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A Look Inside Native America

What’s New? The Oklahoma economy is booming, thanks in part to a variety of infrastructure projects spearheaded by Native American Nations. For example, the Choctaw Nation broke ground in June on a $238 million casino and resort in southeast Oklahoma. Choctaw Landing will employ about 600 people in Hochatown, near Broken Bow Lake, says Janie Dillard, senior executive officer of the...

Unity Across the Ocean

“Nothing divides the Choctaw people from the Irish people except for the ocean,” according to the Choctaw Nation’s historical account of their ongoing friendship. In 1847, still suffering the effects from the Trail of Tears forced migration from Mississippi to Indian Territory, the Choctaw people collected $170 to send to Ireland during the potato famine. The memory of that gift...

Exploring Native America

Infrastructure Updates Choctaw Nation It’s been an exciting summer for the Choctaw Nation, which opened a cultural center on July 23 and will cut the ribbon on a new, 1,000-room hotel tower this month. Stacey Halfmoon is senior director of the cultural center; she says the 100,000-square-foot center on 22 acres in Durant houses two exhibit halls, an art gallery, an auditorium,...

Tenacity, Pecans and Cowboy Hats

The grit and gumption of two Alabamans displaced by the Civil War continues with their southern Oklahoma descendants, whose heart-healthy products have a global following. Dan Hamilton, his sons Mark and Paul and grandson Jacob run a pair of Johnson County businesses – Tri-Agri Farm Center and Native American Specialty Products – that account for one of the largest pecan...

Interlaced Generations

Covered in heavy clothing and donning boots, Eveline Battiest Steele trudges through dense cane breaks, where waist-high poison ivy and critters sometimes dog her efforts in finding something she covets. Steele and her husband make periodic 60- to 80-mile round trips from their Broken Bow home to find mature cane along southeastern Oklahoma’s river banks. This type of cane can’t...

Oklahoma’s Tribal Impact

A photo album of these native Oklahomans is striking. One picture is of an accomplished TV and film actress strolling down the red carpet; there’s an action shot of a Division I college athlete. Other snaps include a successful fashion designer, a health-care professional receiving accolades from the U.S. surgeon general, and an internationally acclaimed poet. These are images of...

May Means Music

Casinos around the state bring excellent acts to the stage. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa (hardrockcasinotulsa.com) features Steve Earle and The Dukes on May 2; Robert Cray on May 3; Alanis Morissette on May 8; Jonny Lang on May 9; Chicks With Hits on May 11; Good Charlotte on May 18; and the Nitro Comedy Tour on May 25. The...

Casino Chaos

It’s a bustling month for Oklahoma casinos. River Spirit Casino and Resort in Tulsa welcomes Chris Young on March 14, Wayne Brady on March 23, and Paquita la del Barrio and Angela Aguilar on March 29. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Catoosa features comedian Bruce Bruce on March 7, the quirky Carrot Top on March 14, and 3 Doors...