Friday, December 4, 2009

taken from The History of Vinita Oklahoma

found a history of the Vinita Oklahoma which carrys a story about one of my GGGUncles for whom Craig County was named after:

Naming of Craig County

When counties were created with the adoption of a Constitution for the new State of Oklahoma, the area in which Vinita was located became Craig County.

The county was named for Granville C. Craig, prominent early-day farmer and stockman of Indian Territory and pioneer of the Welch area.l

He was the son of Samuel Craig and Eliza J. Harlin Craig. She was one-eighth Cherokee Indian and a descendant of the Ward family of Cherokees. (my note: this is the Nancy Ward line; Bryant Wards son also married into the Cherokees and his line is known as the Missionary Ward line)

Samuel Craig moved west with the Cherokees with the large emigration from East Tennessee to the Indian Territory in 1838 and settled on Honey Creek, a few miles south of what is now Grove.

The following year, 1839, saw the feud between the Treaty and the Anti-Treaty parties, which arose over the signing of the treaty of Dec. 29, 1835 that moved the Cherokees west. Major Ridge, who was murdered over the disagreement, was a neighbor of Samuel Craig on Honey Creek. The feud, which lasted some seven years, caused many Cherokee families of both parties to move from the territory. (my note: likewise this story has been passed down in my family for over 6 generations)

Samuel Craig was among those moving and settled in Warrensburg, MO., near the farm of his brother.

It was here that the "father of Craig County" was born on May 6, 1849. He moved from the Warrensburg settlement with his wife, Lucinda Jane Craig, and oldest son, William L. Craig, then a year old, to Indian Territory, settling on a farm he purchased from Solon James, a prominent farmer, whose wife was a first cousin of Craig. James had located on Cowskin prairie near what is now known as Fairland.

The new home of Granville Craig consisted of a two-story log house. The youngest sister of Craig, Louisa Jane Coats (my note: my 2nd great grandmother who married Huff D. Coats), came to Indian Territory with her husband, H.D. Coats, about 1872 and took up land, building a log house at the edge of Timber Hill, west of Bluejacket.

Granville Craig moved to a piece of land west of Bluejacket, later the I.N. McDonald farm, and improved the place in 1873, living there about five years. He later rented the Foster farm on Russell Creek and the children attended the Russell Creek school.

An early newspaper describes Craig this way:

"Granville C. Craig was a man of good sound judgment to whom many people were accustomed to go for advice and counsel. He had a broad circle of friends, being known far and wide, and on the advent of statehood in Oklahoma in 1907 he was considered as a delegate to help form the constitution, but feeling his lack of executive ability he preferred to lend his support to W.H. Korengay, a Vinita attorney and a very close friend. At this conditional convention the county was named for Craig, with no dissenting vote.

"The father of Craig County" died poor, but honest. He raised about six children besides his own. He gave away more money for charity to those in distress than he ever used for himself. He never turned a deaf ear to anyone in want. He was father to the orphan and a friend to the friendless."

He was buried near his old home in the cemetery at Welch after his death March 2, 1926, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. W. Marker, in Kansas City, Mo.

With the naming of the county another step was taken in establishing a unit of government for the new state.

(this book is at the Nowata Public Library)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We don't need Racist Bullys in Congress!

Cherokees target California congresswoman's re-election campaign

By CLIFTON ADCOCK World Staff Writer
Published: 11/18/2009 10:22 PM
Last Modified: 11/18/2009 10:22 PM

The Cherokee Nation is supporting the primary opponent of a California congresswoman who has been at odds with the tribe over its stance on the descendants of freedmen.

The tribe’s Executive Finance Subcommittee voted Tuesday night to send a $2,400 campaign donation to Democrat Felton Newell and a $5,000 donation to a political action committee called New Leadership PAC for Newell. Newell is challenging Rep. Dianne Watson in the Democratic primary for California’s 33rd Congressional District, set for June 8.

During the meeting, the subcommittee also voted to send campaign contributions to other politicians and political action committees.

Watson has been the tribe’s most vocal critic after tribal voters approved a measure in 2007 that limited tribal membership to those who had ancestors with a blood quantum on the Dawes Rolls.

At least two court cases on the issue, one brought by a freedmen descendant and the other brought by the Cherokee Nation against freedmen descendants who had their membership approved after a court decision, are still pending.

In 2007, Watson sponsored a bill that would sever government-to-government relations with the tribe and has been one of the most vocal critics of the tribe’s actions on the freedmen descendant issue.

“Felton Newell is a good candidate, and he has broad support in his district, and I believe he has a solid understanding of tribal sovereignty,” said council member and subcommittee Chairwoman Cara Cowan Watts. “I think he would make a good addition to Congress. It boils down to respect for tribal sovereignty.”

Council member Jodie Fishinghawk, who voted against the donation, said it would be difficult to unseat Watson, who won her last primary in 2008 with about 88 percent of the vote, and that she disagreed with sending money to politicians who are not in Oklahoma.

“We would do just as good taking that money and burning it in the parking lot,” Fishinghawk said.

The subcommittee also approved other donations to politicians and political action committees, including $4,800 to U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla.; $2,000 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership political action committee; $4,800 to U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.; $25,000 to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and $10,000 worth of $1,000 donations each to several members of the Tennessee state Legislature.

By CLIFTON ADCOCK World Staff Writer

Friday, October 16, 2009

4 Lane US 169 - When??

Ok, I admit, ODOT has been patching US 169 or whoever does this - the road from Talala to at least Nowata is just one great big patch now. Recently they've had to patch the patches and in some places, like closer to Nowata the road is only patched along the side, which makes for a very large rut along the side of the road, not sure if they'll do more on that.

