United Keetoowah Band - Headlines

Keetoowahs mourn passing of Statesman - Former Assistant Chief and Tribal Judge G. William "Bill" Rice

G. William "Bill" Rice - Former Assistant ChiefIt is with a heavy heart that the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians reports the passing of G. William Rice.
Rice served as the Assistant Chief of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in the late 1990s, leading with a steady hand through a turbulent time. Prior to that time, he served as a judge on the UKB Tribal Court.
As a professor of constitutional and Indian law at the University of Tulsa for over 20 years, G. William Rice served as a mentor to a wide number of students of Indian law and his influence will continue to shape the practice.  He previously taught law at Cornell University and the University of North Dakota.
Volunteering his time without taking compensation, Rice was a member of the UKB Corporate Charter Authority Board.
"Bill was deeply concerned for the welfare of the Keetoowah," said UKB Assistant Chief Joe Bunch.  "He was a warrior for individual and tribal rights and was a champion for Keetoowah rights.  He was a friend."

UKB Henry Lee Doublehead Child Care Development Center to Distribute Backpacks and School Supplies

TAHLEQUAH – United Keetoowah Band Henry Lee Doublehead Child Care Development Center through the Child Care Development Fund will be distributing backpacks and school supplies to children ages 4-12 years.

Children must be exclusive UKB members and enrolled in school.  They will be required to bring membership card and enrollment letter from the school or last year’s report card. 

This is for backpacks and school supplies only.

Distribution sites:

Tahlequah and Canadian Districts
July 28, 2015 9:00am-5:00pm
Henry Lee Doublehead CDC

Flint and Goingsnake Districts
July 28, 2015 9:00am-5:00pm
Stilwell Sub-Office

Delaware and Goingsnake Districts
July 28, 2015 9:00am-5:00pm
Kansas Sub-Office

Illinois and Sequoyah Districts
July 28, 2015 9:00am-5:00pm
UKB Sallisaw Sub-Office

Saline and Delaware Districts
July 28, 2015 9:00am-5:00pm
Kenwood School Library

Cooweescoowee and Saline Districts
July 28, 2015   10:00am-4:00pm
Lincoln Early Center
Eastside building, Pryor Public School

Make up day will be August 3, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the UKB Henry Lee Doublehead Child Development Center.  For further information please contact Lala Stopp at 918-822-3362 or 918-431-9998.

UKB to host Spring Break Culture Camp

TAHLEQUAH - The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma will be hosting their annual Spring Break Culture Camp beginning March 16 through March 20, 2015.

The Culture Camp will be held at the UKB Wellness Center located at the UKB Tribal complex just south of Tahlequah off of West Willis Road.

The camp is opened to the first 50 applicants and will host children from Kindergarten to 6th grade (12 & under). A $20 registration fee will is required for each camper and is a non-refundable donation.

Parents can register their children at 18263 W. Keetoowah Circle at the UKB Tribal Complex.

Camp activities will include stickball, Cherokee Language classes, basket weaving, nature walk, clay bead making, health fair, and more.

For more information you may call 918-456-8698.

Download the application. (PDF)

Download the application. (MS Word File)

February 2015 Gaduwa Cherokee News is Now Online

The February 2015 edition of Gaduwa Cherokee News is now online.  Current and prior editions of Gaduwa Cherokee News can be read online at http://www.ukb-nsn.gov/news/gaduwa-cherokee-news.

UKB Assistant Chief and Tribal Council Take Oath of Office

It was standing room only during the swearing-in ceremony for the newly re-elected and elected tribal representatives and elected Assistant Chief.

The event was held at the Jim Proctor Elder Center, Saturday, January 10. 

Joe Bunch was elected in a special election to serve out the final two-years of the late Assistant Chief Charles Locust’s four-year term. With his wife Karen standing beside him as she held Bunch’s grandfather’s bible that was presented to Joseph Proctor in 1939, Bunch placed his left hand on the bible and held his right hand up, taking the oath of office for Assistant Chief which was given by Judge Dewayne Littlejohn, UKB tribal district judge, for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. 

After the Assistant Chief swearing-in, UKB District Judge Littlejohn gave the oath of office to the nine District Representatives as each one held up their right hand and took their oath of office.

In a brief speech Chief Wickliffe informed everyone that the tribal officers held four-year terms and that Joe Bunch was elected in a special election to fulfill the last two-years of the late Assistant Chief Charles Locust’s four-year term.

