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Oklahoma Indian Country Guide

The Indian Nations of Oklahoma

table o f co nt e nt s

2 | Oklahoma Indian Country Etiquette A guide to visiting Native American places, lands and events

4 | Distinct Nations

Absentee Shawnee Tribe Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes Citizen Potawatomi Nation Iowa Tribe

6 | An Epic Adventure in the Works The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum

p. 27

Frontier Country

A brief overview of Oklahoma Indian history

Chickasaw Nation

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3 | Original People Tribal origins map

Arbuckle Country

6 | Shop Authentic

p. 21 p. 22 p. 26 p. 30 p. 38

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Kialegee Tribal Town Kickapoo Tribe of Indians Sac & Fox Nation Seminole Nation Thlopthlocco Tribal Nation

Great Plains Country

8 | Things to do and see

Apache Tribe Caddo Nation Comanche Nation Delaware Nation

A list of featured attractions organized by country. Numbers correspond to the Indian country map at the beginning of the guide

20 | the 39 Tribes of Oklahoma

p. 22 p. 23 p. 31 p. 32

p. 40 p. 40 p. 54 p. 56 p. 59

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Fort Sill Apache Tribe Kiowa Tribe Wichita and Affiliated Tribes

p. 36 p. 41 p. 62

Tribal profiles and history

Green Country

65 | Festivals, Powwows & Events 66 | Luck of the Draw Tribal casinos

69 | Gratitude Acknowledgments and recognitions Nocona Burgess [Comanche] Cotudle Series (detail)

Ben Harjo [Seminole, Shawnee] Horsing Around

Shan Goshorn [Cherokee] Pawnee Woman in Field (detail)

Cherokee Nation Delaware Tribe of Indians Eastern Shawnee Tribe Euchee (Yuchi) Tribe of Indians Miami Nation Modoc Nation Muscogee (Creek) Nation Osage Nation Ottawa Tribe

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p. 24 p. 33 p. 34 p. 35 p. 43 p. 44 p. 45 p. 46 p. 48

Kiamichi Country Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Pawnee Nation Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma Shawnee Tribe United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Wyandotte Nation

p. 61 p. 64

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p. 28

Red Carpet Country Kaw Nation Otoe-Missouria Tribe

p. 49 p. 51 p. 53 p. 57 p. 58

p. 39 p. 47

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Ponca Nation Tonkawa Nation

p. 52 p. 60

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Welcome to Oklahoma Indian Country! Please consider this regional map your invitation to explore Oklahoma’s Indian Country communities. Designed to make your travel planning easy, the state is divided into six travel regions. The numbered locations below correlate with the numbered attractions listed on pages 8-19 of this guide.

The Indian Nations of Oklahoma Arbuckle Country Chickasaw Nation

p. 27

Frontier Country Absentee Shawnee Tribe Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes Citizen Potawatomi Nation Iowa Tribe

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p. 21 p. 22 p. 26 p. 30 p. 38

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Kialegee Tribal Town Kickapoo Tribe of Indians Sac & Fox Nation Seminole Nation Thlopthlocco Tribal Nation

Great Plains Country Apache Tribe Caddo Nation Comanche Nation Delaware Nation

p. 22 p. 23 p. 31 p. 32

Green Country Cherokee Nation Delaware Tribe of Indians Eastern Shawnee Tribe Euchee (Yuchi) Tribe of Indians Miami Nation Modoc Nation Muscogee (Creek) Nation Osage Nation Ottawa Tribe

About the cover artist Brent Greenwood is an artist, native Oklahoman, enrolled member of the Ponca Nation and is also part Chickasaw. To create the cover, Greenwood took a thoughtful approach. The silhouettes in the guide’s cover image represent the rich diversity of Oklahoma’s Native peoples. Using a color palette and intense earth tones that are as dynamic as the state where he lives, Greenwood chose to highlight elements that make Oklahoma special: rose rock, a scissor-tailed flycatcher, a southeastern-styled motif design and the breakdown of the state’s six travel regions. His work explores historical and current cultural events with artistic influences that include pop art and abstract expressionism. About his art Greenwood says, “The plight of our people is well-documented. Sometimes my art reflects that; sometimes it’s witty in its representation of current icons or stereotypes. I embrace my rich and diverse culture and I am proud to share it with you.” The meaning of Okla-Humma The state of Oklahoma is deeply rooted in American Indian history, culture and heritage. The state’s name in the Choctaw language is comprised of two words, okla meaning “people,” and homma or humma meaning “red,” which translated means “Red People.”

Fort Sill Apache Tribe Kiowa Tribe Wichita and Affiliated Tribes

p. 24 p. 33 p. 34 p. 35 p. 43 p. 44 p. 45 p. 46 p. 48

Pawnee Nation Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma Shawnee Tribe United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Wyandotte Nation

p. 36 p. 41 p. 62

p. 49 p. 51 p. 53 p. 57 p. 58 p. 61 p. 64

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p. 28

Red Carpet Country Kaw Nation Otoe-Missouria Tribe

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Kiamichi Country Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

p. 40 p. 40 p. 54 p. 56 p. 59

p. 39 p. 47

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Ponca Nation Tonkawa Nation

p. 52 p. 60

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Oklahoma Indian Country Etiquette

Original People

Indian tribal nations may have many similar characteristics but each nation has a distinctive culture and society. Respect for the unique character of each tribal nation is greatly appreciated. Each tribal nation in Oklahoma makes the decision on how best to balance community and tradition, while providing visitors with enjoyable experiences. Traditionally American Indian people are hospitable and generous in nature. There may be cultural limitations regarding the sharing of certain information pertaining to spiritual teachings; sacred ceremonies and burial grounds are typically private. Each tribal nation is proud of their teachings and heritage which have been passed to them by their ancestors and represent thousands of years of individual histories. Hollywood films have a long history of romanticizing, denigrating or otherwise distorting Indian societies. We invite you to set aside any preconceived notions and experience Oklahoma Indian Country in all its authenticity. Your respect, patience and understanding of each distinctive tribal nation’s traditions and cultures are appreciated. Please take a moment to read about etiquette when visiting Oklahoma’s Indian Country and to avoid misunderstandings or infringements of each nation’s customs, we ask that visitors be courteous, respectful and follow these guidelines. Thank you!

“History books traditionally depict the pre-Columbus Americas as a pristine wilderness where small native villages lived in harmony with nature. But scientific evidence tells a very different story: When Columbus stepped ashore in 1492, millions of people were already living there. America wasn’t exactly a ‘New World,’ but a very old one whose inhabitants had built a vast infrastructure of cities, orchards, canals and causeways.” – “America Before Columbus,” National Geographic Today, 39 tribes call Oklahoma home, but it wasn’t always that way. Although several tribes are described as indigenous to Oklahoma at the time of European contact, most of the 39 tribes here today were forced to migrate to Oklahoma from their ancestral homelands.

• Today’s tribal nation leaders are known by a variety of titles including chairman, president and principal chief, so please ask before addressing any tribal nation leader. • Remember you are a guest. • Please be attentive to signage and obey individual tribal nation rules and regulations. • Alcohol, weapons, and drugs are not appropriate. • Please respect the privacy of residential communities. • Ask before photographing or recording an individual, regalia, an event, or activity. • Do not pick up or remove artifacts or objects. • Burial grounds and religious ceremonies are sacred and are not to be entered. • Practice polite, attentive listening, particularly when an elder is speaking. This is considered a traditional virtue in many communities.


ographic ge origins

• When attending an event, please stand and remove hats at emcee’s direction.


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oklahoma indian tribes

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Distinct Nations “Indian Nations have always been considered as distinct, independent political communities, retaining their original natural rights, as the undisputed possessor of the soil…The very term ‘nation’ so generally applied to them, means ‘a people distinct from others.’”

– Chief Justice John Marshall, United States Supreme Court, 1832

While Chief Justice Marshall’s comments note the inherent rights of America’s indigenous people to their land and independence, history tells a far different story. A brief overview of Oklahoma Indian history provides a glimpse into some of the captivating cultural and historical moments and relevant destinations.

P r e - 1 4 9 2 | P r e h i s t o ry The history of Oklahoma Indian Country is an ancient one, dating back thousands of years to the PaleoIndian Period, about 12,000 – 8,000 years ago, and several archaeological sites throughout Oklahoma reveal fascinating details about these early human inhabitants during these early time periods.

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1 8 2 8 - 1 8 8 7 | R e m o va l , R e s e r vat i o n a n d T r e at y P e r i o d The U.S. government forced eastern tribes to move west, resulting in the removal of tens of thousands from their homelands onto reservations and many tragic conflicts on the western frontier. Sixty-seven tribes ended up in Indian Territory, which later became Oklahoma. [ go see ] One of two sites administered by the National Park Service in Oklahoma, the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site near Cheyenne, marks the location of Lt. Col. George A. Custer’s 1868 surprise dawn attack on the southern Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle. See page 13 for more information.

1 8 8 7 - 1 9 3 4 | A l l o t m e n t a n d A s s i m i l at i o n P e r i o d The General Allotment Act of 1887, a.k.a. the Dawes Act, seized more than 90 million acres (nearly two-thirds of reservation lands) from Indian nations and gave it to white settlers as “surplus,” most often without compensation to the tribes. In Oklahoma, a series of Land Runs were set up to give the so-called “surplus” Indian lands to settlers. [ go see ] Many of the 39 tribal nations headquartered in Oklahoma today offer cultural centers and museums that convey the intense personal stories from the often tragic and very difficult periods in Indian history – from Removal to Assimilation. See the attractions section, page 8, for more information.

[ go see ] Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center, near Spiro, one the most important archaeological discoveries in North America and Oklahoma’s only prehistoric, Native American archaeological site open to the public. See page 18 for more information.

1 9 3 4 - 1 9 4 5 | I n d i a n R e o r g a n i z at i o n P e r i o d The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 allotment gave many Oklahoma Indian tribes a foothold to begin recovery. Yet too often European/Anglo values and government structures forced upon the tribes further damaged traditional tribal values and governance.

Deer Mask Oklahoma, LeFlore County, Spiro, Craig Mound, A.D. 1200-1400.Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C., Photographer John Bigelow Taylor

1492-1828 | Colonial Period For the most part, European-American expansion had little impact on the area we now know as Oklahoma during this period. However, in 1824 the U.S. government established Oklahoma’s oldest frontier fort, Fort Gibson, signaling change was on the way. [ go see ] Fort Gibson Historic Site and Interpretative Center in Fort Gibson, is a National Historic Landmark, Official National Trail of Tears Site and a designated American Treasure, featuring 80 acres of grounds, 29 historic buildings, numerous archaeological ruins and living history programs relating to the settlement of Indian Territory.

1 9 4 5 - 1 9 6 8 | T e r m i n at i o n P e r i o d Congress decided federal recognition and assistance to more than 100 tribal governments should be terminated, including several Oklahoma tribes. Millions of acres of valuable land rich in natural resources were lost through tax forfeiture sales and federal policy emphasizing the physical relocation of Indians from reservations to urban areas.

[ go see ] The Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City uses the 20th century Indian experience as a bridge between the past and the present, offering artifacts, tribal music, photographic images, Indian art and oral histories from the Indian tribes of Oklahoma to provide an overview of Oklahoma Indian history. See page 10 for more information.

1 9 6 8 - p r e s e n t | S e l f - D e t e r m i n at i o n P e r i o d From the Removal Period through today, some 28 tribes left Oklahoma and returned to their homelands, while others joined fragmented segments of their tribes in other parts of the country. A policy of self-governance emerged that favored restoring tribal sovereignty. With control over their lands and resources, many tribes are making great economic strides and reviving their unique cultures and tribal life. Welcome to the renaissance in Oklahoma Indian Country!

See page 15 for more information.

Y o u ’ l l d i s c o v e r e n g a g i n g d e s t i n at i o n s w i t h i n f o r m at i o n o n O k l a h o m a I n d i a n t r i b e s a n d Tr avelOK .com



p e o p l e t h r o u g h o u t O k l a h o m a o n T r av e l OK . c o m .

Source: Indian Nations in the United States, National Congress of American Indians

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An Epic Adventure in the Works

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Heart of Indian Country In Oklahoma, the American Indian story is a living epic, one unfolding in majestic, panoramic glory right now. You’ll find an exciting embodiment of this at the construction site of the monumental American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City, located at the southeast corner of intersections I-35 and I-40. The American Indian Center is symbolically located at the center of the continent and in the heart of Indian Country. Although currently under construction, the center is already serving as a connecting nexus to Oklahoma Indian Country for people across Oklahoma, the nation and the world with ongoing programming at other locations. Designed to serve as a dynamic center of history, culture and the arts, the center fuses architecture, landscape, art, history, culture, people and programs into a remarkable place for understanding, sharing and honoring the unique experience of the American Indian in Oklahoma. Upon completion, the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum will include a 125,000square-foot museum filled with powerful multimedia experiences, oneof-a-kind educational entertainment, a film and performance venue, family discovery center, café and the 300-acre site will offer a landscape cultural park and trail system featuring native plants and grasses. For more information on programs, upcoming events and construction progress visit

Quanah Burgess [Comanche] Sacred Monument (detail)

American Indians have long been recognized for their rich contributions to the fine arts. Featured throughout this guide is a diverse collection of works generously offered by contemporary Oklahoma Indian artists. When in a gallery featuring their work, please support them and their communities by purchasing their art.

Tom Fields [Muscogee Creek] Ribbon Dancers (detail)

Visitor Center , The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum

Acee Chibitty [Comanche, Shawnee, Delaware, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Muscogee Creek ] Charles Chibitty (detail)

Kimberly Rodriguez

Shop Authentic Native American arts and crafts are infused with the artistic perspective of native artists and craftsmen. By purchasing authentic Native American works, you support the artists and their community and help preserve the wisdom, heritage and culture of those who bring so much joy and beauty to our state and nation. Below are five places to shop authentic. Find more native shopping destinations on • Oklahoma Indian Arts & Crafts Cooperative, Anadarko

Heidi Bigknife [Shawnee]

• Oklahoma Native Art, Oklahoma City • Indian Territory Art Gallery, Durant Kennetha Greenwood [Otoe, Missouria] Little Pipe Bracelet

14k Japonica Earring with Chrysoprase

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Harvey Pratt [Cheyenne] ­— We Danced


Shan Goshorn [Cherokee] — Caress


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Things to Do & See You’re about to embark on one of the most unique and exciting excursions in all of North America. In Oklahoma Indian Country the ancient meets the present at more than 85 American Indian attractions, museums and shopping destinations. Today 39 tribal nations call Oklahoma home – one state comprised of many nations. You’ll find more diverse cultures and different languages spoken in Oklahoma than in all of Europe. This land has always been an ancient network for cultural exchange, international trade and innovation, and the continuum of cultures continues.

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Chickasaw National Capitol Building


From their Trail of Tears removal in the deep South to Oklahoma settlement, view one of the largest collections of Chickasaw artifacts and learn why the Chickasaw Nation is known as the “Unconquered and Unconquerable.” Daily tours provide an educational experience and a genealogy research center is located on the complex.

Former seat of Chickasaw Government from 1898-1907. Added to the National Registry of Historic Buildings in 1971, the Chickasaw Nation repurchased the capitol from Johnston County. Exhibits showcase tribal government history, a re-creation of the governor’s office, portraits of past governors and rotating photographic exhibits. Gift shop on site, tours by request.

Tishomingo  |  209 N Fisher Ave 580-371-3351  |


Tishomingo  |  411 W 9th 580-371-9835  |

Chickasaw Cultural Center This world-class museum complex celebrates the history & culture of the Chickasaw Nation. Using modern technology & interactive theatrical environments, visitors are immersed in a vibrant, ongoing story. An amphitheater, sky terrace, large-format Anoli’ Theater, museum café & several water features decorate the grounds, with outdoor demonstration gardens and an educational village with a number of traditional Chickasaw dwellings. 

The numbers marking the attractions in this section correlate with the numbered locations on the state map in the gatefold at the beginning of this guide. Brent Learnerd [Arapaho] — War Party

Chickasaw Council House Museum

Sulphur  |  Charles F Cooper Memorial Rd 580-421-5623  |


Chickasaw Nation White House

chickasaw cultural center

Former home of Chickasaw Governor Douglas Hancock Johnston from 1898 to 1971. Restored to full grandeur, home contains unusual features for its era including 14-foot ceilings, cherry mahogany fireplace mantels, crystal chandeliers and a dance floor.

Mary E Parker Memorial Library


The Mary E Parker Memorial Library houses more than 13,000 catalogued items including the Dawes Rolls for the Five Civilized Tribes.

Milburn  |  6379 E Mansion Rd | 580-436-2603

Sulphur  |  500 W Broadway  |  888-520-8101 580-622-5807  |

Joanna Underwood [Chickasaw]

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Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center & FireLake Gifts Museum preserves & interprets artifacts relevant to indigenous Great Lakes cultures, with an emphasis on the Anishinabe Potawatomi and facilitates an understanding of the tribe’s history, heritage, philosophy, crafts, medicines and language. Also features a research library, Veteran’s Wall of Honor, & FireLake Gifts. Shawnee  |  1899 N Gordon Cooper 800-880-9880  |  405-878-5830  |

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Fort Reno Historic Site Established in 1874 to protect the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, this historic fort has more than 25 historic structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with several exhibits and displays, including a parade ground and a cemetery where Indian scouts, Buffalo soldiers and German POWs from World War II are buried. El Reno  |  7107 W Cheyenne St 405-262-2987  |

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Inter-Tribal Designs Hard-to-find Native American food items, kachinas, jewelry, beadwork, clothing, pottery and beading & craft supplies. Oklahoma City  |  1520 N Portland 405-943-7935  |

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

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Oklahoma History Center

Oklahoma’s state museum of history houses four permanent galleries & a special exhibits hall, offering more than 200 hands-on interactive experiences & 50 subjects that tell the stories of Oklahoma & its people. Winnie Mae Café & gift shop also on site. Oklahoma City  |  800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr 405-522-0765  |


Oklahoma Indian Art Gallery

Contemporary Native American fine art by leading Oklahoma artists, as well as nationally recognized Native American artists. Offering vintage baskets, masks, Navajo rugs, Pueblo pottery, original oils & watercolors & limited edition prints.

Sam Noble Museum of Natural History


Museum features four billion years of Oklahoma history including the world’s largest Apatosaurus, excavated in the Oklahoma panhandle & other dinosaur skeletons. Hall of the People, one of several large-scale exhibit rooms, covers the 30,000year history of the Native people of Oklahoma. Museum also holds the Fred and Enid Brown Collection, one of the nation’s best public groupings of 20th century American Indian fine art, along with other Native American artifacts, and is building a collection of oral and written native languages of Oklahoma. Also onsite, a discovery room for kids, museum store & café. Norman  |  2401 Chautauqua Ave 405-325-4712  |

Oklahoma City  |  2331 SW 44th  |  405-685-6162



Oklahoma City  |  1900 NW Expressway 877-786-5966  |  405-842-7700  |

Jacobson House Native Art Center Located in the former residence of Swedish-born Oscar Jacobson (1882-1966), first director of the School of Art at Oklahoma University. In 1926, Jacobson mentored the Kiowa Five American Indian artists ushering in the beginning of the Native American Art Movement. Group tours can include an American Indian meal with performances of dancers, storytellers, flute players & history presentations.