However, they've done nothing for the large bumps in the road. For those of you that have not been on a sorta country two lane road in Oklahoma, I mean some small towns here don't even have paved roads to them, anyway, on those bumps, just image doing 60 miles an hour in a mall parking lot with speed bumps - no kidding - about ever 10 to 15 feet along this road is a speed bump - not to mention as you get closer to Nowata the bumps get bigger. I've already had to have the wheel bearings on one wheel replaced and the next bill goes to the Oklahoma Legislature for this - you don't want to fix the roads, then pay the repair bills for driving on them!!

It's the big 16 wheeler trucks that run up and down this road constantly, sometimes you'll meet 3 or more right in a row and they almost blow you off the road! Think of what it will be like with the ice and snow we get in this area!

I know this road can be made drivable - no speed bumps from Talala to Tulsa! So just DO it!

Indian Health Care...Believe it when you see it!

What about Dental!!

Indian Health Care Improvement Act is introduced today
Written by Tim Johnson's Office Thursday, 15 October 2009 17:51

The Act would permanently reauthorize Indian health care programs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, today joined with Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) to introduce the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) of 2009, which would improve health care services throughout Indian Country. Johnson is an original co-sponsor of the bill.

“The grave reality is that the six counties in the nation with the lowest life expectancy are tribal counties in South Dakota. As the national debate focuses on health care, we should take this time to also spotlight the need to improve native health care,” Johnson said. “We not only have a treaty responsibility, but a moral duty to improve the lives of all American Indians in our country, and this bill will help us live up to these commitments.”

This legislation would permanently reauthorize Indian health care programs. The legislation, originally authorized in 1976 and last reauthorized in 1992, provides health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives to help fulfill the U.S. Government’s treaty and trust responsibilities to Indian Country.

The last IHCIA expired at the end of Fiscal Year 2001. While the government has still appropriated money for Indian health programs since the previous law expired, this legislation would apply standards to ensure the modernization and improvement of health care in Indian Country.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Indians are 550 percent more likely to die from alcoholism and 200 percent more likely to die from diabetes than other groups of people.

“Prevention and early detection are paramount for effective treatment,” continued Johnson. “This bill will not fix everything, but it will do a lot to address the major deficiencies in health care in Indian Country.”

For a section-by-section summary of this bill, it will be available at Senator Johnson’s website:

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I'M WITH YOU DAVE! (Fox and Friends!)


IHS - Press Release

From: Nihbmailer []
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 1:24 PM

IHS Director and Congressional Leaders provide hope to Indian Country about health care reform

Press Release September 15, 2009 For Immediate Release

IHS Director and Congressional Leaders provide hope to Indian Country about health care reform Washington, DC – Traveling thousands of miles, hundreds of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) from regions of the United States convened in Washington, DC for the National Indian Health Board’s 26th Annual Consumer Conference.

Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, Director of Indian Health Services (IHS), Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) had an opportunity to talk about health care reform. “I cannot overstate the importance of our partnership as we move forward. I can’t work on trying to change and improve Indian Health Services alone. I need your help and so grateful that you are willing to give your ideas and recommendations because I want us to improve,” said Dr. Yvette Roubideaux.

During the past few months, the IHS Director has held numerous meetings with tribal representatives. Acknowledging the challenges that exist, Roubideaux firmly stated her belief that there is hope in this new President. She told the audience the evidence is found in the13% increase of the IHS funding, the Recovery Act dollars available, the ARRA funding for prevention, and the appointment of Native American professionals to fill positions at the highest level of federal government.

“You have advocates at the White House,” said Roubideaux, “the Secretary said for the first time publicly that the American Indians and Alaska Natives should not be subject to penalties for having health insurance because it is owed to them, Wasn’t that great to hear?...You heard it first! It has never been said before.” (Doesn't do any good at the White House: by the time congress and the congressional black caucus gets done with it - nothing changes!)

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said she has a book of frequently asked questions of Alaskans.

The front cover has the question, “Do Alaska Native people get free medical care?” and at the bottom of the cover the answer said, “No, they paid in advance.” “Let us never forget that the first people paid in advance through the loss of lands, uprooting of people and culture, and enduring a multitude of ill conceived federal policy towards America’s first people that our Congress has been called upon to apologize for,” said Murkowski.

In speaking about the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA), Murkowski acknowledged tribes have been waiting and working for twenty years to have it passed and said, “it’s about time for a Signing Ceremony at the White House.”

“First people first! We can’t reform health systems without fulfilling the commitment to improving the healthcare of the first people,” said Murkowski in her closing remarks. “We have obligations and a trust responsibility to provide health care for Native Americans, it is suppose to be free,” said Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ).

Pallone’s remarks focused on the various health care reform measures that have been discussed in Congress and shared examples of legislation wherein AI/AN needs and input were considered. Directly speaking about IHCIA, Pallone mentioned that this White House administration wanted to move on this issue which is support that hasn’t been there in the past. The congressman urged AI/AN to be consistent in writing and visiting with their representatives to effectuate the change that is needed.

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), known by many as Wyoming’s Doctor, shared his experience in providing health care to native people from the Wind River community. He asked tribal leaders to look with a critical eye, and demand reforms for better services and better health care. (well, let's see, we've been demanding this for 200 years - so what makes us think they'll do it now!)