"We have many ongoing issues that are vital to the tribe and I want the council to focus and stay focused on these important issues. The late Assistant Chief Locust had been involved throughout my tenure which began in 2005. I do not want to lose track on where we are going. We are going to continue with all our efforts to get this land in trust and it will happen,” said Chief Wickliffe. 

Newly sworn-in Assistant Chief Joe Bunch was given the opportunity to address the audience.

Assistant Chief Bunch thanked everyone who was involved in his election bid for the second-in-command position for the UKB. 

“It’s been a long five months, ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate all the work everyone did to make this possible for me and my family,” said Assistant Chief Bunch.

“My campaign was pretty much small, short, and simple, to bring unity back into the tribe. I’m looking forward to all the progressthat is in place, working with the tribal council and with the Chief. I want to say thank you to the council and together as a team we will get this accomplished, we will get our land in trust and we’re going to move forward,” added Bunch.

Tribal Representatives Eddie Sacks, Canadian District; Clifford Wofford, Cooweescoowee District; Peggy Girty, Illinois District; and Charles Smoke, Saline District; all ran unopposed while Jerry Hansen, Delaware District; Tom Duncan, Flint District; William Christie, Goingsnake District; and Barry Dotson, Sequoyah District; all ran for re-election and defeated their opponents. In the Tahlequah District incumbent Betty Holcomb was defeated in a run-off election by Anile Locust who became the only new representative on the tribal council.

The new Tahlequah District representative said she felt excited about the morning event and looked forward to the new adventure in her life.

“Since I’m very new to the community I am honored that people chose me not knowing me, so I feel real honored about that and I’ll do my best to live up to their expectations. I want to learn all I can about the workings of the government so that I can hopefully improve the way our people live and looking forward to getting our land in trust,” said Locust.

When asked how he felt about being sworn-in as the newly elected Assistant Chief, Bunch responded by saying, “I think it’s a great achievement for the tribal people and I’m honored. We have many hurdles ahead of us, the first thing we need to do is bring the word united back into the tribe. 

The people have spoken; they want integrity, accountability, and transparency in their leaders. It’s going to be wonderful sharing new ideas together, having the opportunity to speak and be heard. Not every idea is going to be accepted, but through negotiations and working together we can make it happen,” said Bunch.

A short reception followed before the Chief, Assistant Chief and tribal council adjourned to begin their first 2015 tribal council meeting.


HIP Program Provides Renovations for Tribal Members' Homes

The Eastern Oklahoma Regional Bureau of Indian Affairs, located in Muskogee, OK, is focusing in various tribal programs throughout the eastern region. Some of the programs include education, health, law enforcement, domestic violence and many other programs. Working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is the Chickasaw Nation in assisting in the project by producing a video of the different programs.

The BIA selected the United Keetoowah Band of the Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma Housing department, featuring the Housing Improvement Program (HIP) funded through a grant from the BIA.

The UKB Housing submits applications throughout the year for the HIP program through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Based on the reports sent to the bureau, it is evaluated through a point system, and then BIA selects the applicants who they will assist.

According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Housing Improvement Program the guidelines is comprised of two charts, one for the Lower 48 states and the other for Alaska.  The income figures on the chart establish the points they will receive for the first Need Ranking Factor based on Annual Household Income. 

The HIP program is designated to help renovate homes of families who have limited resources. In 2014 three families were selected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to receive help through the Home Improvement Program due to a carryover in funding from the year before.

“As tribal members apply for the United Keetoowah Band Housing rehabilitation program, a HIP application is also handed out to the applicant,” said Pat Reese, Director of Housing.

One of the renovated homes featured through HIP funding was the home of Tom and Glenda Handle of the Echota community, located between Wauhillau and Rocky Mountain communities in Adair County.

An extensive renovation was done on Handle’s home. The UKB Housing replaced their furnace, air conditioning unit, replaced their old roof with new roofing, repainted their inside walls, replace their old windows and remodeled one of theirbathrooms back to working conditions, even replaced their vent pipe.

Handle’s home is located on his mother’s restricted land, Maggie Handle. She turned the property over to Tom after his marriage to Glenda.  Tom was born in 1955 and raised there in the Echota area. He met Glenda after she moved to Oklahoma from Houston, TX and married her in 1981.

“This was his mother’s land; the land belonged to the family for many generations. When Tom and I got married she gave him the land to build our house,” said Glenda.

“The house was in great condition when it was built, but through the years my sink starting falling in. My son and his wife had to rebuild it to reach me, unless I wanted to do the dishes on the floor. We got our house back now; it needed a lot of work, and we just couldn’t afford it. I’m glad they fixed it, they did a fantastic job, and it was a blessing. They painted the rooms, fixed the bathroom, they redid the roof, it had a leak, they shingled it and they put in new windows,” said Glenda.

