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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Chickasaw Nation's dance troupe will perform during opening ceremonies at the 11th Junior Softball World Championship in Oklahoma City.

The six-day tournament for girls 19 and under opens on Sunday. Seventeen nations will compete, including Great Britain, Australia, China, Japan and the U.S. The host is the American Softball Association Hall of Fame complex in Oklahoma City, considered one of the best sites in the world for softball tournaments and competition.

For centuries, stomp dancing and song have been a tradition with Chickasaws. The tribe hopes representatives from each nation will dance with the Chickasaws when the tournament opens.

Dance troupe organizers say a "Friendship Song" and "Four Corners Song," are planned in addition to a native flute solo by Michael Cornelius to welcome the athletes and their fans.

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In an effort to enhance the community in Wyandotte, the Wyandotte Nation has moved forward on plans to build a Splash Pad near tribal housing and new Heritage Acres Community Center.

Wyandotte Nation Housing Director Kathy DeWeese said the contract was signed March 12 and the project, weather permitting, is expected to be completed by the end of June. Singer Construction is doing the excavation and RJR Enterprises, Inc., is installing the Splash Pad and fixtures.

“The Splash Pad had been discussed for several years,” DeWeese said. “The community needs things for families to do in the summer months. Building the pad within the housing area will make it available to those living here, the entire community and also the daycare children.”

The cost of the project is $200,000 and features a teepee, turtle sprayers, wolf and bear cannons, dumping buckets and water sprays.

The Splash Pad is located near the recently opened Heritage Acres Community Center. The grand opening for that was held April 14. It features an activity center, senior center and saferoom.

The Wyandotte Nation is also moving forward on plans for a new Culture Center.

Wyandotte Nation Chief Billy Friend said the projects are important pieces in building a ‘community’ in Wyandotte.

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The Twelve Days of Native Christmas, featured on our December cover, is an animated short film written and directed by Gary Robinson (Choctaw/Cherokee) with illustrations by Jesse T. Hummingbird (Cherokee). The whole family will enjoy this whimsical adaptation of the timeless classic yuletide song The Twelve Days of Christmas adapted to a Native American perspective and illustrated by one of America’s great Indian artists. Twelve different Native American groups are represented in the lyrics and images of this fanciful animated short film. The video is available at www.visionmaker.org. Image courtesy of Gary Robinson, Jesse T. Hummingbird, Tribal Eye Productions, and Vision Maker Media.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A documentary film made in Oklahoma about the history of Native American hymns is being released on DVD.

"This May Be the Last Time" is directed by Tulsa filmmaker Sterlin Harjo and is scheduled to be released on DVD on Tuesday. It also will be screened at several theaters in Oklahoma, including the Circle Cinema in Tulsa, beginning on Friday.

The film combines the story of Native American hymns with the disappearance of Sterlin's grandfather, Pete Harjo, a Seminole Indian who went missing after his car crashed on a rural bridge near Sasakwa, Oklahoma.

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