Celebrating Native American Day as the second Monday of October, the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission will host free, public events for Tulsa’s second annual Native American Day on Oct. 8. Tulsa will observe Native American Day on the same day as Columbus Day.
“We couldn’t be more excited for this year’s celebration and want people to know that this event is all about inclusiveness. It is a way for us to entertain, educate and celebrate the native cultures that enrich the Tulsa community,” said Cheryl Cohenour, Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commissioner and Native American Day event chair. “We’ve been blessed with amazing partners this year who share our passion for youth, education and culture. It is through their support that this event has flourished so much in one year. We encourage Tulsans to join us for a fun, family-friendly day, as we celebrate the Native American community here in Tulsa.”
Events are planned at Guthrie Green, 111 East M.B. Brady St., from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. The schedule is as follows:
11 a.m. – Opening Ceremony: Emcee Matt Roberts from the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission to introduce the Commission and DeVon Douglass, Chief Resilience Officer – Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity, who will give welcome and proclamation.
11:30 a.m. – Parade: will move from Cameron Street at the back of Guthrie Green west to Boulder Avenue, and then back east on M.B. Brady Street, to end at Guthrie Green.
1-2 p.m. – Program:
Posting of Colors: Kiowa Women Warriors
Songs – Flag Song, Memorial Song, Victory Song
The Lord’s Prayer signed by the Princesses
Welcome and Introduction of Tribal Leaders with opportunity to speak
Chief Bill John Baker
Chief Geoff Standing Bear
Chief James R. Floyd
Introduction of Princesses with opportunity to speak
2-4:30 p.m. – Social Cultural Dance and special dancers; Cherokee marbles demonstration between 2 and 4 p.m.
4:30–5 p.m. – Entertainment (dinner break)
5 p.m. – Jennifer Loren, executive producer and host of television show, “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People,” will show segments on LED wall.
5:30 p.m. – Cherokee National Youth Choir introduced by Jennifer Loren
6:30–6:45 p.m. – Veterans to close the day at 6:45 p.m.
7-8 p.m. – Movie “Nanyehi,” with cast and producer Q & A at the end of film
8-9 p.m. Entertainment to close: Monica Taylor, Travis Fite and Jared Tyler
Throughout Native American Day, Tulsa Artist Fellow Yatika Fields, Osage/Cherokee/Creek, will create a live mural. This unique experience is sponsored by Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Established by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, Tulsa Artist Fellowship is an artist residency that provides visual and literary artists with the time and space to create.
The Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission unanimously agrees that Native American Day specifically and accurately acknowledges our native populations. 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. The boundaries of three of these federally recognized tribes (Cherokee, Muscogee Creek, and Osage) converge within the City of Tulsa metro area.
Native Americans have continuously inhabited the Greater Tulsa area for thousands of years. Today, Tulsa is home to approximately 30,000 Native Americans (according to the latest census figures), representing dozens of native tribes. 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.
Tulsa and other major cities formally acknowledge “Native American Day” or “Indigenous Peoples Day” on the second Monday in October. Some of these other cities include Albuquerque, N.M.; Anchorage, Alaska; Denver; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Phoenix; Portland, Maine; and Seattle.