Special Presentation: The Creek Story of Tulsa

From Tallassee, AL to Tulsey, I.T.: The Creek Story of Tulsa
Presentation by J.D. Colbert
Saturday, April 23rd, 11:00 AM

It is widely believed that the history of Tulsa only dates to 1882 with the arrival of the Frisco railroad in Tulsa. However, the history of Tulsa can actually be traced to the arrival of DeSoto at Talisi (present day Tallassee, AL) in 1541. As such, the City of Tulsa may be said to be one of the oldest cities on the North American continent.

This presentation, From Tallassee, AL to Tulsey, I.T., will tell this rich, but mostly unknown, early history of Tulsa. It is the story of the Creek founders of Tulsa-the Locvpokv Creek tribal town- and is set against the backdrop of monumental events such as the tidal wave of European immigrants to the Creek homelands in present day Georgia, Alabama and Florida; the Creek Civil War; the Trail of Tears, the U.S. Civil War; the Dawes Allotment Act and the transition of Tulsa from Creek town to Oil Capital of the World.

This special presentation will be conducted by Mr. J.D. Colbert (Muscogee-Creek/Chickasaw) one of the nation’s most recognized and foremost expert on matters related to the economic development of Indian tribes. Mr. Colbert served a White House appointment to the Board of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund at the U.S. Treasury and he has actively assisted many Indian tribes and Native groups to start Community Development Financial Institutions.

APTN To Launch New 24-Hour Native American Cable Network

Canadian cable television broadcaster the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network is starting a new network across the border in the United States.  APTN has announced it is launching the All Nations Network with Castalia Communications.

Described as a “24-hour network” APTN said ANN intends to provide “native news sports, scripted, lifestyle, feature-length movies and children’s programming written, produced, and directed by Native Americans.”

APTN’s CEO Jean La Rose said it’s the right time for Native Americans to have their own channel.

“Certainly, our experience in Canada has been one of creating and providing opportunities for our producers, for our storytellers, to tell our stories, in our words, to our Peoples and to the world,” said La Rose in a statement. “Native American producers are poised and eager to have the same opportunities and we believe that we can work together to provide a unique window into the lives – past, present and future – of this community.”

APTN’s statement said the network has the support of actor Robert Redford and Oscar-nominated actor Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves), as well from musician Robbie Robertson (The Band) and director Jim Jarmusch.

“There is demand for a national Native network across the country,” said Jarmusch. “A vibrant new generation, a golden era of Native film-makers and artists will be born and have a dedicated channel through which to express their voices. There is a market that is waiting. There is an audience that is waiting. The time is now.”

The new network will be headquartered in New Mexico.  APTN has been operating in Canada for more than 15 years providing Indigenous content.

Tribes Receive $940 Million In Federal Contracts Settlement

A federal judge has approved a $940 million settlement between the United States and Native American tribes over claims the government shorted tribes for decades on contract costs to manage education, law enforcement and other federal services. The approval starts the funds release process, which will pay out to claims by individual tribes over several months. Nearly 700 tribes or tribal agencies are expected to claim compensation, with amounts ranging from an estimated $8,000 for some Alaska Native villages and communities elsewhere to $58 million for the Navajo Nation.

Some tribes claimed compensation for federal contracts dating all the way back to the 1970s, when a policy change allowed tribes to gain more oversight of federal programs meant to fulfill obligations established through treaties and other agreements. The case was first filed in 1990 by the Ramah Navajo Chapter, along with the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and Zuni Pueblo.

Val Panteah, governor of Zuni Pueblo, described “a financial death spiral” that came as his government tried to offset losses from the contracts in New Mexico. Other tribal leaders described trying to stem losses from the underfunded contracts with painful budget cuts as they tried to meet critical needs in their communities. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the tribes and sent the case back to the lower courts before the Interior Department announced a proposed settlement in September 2015. Congress has since appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars to fully fund ongoing contract support costs for tribes.

The settlement is the latest in a recent string of major agreements between the United States Department and tribes to resolve long-running legal disputes that languished for years. “It just shows the Obama administration has been working throughout two terms to stop litigating with tribes,” said Kevin Washburn, former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. “Now, even in the last year of the administration, they’re getting this lengthy case settled.”

Armed Stand-Off Land In Oregon Was Once Promised To Tribal Nation

The lands in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon that were recently occupied by an armed group angry regarding federal land use policy were originally promised by the U.S. to the Burns Paiute Tribe for a reservation. The reservation never materialized however, as the federal government shifted course and declared the area a nature preserve. The site is currently in dispute as local (non-Native) ranchers claim land and water use rights, and some have set up an armed camp in the Wildlife Refuge to assert their positions.

Native-Owned Business Improving Lactation Facilities For Mothers

New Mexico Community Capital, a Community Development Financial Institution supporting Native-owned businesses, has announced its newest Native Entrepreneur in Residence (NEIR) Participant, Stephanie Conduff of Leche Lounge located in Oklahoma.

Leche Lactation suites are portable units that can be placed temporarily or permanently on site for pumping and nursing mothers. Fulfilling the requirements of pumping laws, Leche Lounge goes above and beyond coming equipped with a hospital grade breast pump. The pumps are proven to express milk faster, getting moms in and out quickly. Other convenience features include a USB charger, fan, food-grade seating and a mirror to readjust clothing. The units are stocked with cleaning wipes for pump parts and calming lavender wipes for refreshing the space between guests, ensuring quick and easy clean up.

Stephanie Conduff is Leche Lounge, LLC’s founder and CEO. She is responsible for the direction of the company and all government contracting. She is an attorney and admitted to practice in Oklahoma, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, Osage Nation, and Cherokee Nation and a few federal district courts. It is from the direction of strong Native women mentors that Leche Lounge, LLC finds its purpose and place in the market.

NMCC’s NEIR Program provides mentoring to Native entrepreneurs to assist with business development, organization, and fundraising.  Ms. Conduff’s mentorship will be split between two mentors, Cheryl Hill and Bobby Cook who both own successful businesses and will help with manufacturing, fundraising and contracting.