Indian Times

News and interviews from Indian Country.

8th Annual Native American Benefit Concert

Dec 1, 2014
Native American Christmas Benefit

The annual Native American Benefit Concert was founded by Dr. Daryl Tonemah with one goal - to give native children a better Christmas. Tonemah accomplishes this by holding a benefit concert for which the price of admission is a new toy or new article of children's clothing.

“We all are pretty much aware of the statistics about poverty and under employment and lack of educational attainment for natives, not only across the country but here in Oklahoma,” Ron McIntosh (Muscogee Creek) said.

McIntosh is one of the organizers of this year’s Annual Native American Benefit Concert to take place Friday, December 5 at Rose State College.

“One of the things that Daryl Tonemah, who actually started this about 15 years ago in Phoenix - one of the things that he recognized, and that we've tried to carry on - is that it is up to us to take care of our own kids,” McIntosh said.

Susan Shannon

The Oklahoma Historical Society houses thousands of records on early Oklahomans, Indian and non-Indian. But OHS has lacked the means to digitize much of its records. That is until recently, when approached OHS with an offer to collaborate.

“It was a good partnership because we do not have staff, nor time nor resources to digitize and index our records and we have a treasure trove of records in our files, on microfilm, lots of handwritten records that are difficult to access,” Debra Osborne Spindle said. “This will make them available.

Tuesday marked the release of This May Be The Last Time on DVD. Last week we discussed the genesis of the project, which among other things explores the melding of cultures in music. Today we’ll look at the centerpiece of the film, the Muscogee Creek hymns.


This May Be The Last Time, incorporates a variety of representative anecdotes to illustrate the practice and origins of the Muscogee Creek hymns.


Acclaimed Native American filmmaker Sterlin Harjo’s latest project is an exploration into the past that revealed much more than he anticipated. This May Be The Last Time is a documentary film that looks to the origins of the music and culture of his distant ancestors.

It is a quest that found Harjo in the unexpected role of investigator into the mysterious 1962 disappearance of his grandfather.

Susan Shannon

The Jacobson House Native Art Center is a place with a lot of history. The late Swedish-born artist Oscar Brousse Jacobson built the house during his tenure as the first Director of the University of Oklahoma's School of Art. Jacobson had a deep appreciation for the landscapes and occupants of the American Southwest.

Eden, Janine and Jim /

2014 may well be remembered as the year of the virus. Prior to the focus on Ebola in Texas, the country’s health care systems were concerned with a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), which primarily targets children.

Billy Mills

Last Tuesday was the 50th anniversary of Ogalala Lakota runner Billy Mills' surprise victory at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Mills, a member of the Ogalala Lakota Nation, remains the only American to win gold in the 10,000 meters track event, and his race was one of those historic upsets for the record books.

Susan Shannon

Chickasaw Governor Bill Anoatubby has long wanted to make films commemorating some of his tribe’s more renowned members. Among the names on Anoatubby’s short list is a woman he considers a great ambassador for his tribe and all Native Americans, Te Ata.

American Indian Cultural Center And Museum

If you don’t build it, they won’t come…that’s basically what Blake Wade, Executive Director of the Native American Cultural Authority, intimated when extolling the virtues of a completed American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. Not only would the museum be a world class attraction, the surrounding 220 acres of commercial property would be developed to match the museum’s potential.

OU School of Law

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor came to the University of Oklahoma last week to speak at the OU School of Law. One of the last questions came from a Choctaw student who greeted her in Choctaw.

"Halito, (words in Choctaw) yakoke. As Professor Tai said, my name is Kelbie Kennedy and I'm a proud citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma,” said Kennedy. “I am so glad that you are preserving your native language. It’s so important for people in your generation to do that, thank you for attempting and succeeding obviously!” Sotomayor said.