“We are proud of it. We’ve lived here since 1991, and probably live here the rest of our lives,” added Glenda.

“I’m very pleased with the project; I feel that we are very fortunate to have that extra funding through the HIP program to help more tribal members. I think it’s very beneficial overall. It allows us to spend more dollars on a house. Some of the homes may need more work, and with that funding that we receive helps,” stated Reese.

The Housing Improvement Program was established under the Snyder Act of 1921. It was a BIA program authorized by Congress to benefit Native Americans. The program is a home repair, renovation, replacement and new housing grant program which is administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

A person has to be a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or Alaska Native to be eligible and have an income that does not exceed 125% of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines.

Distribution of HIP funds to tribes are based upon the number of eligible applicants and their estimated cost of program services through Public Law 93-638 contracts, self-determination compacts or to Bureau of Indian Affairs offices.

For more information you can contact the UKB Housing at 918-431-1808, and ask for Pat Reese, UKB Housing director.

New Hours Set for UKB Tribal Veterans Office

TAHLEQUAH - New business hours for the United Keetoowah Band Tribal Veterans Office will be Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

If any veteran has questions or need to file a claim, they can contact Jacob Littledave at the Veterans office at 918-456-8698, ext. 140.

If you cannot make it to the office on Wednesdays, you can contact Littledave at 918-360-5339, seven days a week. 


UKB Library Open to the Public

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma’s library is open to the public, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The library is located at the UKB Community Services building at the UKB Tribal complex. 

A computer lab is available along with a variety of books.  The UKB library also hosts guest speakers and events.   The library is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

For more information, contact UKB Education Director Susan Adair or Education Intake Specialist Della Wolfe at 918-456-8698.

John Hair Cultural Center & Museum - Classes and Events - Spring 2015

January 31, 2015                                 Pucker Toe Moccasin Class (Saturday 9:00-4:00 p.m.)

Participants will learn how to make their own pair of pucker toe moccasins. All materials will be provided. Students that participated in the 2014 class may attend this class free, if bringing own material.

February 28, 2015                               Finger Weaving Class (Saturday 9:00-4:00 p.m.)

Students will learn the basic art form of finger weaving using commercial yarn to create a belt, sash, straps, or other similar items through a non-loom weaving process.

March 16-20, 2105                              Spring Break Cultural Day Camp (8:00-5:00 p.m.)

Children in grades K-8 will participate in traditional crafts and games, go on scavenger hunts, meet Keetoowah elders and learn about the Keetoowah Cherokee language as well as healthy nutrition, diabetes, first aid, personal hygiene and much more through a variety of age appropriate activities.  Activities are designed for children in grades K-8. Admission is $10 per student and helps cover the cost of meals and tee shirts.

April 11, 2015                                      John Hair Birthday Storytelling (Saturday 12:00-2:00 p.m.)

Public is invited to join us in a birthday celebration for former Councilman and Chief, John Hair, who served the Tribe for twenty-two years, eight of which he served as chief (1983-1991). His influence and compassion for the wellbeing of his people is acknowledged and appreciated at the Cultural Center and Museum that bears his name. Storytelling hosted by UKB Tradition Keeper, Sequoyah Guess and the Turtle Island Liars Club.

Classes are designed for a maximum of 12 students per session, unless being presented as a group assembly program. UKB History Presentations are available by request.

An advance registration fee of $25 per person is required at least 7 days prior to program date. UKB members receive a 50% discount (must present UKB membership card).  No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 7 days prior to program date.  Registration fee includes lunch for Saturday classes and snacks for evening programs. Some classes will require a $40 registration fee to help cover cost of supplies. Participants will be notified within 5 days of program date if class is cancelled due to lack of minimum registrations and a full refund will be granted.  

The John Hair Cultural Center & Museum is dedicated to bringing Keetoowah Cherokee history, culture, and traditions to the public through exhibits, presentations, and cultural demonstrations that stimulate discovery, enjoyment and understanding of Keetoowah Cherokee heritage and ways of living. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  For more information about the Keetoowah Cherokee culture or to register for a class, call 918-772-4389 or visit us at www.keetoowahcherokee.org.

