The COVID-19 pandemic has instilled fear in the hearts of many Americans. Since the pandemic began, there have been numerous mandates attempting to dictate how we must live our lives that have mostly been made out of fear. Experts predicted up to 10 percent of people who got COVID-19 would die from the virus, but that was not the case. Today, over 99 percent survive with most never showing symptoms from the virus.
At Cherokee Nation, we are putting the federal CARES Act dollars to work for our citizens and our communities. To that end, we have committed more than $7 million to our Career Services Department. This will keep our existing programs at full strength and expand new programs to help citizens living on our reservation who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Edward L. McAlvain, 85, of Wichita Falls, passed away July 24, 2020.
What did Peter mean when he said in 1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” emphasizing the phrase “a peculiar people”. The word “Peculiar” comes from the King James Version and is not seen in the more modern English translations. This is because at the time the King James Version was translated, the word peculiar was often used to refer to something belonging to someone, as in someone’s property. The dictionary gives two definitions, the first is “strange or odd; unusual” and that is the definition we recognize for the most part today. The second definition is “particular or special”. Biblically speaking, it’s telling us that this word can be used to describe something or someone that “belongs exclusively to some person, group, or thing” or to refer to “a property or privilege belonging exclusively or characteristically to a person.” The original meaning of the Greek words translated “peculiar” in 1 Peter 2:9 is indeed what is meant in this passage; particular or special, belongs exclusively to some person or group and that person is Jesus Christ and that group is Christians all across the world, “The Church Body”.
We are less than two weeks away from the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy’s 2020 Heroes Ball. We are pleased with the local and even national attention that our event is receiving for our innovative approach during these times.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its tyrannical government remain a top threat not only to the United States, but the entire globe. Their hostile behavior throughout the past few months has demonstrated their goal of eroding freedom and growing their communist influence.
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has put strains on Cherokee families, the economy in northeast Oklahoma and our local public schools. There is no clear end in sight, but we remain diligent in creating ways to serve our people in spite of these hurdles. With that in mind, we recently launched online applications for Cherokee Nation’s Respond, Recover and Rebuild Education Initiative. Under this program, we have earmarked $40 million for relief to Cherokee students and families.
It’s been a few weeks since the June 23rd primary elections, where Oklahoma voters chose their slate of candidates for local, state and national offices and also approved State Question 802, which expands Medicaid in the state.
Our country has been through a lot throughout the past four months. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and violence and rioting in cities across the country, it has been a trying time for everyone. Through all of this, America’s first responders have risen to the occasion for their communities.
Even through this national health crisis, the business of our tribal nation carries on. We are committed to providing the housing, health care, education and other essential services that our people expect from a responsible, caring government. During the pandemic, we are doing more than ever to help our Cherokee Nation citizens meet basic needs through food distribution and telemedicine. Cherokee Nation is not alone in the endeavor – 37 other federally recognized tribes in Oklahoma are also executing strategic plans to keep their government flexible and responsive.
Even with the passage of State Question 802, many people do not fully understand the Medicaid system. I have focused this column on the information Oklahomans need to help those who might qualify or want further information.
The global pandemic has heightened uncertainty and anxiety across the world. That is certainly the case here in northeast Oklahoma. Our families, neighborhoods and workplaces have been dramatically affected. Another group that has struggled during this pandemic is the community-based organizations that impact Cherokee Nation at the grassroots.
Not many people enjoy going through a major change. In the book of Numbers, the Israelites cried out as they were on the cusp of the promised land, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become booty; would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (Numbers 14:2b-3) The scriptures tell us that because they cried out, not believing that God had brought them to the land of promise and would give it to them, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
By the time that you likely read this, the June 30 party primary election will have been decided. Congratulations to the winners of each of those elections! We look forward to working with the outright winners tomorrow, and those who are elected in the November general election.