Native American Heritage Month 2014

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(picture from http://www.uco.edu/student-life/diversity/programsandevents/nativeamericanheritagemonth.asp)

On August 3, 1990, President George H. W. Bush first declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month when he signed a bill stating that “the President has authorized and requested to call upon Federal, State and local Governments, groups and organizations and the people of the United States to observe such month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_Indian_Heritage_Month). It is also commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_Indian_Heritage_Month).

“Federal Agencies are encouraged to provide educational programs for their employees regarding Native American history, rights, culture and contemporary issues, to better assist them in their jobs and for overall awareness.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_Indian_Heritage_Month).

Locally, the Jodi G. Marquette American Indian Wills Clinic at Oklahoma City University School of Law allows law students working under the supervision of a licensed attorney to provide estate planning services to American Indians who own an interest in Indian land in Oklahoma. For more information, visit http://law.okcu.edu/?page_id=13854. This clinic is part of the Native American Legal Resource Center (NALRC), which “provides capacity building services to tribal communities and creates opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the broader University Community to utilize knowledge and resources to serve the needs of Indian Country in a culturally appropriate and efficient manner for a maximum positive impact.” (http://law.okcu.edu/?page_id=621).

Finally, the Law Library has created a display with books on various Native American topics, located in the lobby of Gold Star (pictured below). There are books about the Native American mascot controversy, Native American culture as it is depicted in mainstream American pop culture, as well as other contemporary issues. There are also many books about general Native American history.

Native American Heritage Month 2014

By: Brian King, Reference Assistant, and Sabrina A. Davis, Reference Librarian

September Celebrations of Native American Cultures in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a strong and vibrant Native American heritage, and this month there are three huge events taking place across the state that celebrate the Native American culture. The events are all open to the public and give attendees a chance to learn more about the various tribes hosting them, and take in traditional foods, arts, and music. Each event offers an abundance of activities for all ages, including concerts, pageants, dances, and various sporting competitions. The Seminole Nation Days will be held on September 19-21 in Seminole, OK, The Standing Bear Powwow will be held on September 26-27 just outside Ponca City, OK, and the Comanche Nation Fair will be held on September 26-28 Near Lawton, OK. All three events will be an excellent chance to learn more about the Native American cultures that have helped shape the state of Oklahoma and celebrate their importance and contributions. Details about the three events are below.

Seminole Nation Days

The Seminole Nation is holding its 46th annual Nation Days Festival on September 19-21, 2014. The Pow Wow will be on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at the Mekusukey Mission Arena Grounds, and gourd dancing will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. There are numerous other Nation Days events during the next two weeks, including:

  • Princess Pageant (Thursday, September 18, 2014)
  • Golf tournament (September 19, 2014)
  • 5K run/1 mile walk (September 19, 2014)
  • Parade (September 20, 2014)
  • Horseshoe tournament (September 20, 2014)
  • Traditional Dress Contest (September 20, 2014)
  • Frybread Eating Contest (September 20, 2014)
  • Men’s fast pitch tournament (September 20-21, 2014)
  • Intertribal Stompdance (September 29, 2014)

For more information, specific times, and registration forms, check out http://sno-nsn.gov/culture/snodays.

Standing Bear Powwow

On the last Friday and Saturday of September for the past 19 years, the Kaw, Osage, Otoe-Missouria, Pawnee, Ponca, and Tonkawa Tribes have gathered in Ponca City to celebrate their heritage and Native American cultures. This year’s Powwow will be held September 26-27, 2014. The event started in 1995 and was designed as a way to help non-native people learn about and appreciate the tribes’ cultures. The six tribes all have their headquarters in the Ponca City area. Every year there are about 3,000-5,000 people that attend the Powwow. The events begin Friday evening with traditional gourd dancing. There are food vendors and artisans that will have booths setup throughout the weekend. Saturday evening visitors get a free meal, which typically consists of traditional Native American staples like corn soup.

The event is free to attend and is open to the public. There will be ample parking available, but they suggest bringing a lawn chair as seating is limited.

For more information, specific times, and directions, visit http://www.travelok.com/article_page/the-standing-bear-powwow-a-gathering-of-tribes-a-celebration-of-culture.

Comanche Nation Fair

The Comanche Nation Fair takes place in Lawton and is the largest event held by the Comanche Nation. The Fair will take place September 26-28, 2014. Numerous activities will be held, including:

  • Powwow, with gourd dancing and fire dancing
  • Parade
  • Rodeo
  • Free Concert
  • Art Show
  • Basketball Tournament
  • Softball Tournaments
  • Horseshoe Tournament
  • Quilt Show
  • Teen Dance
  • Fun Run and Spirit Walk
  • Horse Racing
  • Bull Riding
  • Storytelling
  • Car show
  • Cedar Smoking Ceremony

There will be many food vendors as well as artisan booths on-site for visitors to enjoy. There is also children’s carnival that has many free rides for the kiddos. Events are free to attend and open to the public.

For more information, specific times, and directions, visit http://www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.16385.

– By Brian King, Reference Assistant