UKB Christmas Gift Cards For Keetoowah Cherokee Youth

In what has become a holiday tradition, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma will once again be distributing Christmas Gift Cards to Wal-Mart in the amount of $25 to all UKB tribal youth, from newborns to 18 years of age.  Youth must be exclusive UKB members.  Cards will be distributed by district in December by the UKB District Representatives.  Each district representative will have a list of children in their district.  Below is a list of distribution dates and meetings by district.

 Dec. 9              Saline District Meeting and Gift Card Distribution

                         Kenwood Gym, 7 p.m.

                         Saline District Rep. Charles Smoke – (918) 457-7071


Dec. 11            Flint District Meeting and Gift Card Distribution

                         Stilwell Satellite Office, 6 – 8 p.m.p.m.

                         Flint District Rep. Tom Duncan – 918-507-1314


Dec. 11            Sequoyah District Meeting and Gift Card Distribution

                         Sallisaw Satellite Office, 5:30 p.m.

                         Sequoyah District Rep. Barry Dotson, 918-207-2990


Dec. 12            Tahlequah District Gift Card Distribution

.                       Wellness Center, 5:30 -8  p.m.

                        Tahlequah District Rep. Betty Holcomb, 918-822-3805


Dec. 12            Goingsnake and Delaware Districts Gift Card Distribution

                        Kansas, Oklahoma (located in the building

                        where the sub-office used to be) 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

                         Goingsnake District Rep. William Christie – 918-822-3803

                         Delaware District Rep. Jerry Hansen – 918-822-3804



 Dec. 15            Delaware District Gift Card Distribution

                          Jay Community Building, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

                          Delaware District Rep. Jerry Hansen – 918-822-3804


Dec 16             Goingsnake District Gift Card Distribution

                        Stilwell Satellite Office 10 a.m. -7 p.m.

                        Goingsnake District Rep. William Christie – 918-822-3803


Dec. 16            Illinois District Meeting and Gift Card Distribution

                         Sallisaw Satellite Office,  6:30 p.m.

                         Illinois District Rep. Peggy Girty – 918-457-7067



                        Canadian District – no date given

                         Canadian District Rep. Eddie Sacks – 918-822-1957


UKB offers November cultural classes

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians is offering cultural classes in November. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about Keetoowah Cherokee seasonal gatherings, harvesting, using natural materials and how to make stickball sticks.

The Gathering and Harvesting series is a two part class that begins on November 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will meet at the John Hair Cultural Center and Museum and travel to the field where they will learn how to identify, gather, and prepare natural materials such as buck brush for basket making. The second part of the Gathering and Harvesting class will be held on November 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will learn how to prepare and use the natural materials to make their own basket.  Registration is $25 per person and includes both parts as well as transportation to the gathering site.

The Stickball Stick Making Class will be held on November 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Class will be held outdoors, around an open fire where participants will learn how to make a handcrafted stickball stick. Registration is $40 per person.

Cultural classes are provided by the John Hair Cultural Center & Museum. Advance registration is required. UKB members receive a 50% discount (must present UKB membership card).  No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 7 days prior to program date.  Registration fees help cover cost of supplies, instruction and lunch. November classes are open to the general public but designed for adults 18 years of age or older.

The JHCCM opened in October 2011 with a mission to educate the public about the history, customs and traditions of the Keetoowah Cherokee people.  For more information about the Keetoowah Cherokee culture or to register for cultural classes, visit us at www.ukb-nsn.gov or call 918-772-4389.

UKB Releases Official Candidate List for 2014 Election Cycle

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma’s Election Board has released the Official List of Candidates for the 2014 Election.  Nine district representatives will be elected and will serve two year terms beginning in January 2015. 

A special election for Assistant Chief will be held to fill the vacated office for the remainder of the four year term.  The office was vacated with the passing of the late Charles Locust.  The UKB Election will be held on Monday, November 3rd.  For more information, contact the UKB Election Board at 918-456-8421.

Candidates include:
DELAWARE DISTRICT: Jerry Hansen and Adalene Smith
FLINT DISTRICT: Tom Duncan and Woodrow Proctor
GOINGSNAKE DISTRICT: William Christie and Marcella Foreman
SEQUOYAH DISTRICT: Barry Dotson and George McCoy
TAHLEQUAH DISTRICT: Betty Holcomb, Anile Locust, James Reese, and JC Wilson
ASSISTANT CHIEF: Susan Adair, Elizabeth Bird, Joe Bunch, and Dallas Proctor

UKB 2014 Polling Places

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians November 2014 Election precinct locations have been announced.  Polls will be open from 7:00am to 7:00pm.  View the precinct list.

