The three new Seminole Nation Princesses include:
Wantland honored for 50 years of dedicated service
Seminole Nation Chief Justice William Wantland was recognized for 50 years being a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association on May 1, 2014 at the Civic Center in Wewoka.
Wantland was also recognized by the tribe for helping to draft the Seminole Nation Constitution.
Wantland, a citizen of the Seminole Nation and member of the Tuskia Harjo band, has long been an ambassador for the tribe. He previously served as a member of the Constitution Committee from 1965 to 1969 and attorney general from 1969 to 1977.
Wantland graduated from Seminole High School in 1952 and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Hawaii. In 1964, he graduated from the school of law at Oklahoma City University. That same year the Seminole Nation began working on a new constitution. He was appointed to the Constitutional Committee the following year; a referendum vote on the constitution was taken in 1969.
“It was overwhelmingly adopted,” he recalls, “restoring the right to elect our Chief. However, there was no provision for a court system, because the Bureau of Indian Affairs said we could not have courts.”
Nevertheless, the government provided for an attorney general, and Bishop Wantland filled this position for eight years, until 1977.
On August 8, 2011, after the restoration of the Seminole Nation’s tribal court system, Wantland and three other justices were appointed to the Seminole Nation Supreme and Districts Courts.
Shunkamolah named Chief Gaming Regulator of the Year
Seminole Nation Chief Gaming Regulator Matt Shunkamolah was awarded the Oklahoma Tribal Gaming Association’s John Aerosmith Regulator of the Year Award on April 15, 2014 at the OTGRA Spring Conference.
“It was a very nice surprise,” said Shunkamolah. “I was very fortunate to get the award.”
OTGRA is a non‐proﬁt, voluntary association composed of tribal gaming regulatory entities representing federally-recognized tribal governments involved in Oklahoma gaming.
The Seminole Nation gaming commissioners and staff members nominated Shunkamolah.
“The majority of this award belongs to my staff and their dedication to the Seminole Nation,” said Shunkamolah.
Shunkamolah previously worked for the Yavapai Nation Gaming Agency and Osage Nation and Commanche Nation Gaming Agencies.
The Seminole Nation Honor Guard was selected to participate in this year’s National Memorial Day ceremonies at the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. on May 26, 2014.
This is only the sixth time that a Native American color guard has presented the colors at the national ceremony since its start in 1864.
There were over 5,000 visitors in attendance for the Memorial Day Ceremony.
Rex Hailey, Seminole Nation Honor Guard Commander and Desert Storm Veteran; Barney Mitchell, Vietnam Veteran; Phillip Coon, Vietnam Veteran; and Tecumseh Underwood, Cold War Veteran carried the flags in the parade of colors at Arlington Memorial Amphitheatre, which featured US President Barack Obama as the keynote speaker.
“It’s a great honor to be here, not only for the Seminole Nation tribe, but also for the honor guard,” Hailey said.
The color guard, along with Seminole Nation Principal Chief Leonard M. Harjo and National Native American Veterans Commander Donald E. Loudner, also had the opportunity to lay the Native American Veterans wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“We enjoyed this experience, and it’s one thing I will never will forget,” said Hailey.