Choctaw Nation Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma http://choctawnation.com/rss/ en-us 40 Native artists and businesses owners attend “Indianpreneurship” <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2626/Indianpreneurship_BillyHamiltonTalk_original.jpg" alt='Billy Hamilton' /><br> <em>Billy Hamilton, Small Business Services Manager with the Choctaw Nation, talks with a group of native business owners about the practicalities of starting and running a business during one of the “Indianpreneurship&#8221; workshops.</em><br></p> <h3>Choctaw entrepreneurs gain tips on running their business</h3> <p><em>By Brandon Frye</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - Three departments with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO)&#8211;The Native American Resource Center, Business Development, and Marketing&#8211;are holding a Native American entrepreneurial empowerment training workshop called Indianpreneurship in Durant, Okla.<br></p> <p>Rural Enterprises Incorporated, known as REI Oklahoma, and Our Native American Business Network (ONABEN), partnered with CNO to provide the workshop, meant to inform native business owners of vital concepts for anyone starting up or running a small business.<br></p> <p>Business planning, access to capital, basic bookkeeping , human resources, problem solving, and marketing a small business are all topics covered during the two-day event. The classes and workshops are based on ONABEN’s curriculum, the organization pursues the mission of supporting indigenous individuals by increasing opportunities for sustainable economic growth through culturally relevant entrepreneurial training and organizational development.<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, 21 Jan 2015 20:41:37 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/native-artists-and-businesses-owners-attend-indianpreneurship/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/native-artists-and-businesses-owners-attend-indianpreneurship/ Choctaw Nation to Offer Native American Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshops in Durant, OK. <h3>Choctaw Nation to Offer Native American Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshops in Durant, OK.</h3> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> – Choctaw Nation, Native American Business Resource Center, Business Development and Marketing are thrilled to hold a training workshop in partnership with REI Oklahoma and ONABEN (Our Native American Business Network). This small business development workshop will be provided in Durant, OK at REI (2912 Enterprise Boulevard), on Tuesday January 20 and Wednesday 21, 2015 (9am-4pm).<br> </p> <p>All Indianpreneurs are invited to attend and strongly encouraged to register for this FREE two-day course for small business development. The training workshop will benefit anyone who operates or is considering operating a small business.<br> </p> <p>This workshop will cover business concepts indispensable for anyone starting up or running a small business. Instructors will also identify and help participants avoid common pitfalls. The training will provide comprehensive information on topics important to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners related to business planning, access to capital, basic bookkeeping, human resources, problem solving and marketing a small business. <br> </p> <p>Choctaw Nation and ONABEN will present this training, in partnership with REI OK. The event is free to attend and open to the public. All class materials and refreshments will be provided to participants at no cost.<br></p> <ul> <li>To register, please use the following link: <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/choctawbusiness">Registration</a><br> or contact Jill Reyna at 866.933.2260 or <a href="mailto:jreyna@choctawnation.com">jreyna@choctawnation.com</a>.<br> </li> </ul> <p>Workshops are based on the ONABEN curriculum, Indianpreneurship®. ONABEN is a 501(c)(3) corporation headquartered in Portland, Oregon, created in 1991 by four Oregon tribes to encourage the development of a private sector on their reservations. The group is driven by its mission to support Indigenous individuals, economic development organizations and communities by increasing opportunities for sustainable economic growth through culturally relevant entrepreneurial training and organizational development. For more information about ONABEN, please visit <a href="https://www.onaben.org">www.onaben.org</a>.<br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 22:36:02 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-to-offer-native-american-entrepreneurial-empowerment-workshops-in-durant-ok-/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-to-offer-native-american-entrepreneurial-empowerment-workshops-in-durant-ok-/ Dylan Cavin Shares the Story of His Art <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2607/MTA_DylanCavin_Buffalo_original.jpg" alt='Dylan Buffalo' /><br></p> <h3>Dylan Cavin Shares the Story of His Art<br></h3> <p><em>By Brandon Frye</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - Dylan Cavin is a multimedia Choctaw artist who portrays native and Oklahoma-oriented subjects in his work in unexpected ways. He says he first learned to appreciate art as a child reading comic books, finding himself drawn to particular illustrators and noticing their unique methods.