Attention – Notice Regarding Candidate Filing Deadline

The Gaduwa Cherokee News would like to inform UKB members that there was a misprint in the tribal newspaper concerning filing dates to run in the November 3, 2014 UKB Election for District Representative  or Assistant Chief.  Filing closes on Thursday, August 14 at 6 p.m.

64th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration set for September 13

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. --- The 64th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration begins Friday, September 12 with a stomp dance at dusk. 

On Saturday, September 13, there will be a kid’s fishing derby, dignitary breakfast, parade, state of the nation ceremony, hog fry, gospel singing children’s activities, turtle races, make and take crafts along with crafts and food vendors.  There will also be a traditional games including a cornstalk shoot, blowgun shoot, marbles exhibition, and stickball exhibition. 

A special highlight this year is a tent which features the UKB Tradition Keepers, who will demonstrate and sell their crafts.  There will also be a health information tent and health screenings provided by a group of nurses from Florida Atlantic University.

The theme for the 64th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration is “We Shall Never Give Up Keetoowah, until all of us join hands and fall to the ground (until we all die).

This is more than a theme, it has been a way of life for the Keetoowah people since time immemorial. Given the trials and challenges to the tribe even to this day, it is as meaningful as ever. 

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma is a tribe steeped in tradition, and one that is committed in preserving the history, culture and language of its people.    What is most important to the attendees of the celebration is not the events, the food or the games.  People come to have fellowship and to be together as a tribe.

For more information on the Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration, call 918-431-1818 or 918-456-6533.

Deadline Approaching for Miss & Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee Pageant

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma is accepting applications for the Miss, and Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee.  The application deadline is Friday, July 18th, 2014.  The pageant will be held on Friday, August 15th, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center, 100 North Water Street, Tahlequah, OK. 

Miss and Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee will represent the tribe as a good-will ambassador during her reign.  Education Scholarships will be awarded to the winner, first, second and third runner ups of $1,500, $1,000, and $500 for Miss Keetoowah Cherokee and $300, $200, and $100 for Junior Miss Keetoowah Cherokee.

The theme for the 64th Annual United Keetoowah Band Celebration will be, “We Shall All Hold Hands”.  Contestants must be between the age of 13 and 17 years old by August 15, 2014 to compete for Jr. Miss, and 18 to 21 by August 15, 2014 to compete for Miss Keetoowah Cherokee. Contestants must be an exclusive UKB Tribal Member and present a copy of Tribal enrollment, show proof of school enrollment, provide two references, must not have been married or cohabitated, no children, and never convicted of a felony.

Pageant applications may be downloaded from the UKB Tribal website at www.unitedkeetoowahband.org beginning July 1st or picked up at the Federal programs building.  For any questions on the competition, categories or if assistance is needed please call Georgia Dick at (918) 456-8698 or 1-800-259-0093.

Download the application here.

UKB Offers Keetoowah History Presentation

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The John Hair Cultural Center & Museum invites everyone to come enjoy cool refreshments while learning more about the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees Indians in Oklahoma.  Ernestine Berry, Museum Director, presents Cherokee History as you’ve never heard it! Have you ever wondered why there are two Cherokee Tribes in Tahlequah? Is there really any difference between UKB and CNO? After this presentation, you will have a greater understanding of these two most commonly asked questions. Presentation will be held on June 26, 2014 at the UKB Wellness Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m. A fee of $20 per person and advance registration is required. UKB members are free (must present UKB membership card). Registration fees help support museum and cultural programs.

The JHCCM opened in October 2011 with a mission to educate the public about the history, customs and traditions of the Keetoowah Cherokee people. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

For more information about the Keetoowah Cherokee culture or to register for a class, call 918-772-4389 or visit us at www.ukb-nsn.gov.

Space still available for UKB Day of Champions Sports Camp

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Space is still available for the popular Day of Champions football camp sponsored by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma on Saturday, June 7. The camp is open to all area youth, ages 8 to 18 years of age; however, the camp will be limited to the first 150 youth that sign up. 


The Day of Champions football camp is led by Coach Ken Heupel and features instruction from current and former college and NFL coaches and players.


The Day of Champions football camp experience is beyond just athletic skill enhancement, it provides one-on-one mentoring and coaching in athletics, health, fitness, life choices and the four principles of leadership - Discipline, Respect, Trust, and Hard Work. 

Character, Responsibility, Goal Setting, Dedication, and Integrity are themes throughout the camp and serve to motivate each camp member to reach their full potential on and off the field.

