Native American Day in Tulsa has grown from its beginning in 2017 to include many more participants in the years following. Native American Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October – this year on Oct. 12.
In the unusual year of 2020, the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission has decided to hold events for Native American Day virtually, for safety from COVID-19. To follow Tulsa Native American Day on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/TulsaNativeAmericanDay . To watch the activities on Oct. 12, go to Facebook: https://fb.me/e/1s69bRcPp or YouTube: https://youtu.be/ef60mWPwmws . The schedule is attached with this news release.
This year’s different, virtual presentation of Native American Day will allow even more participation in this event, according to Cheryl Cohenour, Indian Affairs Commission Chair. “We are hoping to reach many more viewers this year as our virtual event happens,” Cohenour said. “Those tribes and tribal citizens that have not been able to attend in the past will get a good idea of what our Native American Day celebration is about in Tulsa. We are one of the largest events of this type in the United States and we have something for everyone.”
The theme for this year’s celebration of Native American culture and heritage is “Protect the Sacred.” Cohenhour said it is “not only about protecting our way of life and our culture but highlighting the missing and murdered indigenous men, women, and children of Indian country.” “We will no longer be ‘invisible,’ and we wish to be seen and heard,” she continued. “We hope that our event attracts viewers from around the United States and they watch to celebrate with us.”
The City of Tulsa began officially celebrating Native American Day in 2017, when Mayor G.T. Bynum signed a resolution approved unanimously by the Tulsa City Council for the annual observance.
“Tulsa’s Native American Day has come a long way since we began this celebration in 2017,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “Tulsa is included within the boundaries of the Cherokee, Creek and Osage Nations. I am proud that we are recognizing our heritage and the tribes that make Tulsa the unique cultural destination it is today.”
The Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission thanks the following sponsors of this year’s event: ONE Gas Inc., Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Williams, ONEOK Inc., Oklahomans for Equality, Tulsa Public Schools and Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa.
Native Americans are a significant part of the demographic of the Greater Tulsa area and Oklahoma. Oklahoma is home to 39 federally recognized Native American tribes.
Native Americans have continuously inhabited the Greater Tulsa area for thousands of years. By celebrating Native American Day, Tulsa formally recognizes its indigenous populations who have made valuable contributions to our community through shared knowledge, stewardship of the land, labor, science, technology, philosophy, arts, and deep cultural influences that have substantially shaped the character of the city of Tulsa.
Native American Day organizers are offering celebration T-shirts with artwork by J. NiCole Hatfield for sale until the day of the event. To order a shirt, go to https://ihcrcnativeamericanday.itemorder.com/sale A Native American Day Virtual Market also will be held on Oct. 11, from 2 to 5 p.m., and Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Go to https://fb.me/e/5D50UKUNI
The City’s website, www.cityoftulsa.org, has a tool to help with translation assistance for any page. Website visitors can click the drop-down menu on any page that says, “Select Language,” and choose from one of more than 100 different languages.