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Oklahoma's Flag - The Oklahoma state flag honors more than 60 groups of Native Americans and their ancestors. The blue field comes from a flag carried by Choctaw soldiers during the civil war. The center shield is the battle shield of an Osage warrior. It is made of buffalo hide and decorated with eagle feathers. Two symbols of peace lie across the shield. One is the calumet, or peace pipe. The other is an olive branch. Crosses on the shield are Native American signs for stars, representing high ideals.

 

Native American Culture
Native American Weddings

Oklahoma offers a variety of museums, attractions and events dedicated to the preservation of Native American culture. For more information contact the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreeation Department, Division of Travel and Tourism, in Oklahoma City. CHOCTAW NATION HISTORICAL MUSEUM - TUSKAHOMA - Second Empire-style structure served as Choctaw Nation capitol 1884 - 1907.   Museum features items brought on Trail of Tears exodus in mid-19th century. Courtroom still in use HISTORIC TAHLEQUAH Capital city of Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma since 1839. Sites include 1867 Capitol Building, 1845 Supreme Court Building, 1874 Cherokee National Prison and homes of past's prominent citizens. Cherokee Heritage Center preserves tribal  history and culture POTAWATOMI INDIAN MUSEUM - Shawnee.   Displays headdresses, beadwork and birch baskets, as well as artifacts produced prior to resettlement by Potawatomi from Lake Huron area. 1885 Shawnee Friends Mission nearby.

ATALOA LODGE MUSEUM - Muskogee.   Museum boasts impressive collection of Kachina dolls, Native American aftifacts and basketr, and black-on-black poetry by Maria Martinez. Guided tours. CREEK COUNCIL HOUSE MUSEUM - Okmulgee. Built 1878 by Muscogee (Creek) Nation after forced resettlement. Served as capitol of tribal affairs until 1906. Museum preserves tribal history and culture. Guided tours INDIAN CITY USA - Anadarko.   Only authentically restored complex of Native American villages in the country. Traditional ceremonies, dance, and arts and crafts.  Museum.  Guided tours RIVERSIDE INDIAN SCHOOL - Anadarko. One of oldest continuopusly active Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools. Establlished 1871 by Quaker agent who taught eight students in first class

BLACK KETTLE MUSEUM - Cheyenne leader who died during attack of Lieutenant Colonel George Custer's troops in 1868 Battle of Washita. Museum documents battle and tribal history FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES MUSEUM - Muskogee.   Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole tribes made to rrelocate to Indian Territory (later part of Oklahoma) after 1830 Indian Removal Act. History documented through art, artifacts and special events. Guided tours.
Cherokee Wedding info 
and http://hometown.aol.com
/wolfmoondancer/wedding.html
MUSEUM OF THE RED RIVER - Idabel.   Museum founded from local private collection. Highlights of North and South American artifacts include Caddoan pottery dating to A.D. 700. Replica turn-of-the-century Choctaw Nation house SEQUOYAH'S HOME SITE - Sallisaw.   Noted Cherokee scholar invented Cherokee Nation's writen language. Built cabin in 1829 to serve as home after resettlement of Oklahoma. Works Progress Administration building covers original structure. National Historic Landmark.

CHEROKEE COURTHOUSE - Gore. Also called "Tahlomteeskee," after chief who led tribe to western lands in 1809. Building served as courthouse and capitol of re-established Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma FT SILL CEMETERIES -
Lawton. Cemeteries located on grounds of historic frontier fort. Chief Geronimo's grave located at Apache Prisoner of War Cemetery. Comanche Chief Quanah Parker and Kowa Chief Kicking Bird buried in Old Post Cemetery.
PETER CONSER HOME - Hodgen.   Restored 1894 home of politician, businessman and leader of Choctaw Lighthorsemen-law enforcement corps that patrolled Choctaw Nation during territorial days. SOUTHERN PLAINS INDIAN MUSEUM -
Anadarko. Arts and crafts of local and national Native American artists on display. Southern Plains traditional costumes. Dioramas and mural. Adjacent to sculpture garden and National Hall of Fame for Famous American Indians. Guided tours.

CHICKASAW COUNCIL HOUSE MUSEUM - Tishomingo.
Museum contains log structure, built 1856, that served as seat of tribal government. Photographs and artifacts recount history of Chickasaw Bank nearby. Guided Tours
FT WASHITA HISTORIC SITE - Durant. Fort built 1842 to protect Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes from raids by Plains Indians and to encourage settlement. Union soldiers abandonedfort in 1861.  Museum PLAINS INDIANS AND PIONEER MUSEUM - Woodward. Noted for unique presentations, museum utilizes murals, photos and oral history to bring northwestern Oklahoma past to life. SPIRO MOUNDS ARCHAELOGICAL PARK - Spiro.   Park encompasses 12 prehistoric mounds, evidence of Native American culture A.D. 850-1450.  Artifacts and reconstructions.  Interpretive center.