<br></p> <p>“It got me to draw the same pictures, put things on paper, and start falling in love with the way a pencil stroke looked,” Cavin said. “That lead to me seeing other artists’ signature styles, what made them stand out, and that made me love the art even more.”<br></p> <p>He carried this sentiment over to the way he views his own art now, as a journey of self-exploration.<br></p> <p>“Artwork is the journey of finding yourself, and what comes out is a signature,” he said. “I see my art as a progression in finding that signature in myself. I don’t feel like I’m there yet, and for me, that’s one of the bigger parts of being an artist, never quite being satisfied and always pushing yourself.”<br></p> <p>His journey took him from his childhood appreciation of comic books to winning awards in high school, and then on to receiving college scholarships and earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO). After graduating, he started working as a graphic designer, a career he has continued for 10 years.<br><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2609/MTA_DylanCavin_original.jpg" align="right" width="300" alt='Dylan Headshot' /></p> <p>“For me, it’s nice working the graphic design job and then coming home to work pencil, paper, paint brush, and canvas,” he said. “I work nine-to-five. After I get home, I will eat dinner with my wife, relax for a bit, then I usually have set aside time to work on whatever grabs me. It is really nice to come in and work with my hands.”<br></p> <p>When he settles down to his studio, Cavin says his approach is very blue collar. He works, he puts in the time. He picks up whatever strikes him first, whether it’s working with pencil and paper, or getting some canvas out and working with acrylic paints “It is a process, you have to put the work in. I don’t necessarily know when the piece is done. Some pieces will sit in the studio for three, four, or six months. Other pieces take no time.”<br></p> <p>Cavin said, In the comic book world, he can see the entire process that goes into the work, from the pencil to the inking to the actual painting of the cover. His own artistic method seems to mirror this hands-on, continuous process with multiple layers.<br></p> <p>The result is a hybrid&#8211;an assortment of complimentary and active graphites, inks, paints&#8211;a mix of old and new visuals, purposefully designed by artist Dylan Cavin, often worked onto interesting backdrops such as notes, ledgers, and book pages. He works to control the design of his art, but Cavin also appreciates the uniqueness and unplanned expression of each piece.<br></p> <p>“Art is something you can’t recreate. With the drips and washes you see in my work, I plan to do it, but I don’t know how it will come out. You can see brush strokes with a gradient you know you will never be able to do again. It is expression, putting in that work, finding that unexpected outcome,” Cavin said.<br></p> <p>Cavin’s work often shows subjects important to the Choctaw Nation and its heritage, such as the buffalo and historical figures. It is part of his attempt to explore, in himself, what it means to be Choctaw, and what it means to be Oklahoman. He said he feels a responsibility to convey the feelings he gets from such subjects, and a desire to allow the viewer a connection with it.<br><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2608/MTA_DylanCavin_collection_original.jpg" align="right" width="250" alt='Dylan Works' /></p> <p>“For me, the Native art really hits home for doing something that means Oklahoma to me. A lot of times I relate Native with myself, and that translates into what I find around me, whether it be a bison, or a longhorn, or the scissortail. That’s what comes out,” he said.<br></p> <p>Looking forward, Cavin plans to keep pushing his work, showing his art at every possible venue. He said If he is not pushing himself, his art is not being seen. “If you are not there to talk about your work, then people aren’t going to be as interested about it,” he explained. “Once you are there and talking about it, it takes on a different story.”<br></p> <p>Dylan Cavin’s artwork is currently on display around the Choctaw Nation. A scissortail flycatcher, made from paints on an old note, is even perched on the wall of the Biskinik offices. A collection of his work is for sale at the Choctaw Welcome Center in Colbert. His work is also spread across the state and globe. Tribes 131 in Norman has shown his artwork. He has had several pieces on display at the University of Oklahoma’s student union on the medical campus. Cavin has shipped artwork around Oklahoma, to Texas, and even to places like Moscow. He has shown art in New York and in Santa Fe. And USAO recently hosted Cavin’s one-man show at the Nesbitt Gallery in Chickasha.