s funding from $1 million to $2 million per year so more tribal citizens can train in the areas of construction, health, information technology and line worker trade jobs.

“Expanding our Cherokee language programs is vital to both preserving and perpetuating the Cherokee language, and I appreciate the Council of the Cherokee Nation for taking this next step to ensure the necessary funds are set aside to begin the expansion,” Chief Hoskin said. “I also want to thank the Council for approving and funding the Career Readiness Act, which will allow even more Cherokees to find the right training opportunities in a number of trade careers that require specific skillsets.”

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Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel GM Johnny Barrientoz Receives NIGA’s Chairman’s Leadership Award

By Native News Online Staff - November 14, 2019 at 12:01AM

National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie L. Stevens, Jr. with Chairman’s Leadership Award recipient Johnny Barrientoz.

Published November 14, 2019

WILLIAMSBURG, Mich. — Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel’s General Manager, Johnny Barrientoz, received a coveted Chairman’s Leadership Award from Ernest L. Stevens Jr., Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association at a reception during the recent Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chairman Stevens recognized Barrientoz among thousands in the casino industry field, “The Indian gaming industry has seen such phenomenal strides throughout the years. Today, we are the experts, and Johnny Barrientoz is one of the truest examples of that. His path from an entry-level position to General Manager of one of the greatest tribal gaming properties in Indian country should be showcased.”

Barrientoz was honored alongside Michael Hunter, Chairman of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Knute Knudson and John Chamberlain, VP of Global Affairs and Distinguished Engineer for IGT Gaming, and three-time Indian Rodeo World Champion Faith Hoylen. Stevens also presented the NIGA Lifetime Achievement Award to comedian George Lopez.

A tribal member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Barrientoz began working in the governmental Youth Program Department and moved to the casino gaming division in 2005 as a front-line Slot Attendant. His tenacity for learning and amiable personality helped him quickly advance to Slot Department Supervisor, Slot Department Manager, and Director of Slots for both Leelanau Sands and Turtle Creek casinos.

Upon receiving his certification in gaming management through the University of Nevada, Barrientoz was promoted to General Manager of Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel on January 15, 2019. He oversees 485 employees, a 56,000 square-foot gaming floor with over 1,000 slot machines and 30 table games, three restaurants, six bars including a newly opened Sports Bar, coffee shop, and 131-room full-service hotel.

“I am sincerely grateful and humbled to receive such a coveted award, especially from someone I have always respected and admired,” remarked Barrientoz. “When Ernie (Stevens) asked me to come over to the NIGA booth, I was completely unaware of the awards presentation, and when I realized that I was the recipient of the Chairman’s Award, I was speechless. I had no idea I was even being considered.”

“Johnny is the ideal example of a leader,” commented Michael Schrader, CEO for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Economic Development Corporation. “He is hard working, dedicated, and a true professional in all he does. His innate modesty and altruistic manner are apparent upon first impression and have served him well at the helm of our largest casino. He addresses and knows every employee by name, and our guests find him approachable and trustworthy.”


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Burnt Corn Residents Celebrate New Multipurpose Building for Community Members

By Native News Online Staff - November 14, 2019 at 12:01AM

Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay said thank you for another infrastructure project for Burnt Corn Valley and Tachee-Blue Gap communities. He said the building will be used as a polling place and gathering spot for meetings and events.

Published November 14, 2019

BURNT CORN, Ariz. — About 100 residents of Naadáá Díílid filled the new multipurpose building to officially take ownership of the new facility during the Nov. 7 building dedication.

They were joined by chapter officials, tribal leaders and surrounding community members.

A Pendleton blanket with the Great Seal of the Navajo Nation covered the doorway as Navajo prayers and chants filled the space within.

The celebration began with the posting of colors by Tachee-Blue Gap veterans Jackie Burbank and Eddie Yazzie. Shalaya Begay, Miss Cottonwood Junior Princess, provided the Pledge of Allegiance and Bobby Tullie sang the Flag Song.

Murray Construction Solutions, Inc. of Chinle, Ariz. presented the certificate of ownership and occupancy before Navajo medicine man Rex Lee Jim began the traditional Navajo blessing.

Jim sat upon a sheep skin and prayed for the community members and for favorable use of the new building. Hot ashes coalesced upon a steel lid that served as the alter for the ceremony.

“Think of (this building) as a living entity,” he said. “Like the land, air, water and fire. These songs and prayers are for people to connect with each other and for relationship building. It’s to bring the people together.”

Corn pollen was passed throughout the crowd four times during the ceremony, for residents to bless themselves and their families. The predominately Navajo elder audience visibly enjoyed this portion of the building dedication.