OKLAHOMA'S HISTORY

BEGINNINGS
AFRICAN AMERICANS
OKLAHOMA HERITAGE
NATIVE PEOPLE
THE COWBOYS
THE OUTLAWS
WILD WEST SHOWS
RODEOS
OKLAHOMA FACTS
STATE SONG
STATE CHILDREN'S SONG
GO TO STATE ICONS PAGE

BEGINNINGS


Oklahoma'
s recorded history began in 1541 when Spanish explorer Coronado ventured through the area on his quest for the "Lost City of Gold."  The land that would eventually be known as Oklahoma was part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. 

Beginning in the 1820s, the Five Civilized Tribes from the southeastern United States were relocated to Indian Territory over numerous routes, the most famous being the Cherokee "Trail of Tears."  Forced off their ancestral lands by state and federal governments, the tribes suffered great hardships during the rigorous trips west.  The survivors eventually recovered from the dislocation through hard work and communal support.  Gradually, new institutions and cultural adaptations emerged and began a period of rapid development often called the "Golden Age" of Indian Territory. 

Following the destruction of the Civil War, Oklahoma became a part of the booming cattle industry, ushering in the era of the cowboy.  Western expansion reached the territory in the late 1800s, sparking a controversy over the fate of the land.   Treaties enacted after the Civil War by the U.S. government forced the tribes to give up their communal lands and accept individual property allotments to make way for expansion.  There was talk of using Indian Territory for settlement by African Americans emancipated from slavery.  However, the government relented to pressure, much of it coming from a group known as "Boomers," who wanted the rich lands opened to non-Indian settlement.  The government decided to open the western parts of the territory to settlers by holding a total of six land runs between 1889 and 1895.  Settlers came from across the nation and even other countries like Poland, Germany, Ireland and Slavic nations to stake their claims.  And African Americans, some who were former slaves of Indians, took part in the runs or accepted their allotments as tribal members.  In the years that followed, black pioneers founded and settled entire communities in or near Arcadia, Boley, Langston, and Taft.

On November, 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state.   Statehood had become a sure thing, in part due to a discovery which made Oklahoma the "place to go to strike it rich" -- oil.  People came from all parts of the world to seek their fortunes in Oklahoma's teeming oil fields.   Cities like Tulsa, Ponca City, Bartlesville, and Oklahoma City flourished. 

Oklahomans are filled with pride for their land of diverse cultures, hundreds of scenic lakes and rivers, and genuine warmth and friendliness.  This proud Oklahoma spirit is echoed through the accomplishments of our citizens, such as humorist and "Cherokee Cowboy" Will Rogers, Olympian and American Indian Jim Thorpe, African American author Ralph Ellison, astronaut Thomas Stafford, jazz musician Charlie Christian, and country music superstars Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, and Garth Brooks.

AFRICAN AMERICANS


The history of African Americans in Oklahoma is a story unlike any to be found in the United States.  African Americans came to this region as cowboys, settlers, gunfighters, and farmers.  By statehood in 1907, they outnumbered both Indians and first- and second-generation Europeans.  They created more all-black towns in Oklahoma than in the rest of the country put together, produced some of the country's greatest jazz musicians, and led some of the nation's greatest civil rights battles.

One of the great omissions in the history books was the role African American soldiers played in the Civil War.  Blacks first fought alongside whites during the Battle of Honey Springs, an engagement fought on July 17, 1863, on a small battlefield outside present-day Muskogee.

Black troops held the Union's center line in that battle, breaking the Confederate's center and giving the Union a critical win that secured both the Arkansas River and the Texas Road (the region's major transportation routes).  This ensured the Union a solid foothold in Indian Territory -- one it never relinquished.

A year after the Civil War ended in 1865, Congress passed a bill providing provisions for black troops, what became the 9th and 10th cavalry.  The 10th went on to be headquartered at Fort Gibson; the 9th was stationed at Fort Sill.  Black soldiers built Oklahoma forts; fought bandits, cattle thieves, and Mexican revolutionaries (including Pancho Villa); and policed borders during the land runs.  They also played a critical role in the Indian Wars of the late 1800s, earning the respect of Native Americans who gave them the name of "Buffalo Solders."

After the Civil War, Freedmen and new African American settlers in Oklahoma could vote, study, and move about with relative freedom.  Pamphlets distributed throughout the South urged African Americans to join land runs in Indian Territory, to create businesses, cities and perhaps even the first black state.   Pamphlets promising a black paradise in Oklahoma lured tens of thousands of former slaves from the South.  Eventually 27 black towns grew to encompass 10 percent of Indian Territory's population.