Red Earth Museum

Features traditional & contemporary Indian paintings, carvings, pottery & artifacts, & offers an outstanding schedule of exhibitions, special events & educational programs, as well as a research library for teachers and the general public interested in Native American arts & crafts. Oklahoma City  |  6 Santa Fe Plaza 405-427-5228  |

Jim Thorpe House Former home of 1912 Olympian Jim Thorpe, displaying artifacts, track & field awards, & family items. A direct descendent of Sac & Fox Chief Blackhawk, Thorpe is recognized as one of the 20th century’s greatest athletes.

Bethany  |  3823 N College Ave 405-789-4300  |

Arcadia  |  135 W First St  |  405-396-2202


Tribes 131 Fine Art, Gifts & Jewelry Specializing in Native American fine arts, offers a full line of jewelry, pottery, baskets, kachinas, textiles, originals, prints, bronzes, clay & alabaster sculptures, & large selection of Made in Oklahoma gift items. Norman  |  131 24th Ave NW 405-329-4442 |

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Caddo Heritage Museum


Museum, archives & resource center located on the Caddo Nation Complex. Also features Caddo artifacts, contemporary art and other arts & crafts.


Lawton  |  701 NW Ferris Ave 580-353-0404  |

Cherokee Trading Post Family-owned gift shop located on historic Rt. 66 offers hand-beaded jewelry, moccasins, artifacts, pottery, art, rattlesnake products, leather jackets, Western items, and other Oklahoma & Rt. 66 souvenirs.


Chick’s Cowboys & Indians

Anadarko  |  Hwy 281 N  |  405-247-2448


Offers Western collectibles, old guns, Indian beadwork, Indianrelated collectibles & items related to Oklahoma territory.

Doc’s Trading Post Authentic American Indian jewelry, pottery, rugs, beads & other Southwest Native American art; large collection of Robert Redbird artwork. Weatherford  |  1511 E Main  |  580-772-2277

Elk City  |  109 W 5th St 580-225-1275  |

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Delaware Tribal Museum Displays include traditional clothing, beadwork & artifacts of the Delaware tribe; gift shop on site.

Clinton  |  6100 NE Service Rd 888-572-0001  |  580-323-0001  |


Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center Museum houses a variety of collections including fine art, the Egli and Chibitty Collections, Fort Sill Indian School & military items, as well as an on-site library & photo archives.

Binger  |  Caddo Nation Complex 405-656-2344  |

Native America Gallery & Gifts Gallery features original paintings, Navajo sand paintings, handmade turquoise jewelry, Navajo rugs, kachina dolls, dream catchers, Pueblo pottery, baskets & bronze sculptures & more.

Southwest Collectibles Wide variety of authentic Native American & Southwestern art, including jewelry, prints, wall hangings, handmade flutes, peace pipes, handcrafted knives, drums, kachina dolls, furs & hides.

Seminole Nation Museum

Sue Fish [Chickasaw, Choctaw] Choctaw Elbow Basket

Yale  |  706 E Boston  |  918-387-2815



Norman  |  609 Chautauqua 405-366-1667  |


Wewoka  |  524 S Wewoka 405-257-5580  |

Through the use of select artifacts, historic photographs and interpretive exhibits, visitors will learn about the

Pendleton Store

Native American-inspired wool clothing & accessories for men & women.


events and stories that shaped the home of the Seminoles for more than a century.

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Fancy Dancer Leather Designs Custom beaded buckskin presses, moccasins, leggings, Czech cut beads & beading supplies, shell & other natural material earrings & more. Shoppers welcome anytime but please call before coming. Anadarko  |  302 W Alabama 405-247-7030  |


Fort Sill Historic Landmark & Museum


Great Plains Country

Kiowa Tribal Museum


View 10 murals by Kiowa artists interpreting the heritage of the Kiowa people from pre-history to present day. Native crafts, chains, earrings, beaded hair combs & broaches, all made by local Kiowa crafts people are on display, along with a large Kiowa Sundance Teepee. “Warrior Walk” honors warriors killed in action & those who served in U.S. Armed Forces. Tours available with advance notice. Carnegie  |  Hwy 9 W  |  580-654-2300

More than 40 bronze busts of famous American Indians, including Sequoyah, Captain Black Beaver, Sitting Bull, Geronimo & Pocahontas & visitor center with large selection of Native American books.  Anadarko  |  851 E Central Blvd  |  405-247-5555


Nineteenth century frontier Army post consists of 50 buildings, most still in use & in mint condition. Fort Sill is perhaps best known as home of Apache warrior, Geronimo, & other Native American notables including Quanah Parker, are buried at Chief’s Knoll in the Post Cemetery. Post Quadrangle features historic homes, museum buildings, Post Chapel & visitor’s center. Tours available.

Anadarko  |  715 E Central Blvd  |  405-247-3486 Washita Battlefield

Anadarko  |  115 NE First St 405-247-2787  |



Indian City USA Outdoor museum featuring authentic Indian housing, gift shop & campground. Anadarko  |  Hwy 8, County Rd 1363 800-433-5661  |  405-247-5661

fort sill historic landmark & museum

McKee’s Indian Store & Susan Peters Gallery


Indian art & craft supplies, Pendleton blankets and purses, turquoise and silver jewelry, original Indian art, prints and sculpture. Some artifacts on display are not for sale.


Cheyenne  |  W of town 580-497-2742  |

Statue of Chief Lone Wolf Carving of Chief Lone Wolf created from remaining trunk of a large elm tree approximately 70 years ago, by chainsaw carver Clayton Coss.

Anadarko  |  116 W Main St 800-972-7653  |  405-247-7151


Southern Plains Indian Museum Features authentic American Indian arts & crafts in three 38 Washita Battlefield National Historic Site galleries & a permanent display of varied arts from western National historic site marks the location of Lt. Col. George A. Oklahoma American Indian Nations including the Kiowa, Custer’s 1868 surprise dawn attack on the Southern Cheyenne Comanche, Kiowa-Apache, Southern Cheyenne, Southern village of Peace Chief Black Kettle. The site & visitor center, Arapaho, Wichita, Caddo, Delaware & Fort Sill Apache. a unit of the National Park Service, features exhibits, a bookstore & 27-minute film, “Destiny at Dawn.” Ranger Anadarko  |  715 E Central Blvd talks are available at the site overlook; guided tours 405-247-6221  | available by reservation.

Gallery of Art at Anadarko Southwestern Oklahoma American Indian art from seven tribes; original paintings, crafts, beadwork, jewelry, shawls & pottery.

Oklahoma Indian Arts & Crafts Cooperative Founded in 1955, the Cooperative is an independent arts & crafts business owned & operated by Native American artists & crafts people; sales shop located in the Southern Plains Indian Museum.

Fort Sill  |  B437 Quanah Rd 580-442-5123  | 


National Hall of Fame for Famous American Indians

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Hobart  |  Kiowa County Courthouse Square 580-726-2553  |

Mohawk Lodge Indian Store

Iconic store on old Rt. 66 was first the trading post in Indian Territory, opening in 1892. Still buys, sells & trades authentic Indian crafts & artifacts across the same counter used in 1892. While visiting, be sure to view the original antique photos of Cheyennes & other museum-worthy treasures. Clinton  |  22702 Rt 66 N  |  580-323-2360


Museum of the Great Plains

Features special collections with exhibits highlighting cultural & natural history of the Great Plains of North America. Don’t miss the Tingley Collection of Native American artifacts, including more than 3,200 pieces of 20th century Plains Indian artifacts. Outdoor grounds feature Red River Trading Post, a replica of trading posts which existed in the region in 1830s & 40s. museum of the great plains

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Ataloa Lodge Museum


Features one of the largest privately owned collections of Native American history & culture in the U.S. Built in 1932 on the Bacone College campus, the museum is Native American operated & houses more than 20,000 pieces of traditional & contemporary Native American art, including an impressive kachina doll collection, items of daily & ceremonial use, as well as Civil War memorabilia. Muskogee  |  2299 Old Bacone Rd 888-682-5514  |  918-781-7283  |

Named after prominent Osage Chief James Bigheart, museum includes Cherokee & Osage Nation artifacts & area history, including the story of how the town name changed from Bigheart to Barnsdall. Barnsdall  |  616 W Main  |  918-847-2397


Lawton  |  601 NW Ferris Ave 580-581-3460  |

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Bigheart Museum

Buffalo Sun The only Indian design clothing store & gift shop in the tristate area. Traditional & contemporary Indian fashions with blouses, skirts, ribbon shirts, dresses, jackets, vests & more. Miami  |  122 N Main  |  918-542-8870

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Green Country

Cha Tullis Galleries


Artwork, crafts, jewelry, literature & music, located in the heart of the Osage Indian Nation Reservation. Items feature Indian fry bread, incense, talking sticks, pottery, Native American flute music, silver & turquoise jewelry.


Native American art gallery showcases works by awardwinning artists in traditional & contemporary art forms; original paintings, ceramic art, pottery & more.


Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism

The Cherokee Nation celebrates its unique heritage through its cultural tourism program that features four historically authentic tours which can be booked online. The foundation of the program rests in the cultural, historical, natural and recreational resources of the Cherokee Nation, which include the 14-county area located in northeastern Oklahoma that spans 7,000 square miles.

Cherokee Heritage Center

Located on 44 acres in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, the center is home to the Ancient Village, Adams Corner Rural Village, the Trail of Tears exhibit, the Cherokee National Museum & the Cherokee Family Research Catoosa  |  777 W Cherokee St Center. The Ancient Village is a replica Cherokee village as it would have existed before European contact, with 877-779-6977  |  918-384-5915 live demonstrations offered in ancient cultural practices such as flint knapping, basketry, blowguns, stickball and Cherokee marble games. Guided tours held every hour on 46 Cherokee Nation Gift Shop the half hour. Items include Cherokee baskets, musical & beaded items, Tahlequah  |  21192 S Keeler Dr prints, pottery originals, books & tapes. 888-999-6007  |  918-456-6007 Tahlequah  |  17725 S Muskogee Ave 800-256-2123  |  918-456-2793 cherokee heritage center


Creek Council Oak Park

Tulsa  |  1750 S. Cheyenne  |  918-596-7275


Five Civilized Tribes Museum Housed in historic 1875 Union Agency building, museum preserves the culture & history of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek and Seminole tribes through art & artifacts; handmade items from artists & artisans in Trading Post Gift Shop. Muskogee  |  1101 Honor Heights Dr 877-587-4237  |  918-683-1701  |


Burial site of Chief Fred Lookout and his wife, Julia, located on top of Lookout Mountain and marked with a 10-foot-tall granite stone. The scenic overlook has a 360degree panoramic view of Pawhuska, Bird Creek Valley and Osage County.

Fort Gibson  |  907 N Garrison Ave 918-478-4088  |


gilcrease museum


Healing Rock

Natural monument once called Teepee Rock & considered to have mystical healing powers by Osage & Quapaw Indians in late 19th century. When plans for Skiatook Lake were finalized, it became clear the rock would be covered by water. Locals campaigned to save the rock & in 1985 the Corps of Engineers moved it to its present location. An access trail leads from the project office to this unique natural feature.

Fort Gibson Historic Site In operation from 1824-1890 as the first Army post in Indian Territory is a National Historic Landmark, Official National Trail of Tears Site, & designated “American Treasure.” Site encompasses 80 acres with 29 historic buildings & numerous archaeological ruins. Exhibits & living history programs relate to the settlement of Indian Territory & the development of the fort. Museum, visitor center, book shop & numerous period rooms, along with living history events throughout the year.

Chief Lookout Memorial & Lookout Mountain

Pawhuska  |  5 mi E on Okesa Rd 918-287-1208  |

Tulsa  |  1400 Gilcrease Museum Rd 888-655-2278  |  918-596-2700  |

On the National Register of Historic Places, this park overlooks the Arkansas River. The Creek Council tree, a mature post oak, marks the traditional “ceremonial ground” by the Lochapoka clan of the Creek Indians after their 1836 involuntary migration from what is now Alabama. As late as 1896 the Tulsa-Lochapoka gathered here. Park features an ethno-botanical garden displaying plants used by the Creek Indians for food, fiber, ceremonial & medicinal purposes.

creek council oak park


Gilcrease Museum

Museum contains one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of American Indian & Western art; permanent collections of more than 10,000 works of art include priceless pieces by renowned Western artists. The Kravis Discovery Center brings state-of-the-art technology and artifacts together for a new look at the anthropology collection & grounds featuring 11 themed garden areas. 

Okmulgee  |  106 W 6th 918-756-2324  |

Cherokee Artists Association Art Gallery

Tahlequah  |  202 E 5th St 918-458-0008  |


Recipient of a national preservation award & listed as an historic site, this beautiful two-story museum provides extensive exhibits on the culture & history of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation; also once served as headquarters for the black (African/Creek Indian) Lighthorsemen.

Hominy  |  108 W Main 918-885-4717  |


Creek Council House Museum

Skiatook  |  5353 Lake Rd  918-396-3170  |


General Stand Watie Grave Site

Indian Store

Native American arts & crafts from various Indian tribes, including limited edition prints, Minnetonka moccasins, Cherokee beadwork & baskets & handcrafted jewelry.

Housed in the Katy Railroad Depot, artifacts & exhibits feature the Cherokee & Osage Indians, art & local history items, a rare salt-glazed pottery collection, 1800s printing press, 1942 tornado exhibit, the Whitaker Home & a Native American Art Gallery.

Sallisaw  |  2323 E Cherokee  |  918-775-4978 General Stand Watie, the only full-blooded Native American to receive the rank of Brigadier General, was the last 57 La Harpe’s Council Marker Confederate General to surrender during the Civil War. He was a Joint Commander at the Battle of Cabin Creek on Historic marker commemorates meeting between Bernard September 18, 1864, when Confederates captured 300 de la Harpe & the great Chief of the Tonacara in company wagons loaded with supplies, thus enabling the destitute with the chiefs of six tribes in 1719 to begin trading furs & Indian Confederates to continue in the war. hides for export to Europe in exchange for guns & sundries.

Pryor  |  847 Hwy 69 S 8th St  |  918-825-2222

Grove  |  Polson Cemetery  |  918-786-9079


Coo-Y-Yah Museum

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Haskell  |  Hwy 64  |  918-482-1245  |

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Little Horse & Company

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Native American art & jewelry.

Lyon’s Indian Store

Large selection of Indian goods & Oklahoma souvenirs, including silver & turquoise Indian jewelry & art, rugs, pottery, Pendleton Indian blankets, Frankoma pottery & other wares. Tulsa  |  401 E 11th St  |  918-582-6372


Native American Art

Tulsa  |  17 S Main  |  918-584-5792


Osage Tribal Museum, Library & Archives

Pawhuska  |  819 Grandview Ave 918-287-5441  |


Pawnee Bill Trading Post

Twin Arrows Buffalo Market



Sequoyah’s Cabin

A National Historic Landmark, site consists of Sequoyah’s 1829 log cabin enclosed in protective native stone cover building & a 10-acre park. Sequoyah developed a working Syllabary that enabled the entire Cherokee Nation to become literate within a very short period of time.

White Hair Memorial

Bartlesville  |  1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd 888-966-5276  |  918-336-0307  |

Hominy  |  5715 County Rd 918-538-2417  |

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Webbers Falls Historical Museum Complete history of Oklahoma’s early-day Cherokee settlers with special emphasis on Confederate General Stand Watie & Cherokee Mounted Riflemen. Named for Chief Walter Webber and the Falls on the Arkansas River, Chief Webber settled here in 1828 and established a trading post, making Webbers Falls the second oldest town in Oklahoma.

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Choctaw Nation Museum


1884 capitol building of the Choctaw Nation houses vintage clothing, tribal documents, Choctaw pottery, an art gallery and gift shop. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Webbers Falls  |  Commercial & Main  |  918-464-2728


District Choctaw Chief’s House Renovated 1837 home of District Choctaw Chief Thomas LeFlore & David Randall, town founder in 1902. Built by the U.S. government as prescribed by 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek & listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the oldest house in the state of Oklahoma still on its original site.

Fort Towson Historic Site Established to protect the Choctaw Indians in 1824, the fort gave the U.S. government a military presence on the frontier, protected the southern border of the United States & was the ending point for the Choctaws’ removal in 18321834. In 1865 General Stand Watie, a Cherokee leader and commander of the Confederate Indian calvary, surrendered his command near the fort to become the last Confederate general to lay down arms. Now on the National Register of Historic Places

Tuskahoma  |  Council House Rd 918-569-4465  |

Specializing in Native American arts, crafts & jewelry; shop also sells Pendleton, Brighton & Demdeco items, Western gifts & Oklahoma souvenirs. Pawnee  |  547 6th St 918-762-3376  |

Established in 1925 as the country home of oilman Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum Company, Woolaroc is a working ranch, museum & wildlife preserve. Museum is a world-class facility with more than 52,000 square feet of American Southwest history, featuring paintings by Russell & Remington, bronze collection by Joe Beeler, & fine collection of Colt handguns. Surrounding 3,600 acres are home to herds of buffalo, elk, deer, longhorn steers & Scottish highland cattle. Woolaroc derives its name from the woods, lakes and rocks of the beautiful Osage Hills.

Circa 1920s home of Osage Lillie Morrell Burkhart. Today, the home serves as a resource learning center for Osage tribal culture & heritage.

Adair  |  308 S Mayes 918-785-5695  |


Displays & artifacts relating to Osage culture from 1600s to present, along with archives & photo collections. Fall & spring craft classes offered. Gift shop features Native American items.


Wide range of quality buffalo, elk & venison meat for sale, including steaks, roasts, burgers, jerky & many other cuts, along with array of gifts & Native American products.

Hominy  |  W of town  |  918-885-4939

Woolaroc Ranch, Museum & Wildlife Preserve


Tiger Mountain Ranch Resort

Henryetta  |  Rt 2 Box 299 877-698-4437  |  918-652-1428  |

New Territory Sculptures

Designed by local artist Cha’ Tullis, sculptures stand atop a hill on west side of Hominy; are made of sheet iron with moving parts (feathers that blow in the wind); depict Indians & their horses, & are illuminated at night.

Nowata  |  109 N Pine  |  918-273-1681

Ranch retreat offers Old West flavor or Native American experience with lodge room or teepee accommodations, equestrian center, fishing, hiking & hayrides. Activities include: bead-working, leather crafting, singing, storytelling, working cattle & more with cowboy & American Indian artisans.

Art gallery specializing in paintings, sculptures, pottery, prints & more.


Native American mural painted by Potawatomie Indian, Woody Crumbo, is housed in the lobby of the post office built in 1939.

Colcord  |  500 S Colcord Ave 918-326-4532  |


Woody Crumbo Mural


Woolaroc Ranch

Research library consists of resource books, microfilm & computer access for the public, including genealogy records for northeast Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas & the Cherokee Nation. Bookstore & gift shop, & museum attractions include blacksmith shop, post office & other artifacts. 

