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HUGO – A first-time honor and a second dedication ceremony were held at the Choctaw Community Center in Hugo.

A ribbon cutting Nov. 8 opened the one-of-a-kind facility and on Wednesday, Jan. 17, a ceremony dedicated and renamed the building the “Choctaw Nation Perry Thompson Community Center” after the longtime Tribal Council member who represents Choctaw Nation District 8. 

Extreme cold weather brought the event indoors where the center offered a warm and welcome setting for a standing-room-only crowd of state and local officials, Choctaw senior citizens, family and other supporters of Councilman Thompson.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma (AICCO) recently elected the officers for 2018 during their monthly State Board meeting.  The officers will join State Board President Annetta Abbott in guiding the organization through the next year and work on achieving the marketing objectives and goals of AICCO.

Bailey Walker, a member of the Chickasaw Nation and the Chickasaw Nation Preferred Vendor Program Coordinator, was elected to fill the role of President-Elect.   He has been an active member of AICCO for the past four years and works to recruit members and sponsors for the programs.   His advocacy on behalf of Native owned businesses is tireless.  

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QUAPAW – Downstream Casino Resort made its semi-annual Food Bank donations this week, distributing 20 tons of canned food to eight food banks and food pantries in five counties around the region. 
  
“We have done this twice a year for about 9 years now, to try to raise awareness of the problem of hunger in our region, and to try to lead by example and urge everyone to do what they can to help," said Downstream Chairman John Berrey.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual "Food Insecurity" study shows the Tri-State Region of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas losing the battle against hunger. About 17 percent of the region's households experience food insecurity, and about 6 percent of households have "very low food security." those numbers are up over previous years, and that puts the region near the top of the nation's list of food-insecure regions. Source: https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-security-in-the-united-states.aspx

This week the casino delivered about 40,000 canned vegetables to food banks and pantries in Ottawa County, Okla., Cherokee and Crawford counties, Kan., Jasper County, Mo., and Benton and Washington counties, Arkansas.

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NEWKIRK (AP) – The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday it is suspending plans to conduct bioterrorism drills near the Kansas-Oklahoma border over concerns about their impact on grounds Native American tribes consider sacred because more than 100 children are buried there.

Homeland Security spokesman John Verrico said in an email that the tests were suspended over objections to them taking place at the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School. The Chilocco school, which operated from the late 1800s until 1980, was one of several federally-run boarding schools where the U.S. once sought to assimilate Native American children. The tribes say the federal agency is failing to protect a site with religious and cultural significance.

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