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Cherokee Nation wants new Cherokee-specific Boy Scout award created

04/11/2017

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(L to R) Front Row: Sequoyah Lady Indians team members Aubrey Brown, Jonia Walker, Lana Gass, Calesa Murdock, Cenia Hayes, Jaide Long, Mykal Hayes and Ashley Brown. Back Row: Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Council Secretary Frankie Hargis, Sequoyah Lady Indians team members Icelei Duke, Jolie Morgan and Allison Sells, Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd, Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Sequoyah Lady Indians Head Coach Larry Callison and Assistant Head Coach Jon Minor and Tribal Councilor David Walkingstick. Not Pictured: Sequoyah Lady Indians team members Merissa Smith, Kymber Tyon, Lexy Keys, Faren Walker, Alexxis Coon and Brittney Bush.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation wants an award created for Boy Scouts who are Cherokee Nation citizens to earn and wear on their uniform.

A resolution to sponsor a first-of-its-kind Cherokee Nation Scout Award for the Boy Scouts of America was unanimously approved Monday by the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council.

Currently Boy Scouts can earn awards, called square knots, for various achievements for their uniform, but one for Cherokee Nation heritage wasn’t offered. A Rogers County Boy Scout leader and Cherokee Nation citizen, Terry Hancock, brought the award idea to Tribal Councilors.

“Almost two years ago, Terry shared with me that if he had a scout with Asian heritage, he could earn an Asian culture uniform knot, but with about half of his scouts being Cherokee, he could not offer them a Cherokee cultural knot,” said Tribal Councilor Keith Austin , of Claremore. “With this resolution, this changes. Together with the support of the Council and Principal Chief Bill John Baker, all Cherokee boys in Scouts will be able to earn the right to wear this knot in honor of our culture and history. I thank Terry for his dedication to our youth and bringing this opportunity to the Council.”

The Cherokee Nation agreed to work with the Boy Scouts of America to sponsor a Cherokee Nation Scout Award, with the tribe determining the qualifications and specific goals for achieving the knots.

The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910 and now has more than 2.4 million participants, along with nearly 1 million adult volunteers, according to the organization.

In other business, the legislative body approved Cherokee Nation Head Start’s application for an Indian Community Development Block Grant that would provide safe rooms for seven head start facilities owned by the tribe.

“With the severity of storms in recent years, it’s important for the Cherokee Nation to take advantage of this opportunity to provide safe shelter to our young children and staff at these Head Start facilities in the event that it is needed,” said Tribal Councilor Rex Jordan. “I commend our Head Start leadership and staff for seeking out opportunities that ensure the safety of our children and staff.”

The Tribal Council also took the following actions during the monthly meeting:

• Approved a resolution to lease the Cherry Tree red gymnasium and ball fields in Adair County to the CC Camp Community Organization Inc. for 25 years. 

• Approved the donation of surplus office equipment, including computer monitors, printers, tables and chairs, to nine area schools, churches and community organizations in Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware and Mayes counties.

• Confirmed Dewayne Marshall, of Tahlequah, as a board member of the Cherokee Nation Sequoyah High School Board of Education.

During Monday’s meeting, the Sequoyah Lady Indians basketball team was recognized for winning the 2017 class 3A state championship and Chief Baker also introduced the 2017 Remember the Removal Bike Ride participants to the Tribal Council.

The next Cherokee Nation Tribal Council meeting will be Monday, May 15, at 6 p.m. at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah.


Cherokee Nation News Release
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