Senator Barrasso said he knew of one facility used by a tribe that has been existence even before Wyoming became a state. He shared that the average lifespan of women is 80 years, for men it is 70 years, but on the Wind River reservation the average lifespan is 50. “This must stop. We can do better. We must do better, we cannot tolerate this,” said Barrasso, “there is an increased population, a tremendous need, a unique history, and rising expectations. There is a need there like there never has been before. No one should argue against the improvement of Indian health care.” (just more promises! let's see some results!)

National Indian Health Board Chairman Reno Keoni Franklin has asked everyone to, “take a moment to reflect and honor the sacred traditions of all Native People, and recognize the importance of what we do here today for future generations. Our era of reform is just beginning to unfold through the leadership demonstrated by our Nation in responsiveness to our people in the provisions of health care they need and deserve.

The elevation of the health status of American Indians and Alaska Native people will occur in our time; and that time is now.”

### The National Indian Health Board advocates on behalf of all Tribal Governments and American Indians/Alaska Native in their efforts to provide quality health care. (Not much of an advocate! since we still have substandard health care! We have a health care program that isn't even par with what the White House was trying to shove down the American Public's throat - not to mention Congress folks didn't come under the plan either - I'd say until we have the same Health Care Program that Congress has - we're still substandard!

Congress has come under a lot of pressure over the costs of all this Public Option health care - they don't want to lose their *jobs* just to help Indian Country!

We need an Indian in the White House and a whole heck of lot more in Congress....:) )

Visit for more information.

Lynette Willie
Communications Director

Saturday, September 19, 2009

And we're going to make Hwy 169 4 lanes from Nowata to the KS line WHEN?

Highway 66 rehab project to begin in Claremore A much-anticipated construction project will begin in Claremore in just a few short days.

ODOT has announced that the Lynn Riggs (Highway 66) pavement rehabilitation project will begin at 12:01 am, on September 21, 2009. This is approximately two years ahead of schedule.

"When we first approached ODOT about this project, we were told that it was part of their plan for 2011 or 2012. With help from Senator Sean Burrage, Representative Tad Jones and ODOT Director Gary Ridley, who have all been very supportive of traffic projects in and around Claremore, we were able to get this project bumped up to this year," said City Manager Troy Powell.

The much-needed rehabilitation project will consist of milling the asphalt, repairing the deteriorated areas, asphalt overlay and cleaning out the drainage. The construction area will be on Lynn Riggs from just north of Country Club Rd. to just north of Will Rogers Blvd. APAC Construction, the contractor on this project, will close down one lane each direction at a time and is projecting a total project timeline of 180 calendar days.

"We are asking our citizens to be patient and to prepare for congestion. We know that construction is frustrating, but we are more than confident that this will pay dividends in the long run and creating a safer, more comfortable drive down Claremore's section of this historic highway," said Powell.

APAC will be setting up message boards to warn drivers of the construction. These boards will provide information on which lanes will be closed at which times.

The total cost of this project is $4,320,410.93 and will be 100% funded by ODOT.

More Promisses and More Promises!

Obama administration makes new promise on Indian healthBy Rob CapricciosoStory Published: Sep 18, 2009

WASHINGTON – The nation’s top health official has told Indian country health leaders that the Obama administration believes American Indians deserve special consideration in any national reform to health insurance. (Yeah right! Like we're going to really believe this!)

Speaking on Capitol Hill before an audience of Indian health leaders Sept. 15, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius reported that President Barack Obama said in an appearance before a joint session of Congress Sept. 9 that he supports a mandate that individuals must purchase health insurance, much like car insurance.

Such a mandate would require Americans to purchase health insurance with some degree of government assistance, depending on need and income. (Let's see maybe Oprah, should be donating some of her billions to Indian Country)

But Sebelius said clarification was needed for Indian country, which traditionally has high amounts of uninsured, as well as a special relationship with the U.S. government.

“I’m going to make it very clear. ... this is what was left out on Wednesday night: The administration strongly believes that the individual mandate and the subsequent penalties don’t apply to American Indians or Alaska Natives. (this was left out of his Wed speech to congress; well that sure gives Indian Country a warm fuzzy feeling! Forgotten again! Does that surprise anyone!)

“You have already purchased health insurance, it is already part of the agreement we made.”

Sebelius’ words met with loud applause from the hundreds of Native leaders who gathered in the nation’s capitol for a meeting of the National Indian Health Board advocacy organization.
IHS Director Yvette Roubideaux, a citizen of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, said Sebelius’ statement was especially noteworthy, since the Obama administration hasn’t laid out many specific health policies; nor has it made many specific policy commitments to American Indians and Alaska Natives. (No surprise here either!)

Mark Trahant, a Kaiser Media Fellow who is examining IHS and its relevance to the national health reform debate, said Sebelius’ promise was important, but he noted that she went farther than both of the current prevailing health reform bills in the Senate and the House. (I see more hollow promises!)

“The Senate is supposed to exempt individual American Indians and Alaskan Natives from penalties, not the insurance requirement,” said Trahant, a citizen of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. “The House bill does nothing in this regard.”

Even if final legislation doesn’t include provisions that exempt Indians, Trahant said the administration could still make good on Sebelius’ promise via added regulations. (Ah, this is still the unknown of any health care reform! Those pesky regulations! How are the locals going to interpret all this ambiguous, high flying language, that no one has read or understands!)

Trahant also noted that IHS coverage, which meets some of the health needs of some Natives, would not qualify under the bills as acceptable insurance coverage, since it’s not an insurance program. (Right it's a treaty right and you know what - there's nothing in those treaties that says individual Indians have to pay for it! Ah those pesky regs again!)