Today many of Oklahoma's original black towns and districts are gone, but those that remain still host rodeos, Juneteenth celebrations, and community reunions.

OKLAHOMA HERITAGE

America is steeped in the traditions of the west and the American Indian, and no state boasts a richer heritage of both that Oklahoma.

Indians from more than 67 tribes, including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, Osage, Cheyenne, Sac and Fox, Delaware, Apache, and Pawnee, call Oklahoma their home today.  Such famous Indians as Sequoyah, Black Beaver, Jim Thorpe, and Maria Tallchief contributed to Oklahoma's development.

The state is also the setting for vast horse and cattle ranches, rodeos, and working cowboys.  Such famous cowboys as Bill Pickett, Tom Mix, Gene Autry, and Will Rogers hail from Oklahoma.

NATIVE PEOPLE


Before Coronado and his colleagues landed on America's shores, Indians resided in what would become Oklahoma. 

Remnants of several different hunter-agricultural civilizations have been found in Oklahoma, including a site near Anadarko, where archaeologists discovered the bones of a mammoth and several spear points.

Scientists estimate the mammoth was killed more than 11,000 years ago and have identified the spearheads as belonging to an ancient group of hunters known as the Clovis culture.

From 500 to 1300 A.D., a group known as the Mound Builders lived in an area just west of the Arkansas/Oklahoma border in LeFlore County.  Artifacts left in ceremonial burial site "mounds" show the Mound Builders were highly skilled artisans with a sophisticated economy. 

By the time explorers discovered the mysterious earthen mounds in the 17th and 18th centuries, the culture centered there was extinct, and the Osage and Quapay tribes laid claim to the region.  Today, the area has been preserved for visitors and scientific study as Spiro Mound State Park.

Osage
First recorded as living the Osage River in what is now state of Missouri> The Tribe moved west to follow buffalo, clashing with Plains tribes. Factions fought on opposing sides during the Civil War. Osage Indians settled in the rich woodlands of northeastern Oklahoma around 1796.   Shortly thereafter, the area became United States property as part of the Louisiana Purchase.  When a band of Cherokees settled near the Osage (after voluntarily moving from the East Coast), territorial violence erupted between the two tribes with white settlers caught in the middle.

Eventually the United States negotiated a truce with Osage Chief Clermont, dropping all damage claims against the tribe if the Osage would cede seven million acres of land to the federal government.  The Osage continued attacking, however, and were finally forced to cede the rest of their lands to the United States in 1825.  They then moved to Kansas territory, but it was soon opened to white settlement. In 1870, Congress sold the rest of the Osage lands, turned the money over to the tribe and opened a reservation for them which later became Osage County.

Before long, oil was struck on this land and the Osage became the wealthiest people per capita in the United States. The Osage Nation headquarters at Pawhuska and numbers 14,500 nation wide.

Quapaw
The Quapaw history is less violent, yet more tragic than that of the Osage.   Prior to 1820, the tribe sold 45 million acres  of their land south of the Arkansas river to the U.S. government for $18,000.  The United States took the rest of their land in 1824 when four Quapaw chiefs, induced with alcohol and $500 each, ceded the property.

Homeless, the tribe settled near the Red River on land received from the Caddos, a tribe from Texas.  However, crop failures in successive years diminished the tribe, and the survivors scattered. The Quapaw were primarily farmers. Dome-shaped, bark covered houses comprised farming villages where women gathered food and cared for children, and men managed tribal affairs. There are approximately 1900 Quapaw living in Oklahoma.

In 1890, the Quapaw reorganized and obtained a sliver of property in northeastern Indian Territory.  Zinc and lead were soon discovered on this land, and by the 1920s tribal members were gaining as much as $1.2 million a year in royalties from the mines.

Five Civilized Tribes
The lands which the Osage and Quapaw had ceded to the United States government were turned over to the Indians of the old Southeast, who were being relocated from their tribal homes.  Five tribes of these Indians had come to be known as the Five Civilized Tribes because of their advanced systems of government, education and law enforcement.  These tribes were the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and Seminole.  The most peaceful removal among the Five Civilized Tribes was the Choctaw in 1820.  The other four tribes followed, with removals becoming increasingly bloodier from internal skirmishes and bouts with white men.

Sac and Fox Nation headquarters in Stroud, Oklahoma and has a population of 2,245. Former Great Lakes - area tribes allied against encroaching tribes. Became Sac and Fox Nation in 1885, establishing government and court system. The 300 year old swan dance is performed at the annual July powwow. The Sac and Fox Constitution

Olympic winner
Jim Thorpe is one of most athletes of all time and was Sac and Fox. More history on the Sauk and Fox tribe at http://www.dickshovel.com/sf.html.

