Late last week I met up with my old friends from Texas, Bill and Sharon. We had lunch and caught up with the goings on of our families. We then headed to just south of downtown Oklahoma City to see the brand new First Americans Museum. The museum was first conceived in 1989 and has been through a lot of ups and downs and reconfiguring and finally opened up in 2021. Yep, this museum took 32 years to come into being. It’s worth the wait. The story is here. (Sorry that it is behind a pay wall.)
I didn’t know what to expect but when I hear “museum” I think of art so I brought my camera but this isn’t that kind of museum. There is lots of art on display but the art is used to help tell the story of the 39 Native American tribes in Oklahoma. And what a story it is.
A story of a population of millions in the Americas before contact with Europeans and to just a few hundred thousand by the start of the 20th century due to enslavement, decimation, neglect, assimilation, and removal. The tribes and their people suffered tremendously. The museum tells that story in a straightforward and plainspoken manner.
The rest of the story is about their resurgence as a resilient people and a culture and their fight for their rights. Today they are thriving but are still fighting hard for their rights and their culture is flourishing. There is so much information presented that my meagre little brain got overloaded, so I’ll have to go back.
So this museum is more about culture, history, and education than about the objects. I recommend it highly if you are in the area. I think my friends Bill and Sharon enjoyed the museum.
Get all the details here.