<br></p> <p>“Doing native art, especially within the Choctaw Nation, it has almost opened up an extended family I didn’t necessarily know I had,” Cavin said. “But once you get out there and start showing, it’s a very warm crowd.” <br></p> <p>Watch an exclusive interview with Dylan Cavin <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv0Iq1eEdM0">here</a>.<br> <!-- 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, 16 Jan 2015 22:33:19 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/dylan-cavin-shares-the-story-of-his-art/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/dylan-cavin-shares-the-story-of-his-art/ The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Bringing Chili's® Grill & Bar Franchises Along With 80 New Jobs to Southeast Oklahoma <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2601/Reimage_-_exterior_lowres_original.jpg" alt='Chilis Exterior' /><br></p> <h3>The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Bringing Chili&#8217;s® Grill &amp; Bar Franchises Along With 80 New Jobs to Southeast Oklahoma</h3> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - Residents of Atoka and Poteau will soon be able to enjoy a casual lunch or a night on the town at <a href="http://www.chilis.com">Chili&#8217;s® Grill &amp; Bar</a>. The development of the two Chili’s restaurants will be the newest additions to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s Franchise Division.<br></p> <p>The restaurants will bring a new dining option to communities in central Atoka County and north central Le Flore County, as well as for those traveling through these areas. Both Chili’s will be built adjacent to the existing Choctaw Nation Travel Plaza and Casino Too’s, located at Highway 69/75 and Highway 3 in Atoka and at the junction of Highway 271 and Highway 112 in Poteau.<br><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2602/CHILIS_ID_PepperS_CMYK_original.jpg" align="right" width="250" alt='Chilis Logo' /></p> <p>“We are excited to bring a popular, nationally recognized restaurant brand of Chili’s caliber to these two towns. Even more importantly though, we are thrilled with the jobs these two restaurants will create for the areas’ residents” said Choctaw Nation’s Chief Gary Batton.<br></p> <p>The Atoka location will provide 40 jobs and will be the first casual dining restaurant brand with a national footprint in Atoka. The Poteau restaurant will also provide 40 jobs to the surrounding area. Construction for the Poteau location is set to start this month and the restaurant is expected to open in August 2015. Construction is scheduled to begin March 2015 for the Atoka restaurant, which has an expected completion date of October 2015.<br> </p> <p>Chili’s® Grill &amp; Bar is the flagship brand of Dallas-based Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), a recognized leader in casual dining. Chili&#8217;s offers a variety of Southwestern-inspired, classic American favorites at more than 1,550 locations in 30 countries and two territories. In addition to Chili&#8217;s, Brinker owns and operates Maggiano&#8217;s Little Italy®. For more brand-related information, please visit <a href="http://www.chilis.com">chilis.com</a>.<br><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2603/Reimage_-_chandeliers_lowres_original.jpg" width="500" alt='Chilis Interior' /><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, 15 Jan 2015 15:31:05 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/the-choctaw-nation-of-oklahoma-bringing-chilis-grill-bar-franchises-to-southeast-oklahoma/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/the-choctaw-nation-of-oklahoma-bringing-chilis-grill-bar-franchises-to-southeast-oklahoma/ Choctaw youth participate in diabetes prevention study <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2597/PressConferencePhoto_original.jpg" alt='Move Story' /><br> <em>Mary Ayn Tullier of Choctaw Nation addresses the media during a press conference at Harold Hamm Diabetes Center about the MOVE Diabetes study. Other researchers at right include Tamela Cannady, Kevin Short, Ph. D. and Jennifer Chadwick, Native American Programs Coordinator for HHDC. Photo by Zach Maxwell</em><br></p> <h3>Choctaw youth participate in diabetes prevention study<br></h3> <p><em>By ZACH MAXWELL</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - The Choctaw Nation is participating in a bold new diabetes prevention study called MOVE, launched by the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.<br></p> <p>Researchers conducting the study and staff members from Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority recently announced the study involving youths from Hugo and Talihina. Participant screenings and fitness tests are conducted at the Diabetes Wellness Center in Talihina and at the Hugo Wellness Center.<br></p> <p>The study asks a simple question: If we pay kids to go to the gym, will it lead to lasting lifestyle changes that promote good health?