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Indigenous Awareness Month

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A&GS Celebrates: Indigenous Awareness Month

The efforts to have even a day dedicated to recognizing the contributions of indigenous people began in the 1910s. Early efforts were led by Dr. Arthur Caswell Parker (Seneca Nation), Red Fox James (Blackfeet), and Rev. Sherman Collidge (Arapahoe Tribe) (AIANTA). Finally, in 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved the resolution that made November “National American Indian Heritage Month.” However, November is also host to Thanksgiving, a day named a National Day of Mourning by the United American Indians of New England over 50 years ago [Here and Now].

Consequently, this year the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences is celebrating Indigenous Awareness Month—also known as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month—in April, in acknowledgement of the dark history of not only Thanksgiving, but the pointed 2020 Proclamation on National American History and Founders Month, and the continued acknowledgement of Columbus Day over Indigenous People’s Day.

Indigenous Awareness Month is a time to acknowledge and celebrate the many cultures and histories of indigenous peoples. This month is particularly topical for those of us in Oklahoma, a state that is home to 39 federally recognized sovereign nations (OU Native American Studies). 


For more information, see the following links: 



A&GS Spotlight

A&GS celebrates Indigenous Awareness Month. Aiyesha Ghani - Graduate Teaching Assistant OU Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability. " I want to inspire indigenous youth from my community to explore and pursue STEM Fields" " Indigenous Awareness Month to me means centering and spotlighting indigenous people and members of the community who are outside federal recognized tribal entities, and acknowledging and supporting their efforts in their struggle on their ancestral lands." OU college of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences
Image: A&GS Spotlight: Aiyesha Ghani



2022 Events

American indian student association presents ou stompdance. annual spring stomp dance sponsored by OU AISA and the norman first american UMC. Where Norman first american UMC 1950 beaumont drive, norman, ok , 73072 (405)561-1660 Friday april 22,2022 meal: 6:30p/dance: 7:30p OPV Mack MC Raffles and 50/50s bring your own chairs
Image: AISA annual spring OU Stompdance
American indian student association at the university of oklahoma presents the  108th Annual Spring Powwow with proud co-hosts Gamma DElta Pi Inc. and  Sigma nu alpha Gamma Inc. SOn Saturday april 23, 2022 in norman ok. on the south oval 660 parrington oval. To reserve a space please contact qnguyen or 405-325-3163. For more information pleacse contact AISA cultural affiars chair ace samuels at or student life at qnguyen or 405-325-3163. No alcohal, drugs, tobacco or weapons allowed.
Image: AISA 108th Annual Spring Powwow




The Native Nations Center at OU is the heart of Native American teaching and research at the University of Oklahoma. Through the center, OU serves as a premier center for research and scholarship on Native cultures and sovereignty, providing opportunities that foster and further cultivate relationships between OU and the Native Nations within Oklahoma and beyond.

Watch the video to learn more about the Native Nations Center and celebrate Indigenous Awareness Month at OU.

Associate Vice President of Tribal Relations Tana Fitzpatrick

Throughout her 14-year career,  [Tana] Fitzpatrick has served as an attorney for tribal communities and in various roles in the federal government, advising Congress and the executive branch on tribal law and policy. Now, she’s returned to her home state to be an advisor to OU’s Office of the President on tribal relations.

“I believe this position has the potential to have broad impacts on tribal issues and Indigenous communities, both within the university context and across the state of Oklahoma,” Fitzpatrick said. “Because this role is responsible for developing and enhancing relationships with tribes, I see lots of opportunities to come together with tribes on matters of mutual importance, and to support the advancement of programs serving Indigenous students in obtaining a higher education.”

Please use click here to learn more about the announcement!

"The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History has received a $345,494 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a three-year project to provide online access to the museum’s Native American Languages collection for the first time. This is the largest total NEH grant received by an individual investigator at the University of Oklahoma and the second-largest collaborative NEH grant ever awarded to OU."


Please click here to read the article! 

R. Lynn Riggs, an internationally recognized Cherokee poet, playwright, screenwriter and drama theorist whose work depicted both the allure and tragedy of pioneer life, who will be honored posthumously

Cherokee poet, playwright, screenwriter and drama theorist Rollie Lynn Riggs was born Aug. 31, 1899, southwest of Claremore. After attending the University of Oklahoma from 1920 to 1923, he went on to pursue a remarkable and productive career as a writer of plays and poetry, as well as screenplays for the big screen.

Early in his career, while serving as a Guggenheim Fellow, Riggs wrote Green Grow the Lilacs (1931). The play premiered on Broadway and became the basis for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s epic musical, Oklahoma! – arguably one of the most popular musicals of all time. The original Broadway production of Oklahoma! ran for a then-unprecedented 2,212 performances and made theater history in 1944 by winning a Pulitzer Prize.

During his lifetime, Riggs penned 37 plays, six of which were produced on Broadway.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Riggs worked periodically in Hollywood, and he wrote six original screenplays that were produced, plus one adaptation. Two of his notable screenplays are Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942) and Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943). During World War II, Riggs regularly worked on screenplays for documentaries for War Department films.

Riggs also was the author of a collection of poetry, The Iron Dish (1931), and one posthumous collection, This Book, This Hill, These People (1982), and was enormously successful writing and publishing poetry in many of the most prestigious literary journals across the country, including The NationThe New RepublicThe New York Tribune and The Reviewer, among others.

Not all of Riggs’ work were romantic and light-hearted. Several of Riggs’ works, including The Cherokee Night (1932), delved into issues deemed at the time to be too sensitive, too serious and too controversial to be produced on the larger stage, leading some to say his examination of deeper societal and personal issues was well ahead of his time.

Riggs was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1948. He died in 1954 in New York City, and his award is being granted posthumously.

To read the article, please click here.




April is American Indian Heritage Month. Please join A&GS in Honoring and Celebrating this month with the following resources and links: See our website as to why we are celebrating in April, an Ongoing list of books by indigenous authors, listen to a native-led podcast, watch a documentary, Visit the First Americans Museum in OKC, Check out NPR's Programming, thinking ahead and critically about thanksgiving, take a look at the national archives content. College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences ouags on twitter and ou.ags on facebook
Image: IAM Resources Page (PDF)