The Seminoles were the last to make the westward journey in 1842.   The Choctaw even brought their crack police force called the Lighthorsemen to Indian Territory.  This law enforcement unit maintained justice and safety for much of the region.

Although a relatively peaceful move, the most tragic Indian removal to Oklahoma was that of the Cherokee.  A portion of the tribe had already moved to Arkansas in the late 18th century.  The rest were forced to move after the removal Act of 1830.

The Cherokees' travels across the Missouri and Arkansas wilderness during harsh winter months became known in history as the "Trail of Tears" because many members of the tribe died and were buried along the way.

By 1856, each of the Five Civilized Tribes established territorial boundaries in the frontier.  Therese were all national domains, not reservations.

Settled in their new homes, the Five Civilized Tribes began building cultures out of the Oklahoma wilderness, laying the foundation of a society which would carry the territory to statehood and modern times.

The Five Civilized Tribes each formed their own constitutional governments and established advanced public school systems.  The nations had powerful judicial systems and strong economies.  Some tribes brought black slaves and freedmen with them from the East and built plantations, villages, and towns in the new "Indian Territory."

To protect the five nations from angry Plains Indians who were upset at having to share their lands with the newcomers, the U.S. Army built several forts.   These included Fort Washita near Durant and Fort Gibson, near Muskogee.

One Cherokee who moved west in 1829 was one of America's most honored Indians, Sequoyah.  He was intrigued with the white man's ability to write, so after 12 years of experimenting and study, Sequoyah created an 86-letter syllabary for the Cherokee language.  This alphabet was so efficient it could be learned in less than a month and became the standard means of communication for the Cherokee.  Sequoyah's home is still standing near Sallisaw.

During the Civil Way, individual Indians were divided between loyalty to the Confederacy or neutrality.  However, tribal governments officially sided with the South.  The rivalry turned to violence as Confederate factions attacked those Indians favoring neutrality, forcing them to flee into Kansas.

In the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War, the United States government confiscated the western portions of the Indian Territory and began resettling other tribes such as the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche.

The separate nations of the Five Civilized Tribes would survive until Oklahoma's statehood in 1907.

Plains Indians
After the Civil Way, many of the lands taken away from the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma Territory were turned over to tribes from the West.  As non-Indian expansion pressed westward and the railroads built networks of tracks, the federal government decided to relocate the western Indians, whose homes stood in the way of "progress."

Moving in to these newly-designated lands were two great Indian leaders who lived their last days in the territory:  Apache warrior Geronimo and Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle

Geronimo's relentless battle to stanch the expansion of settlers in the desert and mountains of the Southwest led him to incarceration at the Ft. Sill Military Reservation near Lawton where he lived to an old age.

Chief Black Kettle was an outspoken proponent of peace with white men, but he was killed in the last great battle between Indians and the U.S. Army in Oklahoma.   Black Kettle was among several chiefs who signed the peace treaty of Medicine Lodge, Kansas, in 1867, which guaranteed the Cheyenne and Arapaho land in Oklahoma along with goods and services.  As with many other Indian treaties, the federal government failed to uphold the bargain.  Several bands of Cheyenne and Arapaho grew impatient, carrying out raids on government installations and many inhabitants.

Conflicts between Indians and settlers continued in Oklahoma until the 20th century, although not as violent as in the Washita River Battle.  The Five Civilized Tribes' efforts to maintain autonomy disappeared in 1905 when they attempted to organize an Indian state named Sequoyah.  The federal government rejected this idea in favor of a single state combining the Oklahoma and Indian Territories.  Thus, Oklahoma became the 46th state on November 16, 1907.

When Indian and Oklahoma territories achieved statehood under one banner, Indians and settlers joined efforts to develop the state's cultural and economic assets.

According to the 1990 census, Oklahoma's Indian population is 252,420, the largest of any state.  Currently, 35 tribes maintain tribal councils in Oklahoma.

Although Indians in Oklahoma are an active part of modern society, many tribes continue their customs and ceremonial rites in powwows scheduled throughout the year.  These colorful powwows feature Indians dancing in native dress and are generally open to the public.  Many major Indian events and museums are found in Oklahoma, providing an authentic glimpse at one of Oklahoma's most important pieces of history.

THE COWBOYS


America's working cowboy began his history on the Texas plains where, after the Civil War, ranchers found they had a plentiful supply of beef with no place to sell it.   Demand for beef existed along the East Coast, but to fulfill that need, Texas ranchers had to move cattle to the railroads, and the closest ones were in Kansas.

Between the cattle ranches and railroads lay Oklahoma, the eland of the great cattle trails between 1866 and 1889.

