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Year in Review - 2023. Each week, we feature an opinion column by Native News Online publisher Levi Rickert and guest opinion authors, reflecting on recent breaking news and the issues that matter most in Indian Country. From the Yellowstone buffalo hunt to Supreme Court Justices to frybread, here are the ten most-read opinion and guest opinion columns from 2023. 

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Guest Opinion. When the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed tribal jurisdiction over our reservations in eastern Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation was quick to push forward with a transformative vision for our criminal justice system. Now we are continuing to refine ideas and develop strategies that both respond effectively to crimes and prevent new crimes from happening.

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Opinion. The sky was blue and temperatures were unseasonably warm as we pulled into the Carlisle Barracks campus at the former Indian boarding school. A couple of small children could be heard talking as they played and ran with a large yellowish-brown dog following closely behind. They were joyful. Then, one of the children, a young girl, ran onto a porch and disappeared into the white apartment building that is part of the large complex that houses officers who attend the U.S. Army War College. 

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Guest Opinion. Cancer is a terrible disease that has taken an especially harmful toll on Native Americans. Each year, there are nearly 400 cancer cases within the Cherokee Nation health system, and nationwide, American Indians have some of the lowest cancer survival rates. Lack of access to early detection and cutting-edge treatments is a big reason why.

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Guest Opinion. Many times, when you begin an individual journey, you don’t realize how connected you are to ideas and movements bigger than yourself. I was recently shocked to learn I’m the one-millionth to earn the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education, the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.  

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Opinion. December is an exciting time to be in Washington, D.C. The glittering lights of the National Christmas Tree and the 30-foot-tall National Menorah that stands on the northeast side of the Eclipse near the White House are beautiful to view. The excitement of the season is enhanced by the sounds of the holiday music playing in the majestic lobbies of the city’s hotels.

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Like many tribes across the United States, Cherokee Nation operates a Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) program to prioritize contracting with businesses that are owned by and employ Native Americans. I am proud to celebrate the 40th year of our TERO program, which stands tall as one of the most respected throughout Indian Country. It is a stellar example of tribal self-determination and economic empowerment.

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Opinion. I missed the opening weekend of the much-ballyhooed Killers of the Flower Moon in October because I was on assignment in Anchorage, covering the Alaska Federation of Natives convention and The Road to Healing tour.

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Guest Opinion.This week, I am joining tribal leaders from across the country at the White House Tribal Nations Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit is a testament to our government-to-government relationship with the United States. At the Summit, I will advocate for what Cherokee Nation needs to protect our sovereignty and what Cherokee families and communities need for health, safety and prosperity. Cherokee Nation will join other sovereign Indigenous nations to amplify our voice.

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Guest Opinion. As a tribal citizen of the Cherokee Nation, I know firsthand how rich and cherished tribal cultures are - but, as with anything precious, our cultures' longevity depends on a concerted effort.