Clarene Hosteen served as the patient for the ceremony on behalf of the Burnt Corn community.

The 2,100 square feet new building is Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, featuring a ramp for wheelchairs, wide doors, ADA-compliant bathrooms with rails for men and women, an industrial kitchen, and a large meeting space.

Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay Jr. (Low Mountain, Many Farms, Nazlini, Tachee-Blue Gap, Tselani-Cottonwood) expressed appreciation to the members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council, Navajo Hopi Land Commission, and to Speaker Damon for their support of the facility.

Speaking in Navajo, he said, “My relatives and family, it will be upon you again to take care of this building. Please take good care of it. We setup this building with electricity and running for you. There were also prayers and blessings done for Burnt Corn to move forward.”

Begay thanked former speaker Johnny Naize (project manager) for doing the legwork on the project and said the Navajo Hopi Land Commission was instrumental in getting the building funded.

Aaron Yazzie, Tachee-Blue Gap Chapter President, said other projects were in the horizon.

He primarily spoke Navajo throughout the agenda and said the building would become a place of planning for residents.

“Those of you from Burnt Corn, whatever needs to be done in the community, whatever plans are needed, will now be done in this building,” he said. We face many challenges such as the enforcement of grazing permits to the maintenance of roads that lead to homes. We setup this building for that purpose.”

Elmer Murray, president of Navajo-owned Murray Construction Solutions, commended the Tachee-Blue Gap Chapter and said that they developed the project.

He noted space restrictions at Blue Gap Chapter prompted the effort to provide a new building to residents of Burnt Corn.

“At one point, they were meeting in a nearby hogan in the community,” Murray said. “They finally got the money together and put a building here for them.”

The total cost of the building was $323,974.20 which came from multiple funding sources, including $151,022.92 from Navajo Nation Capital Improvement Project, $72,951.22 from the Tachee-Blue Gap Chapter project funds, and $150,454.52 from the Navajo Hopi Land Commission.

“The building took about eight weeks of construction time. And as the building was being constructed, the site was being done as well. All together it took about 14-weeks to finish,” he said.

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Cherokee Nation Foundation Scholarship Applications Now Available for 2020-21

By Native News Online Staff - November 14, 2019 at 12:00AM

Published November 14, 2019

Deadline for applications is Jan. 31

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation Foundation is accepting scholarship applications for the 2020-21 academic year. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31, 2020.

“Through the generous support of our donors, we continue to provide outstanding scholarship opportunities that cater to the interests and needs of our students,” said Janice Randall, executive director of the Cherokee Nation Foundation. “These opportunities are not exclusive and can be combined with additional support from the tribe and higher education institutions. Our goal is simple: We want to support these students in every way possible so they can achieve success for themselves and their families, and we hope that one day they are in a position to give back and positively impact the lives of their fellow Cherokees.”

Once students create an online profile, they have instant access to a one-stop shop for all CNF scholarships. The system also provides students with notifications about upcoming scholarship opportunities and deadlines.

The foundation offers three differently funded scholarships: private, tribal and institutionally based. All applications are evaluated based on academic performance as well as community and cultural involvement and can be found at

For more information, contact Cherokee Nation Foundation at (918) 207-0950.

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How to Secure Cash For the Holiday Season

By Native News Online Staff - November 14, 2019 at 12:00AM

Published November 14, 2019

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers in the U.S. plan on spending an average of $1,047.83 this holiday season, which represents a 4% increase over last year’s holiday spending. The thought of spending this much can be stressful—especially for people who are tight on money. But fortunately, there are ways to secure the cash you need to survive the holiday season. Follow these tips:

Sign Up For Side Gigs

There are plenty of ways to earn more cash in your spare time. If you own a vehicle, consider driving for Uber or Lyft. You can also sign up to deliver groceries, walking dogs, or babysit. You don’t have to sacrifice every spare moment of your life, but if you set aside a few hours every week, you can earn a lot of cash in a short period of time. 

Take Out A Short-Term Loan

Applying for a short-term loan is another way to get the cash you need to make it through the holiday season. An unsecured personal loan is ideal for people with moderate to high credit scores, whereas a secured car title loan is best for people with poor credit. There are many different types of loans, so make sure to explore your options before deciding which one is right for you.

Help With Holiday Handywork

Ask friends, family members, and neighbors if they need help getting ready for the holidays. Many people would gladly pay someone to hang their holiday lights, trim their Christmas trees, and shovel the snow out of their driveway. Helping out with these holiday tasks is the perfect way to spread holiday cheer and earn extra cash for gifts for your loved ones.

Use Credit Card Rewards

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of credit card rewards. Review your account to determine whether or not you are earning rewards—and if so, what kind. Then, figure out a way to use these rewards to cover some of your holiday expenses. 