As cattle drives crossed the Oklahoma plains, drovers recognized the value of Oklahoma's land for grazing, and the economical advantages of originating a herd in the territory.  Oklahoma consequently turned into a prime site for cattle ranches and continues to be a thriving center for livestock.

Although the ranch cowboys of history are still working the ranches today, their lifestyle has changed.  Modern cowboys live with their families in comfortable homes and use advanced technology in working cattle.  Horses are still used on the range, but trucks are more common.  Helicopters and airplanes also supplement horses in herding cattle.  Scientific knowledge of animal husbandry and irrigation planning are as practical to the modern-day cowboy as the rope and saddle were to the cowboy of yesterday.

Branding irons are still used for identifying cattle by searing permanent marks into the animals hides.

Brands were an early deterrent against cattle being lost or stolen, similar to serial numbers.  Designed to be functional, brands are simple, legible and easily identifiable.  Despite their simplicity, many cattlemen hold their brand symbols in high esteem and name their ranches after them.

THE OUTLAWS


After cattlemen and settlers came to Oklahoma and Indian territories, outlaws were attracted to this wild frontier country of the late 1800s.  Law enforcement hadn't been firmly established in the territories and the landscape offered many places where outlaws and their gangs could hide, such as the rocks, caves and trees in what is now Robbers Cave State Park near Wilburton.

Outlaws in Oklahoma robbed banks and trains, stole horses and cattle.   Some were quite infamous and dangerous, achieving legendary status and making heroes out of the lawmen who brought the criminals to justice.

Such was the fate of Bill Doolin, whose gang battled U.S. Marshals in one of the most historic shootouts in the West in 1893.  Marshal Heck Thomas tracked Doolin for three years, finally ambushing and killing Doolin on a quiet country road in northeastern Payne County.

Another famous lawman was Bass Reeves, believed to be the first African American deputy marshal west of the Mississippi River. A tough and fearless man, Reeves served for 35 years, longer than any lawman on record in Indian Territory.

Reeves was born into slavery in Texas but escaped to Indian Territory before the Civil War.  Reeves was one of 200 deputies commissioned by Judge Isaac C. Parker, the "Hanging Judge," after 1875 to track down criminals in lawless western Arkansas and Indian Territory.  Many Indians distrusted white deputies, so Parker believed blacks would be particularly effective lawmen in Indian Territory.

Associated with the Doolin Gang were a few female outlaws, including one of the most famous bad women of all times, Belle Starr.

Judge Parker sentenced Starr in 1882 to federal prison on a horse-stealing charge.  After her release, Starr lived quietly on her homestead near Eufaula, until she was murdered on a road one wintry day.  Starr's killer has never been brought to justice.

WILD WEST SHOWS


The Hollywood and rodeo cowboys got their starts in wild west shows and circuses that became popular around 1900.  Three of the more popular wild west shows originated in Oklahoma from the Mulhall Ranch, the Pawnee Bill Ranch and the Miller 101 Ranch.

Zach Mulhall's ranch near Guthrie covered 80,000 acres in Oklahoma Territory.  He started a wild west show starring his daughter Lucille, the world's first "cowgirl," who became a favorite of President Theodore Roosevelt.  The show toured from 1900 to 1915.

Gordon William Lillie built his ranch near Pawnee and became famous as "Pawnee Bill."  This name was given to him by the Pawnee Indians, who made him their "white chief" after he saved the tribe from starvation during a harsh winter.

Pawnee Bill and some of his Indian friends later joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, but in 1888, Lillie started his own.  The Pawnee Bill Show featured his wife, May, a refined Philadelphian who learned to ride broncs sidesaddle and became a sharpshooter with guns.  Pawnee Bill's show toured the world until 1913.

The ranch, with many relics and memorabilia, is also the home of an authentic 60-foot poster advertisement for a 1900 Pawnee Bill Wild West Show performance in Blackwell.  The ranch and museum are open to the public.

Perhaps the most popular of all wild west shows originated on the Miller Brothers' 101 Ranch near Ponca City, built by Col. George Washington Miller and his three sons.  Their show toured the world from 1908 until the Great Depression and even included a team of Cossacks, but it remained true to its western roots with headline acts featuring cowboys and Indians.

RODEOS


The rodeo was born on the range where cowboys pitted their herding skills against each other and ranches competed for bragging rights.  The wild west shows picked up these competitions and included them as entertainment.  Although the shows later dissolved, the competitions evolved into rodeos, the only national spectator sport originating entirely in the United States.

A typical rodeo includes a variety of events to test a cowboy's skill.   From calf roping and steer wrestling to saddle-bronc an bull riding, the degree of danger varies but the competition is always exciting.

