As part of the reform for Tribal Council General Assistance monies, Chief Smith worked with myself and several other Tribal Councilmembers to take the existing monies and create fair and consistent programs for all Tribal citizens to access.

Two of the programs are dedicated monies for sports teams and county livestock shows.

The Cherokee Sports Team Funding purpose is for the Cherokee Nation to sponsor community and public school ball teams with predominant Indian participation by contributing to the purchase of uniforms.

To be eligible, the sponsored team must be within the 14-county jurisdictional boundaries of the Cherokee Nation and at least 51percent Cherokee participation. The Tribe will provide up to $500 per team or school per year for the purchase of uniforms as a 50 percent cash match for the cost of uniforms. The team will print on the sleeve of the uniform the seal of the Cherokee Nation which must conform to the Cherokee Nation identity branding standard. Contact the Communications department at 918 453-5541 for branding information. If possible, the name of the school in the Cherokee syllabary should be included.

Applications are available at the Cherokee Nation Cherokee First desk located in the main complex or call Marcia Soap at 918 207-3936 to have an application mailed.

A complete list of team members, copies of all Cherokee Citizenship Cards (blue card), a W-9 form for the IRS and an invoice showing the team has paid 50 percent of the cost of uniforms is required. If the eligibility requirements are not followed, the team will not be eligibility for future funding.

The Cherokee Nation Junior Livestock Premium Auction purpose is to provide add-on premiums to junior livestock show exhibitors that qualify for the County Livestock Premium Auction at county fairs in counties located within the Cherokee Nation jurisdictional boundaries.

To be eligible, Cherokee students must be actively enrolled high school FFA and 4-H member livestock exhibitors who qualify for the County Premium Auction at their respective county fairs or county premium livestock shows. Students must provide a copy of their Cherokee Nation Citizenship (blue card) verifying Tribal citizenship and residence within our Tribal jurisdiction. The student only receives funding one show per year if the animal qualifies for the County Premium Livestock Auction Sale.

For Rogers County, Jerri Guilfoyle at 261-2003 will be responsible for submitting the required documentation to the Cherokee Nation for the exhibitors’ add-on premium payment. Documentation must be submitted to the Cherokee Nation within three weeks of the County Premium Auction, so provide Jerri with your documentation in a timely manner.

The add on amount is $100 for each eligible exhibitor who qualifies for the Premium Auction Sale. A single payment will be made to the County show. The County show is responsible for disbursing the individual add-on premium payments to the qualified exhibitors in their county or school, as applicable.

The 2010 Rogers County Premium Auction is September 20 and County Fair is September 15 through 20.

Since the Tribal Council General Assistance funds were frequently provided for both sports teams and livestock shows, we used the historical spending records to determine an area of unmet need in the community. Both the sports team and livestock premium programs were created to provide a more consistent and fair process for Cherokee students to access Tribal funds.

If you have questions, issues or concerns about the Cherokee Nation government, please email me at cara@caracowan.com or write me at P.O. Box 2922, Claremore, OK 74018. For daily news and event notices, ask to be added to my District 7 email listserv. You can, also, find me on Facebook and Twitter.

To contact the Tribe, call 453-5000. The operator will connect you with the appropriate department. Tribal programs and services are administered by the Chief’s staff at the Tribal Complex. Tribal hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cara Cowan Watts is deputy speaker of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council and represents District 7.

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