Skiatook  |  313 E Rogers  |  918-396-1155


Talbot Research Library & Museum

Fort Towson  |  580-873-2634  |


Swink  |  1832 CR E 2060  |  580-873-2301

Sallisaw  |  N on Hwy 59, then E on Hwy 101 918-775-2413  |

Fort Washita Historic Site & Museum A unique glimpse of military life in the pre-Civil War West, the fort was built in 1842 and operated through 1865, the fort’s purpose was to protect the Chickasaw and Choctaw Tribes from marauding plains tribes. Log structures were built at first, then permanent native sandstone and refined wooden structures were constructed. Durant  |  3348 State Rd 199  |  580-924-6502

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Red Carpet Country

Gardner Mansion & Museum

regional archaeological materials, Plains Indian garments, Southwestern Pueblo ceramics, & Precolumbian Middle & South American artifacts. Rotating exhibits are drawn from the museum’s permanent collection of more than 18,000 objects. Museum also displays the reconstructed skeleton of a dinosaur, Acrocanthosaurus atokensis, discovered in McCurtain County 12 miles from the museum.

Built in 1884, this was the official home of the Choctaw Chief & today features a large collection of Indian artifacts & fossils. Near the home is a 2,000-year-old Cypress tree known as a landmark to early Choctaws traveling the Trail of Tears. Broken Bow  |  Hwy 70 E  |  580-584-6588



Broken Bow  |  402 E 2nd St  |  580-584-6531


Indian Territory Art Gallery

McAlester  |  113 E Carl Albert Pkwy 918-426-0388  |

Gallery housed in a remodeled 1920s gas station & features acrylics, oils & batiks, pottery, handcrafted jewelry made with earthenware, & other artworks. Durant  |  825 W Main St  580-931-9388  |


Woodward  |  2009 Williams Ave 866-384-2172  |  580-256-6136  |


Pittsburg County Genealogical & Historical Society Museum Research & genealogical library with records dating back to pre-statehood, including the Dawes Rolls. Museum displays mining & Indian artifacts, and local history.

Housed in a vintage 1932 hospital building, museum boasts one of the best collections of pioneer exhibits & Indian art & artifacts in the state. Features 40 rooms displaying history of Alva & the Cherokee Strip.

Fort Supply Historic Site


Established as Camp Supply in 1868 in the western part of the state, supply base served General Philip Sheridan’s winter campaign against Indian tribes of the southern Great Plains. From this post, Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer led the Seventh U.S. Cavalry south to the Washita River in a surprise dawn attack and destroyed the village of Cheyenne peace Chief Black Kettle. After becoming a fort in 1878, the fort’s mission was to protect the Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservations from incursions by whites. The fort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Three Valley Museum Located in the heart of the Red, Blue & Washita river valleys, museum focuses on southeastern Oklahoma history. Special attractions include a small town exhibit area on the second floor depicting scenes from the early 1900s, transportation exhibits & a Native American Gallery.

Fort Supply  |  1 Williams Key Blvd 580-766-3767  |

Durant  |  401 W Main 580-920-1907  |

museum of the red river


Museum of the Red River

Established in 1974 to share the cultural heritage of the Americas, this fascinating gem in southeastern Oklahoma features ethnographic art from North, Central and South America, with comparative materials from Africa, East Asia and the South Pacific. Collections are particularly strong in

Wheelock Academy This once flourishing Native American girls boarding school founded in 1832 is a symbol of almost two centuries of the Choctaw Nation’s commitment to education. Since 2000, the historic campus has been listed as one of America’s “eleven most endangered historic places” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation & is included in the “Save America’s Treasures” federal program. Call for tour information. Millerton  |  E of town, 1 mi N of Hwy 70 580-746-2139  |

standing bear park


Indian trading post offering beaded crafts, CDs, records & tapes of Native American music.

Tonkawa  |  36 Cisco Dr 580-628-5301  |

Fay  |  209 E County Line Rd  |  580-887-3316


Kanza Museum


Tonkawa Tribal Museum Artifacts and photographic histories of the Tonkawa tribe, including items from the Southwestern & Northern tribes.

Indian Records Inc

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Ponca City  |  601 Standing Bear Pkwy 580-762-1514  |

Alva  |  901 14th St  |  580-327-2030  |

Spiro  |  18154 1st St  |  918-962-2062  |


Cherokee Strip Museum


Standing Bear Park, Museum & Education Center This outdoor interpretive center & museum features artifacts, artwork, and educational material honoring six Native American tribes around the Ponca City area. A 22foot bronze sculpture of Ponca Chief Standing Bear is the focal point of the park and two miles of walking trails are on site. Annual powwow held on grounds in September.

Plains indians & pioneers museum

Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center The only prehistoric Native American archaeological site in Oklahoma open to the public. Created and used by Caddoan-speaking Indians between 850 and 1450 A.D., the 12 earthen burial & ceremonial mounds excavated here have yielded thousands of unique religious & ornamental artifacts. The site offers an exceptional guided tour.

Plains Indians & Pioneers Museum Frontier town vignettes, artifacts from lawyer & gunfighter, Temple Houston, son of Sam Houston. American Indian exhibits feature prehistory information, Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations, as well as the Battle of the Washita of 1868. Colorful murals in museum’s rotunda depict lifestyle of northwest Oklahoma American Indians in the 1800s.

Idabel  |  812 E Lincoln Rd 580-286-3616  |

Indian Memorial Museum

Museum houses a huge display of prehistoric Indian pottery (900-1500 AD), thousands of stone items, arrowheads, axes, modern pottery, quartz crystal & fossils.


Museum of the Kaw Nation featuring a variety of Native American exhibits, artifacts, photography & a permanent paleontology exhibit. Gift shop also on site. Kaw City  |  Kaw Tribal Complex 866-404-5297  |  580-269-2552  |

Top of Oklahoma Historical Society Museum Top of Oklahoma Historical Society Museum, housed in the 1912 Electric Park Pavilion museum, contains items from 1893 Cherokee Strip Land Run to present day. Collections include farm tools, cameras, saddles, Indian paintings, artifacts & much more. Gift shop on site. Blackwell  |  303 S Main  |  580-363-0209

Explore for more kiamichi Country attractions.

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ba sed on tr aditional comanche or na mental patter n

The 39 Tribes of Oklahoma

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Absentee Shawnee Tribe

Language family: Central Algonquian


Total tribal enrollment: 3,049


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 2,322

Government: The current form of government for the Absentee Shawnee evolved over the first half of the 20th century. The tribe

As you tour Oklahoma Indian Country, you’ll discover the distinctive culture, heritage and stories of each of the 39 tribal nations. In this section, you’ll find a very brief overview of each nation’s history, along with the tribe’s traditional name and language family. A language family is a way of showing the linguistic relationships among the many American Indian languages.

is governed by a constitution ratified in 1938, amended in 1988. The tribal government is comprised of two separate branches, the judicial and the legislative/executive. Tribal headquarters: 2025 S Gordon Cooper Drive, Shawnee, 405-275-4030.

Although the Absentee Shawnee are known to have lived in the Eastern United States, it has been documented that they traveled from Canada to Florida, from the Mississippi River to the East Coast before being removed to the area they now occupy. Originally the Shawnee Indians lived in the northeastern part of the United States in areas now known as the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and neighboring states. Treaties in the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s reveal the Shawnee had a large population and land holdings in what is now the state of Ohio. Encroaching colonial settlement persuaded the Shawnees living in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to negotiate the 1825 treaty with the U.S. government, which ceded their lands in Missouri for a reservation in Kansas. However, several years before this treaty was introduced, a group of Shawnees left Ben Harjo, Jr . [Seminole, Shawnee] Missouri to begin a journey south that would lead them toward Without Reservation territory now known as the state of Texas, then under the control of Spain. This group of Shawnees became known as the Absentee Shawnees. The term “Absentee Shawnees” stems from a provisional clause in an 1854 treaty regarding surplus lands in the Kansas Reservation which were set aside for the “absent” Shawnees. The outcome of the Texas-Mexico War (1846-1848) compelled many Absentee Shawnees to leave Texas and move into Indian Territory, although it is estimated that the Absentee Shawnees began to settle in Oklahoma around 1839. In the late 1800s an Indian agent from the U.S. government brought soldiers from Fort Reno in western Oklahoma and forced the traditional band of Absentee Shawnees located along the Deep Fork River to leave. This band was taken south to the area known as Hog Creek and Little River where they were to remain. The group settling there is known as the Big Jim Band. Another band stayed in Pottawatomie County near the town of Shawnee, Oklahoma, and is known as the White

Profiles were researched and created with the input, guidance and advice of tribal nations, the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, and the following sources: • Tribal nation websites • “Indian Tribes of Oklahoma: A Guide,” by Blue Clark • Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission website • Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, a project of Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma State University Library Electronic Publishing Center • Other online university libraries

Turkey Band.

Nocona Burgess [Comanche] Toshaway

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Did you Know? The Absentee Shawnee Tribe was one of the first seven tribes in the U.S. to become a self-governing nation during the 1990s.

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Albamo Koasati

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Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town

Language family: Muskoghean


Total tribal enrollment: 380


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Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 375

Government: Tribal government was established under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (OIWA) in 1936 and members adopted a constitution and bylaws in 1939. This tribal town is led by a chief elected to four-year terms. Tribal headquarters: 101 E Broadway, Wetumka, 405-452-3987.

The Alabama and Quassarte people each had a distinct identity as a tribal town in their ancestral homelands in the southeastern U.S. and are closely related culturally to other Muskoghean-speaking peoples such as the Creeks, Choctaws and Chickasaws. With the encroachment of Europeans into the region many members of these two groups, in an attempt to avoid contact with the Europeans, migrated southwest into Louisiana and Texas in the 1790s and early 1800s where they remain today (Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana & Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas).  The members who did not leave formed an alliance, participating in the old Muscogee Nation Confederacy government, and hence were subsequently included in the Removal Act of 1830. The Alabama and Quassarte people settled into Indian Territory in what is now Hughes, Okfuskee, McIntosh and a portion of Seminole Counties. During the 1930s the Alabamas and Quassarte merged and organized as a tribal town separate from

the Canadian Northwest Territory around 2,000 years ago and gradually moved into the plains of Canada and then later, into what is now the southwest U.S. Oral tradition from the Plains Apaches and from the Kiowas says the Plains Apaches merged with the Kiowas in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Suggested dates for the entry of Apacheans onto the southern plains and southwest U.S. range between A.D. 1300 and 1500. By the 1800s pioneer pressure, diminished game and diseases such as smallpox and cholera ravaged tribal families. After a series of treaties, the Apache accepted confinement to a small reservation under the terms of the 1867 Medicine Lodge treaty. Because Plains Apache life depended upon communal hunting, individual farming proved disastrous to their social cohesion and land division and leasing plunged them into poverty. Boarding school education and missions took a further cultural toll with a resulting loss of language, ability and culture. Recovery of culture began with a revival of the Blackfeet Dancing Society in the late 1950s and continues to this day with other dances and powwow activities.

Did you Know? Walking Bear, One Who Is Surrendered, and Iron Show signed the first treaty of Fort Gibson in 1837 for the Plains Apaches.

the Creek Nation and maintained a traditional tribal town political structure.

Did you Know? The Hernando de Soto expedition first encountered the Alabamas in northern Mississippi in 1540 and the Koasati in their island town on the Tennessee River.


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Caddo Nation

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Language family: Caddoan


Total tribal enrollment: 5,719


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 3,377

Government: The Caddo Nation adopted a charter, constitution and bylaws in 1938. A new constitution ratified in 1976 mandates a tribal council with a chair, vice chair, secretary, treasurer and representatives from Anadarko, Fort Cobb, Binger and Oklahoma City districts. Tribal headquarters: 5 miles east of Binger at the intersection of Hwys 281 and 152,


Apache Tribe

Language family: Southern Athapaskan


[ tr a ditiona l na m e ]


[ eng lish na m e ]

Total tribal enrollment: NA | Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 1,700

Government: Constitution and bylaws were adopted in 1972 and amended in 1976 and 1987. The Tribal Council is comprised of all tribal members over the age of 18 with a chair, vice chair and a secretary-treasurer and the tribe is governed by a business committee of five members. Tribal headquarters: 511 E Colorado Dr, Anadarko, 405-247-2330

Ancestors of the Caddo people began settling farmstead communities in the present states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma as early as A.D. 800. Long before first contact with Europeans in the 16th and 17th centuries, a strong, wellgoverned, populous and prosperous Caddo Nation grew from its ancestral root (kee oh no wah, the old ones). In this region they gradually developed earthen mound culture along major rivers, and some of the mound sites in these areas can be seen and toured today. Although they were primarily

There is some disagreement among historians about the prehistory of the Apache Tribe and ancestral lands. Some historians believe ancestral Apache split from their larger linguistic family in

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Jereldine Redcorn [Caddo] Panther Rattlesnake 23 |

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The Cherokee Female Seminary, established by the Cherokee Nation in 1851, burned to the ground on Easter Sunday 1887. By 1889 the Nation completed a second seminary which is still in use today as Seminary Hall on the campus of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. Today, the site of the first seminary is home to the Cherokee Heritage Center, where several support columns that survived the fire are memorialized with a reflecting pond.

a southeastern Woodlands people, they also ventured into the plains to hunt buffalo. Contact with European settlers resulted in the spread of diseases and exacted a heavy toll on the Caddos. In 1855 they were moved to a reserve on the Brazos River in Texas shared with the Anadarkos, Delawares and affiliated Wichita tribes. Then in 1859, after whites slaughtered seven sleeping Caddos, the government led the Brazos Reserve Indians to refuge in Oklahoma Indian Territory. It’s estimated 500 Caddos walked from Texas to what is now Oklahoma – nearly two hundred miles – bringing only what they could carry. Today the Caddo Nation preserves, celebrates and shares their culture and heritage via a large repertoire of songs and dances and the Caddo Heritage Museum. Located at the tribal nation headquarters near Binger, exhibits utilize works and items from the museum’s holdings which include a vast collection of prehistoric, historic and archival artifacts, photographs, books, manuscripts, video and audio recordings, as well as contemporary art work and Caddo pottery.

Did you Know? The earthenware pottery made by the ancient Caddo was crafted by hand using locally available materials and fired in an open fire (as opposed to a kiln) at relatively low temperatures (perhaps 600-700 degrees centigrade). America Meredith [Cherokee] unega kamama ale ssiquoyah (detail)


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Cherokee Nation

Language family: Iroquoian


Total tribal enrollment: 288,749

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Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 181,867

Government: In 1975-76 members wrote and approved a constitution, setting up a principal chief, deputy chief, and 15-member council. The constitution was amended in 2003, creating the position of council speaker, increasing council membership and making other legal and court changes. Tribal headquarters: 22361 S Bald Hill Road, Tahlequah, 918-453-5000.


For information regarding cultural tours of the Cherokee Nation visit or call toll-free 877-779-6977.

Some archaeologists differ regarding prehistory origins of the Cherokees but most believe the Nation emerged out of South Appalachian Mississippian chiefdoms. Although originally a mound culture, by the time Europeans arrived extended families lived in dwellings arranged around a central council house. With the discovery of gold in Georgia in 1829, white intruders began to covet Cherokee homelands and despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Cherokee authority, the Indian Removal Act passed in Congress by one vote, over the objection of Daniel Boone and others, and was signed into law by Andrew Jackson. In 1838 more than 15,000 Cherokee men, women and children were rounded up and marched more than a thousand miles to Indian Territory on a pathway that became known as dig e tsi lv sv i, “The Trail Where They Cried.” About one quarter of the Cherokee people died Tr avelOK .com



Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado

in internment camps, on the trail and after arrival in what is now the state of Oklahoma. The Cherokee people rebuilt a progressive lifestyle from remnants of the society and the culture they were forced to leave behind. The years between the removal and the 1860s were called the “Cherokee Golden Age,” a period of prosperity that ended with division over the Civil War. After the Civil War, more Cherokee lands and rights were confiscated by the government due to the Cherokee being persuaded to side with the Confederacy. What remained of Cherokee tribal land was divided into individual allotments, which were given to Cherokees listed in the census compiled by the Dawes Commission in the late 1890s. Over the last 120 years the Cherokee people have again prospered. Their leaders promote the ancient practice of ga du gi, working together for a common cause and encourage their citizens toward self-reliance and the creation of a happy and healthy Nation. The Cherokee language is being preserved and revitalized and the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah is home to the permanent Trail of Tears exhibit, two major art shows each year and a genealogy center. The Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, loated in Tahlequah, offers visitors a look at the two passions of the Cherokee people – law and education. Open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, the museum details the evolution of Cherokee law from clan to court and the evolution of Cherokee journalism and the written Cherokee language.

Did you Know? The Cherokee Female Seminary in Tahlequah, established in 1851, was the first institute of higher learning for women west of the Mississippi. 25 |

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Tsistsistas & Hiinonon ‘ei

Nathan Hart [Cheyenne-Arapaho] — Redwood Burl

[ tr a ditiona l na m e s ]

Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes

Language family: Algonquian


Total tribal enrollment: 12,185


[ eng lish na m e ]

Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 8,664. Approximately

one-third of the combined Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes consider themselves to be Arapaho. Government: The Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes officially organized a business committee in 1937, rewrote their constitution in 1975, and reorganized their government in 2006, putting in place a system of checks and balances. Tribal government has four branches: executive, legislative, judicial and “The People” with the power of petition as the fourth branch. A tribal courts system was established in 1988. Tribal headquarters: 100 Red Moon Circle, Concho, 405-262-0345.

The Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes have a long history as allies and friends, so when branches of these two distinct tribes were placed together on a reservation in Oklahoma, in order to survive and thrive, an even closer collaboration began. Most historians place prehistory Arapaho homelands in parts of the Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario Provinces of Canada and in the upper parts of the U.S. in what is now Minnesota and Michigan. Over time they migrated west into Colorado and Wyoming, eventually occupying lands ranging from northern New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas north into Wyoming and South Dakota. The Cheyenne were originally a Woodland people living in the eastern portion of the U.S. and later migrated into the plains. Although they are identified as Plains Indians who followed the buffalo, they retain ties to their woodland heritage. For both tribes, encroachment by settlers from the mid-1800s onward caused ongoing struggles, including broken treaties and broken

promises, the vagaries of the reservation system, and later the chicanery surrounding the disastrous Dawes Act, also known as the allotment system, often resulted in societal and cultural devastation and tragedy. Over the last 80 years both tribes have worked hard to recover their culture and heritage and continue to do so in a number of ways. The Arapahos engage in powwows and continue to be involved with their Northern Arapaho brethren through ceremonies in Wyoming such as the Sun Dance and other age-old rituals held in such high esteem that they are not publicized. The Cheyenne continue traditions such as the Sun Dance as well, and many take part in frequent powwows.

Did you Know? Henrietta Whiteman Mann led the national lobbying effort on behalf of Indian religious freedom in the late 1970s, which resulted in the enactment of the American Indian Religious Freedom Amendment.

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Chikasha Chickasaw Nation

[ engl is h na me ]

Language family: Western Muskoghean

Brent Learnerd [Arapaho] Oklahoma Fall (detail)


Total tribal enrollment: 47,928


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 29,000

Government: The Chickasaw Nation government operates under a constitution adopted in 1979 and revised and approved by tribal voters and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1983 and again in 1988. A governor, lieutenant governor, 13-member tribal legislature and a judiciary represent and lead the tribe. Tribal headquarters: 520 Arlington Street, Ada, 580-436-2603.