<br></p> <p>The research is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, to focus on how to motivate young people to make lifestyle changes that can help them avoid health problems. Choctaw Nation leaders, recognizing the high incidence of juvenile diabetes among tribal members, asked to participate in the study.<br></p> <p>“We’ve developed new protocols for treating diabetes in children, but nothing in terms of teaching those at risk to avoid the disease,” said Kenneth Copeland, M.D., co-principal investigator of the study. One in three children born today will develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime; that number increases for Native American children.<br></p> <p>“Studies have demonstrated that incentive programs help adults meet their goals in weight loss or smoking cessation programs,” said Kevin Short, Ph. D., co-principal investigator and associate professor in pediatric diabetes and endocrinology at the OU College of Medicine. “But no one has ever considered whether financial incentives can improve health outcomes in younger populations.” Tamela Cannady, Director of Preventive Health for Choctaw Nation, said participation in the study has had an immediate impact for its young volunteers.<br></p> <p>“This is making a difference in their self esteem. They are holding their heads higher,” she said. “We have a job at Choctaw Nation to make people’s lives healthier.”<br></p> <p>Mary Ayn Tullier, a research study coordinator from Choctaw Nation, said some of the participants “had no idea how to exercise” and many had never ridden a bicycle.<br></p> <p>“We coach them and give them compliments to keep them going,” she said.<br> Study participant Emily Greger, 14, of Moyers, has taken her participation in the study to the next level by joining her school’s basketball team.<br></p> <p>“I really like it because there is so much at the gym you can do,” Greger said. “I like the people at the gym. They’re just like a big family. This makes you feel great because you are helping yourself.”<br></p> <p>She got a friend to participate in the study because both have family members with type 2 diabetes. Emily’s mother, Dawn Greger, who has type 2 diabetes, is supportive of her daughter’s participation in the study because “it teaches her to be more active and take care of herself.”<br></p> <p>Type 2 diabetes in teens and young adults has risen sharply in the past few years. Researchers hope the study will help them find effective ways to help prevent diabetes in young people.<br></p> <p>“We hope this research will help us develop prevention programs that effectively address how to increase the physical activity levels of all youth as well as model incentive programs for future use in the Choctaw Nation and elsewhere,” said Short.<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> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 15:05:24 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-youth-participate-in-diabetes-prevention-study/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-youth-participate-in-diabetes-prevention-study/ Lorene Blaine - Elder Spotlight <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2592/YoungLorene_original.jpg" width="400" alt='Young Lorene' /><br> <em>Lorene, as a young school girl in southern Oklahoma.</em><br></p> <h3>Lorene Blaine - Elder Spotlight</h3> <p><em>By Ronnie Pierce</em><Br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> - Born in a small frame house in Bennington, Lorene Blaine never thought she would live a life that would take her across the country, to Europe, and back home again. “It was a one room house that had been sectioned off, and I was born in the kitchen, so I guess that’s why I love to cook,” Lorene confesses.<br></p> <p>The youngest of six children and a full blood Choctaw, Lorene has accomplished much in her life.<br></p> <p>She attended a small rural school until the 8th grade, only 24 kids and the same teacher every year. She and her sister would walk the mile and a half to school and back home again past an old cemetery, the thought still sends shivers down her spine. “We would run as fast as we could and only look back to make sure we were far enough away to slow down.”<br></p> <p>She went on to Goodland to attend high school. “Only 12 kids in my graduating class, it was a big one,” she laughs. She still sees some of those friends when she visits Tvshka Homma for various functions.<br></p> <p>After high school she stayed close to home attending Southeastern and taking business courses.<br><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2590/_DSC4312_original.jpg" align="right" width="250" alt='Lorene Blaine' /><br></p> <p>But marriage to a military man soon took her a long way from southern Oklahoma. After marrying Silas Blaine, she lived on bases on the west coast and Germany, where they were a bit of a novelty. “People there had never seen Native Americans before, so they were full of questions, friendly but curious.”<br></p> <p>After moving back home, she continued her business degree at a school in Denison. She then began her career with the Choctaw Nation, taking a job with the CDIB department, or voter registration.