The department has evolved into Mvskoke Media, a multimedia arm providing information through print, radio, television and printing services to better serve the nation's citizens.

OKMULGEE, Okla. – A group of elders came together last week at the Tulsa Creek Indian Community Center, 8611 S. Union Ave., Tulsa, for the monthly senior luncheon. Visiting at tables set up for them in the community room, they shared the news of the day, both personal and otherwise.

Among them that day, Toske Willits, a Tulsa resident and retired pipe fitter, enjoyed the conversation and catching up with friends. He also likes to catch through television and Native News Today. He rarely misses an episode, even if he’s not always pleased with it.

“I was mad at them,” he said.

The syndicated, Mvskoke Media-produced program, which airs at 1 p.m. Saturdays on the local CW Network, covered the community center’s Veterans Day presentation in November.

When it aired, “they gave us 30 seconds,” Willits said, laughing. He didn’t hold it against the show, however. When you’re covering the news of a nation once a week in a half-hour segment with commercials, you fit in as much as you can.

NNT covers the news of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation as well as the  rest of Indian Country with reports and interviews  of newsmakers. It also highlights Muscogee citizens and their accomplishments and histories - which is what Willits likes best.

“I like to find out what’s going on, especially when I know somebody (involved),” he said.

Mvskoke Media makes programs like NNT for Willits and others in the tribe. MM is also behind Mvskoke Radio and Muscogee Nation News, the bi-monthly tribal newspaper.

Along with a graphics and printing services division, the three programs that make up Mvskoke Media push to provide news and information to all segments of the tribe’s population.

“We encompass all forms of media for the tribe,” said Christina Good Voice, Mvskoke Media manager. Formerly the multimedia editor for the Cherokee Phoenix, she was recruited by Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Tiger.

For many years, the Muscogee Nation had a communications department that was a catch-all for many functions – from public relations to newspaper production to audio-visual tech services. In July, the communications department evolved into Mvskoke Media, a multimedia arm providing information through print, radio, television and printing services.

Public relations, the office working to promote a positive image of the organization, company or government it represents, is not a part of Mvskoke Media, Good Voice said.

“We (Mvskoke Media) don’t play a public relations role. We (the tribe) have a division to do that. I have my people to tell a story from an unbiased perspective and to represent all sides of it for citizens to make up their own minds. It’s not our job to tell them what to think,” she said.

Muscogee Nation News is a free, bi-monthly publication mailed to households of tribal members on request and circulated at tribal government offices, clinics and at Indian community centers. Its estimated readership is about 21,000.

Mvskoke Radio, hosted by Gary Fife and Gerald Woffard, is a weekly source for tribal and community news, interviews with interesting people and a forum for discussion as well as a local event calendar. Listeners can hear it each week at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays on KOKL 1240 AM.

Woffard also shares hosting duties on NNT with Jason Salsman. The show first aired in 2006 as a monthly offering, but six months later had become so popular that it was made into a weekly program and later picked up by the local CBS affiliate, KQCW, and aired on Saturdays.

All three formats come together online at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s official website, There, users from around the world with an Internet connection can find archives of past Mvskoke Media radio and TV shows and issues of the MNN newspaper. From the site, users can watch live webcasts of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council meetings as well as webcasts of big national events. In November, citizens at home watched stomp dances and presentations made at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., as they were happening thanks to support from the Smithsonian Institutes.

Another aspect of MM is the graphic arts division that offers printing services not only to the tribe and tribal members but also to the public. It prints everything from brochures and business cards to banners and wedding invitations.

In late September, Mvskoke Media reached out again with a new format: Film. The first Mvskoke Film Festival opened at the RiverWalk Crossing movie theater in Jenks. The development property had recently been acquired by the tribe. Although the festival had fewer than 10 entries for screening, there are hopes the festival will become an important vehicle for Muscogee culture and filmmakers. It was also a big step in further separating Mvskoke Media from the tribe’s old communications department identity.

Through social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, Mvskoke Media’s faces and brands are building more interest with daily posts of projects each outlet is working on and information on events and breaking news. Not only does the group’s staff want the attention of its people but the attention of the public as well.

Principal Chief Tiger said communities beyond the Muscogee (Creek) Nation need to know what’s happening in the tribe - especially as business opportunities open up.

“We’re a very important player economic-development wise,” Tiger said.

The tribe is a major employer in the region and the tribe (with its business enterprise arm) is a great contributor to the communities found in and around the Nation’s jurisdiction. The tribe has a definite impact on Oklahomans whether an individual is enrolled in the tribe or not.

“It goes beyond the jurisdiction because some of the times, some of what we’re doing has gone nationally,” he added.

Tiger is familiar with media and its capabilities. He served as editor of MNN, was the original host of radio’s Native America Calling and was executive producer and host of Inside Native America, a current affairs show, for almost three decades on KOTV in Tulsa. He has made documentaries on tribal issues and culture for not only the Muscogee but for other tribes, too.

Mvskoke Media also represents a stake in diversification of the tribe’s economic growth.

“We’re finding out that we have support politically on some of the things we’re doing, which is important because of funding possibilities. We’re very excited right now. The avenues are just opening up,” Tiger said.

NNT host Salsman said he, too, hopes the show and other productions of Mvskoke Media will continue to attract a viewership outside of its tribe to show the world who Native Americans of the 21st century are.

“We want the people around us to know exactly who we are. If they know exactly who we are, they’ll know our specific needs and specific requirements when it comes to getting things done on a legislative level, on a community-community level, on a level of teaching our culture and acceptance ... To us, it’s undertaking a big responsibility,” Salsman said.

Mvskoke Media | COURTESY PHOTO

Host Jason Salsman interviews a subject for a story about adoption for Native News Today, a weekly TV news show produced by Mvskoke Media. The show airs  Saturdays on KQCW, Tulsa’s CW Network.