While questions still linger over how health care reform will impact Natives, some tribes, including those of the United Tribes of North Dakota board, have endorsed Obama’s reform plans. The group is made up of all five federally recognized tribes in the state, including the Three Affiliated Tribes, Spirit Lake Tribe, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

In a resolution passed Sept. 10, the board said it didn’t believe the president’s plans would hurt IHS. Members also believe the president will assist Native Americans who do not have access to health care through IHS.

Beyond the health care reform mandate commitment, Sebelius pointed to the Obama administration’s increased funding to IHS as a sign of its commitment to improving health in Indian country. A 13 percent increase in funding for the agency was included in the 2010 budget, the largest amount given in two decades.

“This is long overdue and well-deserved,” Sebelius said.

The health secretary also affirmed the need for a strong government-to-government relationship with tribes, as well as tribal consultation. As an illustration of that promise, she noted that Roubideaux had consulted with several Indian leaders at a town hall meeting in Washington Sept. 14.

Sebelius also said she is committed to assisting tribal governments cope with the H1N1 virus – believed to be especially dangerous in communities with high incidents of diabetes, which is true in much of Indian country.

After Sebelius’ speech, NIHB Chairman Reno Franklin, a citizen of the Kashia Pomo Tribe, told the audience that the 13 percent increase to IHS was quite impressive. (except when it comes to dental and eyes!)

NIHB board member Cathy Abramson, a councilwoman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, was pleased to hear Sebelius repeatedly state the treaty obligations of the federal government to tribes.

“President Obama is determined to make change in health care reform, and I believe he will do so, while making sure he honors our treaty rights,” Abramson said. (Yada Yada Yada)

Beyond Sebelius’ speech, several members of Congress at the NIHB conference stated their support for improving Indian country health.

In an especially well-received talk, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, highlighted her understanding of federal trust responsibility.

“Let us never forget that the first people paid in advance through the loss of lands, uprooting of people and culture, and enduring a multitude of ill conceived federal policy towards America’s first people that our Congress has been called upon to apologize for,” the member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee said.

Later, when discussing the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, Murkowski acknowledged tribes have been waiting and working for 20 years to have it passed, saying, “it’s about time for a signing ceremony at the White House. (20 years! Let's try 200 years!)

“First people first! We can’t reform health systems without fulfilling the commitment to improving the health care of the first people.”

(And just a note for those that don't believe there are *death boards*, well think again; Indian Health Services call them *counseling*; you know what - I think I'll just skip the doctors altogether at the end of my life; so what do I have family for if not to take care of these things! Nope they might be able to *force* paid insurance but can't force you to go to the death doctors!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's a great day in America!!

Oh, just loving these tea parties and their move into D.C.....

God Bless you Glen Beck, Sean Hannity and the rest of the Fox News Channel!!

Friday, September 4, 2009



For those of you who watch it, now you know the rest of the story....:)

From what I've gathered, the public doesn't want a public health option, no government health care, like what we have for Indian Health Services...hmmmm, not good enough for the public or congress but good enough for the Indians!

So let's Gitter fixed!

Let's do some of that reforming health care to Indian Health Services...

I mean, they will extract your teeth but won't make you dentures, what kind of a deal is that!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Here's a few Golfers out there this morning - I can always tell when a golf ball hits the house - my dog barks

Golfers on the Nowata Golf Course - one of them hit a house this morning - I can hear them hit and my dog barks - so if they think they can get away with this - think again!
My youngest son is a golfer and he was amazed that given the small size of the course and with the number of stray balls from this course, they haven't put up some type of netting to keep the balls from hitting the surrounding homes!
Continued on my latest Blog about this!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th 2009 - 4 more golf balls found - PUT A TAX ON GOLFING SO WE CAN GET RID OF IT!!

Looks as if at least 3 if not 4 balls have hit
this area of the air conditioner

More damage to my air conditioner/heater - can you believe this; that many balls in one location does not appear to me to an *accident* or an *innocent* ball gone astray! Either the course is not properly designed to minimize damage to surrounding property or there are some folks that need golf lessons - *hint; hint*

Found 4 more golf balls in my front yard today. I'd say probably most got there yesterday or today, since I've not seen any before that.

Yep, I'm going to keep track of these. Totally unnecessary considering the size of the golf course. Don't worry - I'll be taking photos of the balls as well!

I see these golfers playing golf and they always look in the ditch near the course for their balls....not once have they crossed over into my yard to try and hunt for their ball...I wonder

I must say there is something to ponder here; Wayne Reid owns the house next to mine; he doesn't seem to get any *hits* to his house; I wonder why; he doesn't live there; it's just empty; he lives in another big brick house on the other side of the course; there is another single lady that lives on the other side of me; she's even got a broken window in her, bathroom, it looks like; anyway, it's still broken, she's also got several hits to the side of her house and a hole in her air conditioner; not sure if that was golf ball damage; but these houses sure are taking a pounding; would be interesting to see if some *investors* in the *golf club* is wanting to add some property to their assets; most interesting - don't you think? Lots of investors in these parts.

SOMEONE needs some golf lessons!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Golf Course Law Suits

It has been my experience that folks who do this type of damage feel they are immune from liability so just anticipating my next steps...,-alleging-design-flaw-beach-course

The above case looks like a good one - apparently from talking to local golfers, it's the number 1 hole on the course that seems to line up with not only my house but the others next to me - I mean you see at least 3 or 4 balls a day around these houses - and since my house was built in 1915, I seriously doubt if the course was here before then - so I'd say they should move the number 1 hole or put up a netting to prevent damage to the houses along the north side of the golf course!