From their migration to what is now Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama and Tennessee in prehistoric times, to the purchase of a new homeland in south-central Oklahoma in the mid-1800s, the Chickasaw culture and heritage is rooted in nature and the elements. The Chickasaw Nation’s first contact with Europeans came with Hernando de Soto’s 1540 expedition. Living in sophisticated town sites, the Chickasaws possessed a highly developed society, conducted a successful trade business with other tribes and with the French and English and lived a largely agrarian lifestyle. Like other tribes, the Chickasaw people were forced to move from their homelands by the U.S. government. The 1837 Treaty of Doaksville called for the resettlement of the Chickasaws among the Choctaw Tribe in

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Indian Territory. After their resettlement, the Chickasaws, in order to restore direct authority over their governmental affairs, separated from the Choctaws and formed their own government in 1856. Tribal leaders established the capital at Tishomingo, adopted a constitution and organized executive, legislative and judicial departments of government with the offices filled by popular election. At the outbreak of the Civil War, the Chickasaws signed an alliance with the South and raised troops to fight with the Confederacy. The Choctaw/Chickasaw Mounted Regiment, headquartered at Fort Washita, fought some of the last battles of the Civil War. Although suffering hardships after the defeat of the Confederacy, the tribe regained prosperity. Many Chickasaws became successful farmers and ranchers. Chickasaws built some of the first schools, banks and businesses in Indian Territory. Today the Chickasaws celebrate, preserve and share their vibrant culture and heritage by organizing a host of events, fostering traditional songs and stomp dancing, and they recently completed the world-class Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur.

Did you Know? World-famous Chickasaw performer and storyteller, Te Ata, which means “bearer of the morning,” was described as “breathtaking,” “majestic,” and “full of grace” by reviewers in The New York Times, The Daily Oklahoman and dozens of other media in her original one-woman show interpreting legends, songs and the history of Indian tribes.


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Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Language family: Western Muskoghean


[ eng lish na m e ]

Total tribal enrollment: 215,947


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 84,308

Government: Public Law 91-495 authorized the Choctaws in 1970 to select their own officers through popular election, and the Choctaw constitution was adopted in 1983, reviving their 1860 constitution with updated modifications. The tribal nation is guided by an elected 12-member council with a chief. Tribal headquarters: 529 N 16th, Durant, 580-924-8280.

Choctaw origin stories describe Nvnih Waiya, located in what is now Winston County, Mississippi, as the birthplace of Choctaw society. The Choctaw Homeland itself includes most of Mississippi, as well as part of Louisiana and Alabama. For thousands of years the ancestors of today’s Choctaw people supported their families by farming and hunting. The communities they formed constantly changed and adapted through time. Moundville, built in part by the ancestors of today’s

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Choctaws, grew into the second largest pre-contact settlement north of Mexico a few centuries before European arrival. Spanish conquistadors landed on the Gulf Coast in the early 1500s. For the next several decades ancestral Choctaw people and their neighbors intermittently faced waves of European diseases and Spanish military invasions. In part because of Choctaw military resistance the Spanish left and the Choctaw Homeland was not entered by large groups of Europeans again until the French came in the late 1600s. During the interim the Choctaws adopted many survivors from other local tribes. Formal relations with the United States began in 1786. The Choctaw served as military allies of the U.S. in the War of 1812 and the Marcus Amerman Creek War. Soon after Choctaws [Choctaw] requested missionaries and western Engraved Whelk Shell (based on an original from spiro mounds) schools to come to Choctaw land. By the 1820s many Choctaws had become wealthy in western terms. White society coveted their land. The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 set up the removal of most Choctaw Indians to Oklahoma territory, a 500-mile journey through frozen forests and disease-stricken swamps. It is estimated that perhaps one-quarter of the people died on the trip. The years of resettlement in Oklahoma were trying ones, but the Oklahoma Choctaw were determined to rise again and began laying the foundations for governance, adopting a new constitution in 1834 and building a council house at Nvnih Waiya, Oklahoma. It was here the first tribal council meeting was held in 1838. In 1897 the Dawes Commission negotiated the extinction of tribal governments, and most tribally owned lands were distributed among tribal members. Remaining lands were opened to white settlement. Like many other tribes, Choctaws served in both World Wars with distinction, and Choctaw code talkers used the Choctaw language as a code to transmit vital battlefield information. Over the years, the Oklahoma Choctaw recovered their governance and economic footing, and are preserving their heritage and culture with events such as the annual Choctaw festival and sites such as the Choctaw Nation Museum housed in their capitol building built in 1884 in Tuskahoma.

Did you Know? In 1836 the Choctaws established the first national free public school system in the U.S. which included higher education.

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1867 the Citizen Potawatomi signed another treaty allowing tribal members to sell their allotments and using the proceeds to purchase lands in Indian Territory, resettle in the area surrounding Shawnee. Today the Citizen Potawatomi Nation is preserving and perpetuating their heritage with a Cultural Heritage Center that houses the Nation’s museum, archives, research and community-events facilities.

Did you Know? The Citizen Potawatomi Nation owns the First National Bank and Trust Co. in Shawnee. It is the largest tribally owned bank in the U.S. with eight branches nationally. Matt Bearden [Citizen Band Potawatomi, Lakota, Kickapoo, Blackfoot] Over the Hills and Far Away (detail)


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Citizen Potawatomi Nation Language family: Algonquian


Total tribal enrollment: 28,211



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Comanche Nation

[ engl is h na me ]

[ eng lish na m e ]

Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 10,294

Language family: Uto-Aztecan


Total tribal enrollment: 14,557


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 7,763

Government: The Comanche Nation established a constitution and bylaws in 1966 and the tribe incorporated in 1972. Tribe

Government: A 1938 constitution, amended in 1985 and again in 2007, forms the basis of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation government.

members 21 and older elect a seven-member business committee with chair, vice chair, secretary-

Government leadership consists of a three-person Executive Committee and a 16-person partisan

treasurer and four council members. Tribal headquarters: 584 NW Bingo Rd, Lawton. 580-492-4988,

Legislature. Tribal headquarters: 1601 S Gordon Cooper Dr, Shawnee, 405-275-3121.

Culturally and linguistically, the Potawatomi are connected to the Ojibwe and the Odawa forming the Nishnabé (the Original People). Traditionally, they form an alliance known as the Three Fires in which each group functions to serve the Nishnabé as a whole. The Bodewadmi, are the “Keepers of the Fire,” and the word Potawatomi means “People of the Place of the Fire.” Historically, the Potawatomi were a powerful Great Lakes nation that controlled millions of acres in what are now Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. They were one of the initial tribes to forge both a business and kindred bond with the French, controlling much of the northern fur trade during the 1700s. The Potawatomi fiercely resisted Anglo encroachment and proved to be formidable opponents to both the English and Americans. By the end of the 18th century, tribal villages were being displaced by white settlements, creating tension that ultimately ushered in the treaty era. Through a series of treaties, beginning in 1789, their land was dramatically reduced in size, and with the passage of the 1830 Indian Removal Act the Potawatomi were forcibly removed west of the Mississippi to a reservation in eastern Kansas. In 1861 the Potawatomi signed a treaty with the United States officially dividing the tribe. The signers wanted to sell portions of it and have their land allotted, while the other group (Prairie Band) desired to hold the land in common. Stipulations of the treaty required its signers to surrender their tribal membership and take U.S. citizenship. Doing this, these Potawatomi became the first American Indians granted citizenship and the foundation for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. In

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Archaeologists trace Comanche origins to the western Great Basin in what is now the far northwest U.S. The nomadic Comanche migrated and eventually arrived on the Great Plains, where in their heyday, they were known as the “Lords of the Plains,” renowned for their horsemanship and shrewd trading prowess. Eventually the Comanche dominated trade on the southern plains and participated in a trade network that connected the Mississippi River Valley with the Rockies and Texas with the Missouri River. Their close relationship with the Kiowas is thought to have begun sometime around 1800. Pressure from white settlement of the plains increased after the end of the Civil War. Treaty councils, ongoing reduction of the lands they controlled and increased military pressure eventually brought economic collapse and forced the Comanche onto a reservation, and by then their population had fallen to about 1,600. The reservation system led to drastic changes in their culture and the ensuing 1901 allotment devastated the tribe. By the time of the Indian New Deal, also known as the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, half of the Comanche were landless. Over the next few decades the Comanche worked to recover, sharing a joint constitution and business committee with the Plains Apaches and Kiowa from 1936-1963. The Plains soldier tradition runs strong in the Comanche. Some worked as scouts at Fort Sill, others served in American military, and in World War II Comanche code Talkers were renowned for using their native language to relay military orders and information, a code the Germans were unable to break. Numerous events honor veterans, and the Comanche have a variety

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of dance associations that today preserve their heritage and identity along with the Comanche Language and Cultural Preservation Committee, Comanche Nation Historic Preservation Office, and the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center.

after allotment, many of the lands passed out of their hands due to pressures from assimilation. Much of the Delaware’s history and culture have disappeared due to the successive removals endured by the tribe. Regardless, tribal members are proud of their heritage and are working to preserve as much of their culture as possible via a museum and archive at the Delaware headquarters. They also participate with the Caddo and Wichita in dances and play Indian football to open their spring ceremonial season.

Did you Know? In 2002 the Comanche Nation became the first tribe in Oklahoma to open a tribal college, Comanche Nation College, in Lawton. In addition, the Comanche Nation was the 94th tribe in the United States to receive federal recognition as a government sanctioned Historic Preservation Office, funded by the National Park Service.

Did you Know? The Delaware were one of the first nations to have contact with Europeans, and the first treaty between the U.S. and an Indian nation was signed with the Delaware at Fort Pitt, Penn., in 1778. The Delaware symbol is a turtle emblazoned with a yellow sun in the center of its back, and their clan is TAA KOX which means turtle in the Delaware language.

Quanah Parker, (c.1852-1911). Comanche Chief. Widely recognized as a progressive statesmen and advocate for preserving the Comanche culture. Prints and Photographs Collection, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.


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Delaware Tribe of Indians

[ engl is h na me ]



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Delaware Nation Language family: Eastern Algonquian


Total tribal enrollment: 1,422

[ eng lish na m e ]

Language family: Eastern Algonquian


Total tribal enrollment: 10,529


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 3,375

Government: The Delaware Tribe is governed by a business committee led by a chief and operates


under a constitution approved in 1982, amended in 2008 and ratified in 2009.

Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 839

Government: The Delaware Nation government operates according to a tribal resolution adopted in 1958, with a constitution and bylaws approved in 1973. Leadership is provided via an executive committee comprised of a president and five other elected members. Tribal headquarters: 2 miles north of Anadarko on Hwy 281, 405-247-2448.

The Delaware people have a long and ancient history and are the descendants of the Lenape people originally located in New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania. They were among the first Indians to come into contact with Europeans. In 1682, William Penn purchased Pennsylvania from the Delaware. Pushed westward by colonists to the Midwest, they signed 12 treaties between 1795 and 1830, surrendering their land in Indiana, Ohio and Missouri. The Delaware moved again, with one group settling on a reservation in Kansas and the other being removed to southwest Missouri. In 1820 the Missouri group, known as Absentee Delaware, entered Spanish Texas and received a land grant from Spanish authorities. In 1839 land was set aside for them on the Brazos, but that was short-lived as well when Texas settlers demanded the Indians be removed to Indian Territory. In 1859 the Delawares settled near present-day Fort Cobb, Oklahoma, sharing a reserve with the Caddos and Wichitas, but

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Tribal headquarters: 170 NE Barbara, Bartlesville, 918-336-5272.

Historically Delaware territory extended along the Delaware and Hudson river valleys in what are today the states of New Jersey, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York. The name Delaware was given to the people who lived along the Delaware River and the river in turn was named after Lord de la Warr, the governor of the Jamestown colony in what was to become Virginia. In the Delaware language, the tribe calls themselves Lenape (len-NAH-pay), which means something like “The People.” The tribe’s ancestors were among the first Indians to come in contact with the Europeans (Dutch, English and Swedish) in the early 1600s. The Delaware Tribe was respected by other tribes as peacemakers, and today the Delaware are still remembered as the “Grandfathers” by other tribes. Despite this peaceful reputation, they were also known for their fierceness and tenacity as warriors when fighting became necessary. Many of the early battles and subsequent treaties between Europeans and Native Americans were carried out by the Delaware with Dutch, and later, English settlers, who slowly encroached on Delaware lands. By the time of the American Revolution, most Delaware had been removed from their homelands and had established new settlements in what would

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later become Ohio and western Pennsylvania. The Delaware later signed the first Indian treaty with the newly formed United States Government on September 17, 1778, and the last Delaware resistance to U.S. expansion ended in 1795. Throughout the 19th century, the main body of the Delaware were continually forced to give up their lands and move westward – first to lands in Ohio, then to Indiana, Missouri, Kansas and finally, northeastern portions of what was then the Cherokee Nation, now eastern Oklahoma. One small band of Delawares left the larger group in the late 1700s and through different migrations are today located at Anadarko, Oklahoma. Another small group was later relocated to join the Stockbridge Munsee Band near Bowler, Wisconisn. Small contingents of Delawares also fled to Canada during a time of extreme persecution in the Ohio settlements and today occupy three reserves in Ontario (The Delaware Nation at Moraviantown, The Munsee-Delaware Nation, and the Six Nations Reserve). Today the Delaware Tribe maintains ties to their heritage through rituals, dance and song. They host the Delaware Powwow on Memorial Day Weekend and hold a number of Stomp Dances throughout the year. Pahsaheman, a Lenape football game that differs greatly from the nonIndian version, is still played on Saturday morning of the Delaware Powwow.

Did you Know? Probably the most famous encounter of the Delaware Tribe with Europeans was the Dutch “purchase” of Manhattan (a Delaware word) from Delaware-speaking Indians in 1626.

like their Shawnee relations in other tribes begin their ceremonial season with an Indian football game in the spring. The Eastern Band of Shawnees, known as the Spring River People, actively participate in Shawnee ceremonies with the other two Shawnee Tribes at White Oak or Little Ax ceremonial grounds. Two summer powwows are held at the Eastern Shawnee Tribal powwow grounds.

Did you Know? One of the most famous and influential Eastern Shawnee war chiefs and diplomats who ever lived was Bluejacket. Bluejacket participated in the American Revolutionary War and led a loose confederation of tribal groups – Delawares, Miamis, Wyandottes and his own Shawnee – from the 1770s to 1808.

Tsoyaha Euchee (Yuchi) Tribe of Indians

[ tr a ditiona l na me ] [ engl is h na me ]

Language family: Yuchi is a language isolate, unrelated to any other known language.


Total tribal enrollment: Yuchi population

estimates are difficult to calculate because members are not enrolled separately within the Creek Nation. However, community leaders estimated an active Yuchi population of approximately 1,500 in 2001. Approximately 240 are formally enrolled to date. Government: The Yuchis are not yet federally recognized and rely on ceremonial ground leadership for political and governmental



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guidance. The Yuchi Tribal Council is made up of the three ceremonial ground chiefs, another member


of each ground, and three representatives selected at large.

Eastern Shawnee Tribe Language family: Central Algonquian


Total tribal enrollment: 2,770


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 777

Government: Tribal government is based on a constitution originally written in 1939 and revised in 1994. A business committee is made up of six elected members, including a chief, with elections held annually. Tribal headquarters: 12755 S 705 Road, Wyandotte, 918-666-2435.

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe is one of three federally recognized Shawnee Tribes. Originally a nomadic Eastern Woodland tribe centered in Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, western Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia and Pennsylvania, the Eastern band known as the Mixed Band of Seneca/Shawnee was eventually removed and relocated to what was Indian Territory and today is Ottawa County, Oklahoma. In 1867 the tribe was given the name “the Eastern Shawnee” by the federal government. Tribal headquarters in far northeastern Oklahoma straddle the Oklahoma and Missouri border, and entry into the tribal complex is actually from Seneca, Mo. Tribal members take part in powwow and stomp dance culture and

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Tribal headquarters: 2 S Independence, Sapulpa, 918-224-3065.

[ eng lish na m e ]


The Yuchi (often also spelled Euchee) are an American Indian people of Oklahoma whose original homelands were in the present southeastern United States. At first contact with Europeans they resided in autonomous communities found in what is now eastern Tennessee, but during the colonial period they established settlements throughout the southeastern United States. In the 1700s the Yuchi became geographically and militarily associated with Creek-speaking towns settled in present Georgia and Alabama, and subsequently they were forced by the United States to move west to Indian Territory along with their Creek neighbors. After

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Richard Ray Whitman [Euchee, Muscogee Creek] Genetic Memory

relocation in the 1830s, the Yuchi established their present settlements in the northern and northwestern portions of the Creek Nation. The Yuchi are currently organized around ceremonial grounds known as: Polecat, Duck Creek and Sand Creek. Each Yuchi settlement is led by a traditional town chief known ^ and continues to hold an annual series of ceremonies at its square-ground site. The as the P’athl’@ Yuchi have strongly asserted their identity as a distinct people separate from the Creek or any other people. They have long sought to have this identity acknowledged by the United States government and by fellow Oklahomans. Yuchi culture is preserved in distinctive funeral ritual, foodways, storytelling, clothing, customs and in the use of the Yuchi language. Presently only about five fluent elder speakers of Yuchi language remain. However, through ongoing language classes, several adults are developing Yuchi language skills and a number of children are learning to use the language. The Yuchi celebrate a series of rituals throughout the year that include Indian football games in the spring followed by a series of stomp dances, summer’s Arbor Dance, the Green Corn ceremony, and finally the Soup Dance at the end of each ground’s regular season.

Did you Know? The name “Yuchi” has been translated by some historians to mean “situated yonder or over there” and it’s thought perhaps it was the response to the question “Who are you?” or “Where do you come from?” as it is not a Yuchi word. The Yuchi refer to themselves as “Tsoyaha” or “children of the sun.”


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Fort Sill Apache Tribe Language family: Southern Athapaskan


Total tribal enrollment: 650


[ eng lish na m e ]

Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: NA

Government: A constitution set in place in 1976 serves as the basis of tribal government with a chairman as tribal leader. Tribal headquarters: Apache, 580-588-2298.

Following the allotment of surrounding Indian lands, local non-Indian politicians, business leaders and U.S. Army officials agitated for the continued presence of the military near Lawton. By 1910 these individuals began the final orchestration to remove the prisoners of war from the military reservation. The Chiricahua were pressured to leave Fort Sill as a condition for their freedom, but many held out for return to their homeland or allotment at Fort Sill. A compromise solution between the Indian Bureau and the War Department led to the settling of those Fort Sill Apache who declined joining the Mescalero Apache Reservation (in New Mexico), on unused (dead) allotments from the old Kiowa-ComancheApache Reservation lands near Fort Sill. On April 2, 1913, in an event recalled by the Fort Sill Apache as “the Parting,” 180 Apache prisoners of war were relocated from Fort Sill to Mescalero, N.M. The remaining prisoners of war, numbering about 81 individuals in about 20 families, were eventually released and resettled on small allotments scattered around Apache and Fletcher, Okla., by the end of 1914. Now known as the “Fort Sill Apaches,” the tribe was dumped into the impoverished rural economy of southwestern Oklahoma and struggled to survive alongside their Indian and Euro-American neighbors. The history of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe in the 19th and 20th centuries is marked by a high level of accommodation with the larger non-Apache as well as non-Indian cultural situation of southwestern Oklahoma. This resulted in significant loss of cultural identity due to the loss of a viable land base, a native spoken language, and other aspects of Chiricahua Apache culture. The Oklahoma Fort Sill Apache continue to maintain family and kinship connections to their relatives and friends who moved to the Mescalero Apache Reservation and today the tribe operates a successful casino in Lawton. The Apache Fire Dancers and Ceremonial Dance weekend are among efforts to preserve traditional ceremonies.