More than a hundred rodeos take place throughout the year in Oklahoma, ranging from junior rodeos to high school, intercollegiate and professional events.   Oklahoma's rodeos also feature women's competitions where cowgirls compete in rodeo events, barrel racing contests and rodeo queen competitions.  Indian rodeos are another major Oklahoma attraction.

OKLAHOMA FACTS

  • The name "Oklahoma" comes from the Choctaw words:   "okla" meaning people and "humma" meaning red, so the state's name literally means "red people."

  • Oklahoma has the largest American Indian population of any state.   Many of the 252,420 American Indians living in Oklahoma today are descendents from the original 67 tribes inhabiting Indian Territory.

  • Thirty-nine of the American Indian tribes currently living in Oklahoma are headquartered in the state.

  • The governor of Oklahoma is Frank Keating; the lieutenant governor is Mary Fallin.

  • Oklahoma's bipartisan state government houses a bicameral legislature.

  • Oklahoma has 43 colleges and universities.

  • The highest point in the state is Black Mesa in Cimarron County (4,973 feet); the lowest is due east of Idabel in McCurtain County (287 feet).

  • Oklahoma has more man-made lakes that any other state, with over one million surface areas of water and 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined.

  • Oklahoma is the third largest natural gas-producing state in the nation.

  • Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation in the production of all wheat, fourth in cattle and calf production; fifth in the production of pecans; sixth in peanuts and eight in peaches.

  • Oklahoma's four mountain ranges include the Ouachitas, Arbuckles, Wichitas, and the Kiamichis.

  • Forests cover approximately 24 percent of Oklahoma.

  • Oklahoma is bordered by six states:  Texas to the south and west, Arkansas and Missouri to the east, Kansas to the north and Colorado and New Mexico at the tip of the northwestern Oklahoma panhandle.

  • Oklahoma is comprised of 77 counties.

  • Oklahoma has a land area of 69,919 square miles and ranks 18 in the nation in size.

  • According to 1990 U.S. census data, Oklahoma's population is 3,258,000.   Of those, 82.1 percent are white, 8 percent American Indian, 7.4 percent African American, 2.7 Hispanics, and 1.1 Asian.

  • Oklahoma's two most populous cities are Oklahoma City, with 463,201 residents, and Tulsa, with 374,851.  The next largest cities are Norman, with a population of 87,290, and Lawton, which has 86,028 people.


STATE SONG

ž25-94.1.
The official song and anthem of the State of Oklahoma is "Oklahoma," composed and written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.

"Brand new state, Brand new state, gonna treat you great!
Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters,
Pasture fer the cattle, Spinach and Termayters!
Flowers on the prairie where the June bugs zoom,
Plen'y of air and plen'y of room,
Plen'y of room to swing a rope!
Plen'y of heart and plen'y of hope!
Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain,
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky.
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say - Yeeow■ A-yip-i-o-ee ay!
We're only sayin' You're doin' fine, Oklahoma! Oklahoma - O.K."


STATE CHILDREN'S SONG

ž25-94.5.
The official children's song of the State of Oklahoma is the song "Oklahoma, My Native Land", composed and written by Martha Kemm Barrett.

The words of the official state children's song are:
"As I travel the roads of America, such wonderful sights I can see.
But nothing compares to the place I love;
The perfect home for you and for me.
Yes, Oklahoma, my native land. I am proud to say your future's
looking grand. Yes, Oklahoma, such history. Ev'ry day you give a
gift just for me.
I see a Scissortail Flycatcher cut through the clean air as
mistletoe kisses the branches ev'rywhere. Redbuds open ev'ry single
spring. I hear a Pow Wow beat the rhythm of the old ways as oil
wells pump back mem'ries of the boom days. Only Oklahoma has these things.
Yes, Oklahoma, my native land. I am proud to say your future's
looking grand. Yes, Oklahoma, such history. Ev'ry day you give a
gift just for me. Perfect home for you. The perfect home for me.
It's only Oklahoma for me."

State Map with Counties http://indy4.fdl.cc.mn.us/%7Eisk/index.html

 

Government Resources:  Links


  • The Indian Health Service (IHS) has established an agency home page. It contains detailed information about the agency, its providers, and the administrators. It also provides an on-line tour of the Indian Health Service.

 

 

  • The U.S. Department of the Interior's Land Management Bureau has an internet site called the Native American Information Forum. There is information available at this site regarding Native American Program Office, Government to Government relations, the Indian Minerals Steering Committee, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and many other groups.

 

  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Indian Education Program's (OIEP) web site provides an overview of the purpose, programs, and activities of the OIEP. There are sections on the history of the BIA, the OIEP mission statement, OIEP goals, and much more.<

 

  • On a site visit to New York, I got a first-hand look at the technological advances the Oneida Nation is making. They have linked a housing development together with fiber optic cables, begun developing a native font and interactive computer program to revive their language, and created the Oneida Nation home page. This home page provides information on their Treaties Project, historical facts, and other ongoing projects. The Oneida are constantly adding new information to their page, so check it out regularly.