Letter to Nowata Golfers - Bad Golfers in Nowata Oklahoma!

The holes are all next to my air conditioner
Three hits close to the air conditioner
Look how it cracks the siding

another hole

Another hole next to the air conditioner

This one was really hit hard went clear thru the siding

Look at this - all this in about a week

You can see another dent on this side of the air conditioner - it could have been hit twice

Clearly a golf ball hit here - they make those nice little round dents

You can't miss them - this air conditioner is a heater and air conditioner costing about $1,000.00 and in 100 degree heat in Oklahoma, you can't do without one!
Letter to Nowata Golf Course:

June 21, 2009

Nowata Golf Club
Mr. Wayne Reeder
507 W Delaware Ave
Nowata, OK 74048-2554

Re: Golf Ball Damage

Dear Mr. Reeder:

This is to inform you that the golf ball damage to my property is completely unnecessary.

Nowata Golf Course is a very small course, if your golfers are unable to control their balls when they hit them, then they should take lessons or go to a driving range to improve their shooting ability.

My air conditioner has a big dent in the side of it from someones golf ball! If it goes out, I expect either them or your club to step forward and replace the unit with another of the same or higher value.

Nowata is a very small course and it is not necessary to take power shoots to see how far you can drive the ball.

Please, inform your golfers I will look to them for repairs for damages to my property. If they do not step forward, then I will expect the club to take appropriate steps to repair damages.

Amazing how inconsiderate your golfers are!


Charlotte Coats

*I must say, the golf ball damage within the last couple of weeks, all seems to be in the area of my air conditioner - there are at least 3 to 4 new dents in the siding as well - if I were of a suspicious mind, I'd almost think that someone was using the air conditioner as golf ball target practice - I find it highly unusual that there would be so many new *divots* all in one location...hmmmm....not to mention my car is parked in the driveway in the front of the house, across the street from the golf course*

Nowata, Oklahoma Golfers!!

Well, I've seen some bad golfing in my days...but those folks at the Nowata Golf Course are really bad!

This is a rather small golf course but they hit their balls like they're on the Peeble Beach course!!

Found a big dent in my air conditioning today!!

Guess it's time to send out a letter, I find it amazing the houses on both sides of me don't get it like the side of my house does!!

Hey! I'm not made of money here and really don't feel like paying for their bad golfing!!

So you think Nationalized Health Care would be any better? Think again!

American Indians receiving 'substandard' healthcare
June 15, 2009 — 2:50pm ET By Dan Bowman

In a sad, but all too true case of healthcare negligence in the United States, the Associated Press reports that the Indian Health Service System's level of care for it's 2 million patients in 35 states is "grossly substandard" a good portion of the time. Among other reportable statistics, death rates for American Indian infants were found to be 40 percent higher than their white counterparts.

Many qualified American Indians don't apply for services such as Medicare and Medicaid because they don't have access to the sign-up process, says the Associated Press. A lack of federal dollars also is a big reason for the poor health statistics of American Indians; Congress approved a budget of $3.6 billion for the Indian Health Service System for this year, not nearly enough to attract top-tier doctors, or purchase top-of-the-line equipment.

Heck, even inmates in federal prison have it better when it comes to healthcare: 2005 data points out that one-third more is spent, per capita, on the healthcare of felons in federal prison than on healthcare for reservations. While Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) has attempted to bring this issue to light, he has not had any luck getting any legislation passed. Furthermore, a problem of political "clout" exists: Ron His Horse is Thunder, chairman of the Standing Rock tribe, pointed out to the Associated Press that his tribe is "not one congruent voting bloc in any one state or area."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Consider this as Congress goes forward on Nationalizing Health Care!

Promises, promises
Indian health care's forgotten victims
BY Mary Clare Jalonick Associated Press Writer - 06/15/2009

Ada White talks about her great niece Ta'shon Rain Little Light, seen in the photo, during an interview with the Associated Press in Crow Agency recently. Ta'shon died of cancer in a matter of months subsequent to a misdiagnosis of depression by the local Indian Health Service. AP photos

Wrong diagnosis leads to death of child from cancer in Crow Agency CROW AGENCY — Ta'Shon Rain Little Light, a happy little girl who loved to dance and dress up in traditional American Indian clothes, had stopped eating and walking. She complained constantly to her mother that her stomach hurt.

When Stephanie Little Light took her daughter to the Indian Health Service clinic in this wind-swept and remote corner of Montana, they told her the 5-year-old was depressed.

Ta'Shon's pain rapidly worsened and she visited the clinic about 10 more times over several months before her lung collapsed and she was airlifted to a children's hospital in Denver. There she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, confirming the suspicions of family members.

A few weeks later, a charity sent the whole family to Disney World so Ta'Shon could see Cinderella's Castle, her biggest dream. She never got to see the castle, though. She died in her hotel bed soon after the family arrived in Florida.

"Maybe it would have been treatable," says her great-aunt, Ada White, as she topically recounts the last few months of Ta'Shon's short life. Stephanie Little Light cries as she recalls how she once forced her daughter to walk when she was in pain because the doctors told her it was all in the little girl's head.

Ta'Shon's story is not unique in the Indian Health Service system, which serves almost 2 million American Indians in 35 states.

On some reservations, the oft-quoted refrain is "don't get sick after June," when the federal dollars run out. It's a sick joke, and a sad one, because it's sometimes true, especially on the poorest reservations where residents cannot afford health insurance. Officials say they have about half of what they need to operate, and patients know they must be dying or about to lose a limb to get serious care.