Today’s Fort Sill Apache are actually the survivors and descendants of the Chiricahua Apache tribe, whose original territory covered much of what is now the American Southwest in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico along the United States border with Mexico. The American Indian tribe known today as the Fort Sill Apache was moved to Oklahoma in 1894 after continuing nearly a decade of imprisonment and exile at U.S. Army installations in Florida and Alabama. They were the last American Indian group to be relocated to Indian Territory. Upon their arrival at Fort Sill the Apache prisoners of war were told that the fort would become their permanent home, and the military reservation was enlarged for that purpose.

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Allan C. Houser [Fort Sill Apache] As Long as the Waters Flow

Did you Know? Allan C. Houser (19141994), world-renowned sculptor, is one of the most important American artists of the 20th century and was the first baby born to a Fort Sill Apache family after the end of captivity. Houser’s personal favorite sculpture, “As Long as the Waters Flow” can be seen on the south side of the Capitol in Oklahoma City.


[ tr a ditiona l na m e ]

Iowa Tribe Language family: Chiwere Siouan


[ eng lish na m e ]

Total tribal enrollment: 688


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 505


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Kaw Nation

[ engl is h na me ]

Language family: Dhegiha Siouan


Total tribal enrollment: 3,083


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 1,400

Government: Tribal government was established in 1936 with a tribal business committee of five

Government: The Kaw adopted a constitution in 1990 and are governed via a seven member tribal

members, a constitution, bylaws and a charter and chairperson as a leader.

executive council that includes a chairperson.

Tribal headquarters: Three miles south of Perkins, 405-547-2402.

Tribal headquarters: 698 Grand View Dr, Kaw City, 580-269-2552.

The native lands of the Iowas once encompassed an area of the Missouri and Mississippi River Valleys in what is presently Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska however, the Iowa lived for the majority of their recorded history in what is now the state of Iowa. Originally a Woodland culture, due to their migration to the south and west, the Iowa also adopted elements of the Plains culture, resulting in a mixture of the two. The Iowa Tribe relocated many times during its history and for many years maintained a village near Council Bluffs, Iowa, abandoning it because of aggression by the Sioux and a desire to locate closer to French traders. Thereafter the Iowa lived primarily near the Des Moines River on the Chariton/Grand River Basin. With encroachment of Euro-Americans into western lands, the Iowa Tribe ceded their lands in 1824 and were given two years in which to vacate. Additional lands were ceded in 1836 and 1838, and the tribe was removed to an area near the Kansas-Nebraska border. This proud tribe who had once roamed over a six-state area, now found themselves confined to a strip of land only 10 miles wide and 20 miles long. Subsequent treaties would reduce their lands even further. Dissatisfaction with their conditions and treatment resulted in a number of Iowa tribal members leaving the Kansas-Nebraska reserve in 1878 and moving to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. An 1883 executive order created an Iowa reservation in Indian Territory, but Iowas who wished to remain on the land near the Kansas-Nebraska border were allowed to do so. Today, the two are recognized as separate entities. The Northern Iowa are headquartered in White Cloud, Kan., while the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma offices in Perkins, Okla. The Iowas hold an annual powwow in the summer and adhere to other selected

Kaw Nation oral history suggests original homelands around the Great Lakes, but by the mid-1800s the Kanza were the predominant tribe in what was to become the state of Kansas, named Jim Pepper after the Kanza Nation. Their territory extended (1941-1992) over most of present-day northern and eastern Influential jazz Kansas with hunting grounds extending into the saxophonist, singer, and composer. West. Euro-American intruders coveted the tribe’s With both Creek desirable lands along the Missouri and Kansas and Kaw ancestry, Rivers, and a succession of treaties undermined Jim’s music was deeply influenced the Kaw Tribe and their culture. The results were by Oklahoma Indian devastating and over time the tribe’s original 20 culture. million acre domain was reduced to only 80,000 The Pepper Family of the poorest acres, sub-divided into 40-acre plots for each family at present-day Council Grove, Kan. Promised annuities were seldom delivered or were obligated to unscrupulous traders, while disease decimated the tribal population. Finally in 1872 over the strong protests of Chief Allegawaho and his people, a federal act moved the Kanza to a 100,137-acre site in northern Kay County, Okla. From a population of several thousand, the Kaw declined through disease and starvation to 1,500 by 1800 and to 194 by 1887. Yet even in Indian Territory, their land claim was not safe. The Kaw Allotment Act of 1902 legally obliterated the tribe until federal reorganization in 1959. The Kaw Nation survived adversity and today is growing stronger as a federally recognized, self-governing tribe recovering its cultural heritage and working to preserve and revive its language. The site of the last Kaw village in Kansas, Little John Creek Reserve, located three and one half miles south of Council Grove, Kan., has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is being restored as Allegawaho Memorial Heritage Park to tell the story of the Kanza. The tribe built the Kanza Museum to preserve their culture

practices of their Indian culture such as the Gourd Dance.

Did you Know? Phoebe O’Dell was the first woman elected as chairman of the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma. She held office from 2003-2005. This position has been held by women since that time. And, in January 2006 the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma opened an eagle sanctuary, Bah Kho Je Xla Chi (Grey Snow Eagle House), to protect eagles as they are sacred to the tribe. The Iowa people believe the eagle is the only creature that has seen the face of the Creator and has the ability to carry prayers to Him. The Grey Snow Eagle House is the only tribal aviary permitted to rehabilitate eagles for release back into the wild. The Grey Snow Eagle House also provides sanctuary for 19 non-releasable eagles. Visitors to the facility are able to see the bald and golden eagles housed at the sanctuary. Tr avelOK .com



and heritage and host an annual Oklahoma Powwow at Washunga Bay Powwow grounds.

Did you Know? The last full-blood Kanza Indian, William Mehojah, served as tribal chairman from 1987 to 1990, during which time the tribe wrote a new constitution to engage in economic development activity. Mehojah died in 2000. 39 |

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[ tr a ditiona l na m e ]

Kialegee Tribal Town Language family: Muskoghean


Total tribal enrollment: 439


[ eng lish na m e ]

Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 429

Government: Kialegee Tribal Town government consists of a council as the legislature and a king or chief as the executive officer. Tribal headquarters: 101 E. Broadway, Wetumka, 405-452-3987.

Culturally Kialegee Tribal Town is part of the Muscogee people but politically they constitute separate legal entities. Muscogee people were mound-builders and sun-worshipers and the Kialegee shared these traits, and were one of about 50 towns of the Muscogee (Creek) Confederacy, with homelands in what are now the states of Alabama and Georgia. After a series of treaties with the U.S. and increasing pressure to leave their homelands, 166 Kialegee families trekked to Indian Territory in the 1830s. After removal members of Kialegee Town lived south of present day Henryetta, but with the allotment of individual lands after 1899, many citizens could be found farther west near Wetumka, where the present administration building and tribal court building are located. Assimilation and allotment took its toll on the tribal town’s culture and over the years led to a transfer of land ownership from Indians to whites. When offered separate federal recognition in 1936, the Kialegee accepted along with two of the other Creek towns, Thlopthlocco and Alabama-Quassarte. Today members of the Kialegee Town celebrate an annual Kialegge Nettv Day in recognition of their history and heritage and the elders of the town strive to instill the language, culture and traditions in younger generations.

sometime after the mid-1700s and each band signed a separate cessation of Illinois lands in a treaty with the U.S. in 1819, although not all adhered and eventually some were removed forcibly. Another treaty in 1832 moved the Kickapoo to Kansas, putting them on a 12-squareBaby Lone, Kickapoo man. 1917. mile reservation where railroad promoters after the Civil Library on Congress War secretly used political connections to swindle the Kickapoo out of their lands. In disgust, some Kickapoo went to Mexico, where some had lived since 1849, others accepted allotments and lost them and still others stayed on their diminished reservation lands. Beginning in 1873 about half the tribe moved to a 100,000-acre reservation in Indian Territory. In 1891 an attorney committed outright fraud, producing an allotment document that sold “surplus” tribal lands which led to tribal division and more Kickapoo migrating to Mexico. Only gradually did some begin to return in the 1920s. In 1997 representatives from three Kickapoo groups – Kansas, Oklahoma and Mexico – met in Kansas for a summit, the first time the three were together since their division in the 1800s. The Kickapoo aggressively preserve their culture with many practicing traditional rituals and ways of life. Approximately 80 percent of Kickapoo speak only their tribal language, not English.

Did you Know? The Kickapoo were the first Indians to greet the Lewis and Clark expedition as it departed St. Louis in 1804.

Did you Know? Membership in Kialegee Tribal Town is matrilineal, meaning people become members automatically if their mother is a member. Children do not become members automatically through their fathers.

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Caiugu ( Principal People ) Kiowa Tribe

[ engl is h na me ]

Language family: Tanoan


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Total tribal enrollment: 2,713


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 1,779

Government: The Kickapoo are organized under a 1940 federal charter and the basis of their government is a 1937 constitution amended in 1977. An elected chair and five-member business committee govern the tribe. Tribal headquarters: 401 North Highway 102, McLoud, 405-964-2075.

Originally Kickapoo homelands were in the Great Lakes region but a slow and general migration of the population out of the region came sometime after 1400. The tribe split into different bands

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Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 6,958

a 1970 constitution. Tribal headquarters: 100 Kiowa Way

Kickapoo Tribe of Indians |

Total tribal enrollment: 11,500

Government: The Kiowa Tribe is governed by an elected eight-member committee and chair and the provisions of

Language family: Central Algonquian


Hwy. 9, Carnegie, 580-654-2300.

Kiowa oral tradition says their origins were in the far north, in the Yellowstone area or possibly even Canada. They were classic, nomadic Plains Indians, following the buffalo and as excellent horsemen their livelihood depended on hunting buffalo. Gradually the tribe migrated east and south

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Ah-Keah-Boat (Two Hatchet), Kiowa warrior. 1898.


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Miami Nation

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through the Black Hills and later to Colorado and Nebraska. In 1790 the Kiowa made a peace treaty with the Comanche with whom they remained allies in the coming years. The Kiowa first encountered Euro-American encroachment in 1820 and signed their first treaty with the U.S. at Fort Gibson in 1837. As the U.S. sought to connect the two coasts with railroads, treaties increasingly confined the Kiowa farther south to Kansas and eventually to Oklahoma in 1868, where they were put on lands jointly with the Comanche and Apache. Tribal members resisted confinement on their assigned reservation and it took strong military action to enforce peace. The U.S. established Fort Sill, making it one of the largest military posts in the nation, and after an attack on a wagon train in 1881, the U.S. sent Kiowa leaders Satank, Satanta and Big Tree to prison. Eventually the U.S. military prevailed and forced the Indians into reservation life. In 1892 the Jerome Commission dictated the terms of allotment to the Kiowa, opening the Kiowa’s remaining two million acres of land to settlement. Commission members forged Indian signatures on the final agreement. NonIndian invaders flooded the Kiowa lands, and the boarding school and other assimilation policies continued to wreak havoc on their culture. Beginning in the 1930s following the Indian New Deal, the Kiowa began recovering, creating a tribal government in 1940. Despite the radical and disruptive changes in their past, the Kiowa keep their culture and heritage alive with a variety of clubs, fairs and festivals, and the resurgence of the Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society and Kiowa Gourd Clan further the preservation and restoration.

Did you Know? The Kiowa Five – Spencer Asah, Monroe Tsatoke, Stephen Mopope, Jack Hokeah and James Auchiah – and a lone woman, Lois Smoky, became internationally renowned artists in the 1920s under the guidance of Oscar B. Jacobson at the University of Oklahoma. You can see many of their works today at The Jacobson House Native Art Center in Norman.

Satank (c.1800-1871). Kiowa war chief and medicine man. Member of the Koitsenko warrior society. W.S. Soule. National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Ledger art

Language family: Central Algonquian


Total tribal enrollment: 3,877


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 775

Government: Constitutional, with three branches: legislative (General Council), executive (Business Committee) and judicial (Tribal Court). Tribal headquarters: 202 S. Eight Tribes Trail, Miami, 918-542-1445.

The Miami first emerged as a distinct and different people at saakiiweeyonki (near South Bend, Indiana). Their traditional homelands include what are today the states of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, lower Michigan and lower Wisconsin. This was a shared landscape with many other indigenous peoples including, but not limited to, Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Potawatomi, Ojibwa and Kickapoo peoples. In the 1600s, the Miami, who numbered in the tens of thousands, began having frequent contact with Europeans. Over the next two centuries, Euro-American encroachment, war and disease took a high toll on the Miami. Eventually a series of treaties with the United States required the Miami to cede their traditional homelands. In 1840 the tribe signed a treaty calling for their removal beyond the Mississippi. In 1846, after many attempts to avoid the devastating move, the Miami, by then numbering in the hundreds, were herded at gunpoint into canal boats to begin the long journey to a reservation in the Unorganized Territory near what later became La Cygne, Kansas. The Miami remained in Myaamionki Katrina Mitten [Miami] Waapankiaakamionki (Miami lands by the La Cygne River) until Indigenous (detail) 1873, when the tribe was once again forcibly relocated. This relocation forced the tribe into Indian Territory, which 34 years later, became the state of Oklahoma. By the time the tribe reached Indian Territory, there were fewer than 100 adults remaining. As with many tribes, allotment policy dealt yet another blow to the Miami and eventually they were landless. Today, however, the Miami are growing their land base and revitalizing their heritage, language and cultural identity. The Miami run their own elders food program, library, historical archive, cultural and natural resources offices, environmental programs, housing program, social services programs and childcare program. Once a year the tribe hosts its National Gathering, which includes Family Day, the annual Miami Nation Powwow and the Annual Meeting of the General Council.

Did you Know? The word “Miami,” used all over Oklahoma, Kansas, and the Midwest, comes from “Myaamia,” which means the “downstream people.”

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Modoc Tribe Language family: Penutian


[ eng lish na m e ]

Total tribal enrollment: 235


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 120

Government: The Modocs are governed by four council members and a chief.


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Muscogee (Creek) Nation

[ engl is h na me ]

Language family: Mvskoke


Total tribal enrollment: 69,162


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 55,591

Government: Operates under a tribal constitution adopted in 1979 and three separate branches of government – executive (chief &

Tribal headquarters: 418 “G” St SE, Miami, 918-542-1190.

second chief), legislative (National Council), judicial (tribal court system).

Tribal headquarters: U.S. Hwy 75 & S 56 Loop, Okmulgee, 918-732-7600.

The ancestral home of the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma consisted of some 5,000 square miles along what is now the California-Oregon border. While their tribal territory encompassed only a small area, it was one of panoramic eco-diversity with the perennially snow-capped peaks of the majestic Cascade Mountains in the distance. The arrival of fur traders, prospectors and finally farmers and settlers created enormous pressure on the tribe and they signed a reservation treaty in 1864. Life on the reservation was less than ideal and in 1865, Captain Jack (Kientpoos or Kintpuash) led his band of Modoc off the reservation and returned to the Lost River area of Northern California, refusing to return to the reservation, and requesting a separate Modoc reservation on Lost River. Angered by Captain Jack’s refusal, the U.S. Army was determined to capture Jack and his followers and return them to the Klamath reservation in Oregon. The clash between the two fueled the explosive Modoc War. The Modoc retreated to the nearby Lava Beds and with no more than 57 braves for almost six months, Captain Jack and his braves held off an army that came to number more than 1,000 men. After the war ended in 1873, Captain Jack and five of his warriors became the Captain Jack (c.1837-1873). only Indians in American history to be tried by a military commission for war Chief of the Modoc and crimes and Captain Jack was executed. In October 1873, 155 Modoc– 42 men, leader during the Modoc War. 59 women and 54 children – were loaded into four boxcars that were designed to transport cattle. These boxcars were coupled between two railroad cars filled with soldiers. Men and boys who were capable of bearing arms were shackled. After a 2,000-mile winter trip, they arrived at the Quapaw Agency in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma. The first years following removal to Indian Territory were difficult ones for the Modoc, with a great deal of sickness, death and many hardships due to the corruption of the Indian agent assigned to the tribe. By the time allotment arrived in 1891 there were only 68 Modoc left to receive allotments, with many of those born after removal. In spite of the odds, the Modoc persevered, survived and were granted federal recognition in 1978. Today the tribe is preserving and restoring its heritage and culture in tribal archives and a library.

The Muscogee (Creek) people are descendents of a remarkable culture that before 1500 spanned much of what is now the Southeast U.S. Early ancestors of the Muscogee constructed magnificent earthen pyramids along the rivers and later built expansive towns within these same broad river valleys, and this union of several tribes evolved into a confederacy. The Muscogee were once one of the most sophisticated political organizations north of Mexico. Member tribes were called tribal towns and each maintained political autonomy and distinct land holdings. The coming of Europeans dramatically changed the Muscogee Confederacy. In the early 19th century, U.S. Indian policy focused on the removal of the Muscogee and the other Southeastern tribes to areas west of the Mississippi River. In the removal treaty of 1832, Muscogee leadership exchanged the last of cherished Muscogee ancestral homelands for new lands in Indian Territory, in what is now Oklahoma. While a portion of Muscogee (Creeks) settled in the new homeland after the treaty of Washington in 1827, for the majority of Muscogee people the process of severing ties to a land they felt so much a part of proved impossible and in 1836 and 1837, the U.S. Army forced the removal of more than 20,000 Muscogee (Creeks) to Indian Territory.  In the new nation, tribal towns were reestablished and the nation as a whole began to experience a new prosperity until the American Civil War. While the majority of Muscogee people desired neutrality, it proved impossible and eventually Muscogee citizens fought on both Union and Confederate sides. In the late 1800s, the Dawes Commission began negotiating with the Muscogee Nation for the allotment of the national domain and in 1898, the U.S. Congress passed the Curtis Act dismantling the national governments of the Five Civilized Tribes and allotment of Muscogee lands became inevitable. In the 197os, the Muscogee people began pursuing their sovereign rights to maintain a national court system and levy taxes. Today

Did you Know? The Modoc War of 1872-1873 cost the U.S. government, at its lowest estimate, half a million dollars. In comparison, the reservation requested by the Modoc on Lost River, which the U.S. government refused to grant them, would have cost at most $10,000. Tr avelOK .com



Richard Ray Whitman [Euchee, Muscogee Creek] Crazy Snake Patriots

the Muscogee (Creek) people are actively engaged in the process of accepting and asserting the rights and responsibilities of a sovereign nation as well as knowing and preserving their distinct cultural heritage.

