Discover OKC's Native American History and Culture

Oklahoma City is a hub rich in First American history and culture, offering many experiences extending far beyond just Native American Heritage Month. This diversity is celebrated year-round in various forms, from our authentic Native American restaurants to cultural events and local businesses. 

OKC presents a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to engage with and appreciate its indigenous communities' enduring legacy and traditions, making it a city where Native American culture is vibrantly alive and accessible.

A Look at Native American History in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City offers a variety of indigenous experiences, including art and history, as well as a convergence of tribal cultures that continue to influence Oklahoma City today. 

Skyline view of the First Americans Museum and Downtown OKC skyline at night

The First Americans Museum is a premier institution that tells the story of Oklahoma's 39 distinct tribal nations in a groundbreaking way. Inside the museum, visitors can explore artifacts, arts and crafts from each of the 39 tribal nations featured in the museum, along with participating in demonstrations and special events. Some of the exhibit highlights include the Origins Theater, a 320-degree screen looping animation about creation stories from four tribes in Oklahoma; the Tribal Nations Gallery, highlighting tribal origin stories and historical accounts from a Native first-person perspective, and insights into Native culture, curated by members of tribes in Oklahoma today.

Another noteworthy destination is the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, where the Liichokoshkomo' (Chickasaw for “Let’s Play!”) outdoor educational experience showcases the diversity and ingenuity of Native American cultures. The outdoor exhibit features replicas of a Kiowa Tipi, Puebloan cliff dwelling, prairie sod house, Chickasaw Council House and more.

At the Oklahoma History Center, you can explore the Native American gallery, which offers an expansive view of the tribes that have shaped Oklahoma's history. This gallery is an exciting journey through time that provides insights into the lives and cultures of Native American communities.

Food & Culture

In Oklahoma City, the food and cultural scene offers a unique way to experience Native American traditions. 

For a taste of contemporary indigenous cuisine, dine at Thirty Nine Restaurant, located inside the First Americans Museum, where the menu is a creative celebration of Native American flavors. Each dish here tells a story, connecting diners to the rich culinary heritage of America's indigenous peoples.

Another local gem is Skydance Brewing Co., the city's first Native American-owned brewery. Here, the craft beers offer a distinct flavor profile that's deeply rooted in Native American culture.

Native American woman dancing at the Red Earth FallFest in the Myriad Gardens

OKC also hosts a variety of events that showcase Native American culture. 

The Red Earth Festival is a renowned annual event celebrating Native American art and dance. Indigenous Peoples Day at the First Americans Museum offers a platform to honor and recognize the significant contributions of indigenous communities. Additionally, the Summer and Winter Solstices at the museum are times of celebration, with activities and rituals that reflect the deep spiritual connection Native American cultures have with nature. 

For more insights and discoveries, check out our 2-day Native American OKC itinerary.