 

  • The Citizen Band Potawatomi Tribe informational site includes a brief tribal history, an explanation of the name "Potawatomi", and a description of the tribal seal. Also available at this site is a link to other Native American resources via the Yahoo Directory.

 

  • The United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) have developed a home page containing information about the USET organization, a membership list with contact information, copies of USET resolutions, and links to other Native resources. This page is sponsored by the Oneida Nation.

 

  • The United Keetoowah Band World Wide Web site contains information about the Keetoowah offices, Council, committees, news, and additional online Native American resources. There is also a section concerning the Proceedings of the Native American Symposium with the Keetoowah, the U.S. Government, and the State of Arkansas.

 

 

 

  • A World Wide Web site called the Nation of Hawaii has been developed. Information regarding the legal foundation for the restoration of Hawaiian Independence is provided here.

 



Art and Cultural Resources:


 

    • To stay in touch with the pulse of the Native Music scene visit the Rainbow Walker Music Home Page. This site represents a Native American music outlet specializing in traditional and contemporary releases. Educational material about traditional Native American music, Pow-Wow music, Contemporary music and much more is available at this location.

 

    • The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) site provides information about the newly opened George Gustav Heye Center at the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House in lower Manhattan. From this page you can also view some of the current exhibits.

 

    • The work of local Canadian artists Sydney Kirkness and Fred Pashe can be viewed from the Aboriginal Art Gallery in cooperation with the Aboriginal Super Information Highway.

 

    • Glenn Welker has developed an e-text archive of Native American literature. Included are stories, poetry/music, speeches, documents, earth prayers, and writings of native youth.

 

    • The Canadian Native Art Page highlights the works of local artists from the Caribou region of British Columbia. Included in this collection are different visual art forms, paintings, carvings, chalk, and pen and ink.

 

    • The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center page provides information on and directions to each Pueblo, along with a description of the Cultural Center's facilities and lessons on Pueblo etiquette and rules.

 

    • The American Indian Computer Arts Project (AICAP) was created by Turtle Heart, an Ojibwe artist, to allow the exchange of ideas and works relating to Native American art and issues. This page will give you all the details about this project.

 

 

    • The Ojibwe Language and Culture Page provides viewers with a pleasant and interesting introduction to the Ojibwe language and some corresponding cultural issues. Included in this page is a sampling of essays and cross-cultural materials.

 

    • The American Indian Culture Page has many links to cultural information. Included in these links are the BIA home page, information from the Institute of American Indian Arts and the American Indian Art Museum , and the results of a Webcrawler search on Native Americans.

 

    • Heritage + Lineage + Spirituality and honoring the Native way are the directives of the Native American Art Gallery (NAAG). This gallery is an internet provider of authentic, finished American Indian art. From the NAAG home page you can also view the organization newsletters, a statement from NAAG president, Suzanne Ballew, and take a guided tour of the gallery.

 

    • The Heard Museum specializes in Native American and Southwestern material, both historical and contemporary. They have a large collection of Native American Art and are strong supporters of contemporary Native American artists. This home page provides information about the programs and activities of the Heard Museum.

 

    • To take a virtual tour of Southwestern images on display in the Electric Gallery, click here. Through this page you not only have the ability to look at the art, you can also purchase a piece from your desktop.

 

    • The California Indian Library Collection was funded with the aim of returning unique cultural materials to California's Native Americans and making the collection available to all citizens through their local libraries. This home page includes information on the project, tribal bibliographies, a short illustrated text defining shapes and uses of California Indian basketry, and much more.

 

    • The work of Cree artist, Wabimeguil, is featured in this electronic gallery. You can take a tour of the gallery, learn about the artist, and even purchase your favorite piece from the Wabimeguil Art Home Page.

 



Academic Resources:


    • The University of Arizona's America Indian Studies Program has created an informational home page for the Internet. Included in this page is information about the American Indian Studies Programs, the American Indian Graduate Center, the Native American Resource Center, Pow Wow information, and a link to Red Ink, a Native American On-line Publication.

 

    • The National Indian Policy Center (NIPC) , located at George Washington University, maintains a gopher server with a wealth of information on topics such as culture, education, environmental protection, and tribal governance. There is also a new connection to the NIPC through the Library of Congress. All of the new and "hot" information can be found under the heading "Useful Data".

 

 

    • Salish Kootenai College, located in Pablo, Montana on the Flathead Reservation, has an informational World Wide Web site. Users can access general information about Salish Kootenai College, campus information, a message from President Joe McDonald, or the college's mission statement and goals.

