Leadership Oklahoma class visits Tahlequah (Tahlequah Daily Press)

Members of Leadership Oklahoma Class 30 expanded their knowledge of Oklahoma tribal government and community economic development last week during their visit to Tahlequah. Local arrangements and hospitality were coordinated by area member Molly Jarvis, senior vice president, marketing communications and cultural tourism, Cherokee Nation Businesses and LOK Class 29, and financially supported by Arvest Bank, BancFirst, the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses.

The three-day session began with optional activities including a cultural tour of stops throughout the Cherokee Nation, a pottery class with Cherokee National Treasure Jane Osti, and dinner at the Sequoyah State Park.

On Friday, the group participated in a driving tour of the Cherokee Nation narrated by Canaan Duncan, Cherokee Nation, and were greeted by the Cherokee Nation Color Guard and welcomed by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Speaker of the Council Joe Byrd. The invocation was given by Byrd.


Friday morning sessions included: The History of Indian Nations by Dr. Candess Tehee, assistant professor of American Indian Studies, Northeastern State University; Tribal Sovereignty and Federal Law by Dean Stacy Leeds, professor of law, University of Arkansas School of Law; and Tribal-State Compacts Panel moderated by Kim Teehee, vice president of government relations, Cherokee Nation Businesses, and director of government relations, Cherokee Nation. Panelists included Jeffrey Cartmell, deputy general counsel to the governor of Oklahoma; Todd Hembree, Cherokee Nation attorney general; Sara Hill, Cherokee Nation secretary of natural resources; Chuck Hoskin, Cherokee Nation chief of staff and state representative, District 6; and Sharon Swepston, Cherokee Nation Tax Commission administrator.

Following the morning panel, the class participated in two afternoon panels. The first panel was titled Tribal Businesses – Where the Money Goes: The Economic Impact Tribes have on Oklahoma,” moderated by David Blatt, executive director, Oklahoma Policy Institute.

The Tribal Leaders panel was moderated by Linda Edmondson, social worker, community volunteer, and LOK Class 7, which included the following tribal leaders: Bill John Baker, principal chief, Cherokee Nation; James Floyd, principal chief, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Billy Friend, chief, Wyandotte Nation; Greg Pitcher, economic development, Shawnee Tribe; and Glenna J. Wallace, chief, Eastern Shawnee Tribe. Following the panel, the class participated in small group discussions with the tribal leaders.


During their year with Leadership Oklahoma, Class 30 members visit nine communities: Seminole, Lawton/Fort Sill, McAlester, Tahlequah, Oklahoma City, Stillwater, Guymon, Tulsa and Broken Bow. Under the leadership of LOK President and CEO Marion Paden, LOK Class 21, programs address the critical social, environmental and economic issues facing Oklahoma with a goal of stimulating inquiry, analysis and solutions to help shape the state’s future.

Oklahoma leaders who represent a wide geographic base and who have diverse backgrounds and vocations are selected to participate. Class members meet and talk with Oklahoma’s current leaders to explore the state’s opportunities, needs, issues and resources. Based on the interaction and respect developed during the class year, a living network is formed – a network capable of identifying, evaluating and implementing projects of value to the people of Oklahoma.

Leadership Oklahoma is dedicated to recruiting, educating and connecting caring and committed Oklahomans, providing them with the information and network to help shape Oklahoma’s future. For more information about Leadership Oklahoma, visit www.leadershipoklahoma.com


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