<br></p> <p>She helped kick start the cultural reawakening within the tribe by starting the Choctaw Intertribal Club in 1992 which held annual Native American arts and craft fairs and gospel singings. She said she wanted to not only get her fellow Choctaws involved but other tribes as well. They started holding small pow wows that were noticed by professors from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. They helped her organize the events and moved them onto the campus where they were held for several years.<br></p> <p>In 2008, she was chosen as the Outstanding Female Elder of the Choctaw Nation. And just this past year was honored by AARP Oklahoma as an Outstanding Indian Elder in recognition of her work for the U.S. Department of Justice voting rights as an observer in many tribal and state elections.<br><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2591/VetLoreneBlaine_original.jpg" align="right" width="300" alt='Lorene Blaine Vet Day' /><br></p> <p>In addition to cooking, she does beadwork, makes shawls, and crochets. She also accompanies Choctaw Nation representatives on cultural visits outside of Oklahoma, including the Smithsonian. She’s seen a real evolution in young Choctaws’ interest in their culture including traditional dance and stickball. This pleases her. And she tries to pass on to them the best advice her parents ever gave her, “Stand up for yourself, be independent, and always respect your elders.”<br></p> <p>She also likes coaxing her fellow seniors into getting more involved at cultural gatherings. Sometimes, she says, they seem like they are too shy to join in.<br></p> <p>She encourages them to participate, to get involved by telling them, “You don’t know what you can do until you get out there.”<br></p> <p>Watch Lorene&#8217;s video interview <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97gAnWz_i1Q">here</a><br></p> <p><!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --></p> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-51768a9b29d4b994"></script> <p><!-- AddThis Button END --></p> Fri, 09 Jan 2015 14:57:44 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/lorene-blaine---elder-spotlight/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/lorene-blaine---elder-spotlight/ Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Conducting Beef Survey to Gauge Local Rancher Needs <h3>Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Conducting Beef Survey to Gauge Local Rancher Needs</h3> <p><strong>Hugo, Okla.</strong> - The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is currently engaged in an economic study to determine the feasibility of various actions the Nation and others might take to stimulate the beef industry in Southeastern Oklahoma.<br> </p> <p>The purpose of the study is to gauge the potential for expanding the industry, making it more profitable and identifying the best ways to go forward. While the focus of the effort is economic development for Tribal Members of the Nation, it is anticipated whatever measures are eventually taken will involve and be open to other farmers and ranchers who may not be Tribal Members.<br></p> <p>There are a number of possible ways Southeastern Oklahoma beef producers could be assisted. “We’re not committed to any one course of action at this point,” said Dale Jackson a Senior Business Analyst for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, &#8220;there are many options, ranging from technical assistance, to building a slaughter facility to serve the region. That’s why we’re conducting an online survey to see what our local producers really need and want most. The survey is available <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/OklahomaBeef">here</a> and we encourage everyone to complete it, which can be done anonymously if desired. We need this information, and quickly, because we hope to wrap up the project over the next month. To make it easier for those who may not have internet access, we are making hard copies available at our business development and agricultural facility locations or they can be requested by calling me at (580) 920-8280 Ext. 2738. There’s just one basic requirement: we need the surveys completed on-line or back to us by January 15.”</p> <p>The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has lands across 10 ½ counties in Southeastern Oklahoma including Atoka, Bryan. Choctaw, Coal, Haskell, Hughes, Le Flore, McCurtain, McIntosh, Pittsburg and Pushmataha Counties. The economic feasibility study is being funded with the assistance of a Rural Business Opportunity Grant from USDA.</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, 02 Jan 2015 20:10:45 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-of-oklahoma-conducting-beef-survey-to-gauge-local-rancher-needs/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-of-oklahoma-conducting-beef-survey-to-gauge-local-rancher-needs/ 8th Annual Career EXPO Brings the Game of Life to EXPO Center <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2583/2015_Expo_Flyer3_original.jpg" width="400" alt='2015 Career EXPO' /><br></p> <h3>8th Annual Career EXPO Brings the Game of Life to EXPO Center</h3> <p><strong>McAlester, Okla.