Did you Know? In 1890, noted statesman Chitto Harjo helped lead organized opposition to the dissolution of the Muscogee national government and allotment of collectively held Muscogee lands. In his efforts, he epitomized the view of all Muscogee people that they possessed an inherent right to govern themselves.


naming ceremonies. Each June on three consecutive weekends, the Osage hold E-lon-shka dances in each of three districts – Hominy, Gray Horse and Pawhuska – and the Osage are working to preserve their language and heritage. The Osage Nation also maintains the Osage Tribal Museum, Library & Archives, with exhibits and artifacts relating to Osage culture from the 1600s to the present, as well as archives, photo collections and a gift shop.

Did you Know? The Osage Nation asserts that it occupies the only federally recognized reservation in the state of Oklahoma.

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Jiwere Nutache

Osage Nation Language family: Dhegiha Siouan


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Otoe-Missouria Tribe

[ engl is h na me ]

Total tribal enrollment: 11,394


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 5,682

Government: The Osage Nation operates under a constitutional government approved in 2006 with three branches, executive (principal chief), legislative (congress), and judicial. Tribal headquarters: 827 Grandview Ave, Pawhuska, 918-287-5555.


Language family: Siouan

Total tribal enrollment: 2,465


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 1,666

Government: The Otoe-Missouria Tribe operates under a constitution and by-laws initiated in 1984. Tribal headquarters: 8151 Hwy 177, Red Rock, 580-723-4466.

The culture of the Osage Nation reaches back far into the Mississippian culture of the midcontinent region, centered at Cahokia, Illinois. A written record of the Osage began in 1673. At that time traders and explorers began to document their encounters with tribes of the Midwest in what was later to become the United States. The Osage were considered a Siouan people, semi-nomadic in nature and recorded mainly throughout the Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas area. They were a nation of people with a familial culture of the Woodland tribes. All nations east of the Mississippi traveled the Trail of Tears and the Osage were no different. They were removed and settled in Kansas, but by the time they negotiated the treaty of 1865 to purchase land in Oklahoma, the Osage population had decreased by 95 percent. As a result only 3,000 Osage People walked across the Kansas border into their new land. The Osage of today uphold and sustain their culture of long-standing traditions by embracing the lessons and culture of their Anita Fields [osage] — Plate and Redmound ancestors, participating in dances, feasting and

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The story of the confederated tribes of Otoe and Missouria, once two separate peoples, began centuries ago when a mass of people located near the Great Lakes withdrew from their parent stock and departed on a quest of their own. By the turn of the 18th century, the Otoe and Missouria had left evidence of their separate and independent villages along the way, as affirmation of their pilgrimage. The Otoe resided near the Platte River in Nebraska; the Missouria were on the Grand River in what is now the state of Missouri. In 1804 Lewis and Hilda Moore Harris, Laura Moore, Madge Pettit Dent and Rhoda Dent Compton. Clark visited the Otoe, paving the way for the flood of Descendants of the Dent Family white Europeans seeking Indian lands. With them came a peculiar and lasting relationship between the Otoe-Missouria and the United States government. A treaty period began with the treaty of 1817, negotiated to promote peace and friendship between the tribe and its neighbors. In the interest of peace and survival, the Otoes and Missourias reunited about this time as the Missouria population was in decline due to ongoing warfare with neighboring tribes. Numbering a little more than 100 members, the majority of the remaining Missouria were united with the Otoe. Since that union, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe has been recognized by other tribes and by the federal government

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Hoke Dent (BlueHair) and Miriam Dent Descendants of the Dent Family

as one people. Under the terms of an 1881 act, northern OtoeMissouria were removed to a 129,000-acre reservation north of what is today Stillwater, Okla., near Red Rock Creek. The reservation officially ended in 1904 with the implementation of the Dawes Act wherein the Otoe-Missouria were individually allotted small parcels of land rather than owning a large swath of land communally. Today tribal members perpetuate tribal traditions with feasts, dances and an annual encampment held the third weekend in July. The Otoe-Missouria Tribe maintains a tribal library and a museum is in the planning stages. The tribe also owns four casinos – Lil’ Bit of Paradise and 7 Clans Paradise Casino in Red Rock and Lil’ Bit of Paradise Travel Plaza and First Council Casino in Newkirk.

Did you Know? The Ot0e-Missourias fought in court to receive just settlement of their land claims and in the mid-1940s became the first tribe west of the Mississippi River to win their claims. After years of wrangling, in 1964-67 the Indian Claims Commission awarded a judgment of $1.2 million to the Otoe-Missouria.


One of the greatest Indian chiefs and skilled leaders during this time was Chief Pontiac, a member of the Otter Clan of the Ottawa, who became the head of a loose confederacy consisting of the Ottawa, Ojibwa and Potawatomi Tribes, formed in response to offensive English policies in their territories. The ensuing conflict became known as Pontiac’s Rebellion. After the passage of President Jackson’s Indian Removal Act of 1830, and due to increasing encroachment by Euro-Americans, the tribe signed over their lands in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. They were very hesitant to leave their lands, and it wasn’t until April 1837 that the Ottawa of Blanchard’s Fork, Roche de Boeuf and Oquanoxies’s Village agreed to migrate to Kansas where they were allotted 74,000 acres of land. Within five years of the move, nearly half of the Ottawa had died. Realizing their children would need to be educated to survive, in 1862 the tribe gave the Baptists acreage for a school, as well as another 20,000 acres to be sold to raise money to build a university for the education of whites and Indians, named after the Ottawa, and the tribe negotiated an arrangement with the university for Ottawa children to be educated free of charge. Under increasing pressure to cede remaining lands, in 1867 the Ottawa sold their land in Kansas and moved to northeastern Indian Territory. By this time there were only about 200 Ottawa. In 1956 the U.S. government decided the tribal government served no purpose and terminated its existence. This was a dark period in the tribe’s history but they didn’t give up and in May 1978, Ottawa Tribal governance was restored, followed by establishment as a federally recognized government in 1979.

Did you Know? A major focus of Ottawa cultural activities is the annual Ottawa Powwow held on Labor Day weekend. Among the foods the Ottawa enjoy at their annual powwow is traditional succotash, made from beans and dried corn.

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Ottawa Tribe Language family: Algonquian


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Total tribal enrollment: 2,490


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 723

Government: The Ottawa Tribe operates under a 1979 constitution with a business committee


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Pawnee Nation

[ engl is h na me ]

composed of five members, including a chief in the leadership role. Tribal headquarters: 13 S 69 A, Miami, 918-540-1536.

Language family: Caddoan


Total tribal enrollment: 3,210


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 1,725

Government: The Pawnee are governed by the Pawnee Business Council, the tribal constitution

The original homelands of the Ottawa contain one of the oldest prehistory sites on the North American continent – the Shaguiandah site on Manitoulin Island, Ontario – estimated to be 30,000 years old. The Ottawa ranged over parts of Ontario and the Great Lakes region and as prolific traders traveled over vast distances which led to early contact with Europeans. They met Samuel de Champlain in 1615 near the French River in Canada. The arrival of French traders transformed the tribe, engaging them more deeply in European-Indian politics, and the tribe became integral to fur trade. Traditionally the Ottawa lived in wigwams or wikis, wore buckskin clothing, and cultivated corn, beans and pumpkins.

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and by-laws and the Corporate Charter. Tribal headquarters: 881 Little Dee Rd, Pawnee, 918-762-3621.

The prehistoric homelands of the Pawnee were traced to the Central Plains for several centuries prior to the arrival of Europeans, centered in what is now northern and central Nebraska. Historically one of the largest and most prominent Plains tribes, they numbered 10,ooo or more during early contact with Europeans. Pawnee life was characterized by alternating patterns of cultivation and High

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Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma

[ engl is h na me ]

Bunky Echo-Hawk [Pawnee, Yakama] Home Movies

Kaskaskia | Peoria Piankeshaw | Wea

Language family: Algonquian


Total tribal enrollment: 2,920


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 778

Government: The Peoria Tribe of Indians adopted a constitution in 1939 and a federal charter in 1940. A new constitution was ratified in 1981 and revised and approved in 1997. Leadership is comprised of an elected, seven-member

Plains bison hunting. They lived in permanent villages of dome-shaped earth lodges that often housed two or more families. During the 1800s the Pawnee people were subjected to an incessant interplay of destructive forces that radically changed their lives, largely the result of an expansionist U.S. encroachment by white immigrants. In 1833 the Pawnee ceded their lands south of the Platte River, and in 1857 they accepted a small reservation on the Loup Fork of the Platte River, together with monetary and other economic provisions. A series of epidemics and constant attacks by Sioux war parties took a steady toll on the Pawnee population. Finally in 1874 the tribe began to remove to Indian Territory where the Pawnee settled on former Cherokee land between the forks of the Arkansas and Cimarron rivers, south of the Osage Reservation. In 1878 as a result of the Allotment Act individual families were encouraged to move to individual farms and agency officials relentlessly attacked many Pawnee social customs. The Pawnee people experienced poor health, coupled with inadequate sanitation and health care and as a result, the population reached a record low of 629 individuals in 1901 and did not begin to recover until the 1930s. Beginning in 1906 the Pawnee no longer had a tribal government and they remained unorganized politically during the first three decades of the 20th century. Chiefs continued to act for the tribe in dealing with U.S. government officials and after reorganization in 1937 Pawnee leaders began a long effort to regain Pawnee lands. Ownership was returned to the tribe in 1968 and in 1980 a tribal roundhouse, modeled on the traditional Pawnee earth lodge, was built to serve as a social center for dances and other events. Today the Pawnee Nation is making strides in teaching their language to younger generations, preserving tribal knowledge with a library, and celebrating history and heritage with dances, ceremonies and the Pawnee Homecoming Powwow, an annual, four-day event held in early July.

business committee led by a chief. Tribal headquarters: 118 S Eight Tribes Trail, Miami, 918-540-2535.

The Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma is a confederation of Kaskaskia, Peoria, Piankeshaw and Wea Indians united into a single tribe in 1854. The tribes which constitute The Confederated Peorias, as they then were called, originated in the lands bordering the Great Lakes and drained by the mighty Mississippi. They are Illinois or Illini Indians, descendants of those who created the great mound civilizations in the central United States 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. Forced from their ancestral lands in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri, the Peorias were relocated first in Missouri, then to Kansas, and finally to Indian Territory. While in Kansas, increasing encroachment from Euro-Americans in the 1840s and 1850s brought about cooperation among the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankeshaw and Wea Tribes to protect their holdings. With the Treaty of May 30, 1854, the United States recognized their cooperation and consented to their formal union as the Confederated Peoria. In addition to this recognition, the treaty also provided for the disposition of constituent tribal lands set aside by the treaties of the 1830s. Ten sections were to be held in common by the new Confederation with each tribal member to receive an allotment of 160 acres and the remaining or “surplus” land to be sold to settlers with proceeds to be used by the tribes. The Civil War caused considerable turmoil among all the people of Kansas, especially the Indians. After the war, most members of the Confederation agreed to remove to Indian Territory under the provisions of the so-called Omnibus Treaty of February 23, 1867. Some tribal members elected at this time to remain in Kansas, separate from the Confederated Tribes, and become U.S. citizens. The lands of the Confederation members in the Indian Territory were subject to the provisions of the General Allotment Act of 1887. The allotment of all the tribal land was made by 1893 and by 1915, the tribe had no tribal lands or any lands in restricted status. Although the U.S government’s “Termination Policy” terminated supervision of the Peoria Tribe and its property in 1956, federal recognition was restored to the Peoria Tribe in 1978. Peorias today are maintaining old traditions within a modern context, participating in powwows with neighboring tribes, hosting stomp dances, and holding their own powwow celebration each June.

Did you Know? Pawnee dancers’ regalia are covered with images such as star motifs, celestial designs and bird imagery symbolizing Pawnee beliefs about the origin and nature of the universe, and images of lightning bolts, stars and crosses with circles recall night skies and creation stories.

Did you Know? The Peoria Ridge Golf Course located in Miami is owned by the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma and is an 18-hole championship course featuring five sets of tee boxes to accommodate any skill level. Rolling hills and large bodies of water offer beautiful scenic vistas and a challenging round of golf.

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Ponca Nation Language family: Dhegiha Siouan


[ eng lish na m e ]

Total tribal enrollment: 3,548


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 2,949

Government: The Ponca Nation approved a constitution in 1950 which provides for several business committee members. Tribal headquarters: 20 White Eagle Dr, Ponca City, 580-762-8104,

Traditionally the Ponca share common social and cultural characteristics with the Omaha, Osage, Kaw and Quapaw peoples. They once lived in the area of northern Kentucky and southern Indiana along the Ohio River, then migrated west into what is today known as Nebraska. The Ponca first encountered Europeans in 1789 when they lived in villages along Ponca Creek near the Niobrara River in northeastern Nebraska. Despite several treaties with the U.S., in 1868 due to an “administrative blunder” by federal agents, the entire Ponca Reservation was given to the Sioux. When the error was discovered, the U.S. government chose to remove the less powerful Poncas south to Indian Territory rather than admit the mistake. The tribe protested for nearly a decade, but under military escort, the Ponca’s forced removal to Indian Territory began in the spring of 1877. Their trek was beset by great hardship and upon their arrival to northeastern Oklahoma, they found no shelter and little food. After the first two years almost one-third of the tribe had perished and many others were ill and disabled. It was at this time one of the most famous Ponca sagas began. When his eldest son died in 1878, the Ponca Chief Standing Bear and 65 followers began a journey back to Nebraska to bury his son in traditional Ponca territory. Standing Bear was arrested in Nebraska for leaving the reservation without permission. The ensuing trial in federal court resulted in the landmark decision which declared Indians to be considered “persons” with individual rights under the law. Allotment and the Land Rush of 1889 dramatically undermined tribal lifestyle, yet in spite of the allotments, the Ponca continued to gather together as a tribe for the winter months and take part in traditional tribal life. Late in the 19th century non-Indian homesteaders began moving into areas surrounding the Ponca Reservation. In 1899 Ponca City was incorporated north of the Reservation and then a large percentage of the Ponca land was leased to the Miller Brothers and became the basis for the famous 101 Ranch. As original allottees died, the Miller Brothers purchased their allotments as they became available for sale. In 1911 oilman E.W. Marland struck oil on land leased from a Ponca tribal member named Willie Cries. It proved to be a major strike ushering in an era of unprecedented oil production in central Oklahoma. By the early 1920s local oil refineries began to dump oil waste into the Arkansas Brent Greenwood [Ponca, Chickasaw] Sings His Song (detail)

River and Ponca City used the river for disposal of raw sewage. Quickly the river water became unfit to drink, life in the river died off and the animals which had lived adjacent to the river all but disappeared, making already trying circumstances for the Ponca even more difficult. Boarding schools and missions further undermined tribal culture. Despite these difficulties, over the years the Ponca persevered and today the Ponca’s resolve and sense of community sustain them as both a vibrant and vital part of Indian Country and the nation.

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Did you Know? Standing Bear Park, Museum & Education Center features artifacts, artwork and educational material, along with the park’s focal point, a magnificent 22-foot bronze sculpture of Chief Standing Bear. You’ll also find audio centers honoring the six American Indian tribes around Ponca City and two miles of walking trails surrounded by native grasses and graceful trees.


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Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma

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Language family: Dhegiha Siouan


Total tribal enrollment: 3,818


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 1,651

Government: The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma has no constitution. An elected seven-member business committee, which includes a chair, operates under the authority of a Governing Resolution adopted in August 1956. Tribal headquarters: 5681 South 630 Rd, Quapaw, 918-542-1853.

The name “Quapaw” is a derivative of the tribal term Ugakhpa, meaning “downstream people.” It is believed the Quapaw were part of a larger group known as the Dhegiha Sioux that split into the tribes known today as the Quapaw, Osage, Ponca, Kansa and Omaha. Originally they all resided in the Ohio Valley and then separated and migrated to different areas, with the Quapaw following the Ohio River downstream to the Mississippi River eventually reaching what is now Arkansas. In the mid 1600s the French explorers Marquette and Joliet were traveling down the Mississippi using Illini Indians as their guides. The guides referred to the Quapaw tribe as “Akansea,” which later became the word Arkansas. The downstream people settled where the Arkansas River met the Mississippi, organizing into four villages and this is where the Quapaw stayed until they were pushed out by Euro-Americans several hundred years later. Like many other American Indian tribes, the Quapaw experienced a severe population decline due to European diseases. In the late 1600s it’s estimated there were more than 5,000 Quapaw, but over a period of 80 years their population dropped to 700. Sadly, due to the massive decline in

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population, much of early Quapaw history and lore, which was passed on orally, died with its storytellers. The French were the first Europeans to contact the Quapaw, and the tribe allied itself with the French in exchange for weapons. The Quapaw were faithful to their French allies in the tumultuous century that followed when major Europeans powers were vying for control of the continent. In 1803 Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States and in ensuing years, like other tribes, the Quapaw signed multiple treaties with the U.S. government only to see the U.S. continue demanding more Quapaw land. In 1833 a final treaty provided for a reservation in the far northeastern corner of Indian Territory. Due to astute work by Quapaw Tribal Secretary, Abner W. Abrams, the tribe managed allotment in such a way that no Quapaw lands were opened to white settlers. The discovery of lead and zinc on Quapaw lands however led to a period of upheaval and eventual pollution of much of the land, resulting in the area receiving Superfund designation in 1983. Today the Quapaw celebrate and preserve their heritage and history with the Quapaw Tribal Museum and the Quapaw Tribal Library.

Jim Thorpe (Wa-Tho-Huk, Sac & Fox) (1888-1953). Born near Prague, Okla., Thorpe’s natural athletic abilities were quickly recognized as he lead his Carlisle Indian School football team to upset victories over numerous nationally recognized college teams. He would go on to win Gold Medals for both the Pentathlon and Decathlon in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, where Sweden’s King Gustav V proclaimed him “the world’s greatest athlete.” He is still regarded by many to be one of the most versatile and graceful athletes of the modern sports era.

Did you Know? The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma holds an annual powwow each Fourth of July. It’s the oldest powwow in America and attracts the participation of many people from far and wide.

Thakiwaki & Meskwaki

[ tr a ditiona l na m e ]

Sac & Fox Nation

Language family: Algonquian


Total tribal enrollment: 3,600

[ eng lish na m e ]


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: NA

Government: A 1937 constitution replaced by a new document in 1987 forms the basis of the Sac & Fox Nation’s government. Government leaders consist of an elected five-member business committee that includes a principal chief and other members. Tribal headquarters: 218 South 8th Avenue, Stroud, 918-968-3526.

