September 28th is Native American Day, and Oklahoma has an abundance of museums, historical sites, and cultural centers overflowing with in-depth information about our state’s native past and plans to preserve its rich history for future generations to come! If you’d like to take the family out for a day of fun and celebration, check out one of the great places below!
The Red Earth Art Center is in the heart of Downtown, near the Skirvin Hotel. It’s full of Native American artifacts and relics once used by the indigenous tribes of Oklahoma. Right now, the Red Earth Art Center has exhibits featuring Indian cradle boards and Pacific Northwest totem poles! A self-guided tour takes around an hour and admission is free!
The Chickasaw Cultural Center is an absolute wonder! The campus itself is beautiful, and the exhibits are incredibly interesting. Children (and adults) will love climbing about the spirit forest exhibit and be inspired by the Chickasaw’s history as they walk through the Removal Hallway and learn about the hardships of American Indians after the induction of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The cultural center is a short drive down to Sulphur and you will absolutely want to make a day of it!
Earlier this summer, the family and I drove to Mount Rushmore. On the way back, we stopped at Standing Bear Park in Ponca City. It is a beautiful memorial honoring Ponca Chief Standing Bear. The grounds are immaculately maintained and host detailed descriptions about the Ponca tribe. Next to the park is a small gallery with artwork, exhibits, and information about the park’s namesake. We really enjoyed our visit!
Located in downtown Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma History Center is a treasure trove of information. The volunteers are incredibly well-versed in our state’s past and the exhibits are amazing! The American Indian relics are well-preserved and maintained, showcasing the beautiful handiwork of Oklahoma’s indigenous people.
Just a short jaunt on I-40 will take you to the Citizen Potawatomi Cultural Heritage Center in Shawnee–a truly historical experience! The Potawatomi Center is working hard to preserve their tribe’s history and traditions for generations to come by displaying works of art, archived footage of tribal meetings and celebrations, and teaching the language of the Potawatomi. They even have an eagle aviary where they help to rehabilitate eagles who have been wounded in the wild in order to release them back into their habitat. The aviary even allows the CPN to distribute naturally molted eagle feathers to members of the tribe for cultural and religious means! In order to tour the aviary, all you have to do is call and schedule a tour.
Do you have any favorite Oklahoma Heritage sites?