 

    • The Native Education Initiative (NEI) is a collaborative effort among the nation's regional educational laboratories (RELs), which are funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Not only does this site offer information about this initiative, it also links to Native Education Resources in the Southwestern Region.

 

    • Cornell University has a file transfer protocol site with several files addressing Native topics. Tribal College addresses, lists of federally recognized tribes (along with their phone numbers and addresses), examples of Native fonts for Macintosh and Windows, and issues of the Native American Newsletter are just a few of the files available at this site.

 

    • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has recently established a WWW site in addition to their already accessible gopher site. Resources at this site include information about the college, an Ojibwe to English (and vice versa) translator, and other American Indian information sources.

 

    • The Educational Native American Network (ENAN) site is housed at the University of New Mexico College of Education. From this site you can access the ENAN hotlist which has connections to organizations involved in American Indian life. There is also an area that discusses the creation, goals, and future of ENAN projects.

 

    • The American Indian College Fund home page contains the 1993 annual report of the fund and information from a consortium of colleges in the United States operated by the indigenous tribes for their own students, but open to all.

 

    • The Navajo Community College, established in 1968, was the first tribally controlled college to be established in the United States and was also the first to be fully accredited. This home page includes information about the college, its curriculum, and pictures of the campus.

 

    • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute(SIPI) is a college funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs that serves the needs of the Native American Community. Check out the SIPI home page for more information about the institute and the services it provides.

 

    • Native Americans at Princeton is a student organization/support group for Native Hawaiians, American Indians, and Native Alaskan students. Included in this home page are links and information on various Native American resources.



Organizations and Networks:

 

    • All of the federal agencies who operate Native American programs have sponsored an information-sharing network for, and about, Native Americans. This network is called CodeTalk and is named after the Native American Code Talkers, heroes of two world wars. Available at this site is government program information, an electronic consultation feature, and links to other interesting Native American Internet information.

 

    • The Native American Journalist Association (NAJA) has created a WWW page on the internet. This page includes news from The Native Voice newspaper, NAJA information, and links to sites of interest to Native American journalists

 

    • The Society of Native American Culture (SNAC) is a newly formed campus organization (fall 1994) at North Carolina State University. The web site contains general information about SNAC, information about officers and members, meeting schedules, upcoming events, links to NCSU Native American organizations, and more.

 

    • The Fourth World Documentation Project's (FWDP) online documents archive contains over 300 documents on Fourth World Nations in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, Melanesia, and the Pacific. Included are essays, position papers, resolutions, treaties, organizational information, UN documents, speeches and declarations. These archives are split into rough geographical areas such as FWDP/Americas/. Under the /Resolutions/ section there are several areas relating to Native Americans including Navajo-Hopi Land Commission papers, the National Congress of American Indians Resolutions, and much more.

 

    • Electronic Pathways is a national electronic infrastructure developed to connect Native American Nations with resources specifically designed to meet the local community, educational, and tribal needs. Detailed information about Electronic Pathways is available at this site.

 

    • The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) world wide web home page is now accessible. In this page you will find materials relating to AISES as well as AISES chapter information. You will also find a jobs database that is maintained by AISES and links to other gopher sites and mosaic pages.

 

    • The Extension Indian Reservation Program (EIRP) maintains a very extensive gopher site. Tribal and Federal courts, grant information, events in Indian country, and Native American literature are only a few of the subject headings at this site. There is also a very useful internet resources area with links to the Native Education Centre, Enviro Link, the Institute of Global Communications, to name a few.

 

    • The Native American Net Server is a gopher site that contains information about Indian law, Electronic Bulletin Board System information, Native American newsletters, job opportunities, Native American fonts, and various other useful resources.

 

    • The Inter-tribal Network is also a gopher server focusing on Native American information. Available at this site are book reviews, Native American law and legislation, and detailed grant information.

 

    • The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is a nonprofit legal organization devoted to defending and promoting the legal rights of the Indian People. This home page describes the mission and goals of the Native American Rights Fund.

 

    • The NativeNet Information Network is an electronic database that allows users to browse through a number of resources related to indigenous peoples around the world. This project is a part of NativeNet, which is coordinated by Gary Trujillo.

 

    • The Urban Native Education Society, Native Education Centre maintains a very useful gopher site. Included in the information available at this site are reviews of books and films with Native themes, a collection of speeches on Native issues, and a wealth of FreeNet information.

 

Miscellaneous:


  • Also available is a list of Bulletin Board Systems/Services in North America that are either operated by or oriented toward indigenous peoples. Some of these bulletin boards can be accessed through internet connections, but most require the use of a modem.

 

 

 


 
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