Indian Times

News and interviews from Indian Country.

Susan Shannon

SoonerCare Can Give Indian Health Care Services An Added Advantage

SoonerCare is Oklahoma’s Medicaid program. The tribal relations associate for SoonerCare is Katie Carden. Carden says more Native Americans and native veterans need to sign up because not only are there more services available for them to take advantage of, it will pay their tribal clinics for services received. In fact, SoonerCare is the third largest payer to Indian Health Service.

Katie Carden, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, wants Native Americans to sign up for SoonerCare.

Culture As Medicine

Jul 4, 2014
OU Health Sciences Center

Dr. Dolores Bigfoot is one of the authors of the article Cultural Enhancement of Mental Health Services for American Indian Children found in the spring 2014 edition of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC). Bigfoot explains how age-old ceremonies and values from tribal life can help abused native children today.

5 Stories From Indian Country This Week

Jun 28, 2014
Dwight Mission

Cherokee Nation To Restore And Preserve Schoolhouse

The Cherokee Nation and its businesses are donating $120,000 to restore and preserve a nearly 100-year-old schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was built in 1917 and was the main building at the Dwight Mission in Vian in eastern Oklahoma.

Can A School Be Bully Free?

Jun 20, 2014
Oklahoma Alliance Academy

The U-S Department of Health and Human Services defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”

An educator and a counselor in Tulsa want to create a school that’s bully-free.

Jennie Stockle

Oklahoma-born American Indian rights advocate Suzan Shown Harjo has led the fight against team names and mascots deemed disparaging to Native Americans. She led a successful legal challenge in 1992 against the owner of the Washington Redskins. But the initial ruling by Trademark Trial and Appeal Board was overturned, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Now the torch has been passed, and a new generation of advocates is running with it.

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic is hosting a Walk for Wellness on June 14 at Remington Park. The Clinic is trying to promote healthy lifestyles by engaging the whole family in healthy activities. Steve Daugherty is the health promotion and disease prevention coordinator for the clinic.

"There's several changes that we all need to make. Being natives we're more prevalent to diabetes and heart disease," Daugherty said.

Did Tribal Sovereign Immunity Dodge A Bullet?

Jun 6, 2014
DonkeyHotey /

Brian Pierson, team leader for Indian Nations law team at Godfrey & Kahn, wrote an article about the Supreme Court’s recent decision on Michigan v Bay Mills Indian Community case for the

Red Earth

Thursday, June 5, marks the beginning of Red Earth Festival, now in its 28th year. And this year marks a new direction and new location for the 3 day festival.


Native Peoples In Their Own Words...The Kiowa

May 23, 2014
Susan Shannon

This is the first in a series of programs dedicated to the stories of Oklahoma's tribes, as told by tribal members. 

According to Blue Clark, in his book Indian Tribes Of Oklahoma, the Kiowa origin story tells of the tribe’s emergence out of the ground through a hollow cottonwood log. The supernatural being Saynday called them forth and taught the Kiowa how to hunt and survive.

Review: News Affecting Indian Country

May 17, 2014
Susan Shannon

Tobacco Tax Compact Negotiated

A new tobacco tax compact between the Kialegee Tribal Town and the state of Oklahoma is now in effect. Each of the state's 38 federally recognized Indian tribes can negotiate a compact with the state that determines how much of the $1.03-per-pack tax is distributed between the state and the tribe.  The Tulsa World reports that Oklahoma will collect 30 percent of all Kialegee compact taxes - or all applicable state taxes - on the sale of any cigarette or other tobacco product that is subject to the compact from Feb. 1 of this year through the end of 2015. That amount increases to 40 percent in 2016, 45 percent in 2017 and 50 percent in 2018. The compact expires at the end of 2018.

Christina Fallin on stage during the 2014 Norman Music Festival wearing a cape that read "SHEEP".
Christina Owen

In March, Christina Fallin, the daughter of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Instagramed a promotional image of herself wearing an elaborate, albeit imitation Natuve American headdress. The tagline on the image read, “Appropriate Culturation,” which seemed an obvious play on the term “cultural appropriation” - the practice of adopting elements of one culture by another. The fallout from this promotional photo shoot sparked a series of events which culminated with a heated war of words and signs during the 2014 Norman Music Festival.

Susan Shannon

In 1971 a group of fourteen American Indian and Alaska Native doctors formed the Association of American Indian Physicians, or AAIP, with the primary goal of improving the health of native communities by, among other things, giving support to native doctors in training. Today, the group has taken this mission further by encouraging future medical students.

Wesley Fryer /

Sara Adams Cornell has two daughters in the Oklahoma City school district. Last year her daughters participated in a reenactment of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889.

As members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Cornell said her daughters didn’t understand why anyone would want to reenact that occasion. Cornell contacted the school and was told by her daughter’s teacher and the school principal they could sit in the office or miss a day of school with an unexcused absence.

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

A new photography exhibition opens April 11 at the Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art. Heather Ahtone, the James T. Bialic Assistant Curator for Native American and Non-western Arts, says the exhibition has a global feel.

“'Our People, Our Land, Our Images' is an exhibition of indigenous photography from across the world,” said Ahtone. “It includes Native American photographers as well as Maori from New Zealand, Iranian and Palestinian photographers. It's their visual take on what it is to be indigenous and from a particular place."

Susan Shannon

The sounds of Native American flute music wafted over the South Oval at the University of Oklahoma last week as the Spring Heritage Celebration Day opening ceremonies began. It’s also the 100th anniversary of the OU Spring Contest Powwow, making it the oldest university powwow in the nation.