For example, many credit card companies allow you to cash in reward points for gift cards to various retailers. If this is an option, use the gift cards to purchase gifts for your loved ones from their favorite stores. This is a great way to pay for gifts for everyone on your list without actually spending your own money.

Sell Personal Items

Take a look around your home. There are probably countless items that you no longer want or need, so why not sell them to earn some extra cash for the holidays? Advertise the clothing, electronic devices, furniture, and other items you no longer want on Facebook, Craigslist, Let Go, and Offer Up. A lot of people will browse these sites this time of year to look for gifts for their loved ones, so now is the right time to sell to maximize your profits.


Running low on cash can make it hard to enjoy the holiday season. But if you follow these tips, you may finally start to feel a little more festive!


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Safety First: Top Safe Colleges in America by State

By Native News Online Staff - November 14, 2019 at 12:00AM

Top safest college campuses in America as Nuwber data shows

Published November 14, 2019

A college education opens doors to a brighter future. At least in theory. Yet not all kids go to college. Some aspire to little more than a job down at the local 7/11 store. Others would rather raise a family than study for four years. Nevertheless, around 69% of all high school students will dutifully head off to college at the end of their senior year. In contrast, only 17 percent of Native American kids go to college.

The sad truth is that Native American kids have many more hurdles to navigate if they want a college education. A lot of kids live on isolated reservations, far from cultural centers and schools. There are fewer resources available for Native American kids. And even if they do go to college, only 13% of them will graduate, compared with 28% of American kids.

Native American teens need all the encouragement they can get. Going to college is a huge step, both culturally and logistically. Because of this, it’s essential that students pick the right college campus. Not all campuses are equal, so in this article, we are going to look at the safest colleges in the US, as detailed by Nuwber research.

California – National University

California has the largest population of Native Americans. If any of your kids want to go to college, National University is an excellent choice. It is a relatively small private college, with a student population of around 17,000, but evidence suggests smaller colleges tend to be safer. The data published by Nuwber reports that no serious crimes have been reported at National University. In addition, students have access to plenty of resources and information related to safety concerns.

Oklahoma – Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma had a Native American population of 321,687 in 2017. Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City also has an excellent safety record. Data released by the US Department of Education reveals that there were no hate crimes, sex crimes, or other serious crimes reported at Oklahoma State University. This college also has a campus security team patrolling 24/7, so students are very safe when on-campus.

Arizona – Arizona State University-West

There are approximately 296k Native Americans living in Arizona. Those who want to gain a college degree should look closely at Arizona State University–West, which is the safest in this state. There were no hate crimes or sexual offenses reported here, and only a very small number of cases of violence against women. Students have access to plenty of resources, so they know what to do in the event of a problem. If Arizona State University–West doesn’t appeal, check out Arizona State University–Downtown instead, as that also has a good safety record.

New Mexico

Texas has a Native American population of 193k. The safest university in this state is New Mexico Highlands University, a public school. There were no serious crimes reported here, and very low numbers of crimes against women and non-sexual offenses. The campus has a police and security department, which operates 24/7 to maintain its low crime rate and educate students.


Around 170k Native Americans call the Lone Star State their home. For them, South Texas College is a top choice. This public college in the Rio Grande Valley has a very low crime rate, with only 0.03 cases per 1,000 students reported here. The student population has access to emergency alerts, briefings, and other safety information. Texas A&M University-Central Texas is another good choice.

Long story short, weigh up your options carefully before choosing a college. Consider safety as well as academic performance, as you need to know your college years will be as safe as they possibly can be. And finally, all kids, whether they are Native American or not, must give it a thought before choosing a college. Remember, the decisions you make now will have a far-reaching impact on your adult life and define many of your choices and circumstances for the years to come.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Costco Says $75 Coupon Making it Rounds on Social Media is a Scam

By Levi Rickert - November 13, 2019 at 10:33PM


Published November 13, 2019

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — You may have received a Costco $75 coupon sent to you on social media. Don’t waste you time trying to redeem it. Costco Wholesale says the coupon is part of a scam.

The company posted on its Facebook page:

“Despite several posts out there, Costco is NOT giving away $75 coupons,” the post reads.

“While we love our fans and members, this offer is a scam, and in no way affiliated with Costco.”

The company warn that recently they have seen an increase in fraudulent advertisement from parties claiming to be Costco.

“Individuals are given the opportunity to receive free beauty cream products when presented with an online survey via a pop-up or via social media websites such as Facebook,” they said.

“Note that these pop-ups may appear even when you visit Costco does not ask for money to ship samples. We also do not ask customers to provide personal information online, except through our official website,”

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