The indigenous homelands of the Sac and Fox Nation were in the western Great Lakes region. “Sac and Fox” is actually a historical accident, a merging of “Sac” (Sauk), or Thâkîwaki, and “Fox,” or Meskwâki misapplied by the U.S. government during treaty negotiations in 1804. Although historically associated and closely related by language and culture, the two peoples have always remained geographically and politically distinct. The Meskwaki have resided on the Meskwaki Settlement in central Iowa since 1856, and the Thakiwaki have been in central Oklahoma since the 1870s. The contemporary Sac and Fox population in Oklahoma claim to be predominantly of Thakiwaki decent and typically refer to themselves as both “Sac and Fox” and Sauk, and to their heritage language as Sauk. At the time of European contact, the Thakiwaki resided in the Saginaw Valley near Saginaw Tr avelOK .com



Bay of Lake Huron and Green Bay of Lake Michigan on the east-central peninsula of what is now the state of Michigan. They were moved from their indigenous lands through a series of armed conflicts and treaties, residing for a time in Illinois (1764 to 1830), briefly in Iowa (1831 to 1846) and in Kansas (1847 to 1867), prior to being removed to the Indian Territory in the 1870s. During their time in Illinois, the principal Thakiwaki settlement was situated a short distance above the confluence of the Mississippi and Rock rivers. The most notable armed conflict involving the Thakiwaki is perhaps the three-month Black Hawk Conflict of 1832 and entailed an extended series of skirmishes between U.S. infantrymen as Black Hawk and a band of 1,000 Indians that included 500 warriors utilized diversionary military tactics to protect the women, children and elders with him. Although Black Hawk survived, the skirmishes ended tragically with the slaughter of unarmed Thakiwaki crossing the Mississippi River. Afterward only 150 to 200 of the original 1,000 warriors rejoined their companions on the Iowa side of the river. Some Thakiwaki call the Black Hawk Conflict a historical example of an enduring spirit of resistance and Black Hawk’s name is symbolically represented at the center of the contemporary Sac & Fox Nation seal and flag. The conflict is also viewed as an historic watershed; it was the last armed resistance to Euro-American encroachment and resettlement east of the Mississippi River. The Sac and Fox Nation hold numerous social events celebrating their culture and heritage including an annual powwow held in July on tribal grounds, numerous benefit and honor dances, veterans’ events, banquets, holiday celebrations and the occasional rodeo.

Did you Know? Olympian Jim Thorpe (1888-1953), is perhaps the best known Sac and Fox tribal member and is symbolically represented on the Sac & Fox Nation seal and flag by five Olympic rings. 55 |

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Seminole Nation Language family: Mvskoke


Total tribal enrollment: 16,338

[ eng lish na m e ]


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 13,533

Government: The Seminole Nation operates under a federally recognized 1969 constitution. The tribe is led by a 28-member

1934. By the following year the Seminole had reestablished their government and in 1970 the tribal council was reorganized to adhere to its traditional structure. Many Seminole frequently participate in the stomp dance, green corn ceremonies, traditional fasts and other ancient rituals. The tribe’s Seminole

council with a principal chief and an assistant chief. Each of the 14 bands selects a representative to the

Nation Museum documents and interprets the history and culture of its people.

council. Tribal headquarters: 36645 Hwy 270, Wewoka, 405-257-7200.

Did you Know? Internationally recognized sculptor Enoch Kelly Haney, a Seminole Nation citizen, created “The Guardian,” an inspiring 22-foot-tall bronze sculpture that sits atop the Oklahoma capitol dome.

The Seminole, one of the Five Civilized Tribes, were originally part of the Creek, a loose confederacy of ethnic groups and tribes in southern Georgia, northern Florida and Alabama. During the late 18th century some Lower Creek villages cut ties with their neighbors and moved south into northern Florida where they became known as Seminole, thought to perhaps derive from cimarron, the Spanish term for runaway. By the 19th century encroachment on Seminole lands and continuous harassment by Euro-Americans led to the tribe being designated for removal. The Seminole resisted removal during the Seminole Wars (1817-18, 1835-42, and 1855-58) and although they were not conquered, thousands moved west in their aftermaths. The first group of Seminole arrived in Oklahoma in 1836 and by 1839 most had been relocated west. A minority of the Seminole (between 350 and 500) remained in Florida and eventually formed the separate Seminole Nation of Florida in 1957. After their relocation to Indian Territory the Seminole were initially confined to the Creek Nation where the U.S. allowed them to have some self-governance only if they adhered to the general laws of the Creek. Frustrations with these terms and general conditions in the region led two bands of Seminole under Wild Cat and John Horse to migrate to Mexico in 1849. In 1856, led by Chief John Jumper, the Seminole signed a treaty with the Creek and the U.S. government and established the Seminole Nation. During the American Civil War of 1861-65, most Seminole sided with the Confederacy and many dissident refugees fled to Kansas. Under the Curtis Act of 1898 the Dawes Commission dissolved the Seminole government and divided its territory among approximately 3,000 enrolled tribe members. The restrictions accompanying allotment did little to protect the Seminole’s interests in the land. Through sale, often by fraudulent means, many Seminole families and individuals lost their land holdings. By 1920 only about 20 percent of the Seminole lands remained in Seminole hands. Of those who retained their property, a few became wealthy following the discovery of the Greater Seminole Oil Field in 1923. The policy of allotment was repealed by Congress in

Enoch Kelly Haney [Seminole] The Guardian LSB, Photo Division

Hodinohso:ni: (Onondowa’ ga’ ne Gayogoho:no’)

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Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma

[ engl is h na me ]

Language family: Northern Iroquoian


Total tribal enrollment: 4,892


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 2,200

Government: The Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma is governed by a constitution approved in 1937, and an elected seven-member business council with a chief. Tribal headquarters: 23701 S. 655 Rd, Grove, 918-787-5452.

The homeland of both the Seneca and Cayugas originated in what is today the upstate Finger Lakes Region of the state of New York. The Seneca are the western-most members of the League of the Iroquois (Six Nations) know as the “Keepers of the West Door” while the Cayuga located to the east of the Seneca and are referred to as “Younger Brothers” within the League of Six Nations. During the 17th and 18th century Iroquoian bands and tribal remnants occupied areas in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Also known collectively as “Mingo” or as “Seneca,” they are the ancestors of today’s Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma. In 1817 the United States established two reservations for the Ohio Iroquois “Senecas.” One was for the Seneca of Sandusky, a mingling of Cayuga, Seneca, Onondaga, Mohawk, Erie, Conestoga and others, along the Sandusky River and the second was for a consolidated band of Seneca and Shawnee at Lewistown. Both groups exchanged their Ohio reserves for adjoining land in the Indian Territory in 1831. Approximately 358 Seneca of Sandusky arrived in Oklahoma in the summer of 1832. About 258 members of the Mixed Band of Seneca and Shawnee arrived later that year. Following negotiations with the Stokes Commission in December 1832, the Tribes readjusted their reservation boundaries and joined together as “the United Nation of Senecas and Shawnees.” Most Seneca and Shawnee spent the Civil War years as refugees in Kansas. The U.S. government separated the Seneca from the Shawnee in 1867. The Sandusky

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and Mixed Band Seneca were organized as a single Seneca tribe and the Shawnee became the Eastern Shawnee. Both surrendered land that was later occupied by Peoria, Piankashaw and other Indians. During the 1840s, 1870s and early 1880s the Seneca received newcomers, including Cayuga, Mohawk and Seneca proper, from Canada and New York and had a population of roughly 255 in 1890. The Seneca Reservation was first allotted to 130 individuals in 1888; by 1902 a total of 372 allotments had been issued. Today the Seneca-Cayugas continue their rituals as well as ceremonial calendar and dances such as the Green Corn Ceremony and during this annual ceremony, the Peach Seed game and a ritual football game continue to be played. Oklahoma tribal members continue to interact with their New York and Canadian kinfolk as well as with neighboring northeastern Oklahoma Tribes for ceremonies, athletic contests and powwows. The primary language of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe is Cayuga of which the Seneca language is closely related.

Did you Know? The Seneca-Cayugas were the first tribe in Oklahoma to organize after the enactment of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of 1936.



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Shawnee Tribe Language family: Central Algonquian


[ eng lish na m e ]

Total tribal enrollment: 2,194


U.S. government decimated the Kansas Reservation to 160,000 acres. This, coupled with the brutal abuses perpetrated against them by white settlers during and after the Civil War, forced the Kansas Shawnees to relocate to Cherokee Nation in northeastern Oklahoma. The 1854 Shawnee Reservation in Kansas was never formally extinguished and some Shawnee families retain their Kansas allotments today. The federal government caused the former Kansas Shawnees and Cherokees to enter into a formal agreement in 1869, whereby the Shawnees received allotments and citizenship in Cherokee Nation. The Shawnees settled in and around White Oak, Bird Creek (Sperry) and Hudson Creek (Fairland), in Oklahoma, maintaining separate communities and separate cultural identities. Known as the Cherokee Shawnees, they would also later be called the Loyal Shawnees. Initial efforts began in the 1980s to separate the Shawnee Tribe from Cherokee Nation culminated when Congress enacted Public Law 106-568, the Shawnee Tribe Status Act of 2000, which restored the Shawnee Tribe to its position as a sovereign Indian nation. Today the Shawnee continue their traditional ceremonies such as the Bread Dance, Green Corn Dance and Buffalo Dance on an annual basis.

Did you Know? The Loyal Shawnees filed an Indian Claims Commission suit for lands seized in contravention of treaties in 1825, 1831 and 1854. They finally won a judgment in 1959, and formed the Loyal Shawnee tribal business committee in December 1960.

Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 1,060

Government: The tribe operates under a business committee with 11 members led by a chairperson. Tribal headquarters: 29 S Hwy 69a, Miami, 918-542-244.

[ engl is h na me ]

The Shawnees are an Eastern Woodlands tribe pushed west by white encroachment. They share a linguistic and historic background with the Absentee Shawnee. In 1793 some of the Shawnee Tribe’s ancestors received a Spanish land grant at Cape Girardeau, Missouri. After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase brought this area under American control, some Cape Girardeau Shawnees went west to Texas and Old Mexico and later moved to the Canadian River in southern Oklahoma, becoming the Absentee Shawnee Tribe. The 1817 Treaty of Fort Meigs granted the Shawnees still in northwestern Ohio three reservations. By 1824 about 800 Shawnees lived in Ohio and 1,383 lived in Missouri. In 1825 Congress ratified a treaty with the Cape Girardeau Shawnees ceding their Missouri lands for a 1.6million-acre reservation in eastern Kansas. After the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Ohio Shawnees on the Wapakoneta and Hog Creek reservations signed a treaty with the U.S. giving them lands on the Kansas Reservation. The Lewistown Reservation Shawnees, together with their Seneca allies and neighbors, signed a separate treaty with the federal government in 1831 and moved directly to Indian Territory. The Lewistown Shawnees became the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. In 1854 the

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Rvp-Rakko Etulwv

[ tr a ditiona l na me ]

Thlopthlocco Tribal Town

Language family: Mvskoke


Total tribal enrollment: 809


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 641

Government: Governed by a constitution, the tribe has a business committee which consists of an elected king and four town warriors. Tribal headquarters: Okemah, 918-560-6198.

Thlopthlocco Tribal Town was formed toward the end of the 18th century and was an upper Creek town of the old Creek Confederacy situated in Alabama and Georgia in historical times. Thlopthlocco (Rvp-Rakko), an upper Creek town, was established near Wetumka, Alabama. Rvp-Rakko (Thlopthlocco) meant “Tall Cane” or “Big Reed”, so named for the town’s location in the vicinity of a stream where there was an abundance of cane or reed. Thlopthlocco was known as a Red Town and in

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Chebon Dacon [Muscogee Creek, Thlopthlocco] Thlopthlocco Church

Grant Richards, Tonkawa Chief Photographs of American Indians. / F.A. Rinehart.

Creek culture Red Towns carried red beads and administered war functions. Thlopthlocco Tribal Town was one of the 44 or more Creek tribal towns immigrating to Indian Territory due to the Indian Removal Act of 1830. During removal members of the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town settled along the north fork of the North Canadian River in what is now central Oklahoma. The Town was one of the most western settlements of the Creeks, establishing its square grounds and rekindling its fire between Wetumka and Okemah. In 1938 Thlopthlocco Tribal Town ratified its constitution and bylaws under the provisions of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of June 26, 1936 and ratified its federal charter of incorporation in 1939. In 1941 the Secretary of the Interior placed 1,900 acres of land in trust for the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town for its exclusive use and benefit. On a tract of those lands near the North Canadian River the Town members constructed a council house made of hand-hewn stone using Works Progress Administration labor. Thlopthlocco Tribal Town members participate in activities at nearby ceremonial grounds.

Tonkawa Massacre of October 1862. The Tonkawa were removed from the Brazos River Reservation in Texas in 1884 and transported by rail beginning in Cisco, Texas, to a temporary stop at the Sac-Fox Agency near Stroud, Oklahoma. A baby born en route was named “Railroad Cisco.” The entire tribe wintered at the Sac-Fox Agency until spring and then traveled the last 100 miles by wagon fording many rivers swollen with rain and slogging through axle-deep mud caused by severe spring rains. They reached the Ponca Agency on June 29 and finally reached the Fort Oakland Reserve near what is now the city of Tonkawa, on June 30, 1885. The journey is known as the Tonkawa “Trail of Tears,” a time the tribe commemorates with their annual powwow which takes place the last weekend in June. Today the Tonkawa celebrate and preserve their distinctive heritage with ceremonies, dances

and music and the Tonkawa Tribal Museum displays artifacts and photographic histories.

Did you Know? The title of Thlopthlocco Tribal Town’s leader in the Muscogee language is “Mekko” and when translated in English means king. The designation reflects an ancient tradition.



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Tonkawa Tribe Language family: Tonkawan


[ eng lish na m e ]

Total tribal enrollment: 600


Did you Know? The origin of the Tonkawa name is from the Waco term “Tonkaweya” meaning “they all stay together”.


[ tr a ditiona l na me ]

United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians

[ engl is h na me ]

Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 476

Government: The Tonkawa are governed by a constitution ratified in 1938 and amended in 1977 and

Language family: Iroquoian


Total tribal enrollment: 14,300


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 13,300

1994. An elected tribal business committee oversees their government, led by a president.

Government: The tribe is governed by a 13-member tribal council led by a chief. A constitution, bylaws,

Tribal headquarters: 1 Rush Buffalo Rd, Tonkawa, 580-628-2561.

and corporate charter were ratified in 1950. Tribal headquarters: West Willis Rd, Tahlequah, 918-431-1818.

The Tonkawa belong to the Tonkawan linguistic family that once comprised a number of small tribes indigenous to south central Texas. They were one of the most warlike tribes during nearly two centuries of conflict with their enemy tribes on the Western plains and with the Spanish and later, American settlers in the Southwest. The Tonkawa people had a distinct language, unique to them and, were nomadic in their early historic period, moving their tipi villages according to the wishes of the chiefs of the different bands. They planted a few crops, but were well-known as great hunters of buffalo and deer, using bows and arrows and spears for weapons, as well as some firearms secured from early Spanish traders. They became skilled riders and owned many good horses in the 18th century. From about 1800 the Tonkawa were allied with the Lipan Apache and were friendly to the Texans and other southern divisions. By 1837 they had for the most part drifted toward the southwestern frontier of Texas and were among the tribes identified in Mexican territory. Due to their loyalty to the Confederacy during the Civil War, the tribe was nearly exterminated by pro-Union Indians in the

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Keetoowah Cherokee people believe that “Kituwah” or “Keetoowah” is the true name of the Cherokee people given to them by the Creator atop a mountain peak known as Kuwahi. This site today is referred to as Clingman’s Dome and straddles the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. The Keetoowah Cherokees also received their laws and sacred fire in their ancestral homelands (present day North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama) and still see themselves as the guardians of traditional Cherokee ways today. This does not mean that the tribe of the 21st century stands back as the world passes it by. The tribe administers millions of dollars in state, federal, and casino-generated funds; issues its own license plates; adjudicates legal matters in its own court system; and provides a variety of services to tribal members of all ages, functioning as a sovereign nation. Keetoowah Cherokees trace their governmental lineage to the Old Settler Cherokees who settled in Arkansas by treaty in 1817 and moved to present-day northeastern

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Wichita Grass House c. 1927. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis, “The North American Indian,” Volume 19.

Oklahoma, also by treaty, in 1828. The arrival of the main body of Cherokees over the Trail of Tears in 1838 and 1839 led to a power struggle with the Old Settlers over the structure of the government. The contest ultimately ended in a bloody civil war. During the American Civil War, Keetoowah Cherokees fought on the side of the Union, but the bulk of the Cherokee Nation sided with the Confederacy. Once the war ended, Keetoowah Cherokees censured the Cherokee National Council for negotiating the postwar treaty with the United States. The Keetoowah Cherokees strongly opposed allotment and single statehood. Before the national government of the Cherokee Nation was dissolved in 1906, the Keetoowah Cherokees became the only ‘body politic’ representing the Cherokee people, received through federal court. The Keetoowah Cherokees continued to operate as such until receiving federal tribal recognition under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act with a ratified constitution in 1950, making the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma the first federally recognized Cherokee tribal government in the state of Oklahoma.

Did you Know? constitution in 1859.

The Keetoowah Cherokees authored their first written

Kirikir i:s

( also spelled kitikiti’sh )

[ tr a ditiona l na m e ]

Wichita and Affiliated Tribes

( Wichita, Keechi, waco and tawakoni ) Language family: Caddoan


Total tribal enrollment: 2,542


Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 1,854

Government: The tribe operates under a tribal governing resolution adopted in 1961, with amendments made throughout the years. Daily business is conducted by an elected seven-member executive committee led by a president. Tribal headquarters: 1 and ¼ miles N on Hwy 281, Anadarko, 405-247-2425.

Indigenous to Oklahoma, the ancestors of the historic Wichita and Affiliated Tribes were probably the first people to settle upon the Southern Plains, ranging from south central Kansas to northern Texas, living in villages of grass lodges, raising bountiful crops of corn, squash and beans, conducting fall and winter buffalo hunts and carrying on extensive trade with the Pueblos of the Southwest. First contact with Europeans came with Coronado’s 1541 quest to find the fabled Quivira, thought to be in present Kansas. Early historic accounts describe the Wichita and their allies as numbering from 15,000 to 33,000 and as occupying villages of 2,000 or more, with large grass-lodge villages, a dual bison-hunting and horticulture economy and ample fields of maize, beans and gourds. Due to the United States removal policy and in order to establish peace among the tribes, the U.S. moved the Eastern tribes onto the plains amongst the indigenous tribes, and in 1835 the U.S. entered into a treaty with “the Comanche

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and the Wichetaw Indians and their associated Bands.” The Wichita remained north of the Red River throughout much of the 19th century, despite frequent forays south to the Mexican border and visitations to Tawakoni and Waco, who were assigned in 1855 to the Brazos River Reservation in Texas. With the objective of settling southern plains tribes in Indian Territory, the federal government leased lands, between the 98th and 100th Meridians and the Canadian River and Red River, from the Choctaw and the Chickasaw. When the Wichita were assigned to a reservation in 1859 in the Leased District, they were joined by some of the Delaware, Caddo, Tawakoni, Waco and two Comanche bands that had been exiled from Texas reserves. The Civil War, inhumane U.S. policy and governance, the disappearance of the buffalo, and epidemic European diseases brought the tribe to near extinction with only about 300 members surviving at the beginning of the 20th century. Although the agency discouraged it, the Wichita had maintained highly valued pony herds and after 1880 families began to acquire cattle and hogs and the Wichita adapted older cultural patterns to their changing world. What later became known as Riverside Indian School opened at the Wichita agency in 1871 and by the turn of the century missions and missionary schools were well established on the reservation. During the reservation years, the Wichita Proper, Tawakoni, Waco, and Kichai came to be designated as the Wichita and Affiliated Bands. One of the objectives of the 1887 General Allotment Act (Dawes Act) was the dissolution of the tribal land base and of tribal organization. The legislation included provisions for the allotment of 160 acres to individual Indians and the opening of unallotted or so-called “surplus” reservation land to white settlement. The Wichita resisted allotment and argued the need for continuing to hold a portion of the reservation in common because their land was more suited to grazing than to farming, hence 160 acres was not sufficient for self-support, but were overruled. On July 4, 1901, President William McKinley issued a proclamation opening both the Wichita and the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache reservations by lottery. Anglo-Americans claimed homesteads or settled as tenants on Wichita allotments and the former Wichita Reservation was annexed to Oklahoma Territory. In response, the Wichita pursued land claims in the U.S. Court of Claims. At the end of the 1930s they were paid $675,000 for “surplus” lands on their reservation and in 1985 the tribe settled its land claim suit for land taken in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, receiving $14 million. Today the tribe preserves their language and heritage through dances, powwows and songs and the Wichita Tribal Museum, open by appointment.