Wealthier tribes can supplement the federal health service budget with their own money. But poorer tribes, often those on the most remote reservations, far away from city hospitals, are stuck with grossly substandard care. The agency itself describes a "rationed health care system." The sad fact is an old fact, too. The U.S. has an obligation, based on a 1787 agreement between tribes and the government, to provide American Indians with free health care on reservations.

But that promise has not been kept. About one-third more is spent per capita on health care for felons in federal prison, according to 2005 data from the health service.

In Washington, a few lawmakers have tried to bring attention to the broken system as Congress attempts to improve health care for millions of other Americans. But tightening budgets and the relatively small size of the American Indian population have worked against them. "It is heartbreaking to imagine that our leaders in Washington do not care, so I must believe that they do not know," Joe Garcia, president of the National Congress of American Indians, said in his annual state of Indian nations' address in February.

Statistics staggering When it comes to health and disease in Indian country, the statistics are staggering.

American Indians have an infant death rate that is 40 percent higher than the rate for whites. They are twice as likely to die from diabetes, 60 percent more likely to have a stroke, 30 percent more likely to have high blood pressure and 20 percent more likely to have heart disease.

American Indians have disproportionately high death rates from unintentional injuries and suicide, and a high prevalence of risk factors for obesity, substance abuse, sudden infant death syndrome, teenage pregnancy, liver disease and hepatitis.

While campaigning on Indian reservations, presidential candidate Barack Obama cited this statistic: After Haiti, men on the impoverished Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in South Dakota have the lowest life expectancy in the Western Hemisphere.

Those on reservations qualify for Medicare and Medicaid coverage. But a report by the Government Accountability Office last year found that many American Indians have not applied for those programs because of lack of access to the sign-up process; they often live far away or lack computers. The report said that some do not sign up because they believe the government already has a duty to provide them with health care.

The office of minority health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Indian Health Service, notes on its Web site that American Indians "frequently contend with issues that prevent them from receiving quality medical care. These issues include cultural barriers, geographic isolation, inadequate sewage disposal and low income." Indeed, Indian health clinics often are ill-equipped to deal with such high rates of disease, and poor
clinics do not have enough money to focus on preventive care. The main problem is a lack of federal money. American Indian programs are not a priority for Congress, which provided the health service with $3.6 billion this budget year.

Officials at the health service say they can't legally comment on specific cases such as Ta'Shon's. But they say they are doing the best they can with the money they have — about 54 cents on the dollar they need.

One of the main problems is that many clinics must "buy" health care from larger medical facilities outside the health service because the clinics are not equipped to handle more serious medical conditions. The money that Congress provides for those contract health care services is rarely sufficient, forcing many clinics to make "life or limb" decisions that leave lower-priority patients out in the cold.

"The picture is much bigger than what the Indian Health Service can do," says Doni Wilder, an official at the agency's headquarters in Rockville, Md., and the former director of the agency's Northwestern region. "Doctors every day in our organization are making decisions about people not getting cataracts removed, gall bladders fixed." On the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, Indian Health Service staff say they are trying to improve conditions. They point out recent improvements to their clinic, including a new ambulance bay. But in interviews on the reservation, residents were eager to share stories about substandard care.

Rhonda Sandland says she couldn't get help for her advanced frostbite until she threatened to kill herself because of the pain — several months after her first appointment. She says she was exposed to temperatures at more than 50 below, and her hands turned purple. She eventually couldn't dress herself, she says, and she visited the clinic over and over again, sometimes in tears.

"They still wouldn't help with the pain so I just told them that I had a plan,"
she said. "I was going to sleep in my car in the garage." She says the clinic
then decided to remove five of her fingers, but a visiting doctor from Bismarck,
N.D., intervened, giving her drugs instead. She says she eventually lost the tops
of her fingers and the top layer of skin.

Back in Montana, Ta'Shon's parents are doing what they can to bring awareness to
the issue. They have prepared a slideshow with pictures of her brief life; she is
seen dressed up in traditional regalia she wore for dance competitions with a
bright smile on her face. Family members approached Dorgan at a Senate field
hearing on American Indian health care after her death in 2006, hoping to get the
little girl's story out.

"She was a gift, so bright and comforting," says Ada White of her niece, whom she
calls her granddaughter according to Crow tradition. "I figure she was brought
here for a reason." Nearby, the clinic on the Crow reservation seems mostly
empty, aside from the crowded waiting room. The hospital is down several doctors,
a shortage that management attributes recruitment difficulties and the remote

Diane Wetsit, a clinical coordinator, said she finds it difficult to think about
the congressional bailout for Wall Street. "I have a hard time with that when I
walk down the hallway and see what happens here," she says.

The same clinic failed to diagnose Victor Brave Thunder with congestive heart
failure, giving him Tylenol and cough syrup when he told a doctor he was
uncomfortable and had not slept for several days. He eventually went to a
hospital in Bismarck, which immediately admitted him. But he had permanent damage
to his heart, which he attributed to delays in treatment. Brave Thunder, 54, died
in April while waiting for a heart transplant.

"You can talk to anyone on the reservation and they all have a story," says
Tracey Castaway, whose sister, Marcella Buckley, said she was in $40,000 of debt
because of treatment for stomach cancer.

Buckley says she visited the clinic for four years with stomach pains and was
given a variety of diagnoses, including the possibility of a tapeworm and
stress-related stomachaches. She was eventually told she had Stage 4 cancer that
had spread throughout her body.

Ron His Horse is Thunder, chairman of the Standing Rock tribe, says his remote
reservation on the border between North Dakota and South Dakota can't attract or
maintain doctors who know what they are doing. Instead, he says, "We get old
doctors that no one else wants or new doctors who need to be trained." His Horse
is Thunder often travels to Washington to lobby for more money and attention, but
he acknowledges that improvements are tough to come by.

