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Oklahoma Native Americans

Hear and learn from the oral histories of Oklahoma's Native Americans and the indelible impact their legacies have had in shaping the success of the state.

Learn From These Influential Oklahomans

Angie Debo

Angie Debo

Teacher, Historian, and Author

Oklahoma’s “greatest historian” was nine years old when she first set foot on Oklahoma soil on November 8, 1899, having arrived by covered wagon with her family from Kansas. Angie …

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Bill Anoatubby

Bill Anoatubby

Governor, Chickasaw Nation

Governor Bill Anoatubby’s  childhood was spent in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, where he graduated from Tishomingo High School in 1964. He attended Murray State College and graduated from East Central State College before …

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Cynthia Warner

Cynthia Warner

Ponca Nation Elder

Cynthia McDonald Warner was an enrolled member of the Ponca Nation and oldest member until her death on July 12, 2012 when she was 93. Cynthia was the daughter of …

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Enoch Kelly Haney

Enoch Kelly Haney

State Legislator, Seminole Chief, and Artist

The only full blood American Indian to serve in the Oklahoma Legislature, Enoch Kelly Haney was elected as a state legislator and a senator. He became the Vice Chair of …

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Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe

Olympic Athlete

James Francis “Jim” Thorpe, dubbed the Greatest Athlete in the world, was born May 22, 1887, in Indian Territory (later to become Oklahoma state in 1907) and grew up in …

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Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo

Native American Poet and Musician

U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She is the daughter of a Creek father and a …

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LaDonna Harris

LaDonna Harris

Social Activist and Politician

“What is it like to live in a tent?” asked Robert F. Kennedy’s five-year-old daughter, Kerry, when she met Ladonna Harris for the first time in 1965. This exchange between …

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Minisa Crumbo Halsey

Minisa Crumbo Halsey

Native American artist

Woody Crumbo was born near Lexington, Oklahoma on January 31, 1912 as Woodrow Wilson Crumbo, on his Potawatomi mother’s tribal allotment of land. Unfortunately, by the time he was seven, …

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N. Scott Momaday

N. Scott Momaday

Writer, Artist, Teacher

N. Scott Momaday, an internationally acclaimed poet, novelist, playwright, storyteller, artist and teacher, was born in Lawton, Oklahoma. He grew up in various communities in the Southwest. His parents, who …

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Neal McCaleb

Neal McCaleb

State Legislator; Chickasaw Nation, DOT

Neal McCaleb is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and a former George W. Bush administration official. Before his involvement in politics, McCaleb was a civil engineer and businessman. He …

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The Perryman Family

The Perryman Family

Rancher, Creek Nation

Tulsa, Oklahoma was originally part of Indian Territory and was first settled by the Lochapoka and Creek tribes in 1836. They established a home under the Creek Council Oak Tree …

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Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller

Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation

The first woman elected as Chief of the Cherokee Nation was Wilma Pearl Mankiller. She was born November 18, 1945 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Her father was a full-blood Cherokee and …

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