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Our world has been forever turned upside down. When we get upright again, nothing will ever be the same. “Social Distancing” is a word phrase that is trending. Who would have ever thought? The year started out with so much fun and celebration, rocking the 20’s all over again. Parties and cel…

During times of great uncertainty and hardship, the Cherokee people have never shied away from standing on the front lines. We pool our resources to help in any way possible. We support our neighbors and those who need it the most, especially our children and elders.

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We're all grieving. We're grieving the loss of the world as we know it. The world we existed in, that we were accustomed to, is gone. We're grieving the loss of gathering for meals, gathering for worship, and simply knowing what to expect out of our day.

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Last week, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We are in the middle of an unprecedented public health crisis and the American people need help.

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Philosophers have long recognized language as a powerful but limited medium for communication. Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” illustrates the challenges inherent in assuming language can “mirror” reality, imagining a community of individuals chained in a cave facing a blank wall, where their…

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In a public health emergency like this one, rapidly changing facts present a challenge. We want to ensure our community of readers is getting the most timely, most accurate information possible—and sometimes that requires a bit of teamwork.

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As I said in my last column, anything I write here related to the current COVID-19 situation will be out of date by the time you read it—events simply move too fast. I recommend you follow your favorite news outlets and hotlines for information and assistance. The state’s coronavirus informa…

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Oklahoma’s constitution mandates the legislature to build and pass a balanced budget before the last Friday in May. Building a balanced budget is the top priority for us to accomplish before our deadline in May. Although we are working remotely for the time being due to COVID-19, those effor…

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I know there are some who believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is not really that big a deal. After all – some will say – tens of thousands will die from the flu in the United States every year, and we don’t take these kinds of actions.

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The dangerous COVID-19 virus continues to spread across the world, and now it has officially reached Cherokee Nation. A Cherokee citizen in Tulsa County was the first identified death from the virus in Oklahoma, and additional cases have been identified within our health system.

Many of us are worried about COVID-19, and feel uncertain about what will happen or what we can do to help. In times like these, maintaining our mental wellness can be a challenge. Uncertainty about the virus may make us feel more insecure about other things, causing us to feel depressed and…

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In a time of crisis communities look to their leaders to make informed and swift decisions. Within the span of a few weeks COVID-19 has shown failures in leadership at the international, national, state, and community levels. While leaders such as G.T. Bynum have shined due to their decisive…

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The first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in Oklahoma was confirmed on March 7, and as of mid-day on March 20, there were 49 positive cases in the state. Health officials expect this number to continue to rise as testing becomes more readily available.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — When news quickly spread across the Capitol that an unidentified Senate employee tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, I wondered if I needed to be tested or self-isolate inside my home.

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Reporting on the spread of coronavirus in Italy, the Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum observed that epidemics, "like disasters, have a way of revealing the underlying truths about the societies they impact.” One problem is that even when our government is working as intended, the adversarial nature…

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Just a short time ago, I and most Cherokees were focused on the plans and activities of everyday life. We could take so much for granted as we enjoyed community gatherings, spent time with colleagues, friends and family, and moved around our social spaces.

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It’s hard to escape the Coronavirus, even if you are perfectly healthy. No matter what news channel you turn to, headlines share the devastation of COVID-19 across the globe, and our social media feeds and news applications are frequently alerting us of breaking Coronavirus updates. 

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The number of COVID-19 cases in our country is growing by the day and without taking any steps to address it, the number of people who become infected will exponentially grow. It’s going to take all of us working together to slow the spread or “flatten the curve” of the number of people gett…

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Very rarely there are financial emergencies as serious as the one our nation is seeing now with the economic downturn influenced by the COVID-19 virus. Some people won’t feel the effects of the economic slowdown much while some folks will be greatly impacted.