</strong> - “Keeping It Real….Real Choices, Real Jobs, Real LIFE!” is the theme for the 8th Annual Career Expo. The event will be held at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester, Oklahoma, on Wednesday February 25, 2015 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></p> <p>This year’s guest speaker is Mr. Bill Cordes. Since 1988, Mr. Cordes has keynoted programs for conventions, conferences, schools and universities nationwide. His programs have been featured in 49 states and Canada to well over 2.5 million participants. Bill combines humor and enthusiasm as he draws on his extensive life experiences as a former high school teacher, college instructor, television talk show host, life coach, and college transition specialist.<br></p> <p>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 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></p> <p>The annual Career Expo is hosted by the Choctaw Nation Career Development Program. 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 wide variety of health fields.<br></p> <p>A highlight of this year’s event is the Veteran’s 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.<br></p> <p>This year, attendees will have the opportunity to play a life-size Game of Life. An over-sized game board and hands on activities will emphasize the importance of making good career choices. Students and job seekers can walk thru Reality Park, practice on the welding simulator, try their hand at racing a robot, visit the Manufacturing Education Training trailer, and much more! Experiences in a variety of career fields will be available. Participants will receive a free tshirt (while supplies last) as well as be entered to win a set of Beats headphones.<br></p> <p>Transportation is available to Choctaw tribal members in Southeast Oklahoma who make reservations. Members can call Deidre Inselman at (580) 920-2260 to reserve seating. Deadline to sign up for transportation is Friday, February 14, 2015.<br></p> <p>The Career Expo is open to all persons interested in finding out more information about educational or employment opportunities. Admission is free.<br></p> <p>For more information or if you would like to participate in this February 26th event, contact Kelli Ostman or Rhonda Mize with Choctaw Nation Career Development at (866) 933-2260.<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> Tue, 30 Dec 2014 15:02:41 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/8th-annual-career-expo-brings-the-game-of-life-to-expo-center/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/8th-annual-career-expo-brings-the-game-of-life-to-expo-center/ Choctaw Nation Promise Zone Visit from Deputy Under Secretary Blazer <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2578/PZ_Ranch_Pic_original.jpg" alt='Promise Zone Ranch' /><br> <em>Left to Right: Gary O’Neill, USDA State Conservationist for Oklahoma; Butch Blazer, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment; Chief Gary Batton; Ryan McMullen, USDA State Director for Rural Development; and Assistant Chief Jack Austin, Jr.</em><br></p> <h3>Choctaw Nation Promise Zone Visit from Deputy Under Secretary Blazer</h3> <p><em>by Sara Jane Smallwood</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Choctaw Nation</strong> - USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment visited Choctaw Nation this fall. USDA is the lead department for the Choctaw Nation’s presidential Promise Zone designation, and this visit was an opportunity to connect further with the tribe’s federal partners.<br> </p> <p>Under Secretary Blazer is a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, the former State Forester for the state of New Mexico, and former tribal council member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe. As one of the highest ranking American Indians serving in an appointed capacity at USDA, Under Secretary Blazer was eager to visit the first tribal Promise Zone.<br> <img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2579/USFS_visit_original.jpg" align="right" width="250" alt='USFS Visit' /><br> The Promise Zone designation plays into every goal and activity of the Choctaw Nation. Under Secretary Blazer’s duties at USDA include working with the US Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. During his time visiting Choctaw Nation he toured Winding Stair Ranch and the Ouachita National Forest to talk about past projects and goals for the future related to these two agencies and the Choctaw Nation.<br> </p> <p>Visiting Winding Stair Ranch was a great opportunity to see how Choctaw Nation has worked with NRCS and how that continued partnership will strengthen the Nation’s land. Conversations with the Choctaw Nation’s agriculture staff included how this new ranch will serve as a hub for the Nation’s agricultural production. Under Secretary Blazer was able to see first-hand how intensive planning efforts are underway to devise comprehensive agricultural, wildlife, and environmental plans. NRCS will continue to play a role as fields are returning to native grasses, and management strategies are being implemented.