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Emvpanayv: One who tells the story

Emvpanayv: One who tells the story

Gary Fife/Radio Specialist

Museum again, Native celebrities, (Un-) Civil War?

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — OK. Here we go again with the latest chapter in decades old saga of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City.

Update: According to a story from ‘The Daily Oklahoman,’ construction is supposed to resume on Oct. 1, according to Executive Director James Pepper Henry.

If that name sounds familiar, here’s why: Not too long ago, Henry was director of the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa.

OK, for the next part: It’s opening is set (tentatively) for April 2021.

The reason for skepticism?

The story includes the phrase: ‘Work finishing the other parts of the complex will begin in earnest as financing details are wrapped up.’ (My emphasis)

So, how many times have we heard something like that? The Devil’s always in the details.

For something on a more positive note, Native activist Ladonna Harris will accept the third annual Oklahoma Changing World award. An article in the ‘Tulsa World’ said the award would be presented Sept. 24 at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa.

A member of the Oklahoma Comanche Tribe, Harris has been active nationally and internationally since the early 1970s.

How many of you are fans of the rapper Snoop Dogg? Perhaps, this little bit might change your thinking about the guy.

‘Indian Country Today’ reports that Calvin Broadus AKA Snoop Dogg and lot of other names he’s used, posted a photo on social media of him wearing a war bonnet. The caption said that he called himself a ‘Knoc-a-hoe’ member and that his name was ‘Knoc-a-new.’

National news sources are reporting that Sonny Landham, the actor who co-starred in ‘Predator’ and ‘48 Hrs.,’ has died. Landham had Seminole and Cherokee ancestry according to his biography. He was 76.

The cause was reported as congestive heart failure. Besides his role as the Indian tracker in ‘Predator,’ you might remember that he had a bit part as the cop who got his leg broken by a thrown baseball bat in ‘The Warriors.’

Are you ‘Johnny Reb’ or ‘Billy Yank?’ Strange how these divisions from that war more than 150 years ago, the American Civil War, still affect Americans today. It’s still a subject that can bring on an argument (or worse) without much effort.

From the bit of history that I’ve read on the subject, several tribes actually fought on both sides of the war and pretty much got the short end of the stick from the Blue and the Gray.

In southern states, demonstrations have been ongoing over removal of flags, statutes and monuments dedicated to Confederate soldiers and leaders. The latest demonstrations have resulted in violent conflicts and sadly, fatalities.

Here in Oklahoma, school districts in a couple of major cities are reviewing policies regarding schools named after Confederates.

But, here’s a question to be posed to the Cherokee Nation: what about the monuments to Stand Watie, a Cherokee and the last Confederate general to surrender? How will that be handled?

Folks I’ve chatted with in Tahlequah said the subject has been informally tossed around, but nothing has developed.

(I must admit, my dear mother told me that the Cherokee side of the family was related to Stand Watie.)

This year’s election and political season has brought on many basic questions that are quite complex and raise issues basic to being a Creek. Our courts are going to be busy.

First of all, the Embers Grill in Broken Arrow.

Can gaming be established there? Is the National Indian Gaming Commission decision saying the land is not eligible for a casino the final ruling? Does the Muscogee (Creek) Nation opposition and Lighthorse tribal police raid that seized “illegal” machines stop this enterprise?

Here’s more to be answered: Can Jeremiah Hobia be town king and a citizen of the Kialegee Tribal Town as well as a Muscogee (Creek) tribal citizen and run for MCN National Council at the same time?

Another: Can/or should an accused murder suspect’s tribal citizenship play a part in his complicated trial?

Tough questions to be answered by our administration, the National Council as well as MCN and federal courts.

Speaking of which, the election season is gaining momentum. Council seats are being contested.

Signs and political statements are popping up around Creek country. Be sure to get registered and vote.

Just got back from a trip to see the in-laws in Minnesota. Glorious time, seeing the Ojibwe folks on the res up there, taking a boat trip to check out fishing holes and wild rice beds, invitations to go deer hunting, stories about Bigfoot, eating fresh White Castle double cheeseburgers and the best part of all—sleeping late in the mornings.

You know you’re getting old when that can be the best part of the day.

Hvtvm cerecares—I’ll see you again.

GARY FIFE Radio Specialist 918.732.7643 | GFife@MvskokeMedia.com An enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, and of Cherokee heritage, Gary D. Fife is a career veteran of journalism, with nearly 40 years of experience in print, radio and television specializing in Native American affairs. He and his wife co-habit their home with a scottish terrier named Willow.

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