Now available: The New Oklahoma Indian Country Guide

5 minutes
The all-new Indian Country Guide is now available.

The all-new Indian Country Guide is now available.

Oklahomans help each other and that’s just as true in your state government as it is in everyday life.

For instance, while your Oklahoma Today editors take pride in knowing a lot about our state, we can always use a resource to help us learn more. That’s why we were among the first to snap up the new Oklahoma Indian Country Guide produced by our friends and co-workers (and friendly co-workers) in the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department.

This is a free (to you) almost-ninety-page book full of information about the thirty-nine American Indian tribes headquartered in Oklahoma, delving into their histories and cultures, and pointing readers to even more resources for learning—historic sites, art galleries, museums, and cultural centers.

Is this the end-all, be-all of Native American information? Absolutely not. But if you’re trying to better understand Oklahoma’s history and how it relates to the history of the tribes and the U.S. in general, it’s a good place to start.

The Wichita Tribal Dance takes place annually in Anadarko. Photo by Lori Duckworth.

The Wichita Tribal Dance takes place annually in Anadarko. Photo by Lori Duckworth.

I don’t know anything about the Euchee (Yuchi) Tribe of Indians. That’s a failing on my part. I didn’t know they are originally from what is now eastern Tennessee. I didn’t know they were forced to move in the 1830s along with the Creek Indians to what is now Oklahoma. I had no clue that Euchee isn’t even what they call themselves—they refer to their tribe as Tsoyaha, or “children of the sun.”

Despite spending most of the last forty-one years in Oklahoma (and taking Oklahoma History in high school), I don’t know nearly enough about different tribes, their stories, their histories, or their futures.

Have I heard of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe before? Yes. Did I know they were two separate tribes until the Missouria only had about one hundred members remaining? Not at all. Nor did I know they were the first tribe to have inter-governmental talks with President Thomas Jefferson’s representatives, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

There are volumes and volumes of histories and stories to explore if you want a really deep dive, but the joy of the Oklahoma Indian Country Guide is access to a quick overview and ideas about where to learn more.

The Indian Country Guide includes information on attractions broken down by region to make it easier for visitors to find what's nearby.

The Indian Country Guide includes information on attractions broken down by region to make it easier for visitors to find what's nearby.

One of my favorite tidbits is, along with a calendar of powwows happening across the state, a guide to powwow etiquette. Because, much as I like the idea of taking in a meaningful, cultural event, I’m even more into the being polite and not getting yelled at—like a real rebel.

If you had the previous guide, it’s worth picking up a new one. There’s more info on attractions and events across the state, along with a comprehensive list of every Native American hotel, resort, and casino.

The free guide is available for order at TravelOK.com/Brochures, along with numerous other publications from the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, including the Oklahoma Route 66 Guide and the Discover Oklahoma Destination Dining Guide. Those who wish to order by phone can call (800) 652-6552. Travelers can also order brochures from many Oklahoma cities and attractions and have them shipped free of charge to their homes.

The department’s publications can also be picked up at Oklahoma Tourism Information Centers, Oklahoma State Parks and at many other Oklahoma tourism destinations around the state.

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