The camp will build football skills for boys.  Football skills instruction includes position-specific drills, strength and conditioning, nutritional instruction and individual competitions. 

The camp will build also build  sports skills for girls, including hand-eye coordination, speed and agility training, strength  and conditioning, nutritional instruction, and individual testing on these concepts.

Each position is taught and supervised by the Day of Champions football staff, made up of some of the top Division I, II, and III collegiate coaches in the country, along with past OU football players, and past and current NFL players.

Players from experienced athletes to youth just learning the game will enhance their skills and learn basic fundamentals geared to their age and skill level.  The camp is devoted to helping young people believe in themselves and live a healthy and active lifestyle.

The participants will be given water breaks every 30 minutes and lunch will be provided.  Applications are available at all UKB offices. For more information, call 918-456-6533.  Download the application.

Sequoyah Alumni Reunion May 2 and 3

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- The Sequoyah Alumni Association Re-union is set for May 2 and 3, 2014.  All former students, staff and their families are invited to attend.

The Sequoyah Alumni Association will conduct a Scholarships Benefit, May 2, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Tsa La Gi Community Meeting room.  Fundraising activities include an Indian Taco sale, three auctions, and a cake walk.  All benefit proceeds provide scholarships to three Sequoyah High School graduating seniors each academic year.

A Benefit Golf Tournament is set for Saturday, May 3rd at Cherokee Trails Golf course.  The team format will be a four-man scramble.  At least one of the team members must be an alumnus.  The entry fee is $240 per team. 

First, second and third place prize money (based on the number of teams) will be awarded.  Registration is from 8 to 8:45 a.m.  The shotgun start is at 9 a.m.  

The annual meeting and picnic is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, in the recreation room at the Place Where They Play.  The annual banquet will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday evening at the cafeteria. 

Inductees into the Sequoyah Alumni Hall of Fame will be announced during the banquet.  Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

For more information on the golf tournament, contact Jefferson Adair at 918-458-0878 and for other information, contact Susan Adair at 918-456-8698.

UKB Participates in Cherokee Days in Washington, D.C.

By Marilyn Craig
Public Relations Coordinator

UKB Museum Director Ernestine Berry stands beside the History of the United Keetoowah Band Panel at the National Museum of the American Indian.

WASHINGTON, D.C. --United Keetoowah Band employees Ernestine Berry, Executive Director of the John Hair Museum and Cultural Center and Della Wolfe, Education department intake specialist and language instructor traveled to Washington, D.C. during the first week of April to participate in Cherokee Days at the National Museum of the American Indian, an active and visible component of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex.

The event featured all three Cherokee tribes – the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  It featured Cherokee language, art, culture, films and history.

Live performances included a traditional dance performance by the Eastern Band of Cherokees and a musical performance by the Cherokee National Youth Choir, as well as flute music, piano music and storytelling.

UKB Language instructor Della Wolfe gives mini-Cherokee lessons at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Educational sessions included Cherokee genealogy, language, and history.  Demonstrations included pottery making, basket weaving, carving and textiles. Those attending had the opportunity to ask questions of the demonstrators in order to gain a better understanding of the skill involved.  UKB Tradition Keeper Dorothy Ice was in attendance and demonstrated textile weaving.  Della Wolfe and Ernestine Berry provided history and language lessons, syllabary charts, language booklets, and John Hair Cultural Center & Museum information booklets.


“It was surprising. Everyone who came to our table was very interested in the language and the history. Most of the people there knew nothing about the United Keetoowah Band,” said Berry. “I was very gratified to share the history of the UKB with the visitors.”

"I want to thank the United Keetoowah Band for sending me as an ambassador to the "Cherokee Days" event at the National Museum of the American Indian.  I enjoyed giving information to the patrons about who the Keetoowah are and what we stand for.  While at the museum I gave mini Cherokee lessons.  It was a joy to hear all the Patrons attempt to say the Cherokee words.  I feel that our time at the museum was a success.  I cannot say enough of how proud I am to have been a part of that gathering of Cherokees with all three Cherokee tribes coming together to share our pride in our strong heritage.  I met so many wonderful people, said Wolfe.

UKB tribal elder and Tradition Keeper Dorothy Ice demonstrates textile weaving at the National Museum of the American Indian.There were several craft making hands on activities that attendees could participate in such as cornhusk dolls, clay medallion making, and mini-stickball sticks.

NMAI director Kevin Gover (Pawnee) said, “We are honored to host this historic joint endeavor of the Cherokee here at the museum.  Their contributions to the national story and history are legendary, but their legacy continues with events like this to teach others about their contemporary tribal successes and how they maintain their culture in the face of a changing cultural landscape.”