"We are not one congruent voting bloc in any one state or area," he said. "So we
don't have the political clout." ——— On another reservation 200 miles north of
Standing Rock, Ardel Baker, a member of North Dakota's Three Affiliated Tribes,
knows all too well the truth behind the joke about money running out.

Baker went to her local clinic with severe chest pains and was sent by ambulance
to a hospital more than an hour away. It wasn't until she got there that she
noticed she had a note attached to her, written on U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services letterhead.

"Understand that Priority 1 care cannot be paid for at this time due to funding
issues," the letter read. "A formal denial letter has been issued." She lived,
but she says she later received a bill for more than $5,000.

"That really epitomizes the conflict that we have," says Robert McSwain, deputy
director of the Indian Health Service. "We have to move the patient out, it's an
emergency. We need to get them care." It was too late for Harriet Archambault,
according to the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Democratic Sen.
Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, who has told her story more than once in the Senate.

Dorgan says Archambault died in 2007 after her medicine for hypertension ran out
and she couldn't get an appointment to refill it at the nearest clinic, 18 miles
away. She drove to the clinic five times and failed to get an appointment before
she died.

Dorgan's swath of the country is the hardest hit in terms of Indian health care.
Many reservations there are poor, isolated, devoid of economic development
opportunities and subject to long, harsh winters — making it harder for the
health service to recruit doctors to practice there.

While the agency overall has an 18 percent vacancy rate for doctors, that rate
jumps to 38 percent for the region that includes the Dakotas. That region also
has a 29 percent vacancy rate for dentists, and officials and patients report
there is almost no preventive dental care. Routine procedures such as root canals
are rarely seen here. If there's a problem with a tooth, it is simply pulled.

Dorgan has led efforts in Congress to bring attention to the issue. After many
years of talking to frustrated patients at home in North Dakota, he says he
believes the problems are systemic within the embattled agency: incompetent
staffers are transferred instead of fired; there are few staff to handle
complaints; and, in some cases, he says, there is a culture of intimidation
within field offices charged with overseeing individual clinics.

The senator has also probed waste at the agency.

A 2008 GAO report, along with a follow-up report this year, accused the Indian
Health Service of losing almost $20 million in equipment, including vehicles,
X-ray and ultrasound equipment and numerous laptops. The agency says some of the
items were later found.

Dorgan persuaded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to consider an
American Indian health improvement bill last year, and the bill passed in the
Senate. It would have directed Congress to provide about $35 billion for health
programs over the next 10 years, including better access to health care services,
screening and mental health programs. A similar bill died in the House, though,
after it became entangled in an abortion dispute.

The growing political clout of some remote reservations may bring some attention
to health care woes. Last year's Democratic presidential primary played out in
part in the Dakotas and Montana, where both Obama and Democrat Hillary Rodham
Clinton became the first presidential candidates to aggressively campaign on
American Indian reservations there. Both politicians promised better health care.

Obama's budget for 2010 includes an increase of $454 million, or about 13
percent, over this year. Also, the stimulus bill he signed this year provided for
construction and improvements to clinics.

——— Back in Montana, Ta'Shon's parents are doing what they can to bring awareness
to the issue. They have prepared a slideshow with pictures of her brief life; she
is seen dressed up in traditional regalia she wore for dance competitions with a
bright smile on her face. Family members approached Dorgan at a Senate field
hearing on American Indian health care after her death in 2006, hoping to get the
little girl's story out.

"She was a gift, so bright and comforting," says Ada White of her niece, whom she
calls her granddaughter according to Crow tradition. "I figure she was brought
here for a reason." Nearby, the clinic on the Crow reservation seems mostly
empty, aside from the crowded waiting room. The hospital is down several doctors,
a shortage that management attributes recruitment difficulties and the remote

Diane Wetsit, a clinical coordinator, said she finds it difficult to think about
the congressional bailout for Wall Street.

"I have a hard time with that when I walk down the hallway and see what happens
here," she says.

——— On the Net: Indian Health Service: U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services Department's office of minority health: National Congress of American Indians' health care
issues: Senate Indian Affairs Committee: GAO reports:,

Monday, June 15, 2009

Letter to the Phoenix Editor

Dear Editor:

This is a response to the article by Will Chavez in the June 2009 issue of the Phoenix: Immersion children should not suffer from Politics.

With all due respect to all parties in this controversy.

It is my understanding that the Cherokee People are trying to reclaim their language with the immersion school. That claim should only be reserved to those who are federally recognized as Cherokee citizens. If non federally recognized folks wish to learn the language, let them learn it from other citizen Cherokees they know, not as a small child in our immersion school.

Children do not loose friends because they are or are not in a class room.

Money has nothing to do with it, however, spending money on non Citizens doesn't make good economic sense. It is our language and culture that is to be preserved. Let us preserve it, not non recognized Cherokee citizens.

Today, 3/4 of the U.S. population claims to be Cherokee! So where do we draw the line? Friends or anyone who claims to be Cherokee? It may not be the best distinction, however, federally recognized is at least a beginning.

Thank you Cara Cowan Watts for guarding our cultural heritage.

Charlotte Coats

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

And one other thing!

Who do I send the bill to for tires ruined on US Highway 169 that runs from Tulsa to the Kansas line?

It's a beautiful 4 lane highway from Tulsa to Talala and then it converts to this 2 lane narrow 1920s road, *commonly referred to as the Pothole Expressway*.