Did you Know? The Wichitas are the sole Indian nation of the Southern Plains who remain in their place of origin. 63 |

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ba sed on tr aditional cr eek or na mental patter n


Festivals, Powwows & Events

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Wyandotte Nation Language family: Northern Iroquoian


Total tribal enrollment: 4,958

[ eng lish na m e ]


All across Oklahoma, in towns, cities and universities, hundreds of colorful, compelling festivals and majestic powwows celebrate American Indian culture, dances, songs, communities, and veterans. The list shown here is merely a small sampling of a richly diverse schedule of events taking place throughout the year. Details and dates shown are approximate so before going, please consult these resources:, and

Tribal enrollment in Oklahoma: 1,200

Government: The Wyandotte Nation operates according to a 1999 constitution and bylaws, governed by a business committee comprised of a chief, second chief and four councilpersons. Tribal headquarters: 64700 E Hwy 60, Wyandotte, 918-678-2297.

More than a dozen tribes of the Great Lakes Region collectively called themselves Wendat, much like saying, “I am an American.” Five of these tribes comprised a confederacy known as the Huron Confederacy. The founder of the Huron Confederacy was the Attignawantan. Another tribe, the Tionontati, lived adjacent to the Attignawantan; however, they were not part of the Huron Confederacy. They also referred to themselves as being Wendat. The Wyandotte are in fact, descendants of the Tionontati and the Attignawantan. They were two tribes; however, culturally they were almost identical. After a series of wars with the Iroquois Confederacy known as the Beaver Wars, in 1649-50, they set aside their individual tribal names, united as one people and called themselves Wendat, and this was their collective name. In 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, invited the Wendat to settle near Fort Detroit. Within a few years a portion of the tribe ventured south. They settled around Upper Sandusky, Ohio, where they held a position of honor among other tribes of the Ohio Valley. In Ohio, after sustained contact with the British, their traditional name Wendat became corrupted and spelled as Wyandot. Pressure from settlers forced the Treaty of 1843 and their removal to land west of the Mississippi River. Upon arriving in the West, no land or provisions were available. Arrangements were made and land was purchased from the Delaware. Their new reservation was located on highly sought and fought over land in Kansas, which led to the Treaty of 1855 and the Wyandot being terminated [disbanded]. Their land was quickly allotted and sold to white interests. In 1857, some Wyandot who were unwilling to accept citizenship relocated to Indian Territory. After the Civil War concluded, in 1867, approximately 200 successfully sought reinstatement as a tribe. The name Wyandotte was officially used after the 1867 Treaty and reflects an influence from the French language. Although they came to Indian Territory to remain Indian, their small population, external influences and the decisions they made, compromised their traditional way of life. In the early 1900s, many did not teach their children their native language and soon those capable of continuing the traditional ceremonies were gone. Their tribal interests focused on the care of orphans, land disputes and ongoing issues with the government. In 1983, Leaford Bearskin was elected chief. He had a vision and determined purpose for his people. Under his leadership the Wyandotte have grown to almost 5,000 members, secured their right of self-governance, initiated cultural renewal and achieved economic growth unlike any other time in their history. In September the Wyandotte Nation hosts an annual Culture Days, a celebration that includes language, history and special-interest classes, a powwow and other activities.

Did you Know? The Wyandotte were instrumental in the founding of Detroit, Mich., and Kansas City, Kan. At one time Kansas City was named Wyandotte City. Counties named Wyandotte exist in Michigan, Ohio and Kansas. Tr avelOK .com



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R ed Ea r t h F e s t i va l | Fir st w e e k in June

Choc taw Nat ion La bor Day F e s t i va l La bor Day w e e k & w e e k e nd Celebration of

Presented by Oklahoma City’s Red Earth Museum, the annual Red Earth Festival represents more than 100 Indian nations, tribes and bands from across the country. The festival features a juried fine art competition and market, youth art competition, dance competition and parade during the three-day event. Oklahoma City, Cox Convention Center | 405-427-5228 |

Choctaw culture with inter-tribal powwows, exhibits, stickball games, fast-pitch tournaments, arts and crafts, carnival rides, food vendors, free concerts of local & national acts and loads of family fun. Tuskahoma, Choctaw Nation Capital Grounds | 580-924-8280

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M usc oge e (C r e e k ) Nat ion F e s t i va l Mid - June Annual celebration includes cultural exhibitions,

S ta nding Be a r P o w w o w | Last F r iday and S at u r day o f S e p t e mbe r The Standing Bear

an award-winning rodeo, concerts featuring local and national acts, sports tournaments, arts and crafts, food, a parade through historic downtown Okmulgee, an art market on the Creek Council House Museum lawn, senior citizen's activities, children's activities and many more festivities for the entire family. Okmulgee, 555 Tank Farm Rd | 800-482-1979 | 918-732-7992

Powwow is hosted by the six north-central tribes of Oklahoma and features inter-tribal dancing, exhibition dancing, contest dancing, tiny tot contests and the crowning of the Standing Bear Princess. Visitors will also find a variety of arts and crafts vendors, along with a wide variety of food vendors. Ponca City, | Hwy 60 & Standing Bear Parkway | 580-762-1514

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Indi a n Hil l s P o w w o w | T hir d w e e k e nd in Ju ly Inter-tribal powwow with dancing, contests, arts & crafts booths and food vendors. Oklahoma City, 9300 N Sooner Rd [ frontier country ]

O k l a hom a Indi a n Nat ion P o w-w o w End o f Ju ly, f ir st o f A u gu st Annual powwow featuring dances, contests, arts & crafts, hand-game tournament, buffalo chili cook-off, 5k buffalo run & fun walk, food and more.

Concho, 7 miles north of El Reno, Hwy 81 | 405-476-1134 [ great plains country ]

A m e r ic a n Indi a n E x p o | Fir st w e e k in A u gu st Anadarko's annual American Indian Expo showcases the arts, crafts and traditions of 14 plains Indian tribes. Event also features one of the largest American Indian parades in Oklahoma. Enjoy contest dancing, a carnival, dance contests, pageants, fry bread contest, talent presentations, crafts and concessions. , Caddo County Fairgrounds | 405-284-6241 [ r e d c a r p e t c o u n t r y ]

P onc a P o w w o w | Last w e e k in A u gu st One of the oldest annual powwows in Oklahoma is also home of the fancy war dance championships. Ponca City, 7 miles south of Ponca City, White Eagle Park 580-762-8104

Chic k a s aw A nnua l M e e t ing & F e s t i va l Lat e Sep t e mbe r , e a r ly Octobe r Cultural event and festival celebrates the Chickasaw Nation and its unique heritage. Demonstrations on cultural significance, traditional food tasting, children's activities, arts & crafts and food vendors are featured. Tishomingo, Sulphur | 408 W 8th Street 800-593-3356 | 580-371-2040 | [ g r e e n c o u n t r y ]

M i a m i NOW : Nat i v e O k l a hom a W e e k e nd Fir st w e e k e nd in Octobe r Step back in time and rediscover American Indian culture with a collection of heritage and historical events including Native American food cook-offs, dance exhibitions, fancy dancer competition, open drum and dance arena and arts & crafts shows. American Indian artwork will be on display, along with a car show, 5K run and college football game. Multiple American Indian Tribal Nations represented. Miami, Downtown Main Street | 918-542-4481 [ g r e e n c o u n t r y ]

Cherok ee A r t Ma rk e t | Second w e e k e nd in October Annual Cherokee Art Market brings together an elite group of Native American artists to display and sell their work. More than 150 influential Native American artists from across the nation are featured at this event. Browse traditional and contemporary works in pottery, painting, sculpture, basketry and other media. Catoosa, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 777 W. Cherokee Street 918-439-4364 |

ba sed on tr aditional yuchi or na mental patter n

Luck of the Draw With more than 80 tribal casinos in Oklahoma you’ve just hit the jackpot. Spin the wheel for a weekend of fun and a nightlife bonanza at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Catoosa, a short drive up Interstate 44 from Tulsa. This savvy Hard Rock-branded property is the first in the Midwest and includes restaurants, shows, outstanding collections of authentic Cherokee art, Oklahoma music memorabilia, a hotel, motel, golf course and casino. Take in dinner at McGill’s, the casino’s premier dining spot, where a quiet atmosphere reigns and efficient service sets the tone for fine dining. Menu items range from spinach-artichoke dip to baby greens with grilled chicken and raspberry vinaigrette to Norwegian salmon or Alaskan king crab drizzled in drawn butter. For more casual fare, the casino offers an additional four restaurants.

Choctaw casino, Durant

With more than 2,300 games, headline entertainment and a tantalizing collection of dining options, Riverwind Casino, just off I-35 near Norman and operated by the Chickasaw Nation, is another premier choice in Oklahoma’s pantheon of casinos. million dollar elm casino, WinStar World Casino in Thackerville sets a high standard for nightlife, Bartlesville dining and gaming action. Colorful fountains, hand-painted frescoes and towering arches invite you to play your way through themed gaming rooms such as the opulent Palace, cosmopolitan Madrid and grand Rome. Catch game fever at Firelake Grand Casino in Shawnee with plenty of dining and entertainment and more than 1,800 popular slot machines, and if you’re traveling through Osage country, be sure to visit any one of seven welcoming casinos. Get your lucky night on at Downstream Casino Resort in Quapaw, with more than 2,000 of the latest and most popular slot machines, a variety of game tables and live poker room, and keep the streak of fun going at Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, which boasts plenty of game tables, 3,000 electronic games and an Oasis Water Park with slides, Jacuzzis, flowing streams and cabanas. Oklahoma is jamming with ways to find your own royal flush – bet you didn’t know we’re first in the nation for the number of tribal casinos – so wherever you’re headed in our grand state, be sure to stop in and light up your luck.


City, Address

Phone Number


Ada Gaming Center

Ada 1500 N Country Club Rd


Black Gold Casino

Wilson 288 Mulberry Lane


Bordertown Casino & Bingo

Seneca 129 W Oneida St

800-957-2435 | 918-666-8702

Buffalo Run Casino

Miami 1000 Buffalo Run Blvd


Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson

Fort Gibson 103 N Georgetown Rd & Hwy 62


Cherokee Casino Roland

Roland I-40 & Hwy 64

800-256-2338 | 918-427-7433

Cherokee Casino Sallisaw

Sallisaw 1621 W Ruth


Cherokee Casino Tahlequah

Tahlequah 16489 Hwy 62


Cherokee Casino West Siloam Springs

West Siloam Springs 73000 W US Hwy 412

800-754-4111 | 918-422-5100

Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs

Claremore 20900 S 4200 Rd

800-760-6700 | 918-283-8800

Chisholm Trail Casino

Duncan 7807 N Hwy 81


Choctaw Casino

Stringtown 895 N US Hwy 69


Choctaw Casino

Broken Bow 1790 S Park Dr


Choctaw Casino

McAlester 1638 S George Nigh Expy

877-904-8444 | 918-423-8161

Choctaw Casino

Pocola 3400 Choctaw Rd

800-590-5825 | 918-436-7761

Choctaw Casino

Grant 1508 Hwy 271 S


Choctaw Casino

Idabel 1425 SE Washington

800-634-2582 | 580-286-5710

Choctaw Casino & Resort

Durant 4418 S Hwy 69/75

800-788-2464 | 580-920-0160

Cimarron Casino

Perkins 821 W Freeman Ave


Comanche Nation Casino

Lawton 402 SE Interstate Dr

866-354-2500 | 580-354-2000

Comanche Red River Casino

Devol Hwy 70 & Hwy 36

866-280-3261 | 580-299-3370

Comanche Spur Casino

Elgin 9047 US Hwy 62


Comanche Star Casino

Walters RR 3 Box 82A


Creek Nation Casino

Okmulgee 1901 N Wood Dr


Creek Nation Casino of Eufaula

Eufaula 806 W Forest


Downstream Casino Resort

Quapaw 69300 E Nee Rd

888-396-7876 | 918-919-6000

Fair Meadows Racetrack

Tulsa 4145 E 21st


FireLake Casino

Shawnee 41207 Hardesty Rd


FireLake Grand Casino

Shawnee 777 Grand Casino Blvd


First Council Casino

Newkirk 12875 N Hwy 77


Fort Sill Apache Casino

Lawton 2315 E Gore Blvd


Gold Mountain Casino

Ardmore 1410 Sam Noble Pkwy


Gold River Casino

Anadarko Hwy 281 N

800-280-1018 | 405-247-6976

Golden Pony Casino

Okemah I-40 Exit 227 Clearview Rd

877-623-0072 | 918-560-6125

Goldsby Gaming Center

Norman 1038 W Sycamore Rd


Grand Lake Casino

Grove 24701 S 655 Rd

800-426-4640 | 918-786-8528

n Arbuckle Country

n Frontier Country

Choctaw casino, Durant

n Great plains country n Green country n Kiamichi Country n red carpet country

Hard Rock hotel & casino Tulsa, Catoosa

riverwind casino, NOrman

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osage casino, Tulsa

ba sed on tr aditional cheyenne or na mental patter n


City, Address

Phone Number


Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa

Catoosa 777 W Cherokee St

800-760-6700 | 918-384-7800

High Winds Casino

Miami 61475 E 100 Rd


Keetoowah Cherokee Casino

Tahlequah 2450 S Muskogee Ave


Kickapoo Casino

Harrah 25230 E Hwy 62


Kiowa Casino

Devol S Hwy 36 / E 1980 Rd

866-370-4077 | 580-299-3333

Lucky Star Casino

Clinton 101 N Indian Hospital Rd


Lucky Star Casino

Concho 7777 N Hwy 81


Madill Gaming Center

Madill 902 S 1st St


Muscogee Creek Nation Casino

Muskogee 3420 W Peak Blvd


Mystic Winds Casino

Seminole 11277 Hwy 99


Native Lights Casino

Newkirk 12375 N Hwy 77

877-468-3100 580-448-3100

Newcastle Gaming Center

Newcastle 2457 Hwy 62 Service Rd


Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino

Sand Springs 301 Blackjack Dr


Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino

Skiatook 6455 W Rogers Blvd


Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino

Ponca City 73 N City View Rd


Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino

Tulsa 951 W 36th St N

800-699-7777 | 918-699-7667

Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino

Bartlesville 222 Allen Rd


Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino

Hominy HC 66 Box 865


Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino

Pawhuska 2017 E 15th St Hwy 99


Quapaw Casino

Miami 58100 E 64th Rd


America Meredith (Cherokee)

Remington Park Racetrack and Casino

Oklahoma City 1 Remington Place

800-456-4244 | 405-424-1000

Anita Fields (Osage)

River Spirit Casino

Tulsa 8330 S Riverside Dr

800-299-2738 | 918-299-8518

Riverwind Casino

Norman 1544 W State Hwy 9


Sac and Fox Casino

Shawnee 42008 West Tech Rd


Seven Clans Paradise Casino

Red Rock 7500 Hwy 177

866-723-4005 | 580-723-4005

SouthWind Kaw Nation Casino & High Stakes Bingo

Newkirk 5640 N LA Cann Dr

866-529-2464 | 580-362-2578

Sportspage Club

Oklahoma City 401 S Meridian

800-522-6620 | 405-947-7681

Stables Casino

Miami 530 H Street SE

877-774-7884 | 918-542-7884

Sugar Creek Casino

Hinton 4200 N Broadway

Sulphur Gaming Center Texoma Gaming Center

Gratitude Marcus Amerman [Choctaw] Quanah Parker (detail)

With heartfelt gratitude we honor and thank the artists who gave permission for their beautiful works to grace the pages of this guide. When in a gallery featuring their work, please support them and their communities by purchasing their art.

Acee Roman Chibitty (Comanche, Shawnee, Delaware, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Muscogee Creek) Bunky Echo-Hawk (Pawnee, Yakama)

Ben Harjo, Jr. (Seminole, Shawnee) Brent Greenwood (Ponca, Chickasaw)

Jereldine Redcorn (Caddo) Joanna Underwood (Chickasaw) Marcus Amerman (Choctaw) Matt Bearden (Citizen Band Potawatomi, Lakota, Kickapoo, Blackfoot) Nathan Hart (Cheyenne–Arapaho) Nocona Burgess (Comanche) Quanah Burgess (Comanche) Richard Ray Whitman (Euchee, Muscogee Creek)

Chebon Dacon (Muscogee Creek, Thlopthlocco)

Shan Goshorn (Cherokee)

Brent Learned (Arapaho)

Sue Fish (Chickasaw, Choctaw)

Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne)

Tom Fields (Muscogee Creek)


Heidi Bigknife (Shawnee)

Sulphur 23 W Vinita


Kingston 1795 Hwy 70 E


Thunderbird Casino

Norman 15700 E Hwy 9

800-259-5825 | 405-360-9270

Tonkawa Casino

Tonkawa 10700 Allen Dr

877-648-2624 | 580-628-2624

Treasure Valley Casino

Davis I-35 Exit 55 (Hwy 7)


Washita Gaming Center

Paoli St Hwy 145 N


WinStar Casinos

Thackerville 777 Casino Ave

800-622-6317 | 580-276-4229

Wyandotte Nation Casino

Wyandotte 100 Jackpot Pl

866-447-4946 | 918-678-4946

n Arbuckle Country

n Frontier Country

Hard Rock hotel & casino Tulsa, Catoosa

n Great plains country n Green country n Kiamichi Country n red carpet country

choctaw casino, durant

million dollar elm casino, bartlesville

Acknowledgements & Resources We thank the following for their gracious input, guidance and advice: • The 39 tribal nations of Oklahoma

• Oklahoma Indian Tourism Association

• American Indian Cultural Center and Museum

And acknowledge the following sources for providing much of the detailed background that informs this guide: • Tribal nation websites • “Indian Tribes of Oklahoma: A Guide,” by Blue Clark • Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission website • Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, a project of Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma State University Library Electronic Publishing Center

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Oklahoma Indian Country Guide