UKB celebrates the 82nd Birthday of former Chief John Hair

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. –The John Hair Cultural Center and Museum will host a Storytelling event and reception to celebrate former Chief John Hair’s 82nd birthday. The event will be held Saturday, April 5, 2014, from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. at the UKB Wellness Center located at the United Keetoowah Band Tribal Complex. Storytelling will be presented by the Turtle Island Liar’s Club.

“We are looking forward to a fun time with the Turtle Island Liar’s Club and visiting with family, old friends, new friends, and the public at the reception. Everyone is welcome—family, friends, UKB members and the public to celebrate,” said Ernestine Berry, Museum Director.

The Cultural Center and Museum is named in honor of former Councilman and Chief, John Hair, who served the Tribe for twenty-two years, eight of which he served as chief (1983-1991). When Chief Hair served, neither the Council nor the Chief were paid for their services. Chief Hair worked in the Avionics Department of American Airlines in Tulsa and spent much of his own earnings to support the activities of the Tribe and sustain the Keetoowah Government. During Chief Hair’s tenure, his focus was on economic development for the tribe. He advanced the tribe economically with the initiation of a bingo hall and smoke shops. Chief Hair’s devotion to and focus on the advancement of the Keetoowah People never wavered. His influence and compassion for the wellbeing of his people is acknowledged and appreciated at the Cultural Center and Museum that bears his name.

The John Hair Cultural Center & Museum opened in October 2011 with a mission to promote awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the history, culture, and traditions of the Keetoowah Cherokee people from the earliest times to the present through exhibits, educational and cultural classes, archival collections, and special events.

The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  General Admission is $3; Seniors and Youth $2; and, children age 11-6 is $1. Children 5 years and under are free. UKB members also receive free admission with their tribal enrollment card.  For more information about the Keetoowah Cherokee Culture Center & Museum or the Storytelling event, call 918-772-4389 or visit us at www.ukb-nsn.gov

United Keetoowah Band Mourns Passing of Assistant Chief Charles Locust; Services Set.

Assistant Chief Charles Locust3/24/2014 - The United Keetoowah  Band of  Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma mourns the passing of Assistant Chief Charles Locust.  Mr. Locust passed away Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Stilwell Memorial Hospital after a lengthy illness.

Services have been set for the late assistant chief of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.

Visitation for Charles Locust, 57, will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 25,  at Reed-Culver Funeral Home in Tahlequah, with services taking place at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at the Cherokee Baptist Association Tabernacle in Briggs.




Interior Board of Appeals Decision favorable for United Keetoowah Band

01/16/2014 - Tahlequah, OK --- The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma has achieved another victory in its fight to right a long-standing historical wrong responsible for the Tribe’s right to acquire trust land within the bounds of the historic Cherokee reservation being controlled by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.  This victory came on January 6, 2014, when the Interior Board of Indian Appeals dismissed the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma’s appeal of a May 24, 2011 decision of the Acting Eastern Oklahoma Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs to acquire a seventy-six acre parcel of land, located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in trust for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma Corporation.  The January 6, 2014 IBIA decision follows years of challenges by Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma aimed at preventing the Keetoowah people from enjoying the benefit of tribal trust land within the reservation of their ancestors, and a series of favorable decisions by the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs recognizing the rights of the UKB as equal to those of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. 

The parcel of land now set to be acquired in trust for the UKB Corporation, known as the “Community Services Parcel,” serves as a village center for the Keetoowah people and is home to the Tribe’s sacred dance grounds, elder center, museum, and other governmental offices.  UKB Chief George Wickliffe explained that he and the Tribal Council have worked tirelessly to see that the Keetoowah Cherokee people are recognized and treated by the federal government as equal to the members of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and stated “It is our sincere belief that the Keetoowah people are ready to enjoy the benefits of tribal trust land, including the exercise of responsible jurisdiction over the lands that embody the traditional spirit of our people.”  While it is anticipated that the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma will appeal to the federal court to further its effort to permanently extinguish the Keetoowah fire, the UKB will pursue all legal remedies to protect the rights of the Tribe and its people and will continue seeking justice, fairness, and equality for the Keetoowah people.

Read the IBIA Ruling (PDF)

For more information, go to http://www.indianz.com/News/2014/012249.asp

Human Services Hours Changing

The UKB Human Services office hours will change starting 12/23/13. The new office hours will be from 8:30-4:00 pm Monday-Friday. Currently, the Human Service Department offers LIHEAP assistance, this is limited to one visit every 6 months. The Human Service office also offers health assistance in the form of eye glasses,  dentures, medication, and gas voucher assistance, as well as necessary medical equipment as prescribed by a physician.  All programs are income-based.

