Labor Department to Build $6 Million Site at Tahlequah

Article excerpt

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) - The Labor Department, which earlier considered moving a Job Corps center from Tahlequah to a site near El Reno, will build a $6 million center on land owned by the Cherokee Nation, officials say.

Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller said Wednesday the tribe had ``all but conceded'' the loss of the Talking Leaves Job Corps Center.

The Cherokee Nation will lose the lease for Talking Leaves' present Tahlequah location in August. The Labor Department, which oversees Job Corps, opened negotiations last year with the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe to move the center to Concho.

But Job Corps officials told Oklahoma legislators this month the Labor Department instead would build a $6 million center for Talking Leaves on Cherokee land in Tahlequah, said Lori Yost, a spokeswoman for Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla.

The Labor Department plans to have the new Talking Leaves center built on 20 acres behind the Cherokee tribal complex by summer 1989, Ms. Yost said.

Most of the financial points on the agreement with the Labor Department are still to be worked out. The Cherokees will have to decide what to do between the expiration of the center's lease with Northeastern State University and the completion of the new center. …

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