<br></p> <p>The second day of Under Secretary Blazer’s visit included a visit to the Ouachita National Forest. He met with Choctaw Nation’s tourism staff to discuss tourists who visit the portion of the forest in the Choctaw Nation, especially during peak times in the spring and fall. This trip included a stop at a federal visitor center closed recently due to budget cuts, and how its closure impacts tourism in the Nation.<br> </p> <p>The visit served as an opportunity to highlight areas of need, past achievements, and potential for collaboration between the Choctaw Nation and the USDA. We look forward to continued investment and partnership with USDA in the Choctaw Nation’s land and natural resources.<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, 26 Dec 2014 13:58:28 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-promise-zone-visit-from-deputy-under-secretary-blazer/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/choctaw-nation-promise-zone-visit-from-deputy-under-secretary-blazer/ Veterans group presents award to Choctaw Nation <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2574/VACAward_original.jpg" alt='VACaward' /><br> <em>Choctaw Nation Flight Operations pilots Quentin McLarry, Al Cherry and John Wesley pose with the VAC Appreciation Award at the Choctaw Nation hangar at Eaker Field in Durant. (Photo by ZACH MAXWELL)</em><br></p> <h3>Flights help wounded veterans; Choctaw pilots happy to serve</h3> <p><em>by Zach Maxwell</em><br> <em>Choctaw Nation</em><br></p> <p><strong>Durant, Okla.</strong> – The eagle has landed in the Choctaw Nation.<br> Veterans Airlift Command, which links wounded servicemen and women with private air transportation, has honored the Choctaw Nation with an appreciation award. The actual award is a glass-carved eagle taking flight, symbolizing the flights provided by hundreds of entities for wounded veterans.<br> Choctaw Nation ranks third out of that list of air service providers. Choctaw Nation Flight Operations pilots Al Cherry, Quentin McLarry and John Wesley are a big part of the tribe’s service to veterans across the U.S.A.<br> “I’m just so proud of our pilots for what they are doing for our veterans, helping and assisting those who serve God and country,” said Chief Gary Batton. “It’s just one more way the Choctaw Nation is able to give back to our veterans, who served so that we can have our freedom. I am so proud for our pilots to lead this.”<br> So far in 2014, Choctaw Nation has flown 15 missions, serving 22 veterans and 19 support people such as spouses and caregivers.<br> “It’s a very emotional thing for us, but with a lot of satisfaction,” Cherry said, himself a military veteran. “These people not only served their country, they all have traumatic injuries which they will carry the rest of their lives. It’s a small thing we can do for those who sacrificed so much.”<br> The award was one of a handful presented in appreciation to volunteer organizations such as Choctaw Nation, It was given by VAC in Nashville on Nov. 14.<br><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/choctaw-msldigital/assets/2575/VACHonorFlightAward_original.jpg" align="right" width="250" alt='VAC with Chief' /><br> Choctaw Nation pilots average around one VAC flight per month, ferrying wounded veterans to a variety of “humanitarian and compassionate” destinations such as medical rehabilitation, weddings and reunions.<br> Amputees face unimaginable challenges when flying commercially, due to new travel restrictions meant to prevent the very terror which many wounded veterans fought against. One military wife, speaking for her husband, said this about the VAC program:<br> “I cannot say enough good things about the Veterans Airlift Command and their pilots. They aren’t giving up their time because they have to, they want to. These pilots want to be there and that is a selfless act.”<br> Cherry said one group was recently taken from San Antonio to their base in Tennessee to welcome their unit home after a lengthy tour of duty. He said the pilots also take groups to the annual Bataan Death March memorial walk, a 26.2-mile trek over the desert in White Sands, N.M., honoring US prisoners of war from World War II.<br> The focus of the flights is on veterans injured in post-9/11 combat theaters such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Choctaw Nation has been involved in the flights for four years at no cost to the veterans or their families.<br> For more information about the VAC, visit veteransairlift.org.</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> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 16:49:40 GMT http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/veterans-group-presents-award-to-choctaw-nation/ http://choctawnation.com/news-room/press-room/media-releases/veterans-group-presents-award-to-choctaw-nation/