So when is this going to get extended to a 4 lane from Talala to the Kansas line!

Let's see some of those gas tax dollars go to work here!!

Black Caucus marginalizes Indians Again

With any luck Pelosi and Reid will soon be gone from their *power* posts in Congress...

Again, Ms Watson distorts and gives the public half the information; and to top it all off, she doesn't want Indians to have decent housing! Among those Indians are legitimate Cherokee/Freemen!

Congress has already changed that Treaty but she'd rather go along with the Freedmen's threats: don't do what we want or we'll not give you any Federal Funds; so does their violating the treaty justify their distorted views? I think not!

CA is about to go bankrupt but Ms Watson, a California Congresswoman, is still worried about whether or not the Cherokee Nation, an Oklahoma Tribe, is Sovereign; no wonder the congressional black caucus doesn't want this heard in the courts, they may have to follow the law!

The Cherokee Nation isn't a Private Club, that money comes from Treaty Rights, not some preconceived notion descendants of slaves may feel, they are owed.

The US government signed Treaties to take care of us!! NOW TAKE CARE OF US....

Ah, that Black Hole called Congress, in DC is hopeless!!

Sen. Barack Obama and the Cherokee Freedmen: Politics as usual

By Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.)
Posted: 05/13/08 05:29 PM [ET]

On the same day that African American voters went to the polls to cast their ballots in North Carolina and Indiana, descendants of the former slaves of the Cherokee Nation (known as Freedmen) fought in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to enforce their treaty rights guaranteeing them equality and voting rights in the tribe. Attorneys representing the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma have filed to have the case dismissed on the grounds that only Congress can enforce the treaty because the Cherokees have sovereign immunity. Yet the Cherokee Nation on that same day held a conference in the U.S. Capitol on why the Freedmen matter should be left to the courts.
Without a clear understanding of the issue, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has weighed in on the side of the Cherokees by publicly opposing my legislation, H.R. 2824, which suspends U.S. relations with the Cherokees until the rights of Freedmen are restored. Sen. Obama also takes exception to a recent Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in which the caucus declares its opposition to Native American housing legislation if it does not include a provision that would prevent the Cherokee Nation from receiving any benefits or funding under the bill if the Freedmen are expelled from the tribe.
Thirty-five CBC members signed the letter, including its chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.).
Sen. Obama’s argument mirrors the Cherokees’ justification for Freedmen termination. He declares that the Freedmen issue is a matter of tribal sovereignty and should be arbitrated in the courts and not Congress. But what Sen. Obama fails to understand is that the Freedmen issue is about treaty rights, not tribal sovereignty. What Sen. Obama probably has not been told is that the Cherokee Freedmen issue tracks the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma’s attempt in 2002 to terminate its Freedmen that was squashed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs when it halted all federal funding to the tribe and suspended the Seminoles’ federal gaming authority.
The Cherokee Nation, as many of the other slaveholding Indian tribes, fought on the side of Confederacy during the Civil War. In 1866, the U.S. and the Cherokee Nation signed a treaty to reestablish relations between the Cherokee Nation and the United States. The 1866 treaty forms the new foundation for Cherokee sovereignty that continues to this day.
Article IX of the Treaty of 1866 states that Cherokee Freedmen shall have “all the rights” of Cherokees. The language in the treaty has been interpreted on more than one occasion by the courts as that “all rights” include the right of Freedmen citizenship. That same year, in 1866, the Cherokee Nation amended its constitution to give Freedmen full rights of citizenship, including land allotments. Federal courts have consistently determined that the treaty abrogated the Cherokees’ sovereign right to legalize slavery or determine the citizenship of its former slaves.
Despite a long history of legal precedent favoring the Freedmen, Chad Smith, the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, continues to hammer at the notion that Congress should defer to the courts on the Freedmen issue. It has become the rallying cry of his supporters and numerous well-paid lobbyists. He reminds us that the Cherokee Nation is a nation of laws and will abide by the decisions of the courts. Given Smith’s mantra that the Freedmen issue should be left to the courts, it is curious that Smith’s lawyers recently argued in U.S. District Court that Congress has rightful jurisdiction over the fate of the Freedmen.
Whatever branch of government has ultimate authority, it is clear that the past actions of Smith belie his commitment to the rule of law. After the Cherokee Nation’s tribal courts ruled in favor of Lucy Allen, a Freedmen descendant who sued for citizenship, Smith chose to dissolve the Cherokee tribal court and pack the newly constituted court with his cronies, who proceeded to approve a referendum to overturn Allen’s petition. The decision of Smith’s court laid the groundwork for the March 2007 vote to expel the Freedmen.
The Cherokee Nation lost its sovereign right to engage in slavery upon enactment of the 13th Amendment and to determine the citizenship of the descendants of its former slaves upon ratification of the Treaty of 1866. Over the past several decades, our nation has stood up for the rights of indigenous minorities, as has the U.S. Congress through its Helsinki Commission as well as other congressional forums. Defending any government’s right to commit gross acts of discrimination under the guise of sovereign immunity is a non-starter. It is as unsupportable in South Africa, China, Zimbabwe and Bosnia as it is in the Cherokee Nation, arguably even more so in the Cherokee Nation since it is located within the continental U.S. and its sovereignty on the issue at hand has already been abrogated by Congress.
African American voters should think about how they would feel if their citizenship rights were suddenly removed because they descended from slaves. This is precisely what the Cherokee Nation wants to do in violation of its own treaty obligations. It is morally repugnant and legally wrong.

Watson is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform, and Foreign Affairs, committees.