Applications are accepted at the UKB Community Services building.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Elder Assistance Information

Dear Elders,

As you know, the Keetoowah Cherokee Casino has been closed by the state until the Bureau of Indian Affairs is successful in getting our land in trust.  We believe this will happen in the coming months.  Right now, our budgets have been greatly reduced, and many of our programs are on hold at this time.  We have always been an elderly-led tribe and we wanted to continue the elder assistance checks even though we had to reduce the amount given to each elder.  Therefore the elders winter 2013 assistance program will continue but $100 is the amount provided for each elder.


Joyce Hawk
Tribal Secretary

Related Documents:

2013 Winter Elder Assistance Program Information
2013 Winter Elder Assistance Program Calendar

LIHEAP UPDATE: Winter heating program begins Oct. 1

TAHLEQUAH—The United Keetoowah Band LIHEAP is switching to winter heating after Oct. 1, 2013.

This means that LIHEAP can assist with gas, propane, wood and electric only if the house is all-electric.

The qualifications remain the same as the summer program. This is a federal program so all documents are needed for this service—three  paystubs, Workforce registration if unemployed and over 18, social security cards for everyone in household, photo ID and address verification.

If the applicant receives LIHEAP from DHS, then they do not qualify for LIHEAP from the UKB.

Also, the utility bill must be in the UKB member’s name.

The UKB Human Services Department is seeking wood vendors for the winter. Interested parties need to contact Human Services for an application.

The Human Services Department takes General Assistance applications on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Tahlequah office.

This program is for those having a hardship from the loss of a job or those unable to work due to documented health related reasons. The household must have zero income to be eligible.

For more information, call Human Services Director Carrie Haney at 918-456-8698.

UKB Basket Weaving Class on Tap

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -- The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma’s John Hair Cultural Center and Museum will host a Basket weaving class, October 24, at 6:00 p.m. UKB Tradition Keeper Cindy Hair will provide instruction in the craft of basket making at the UKB Wellness Center, located at the UKB Tribal Complex on Keetoowah Circle, south of Tahlequah off West Willis Road.

The cost is $20 per person, which includes all materials. UKB members will receive a 50% discount if they present their tribal membership card.

Hair was named the very first UKB Tradition Keeper at the 55th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration in 2005.  The Keetoowah Cherokee Tradition Keepers award is designed to honor Keetoowah Cherokee craftspeople, artisans, and elders who are committed to education and cultural preservation.

While basket weaving is one of the widest spread crafts in the history of any human civilization, it is hard to say just how old the craft is because natural materials like wood, grass, and animal remains decay naturally and constantly. Therefore, without proper preservation, much of the history of basket making has been lost and is simply speculated upon.

The technique of weaving has been passed along, re-discovered, and expanded upon throughout the years, and is still being expanded upon today. Baskets were at one time used simply for storage and transportation of goods. Today, functional baskets are still in use, but many are made for more decorative purposes.

For more information or to register for the class, call JHCCM at 918-772-4389.

UKB Statement on CNO Lawsuit

In response to the lawsuit filed by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma releases the following statement:

“In its never ending quest to destroy its Cherokee brothers and sisters, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) has this day filed a request that the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma enter an order to prohibit the Department of Interior from taking land, presently owned by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, into Trust.

The effect of this injunction, if granted, would immediately throw some 300 Keetoowahs out of work. We trust that the federal court, upon hearing all of the evidence, will decline to issue an injunction and permit the Department of Interior provisionally to take the land into Trust.”

--James C. McMillin, attorney at McAfee & Taft, for the UKB

August Edition - Gaduwa Cherokee News

The August 2013 edition of Gaduwa Cherokee News is now online here.  Current and previous editions of Gaduwa Cherokee News can be found under News > Gaduwa Cherokee News.

August Tribal Council Meeting Agenda

The August 3, 2013 Tribal Council Meeting agenda is available here.  Agendas from previous 2013 meetings can be found under Government > Council Meeting Agendas.

Reminder: LIHEAP Applications

The UKB Department of Health & Human Services are taking applications for LIHEAP assistance. Tribal member must meet income guidelines. Documents to bring are the most recent three paycheck stubs, social security cards for everyone in the household, if no income and over the age of 18 must register with workforce, and the utility bill.

United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma.