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Since 1990, presidents have approved congressional resolutions to honor this country’s Native American heritage during November. Sen. Kay Floyd, Democratic Leader for the Oklahoma Senate, hopes citizens throughout the state will join in the national observance throughout the month.
“Oklahoma is home to 39 federally recognized tribes and has one of the largest Native American populations in the country,” said Floyd, D-Oklahoma City. “Our history, culture, identity, and our future are shaped by that presence, and there is much to honor and celebrate. The very name Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw language. Oklahoma’s flag features an Osage shield, and our state seal honors the Five Tribes. I hope our citizens will take time to learn more about this heritage throughout the month of November and beyond.”
Floyd noted this year’s Native American Heritage Month comes on the heels of the opening of the First Americans Museum, in Oklahoma City, honoring the 39 tribes and their unique histories, culture and identities. First Americans Museum joins other cultural centers and museums throughout the state that tell the story of Oklahoma’s Native People. That heritage is also a prominent part of the art of the state Capitol.
“Standing watch over our state Capitol is the Guardian statue, a Native American figure created by former Senator Kelly Haney, a master artist and full-blood member of the Seminole Nation,” Floyd said. “High above the fourth floor rotunda is the mural ‘Flight of Spirit,’ by Chickasaw artist Mike Larson, honoring Oklahoma’s Native American ballerinas. Capitol visitors can visit the flag plaza on the north side of the building honoring the state’s tribes, and on the south plaza visitors can find the iconic statue by Apache artist Allan Houser, ‘As Long As The Waters Flow.’ If you’ve never seen these works or visited other museums or historical sites throughout our state, Native American Heritage Month is the perfect time to get started.”
To learn more about some of the state’s Native American attractions, visit the Travel Oklahoma website at https://www.travelok.com/ie/article_page/top-native-american-attractions-in-oklahoma.