We have officially passed the March 12 deadline to hear Senate Bills on the floor that originated in this chamber. 840 Senate Bills and 19 Senate Joint Resolutions were filed ahead of this session. By Wednesday evening, we had approved 356 of these bills with about 30 additional measures to …

At Cherokee Nation, we recently renewed a commitment to a great cause and a great tradition: public education in Oklahoma. Our tribe distributed more than $6 million to 108 school districts, the largest amount to schools in our 14-county jurisdiction since we began contributing 38 percent of…

Greetings from the state capitol! We are in another deadline week. Any House bill not passed this week is dead for the two year cycle of the 57th Legislature, except for bills moving through the appropriations process. But one initiative, aside from the compacts dispute, seems to be dominati…

When “we the people” want to get something done, we’ve often had to take matters into our own hands. Often, this is done by citizen petitions to get a question on the ballot.

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What one thinks about impeachment -- whether or not President Trump’s actions on Ukraine merited impeachment by the House or merited removal by the Senate -- is often portrayed in the media as a mere litmus test of ideological and partisan commitments. I want to write about a related issue: …

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Will Rogers was born in 1879 in the CooWeeScooWee District of the Cherokee Nation near the western bank of the Verdigris River. Barely more than 100 years before Will was born, the founders of the United States gathered together in Philadelphia to draft the Constitution of this new country. …

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We had a busy week this past week on the Senate floor, hearing more than 170 bills ahead of the March 12th deadline to vote on bills that originated in this chamber. We will have more than 200 measures to consider next week if we hear all the bills that passed through committee. Additionally…

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We had a busy week this past week on the Senate floor, hearing more than 170 bills ahead of the March 12 deadline to vote on bills that originated in this chamber. We will have more than 200 measures to consider next week if we hear all the bills that passed through committee. Additionally, …

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It’s hard to believe 10 years have already passed, but this month, U.S. Census postcards will show up in mailboxes across Cherokee Nation and the United States. Once you receive one of these cards, you will be able to fill out the 2020 census. It’s important for all Cherokees to do so, and I…

There is a show-down taking place in Washington: FISA. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, was created in 1978 as a framework of procedures used when spying on foreign powers and their agents. It is essentially "Rules for Spies. It expires Sunday, March 15.

Anyone who knows me can attest that I will never turn down a chance to write about bees. Whether it's about saving the bees or about how our world is a better place because of them—I'm here for it.

I passed Senate Bill 1884 out of the Senate Transportation Committee this past week, which would designate a route that generally follows State Highway 69 in Oklahoma from the Kansas to Texas borders as the historic Jefferson Highway route.

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The Senate passed an important milestone this past week, which was the deadline for Senate bills to be heard in committee. Our next deadline is March 12, and we must hear all Senate bills on the floor by this date. These are important deadlines, but I want to talk about February 28, 1920, wh…

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There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about what our work means for the next seven generations. What we do today will not only affect my children and grandchildren, but it will also leave a lasting impact that will be felt for generations to come. That’s why empowering youth is…

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Approximately 65 million Americans receive Social Security benefits. Not all are retirees, as most people seem to imagine. Some are suffering from disabilities and unable to work for reasons other than age. Some are members of the immediate family of a deceased worker. Others belong to group…

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One of the most serious challenges confronting American politics is “hyper-partisanship,” and I have committed considerable time and effort to analyzing and explaining the nature of the threat it poses. Although frequently invoked, the media rarely define or explain hyper-partisanship in any…

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Obituaries

Joy Marie Nichols went to be with her Heavenly Father on March 31 2020. She is preceded in death by her husband Albert Nichols Jr. And her parents Ambrose and Mandy Lee. She is survived by her daughter Donna Killingsworth of Claremore Ok; son Joe Nichols and wife LaDonna of Owasso Ok; Grandc…

Pansy Kathaleen Garner, 53, passed away on Tuesday, March 30th, surrounded by her family. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she was the daughter of Billie Kay Rigotti and Bill Garner. She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and a devoted grandmother to her five gra…

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