The 2022 Tulsa Native American Day Celebration is scheduled Monday, Oct. 10 at the newly named Dream Keepers Park near the Arkansas River.
Now in its sixth year, this will be the first in-person Native American Day Celebration since 2019 after those events were held virtually two years in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 and 2021 celebrations – filled with area tribal leader addresses and Native music and dance performances – were recorded and posted on YouTube for viewing.
This year’s day-long event starts at 9 a.m. at the park with a parade scheduled at 11 a.m.
Celebrated on the second Monday in October and at the request of the Greater Tulsa Indian Affairs Commission, Tulsa made the switch in September 2017 from Columbus Day to observing Native American Day with unanimous support from the city council that year.
“‘Our Journey Continues’ is the theme for this year’s celebration,” according to a Facebook post for the celebration hosted by the Greater Tulsa Indian Affairs Commission. “‘Our Journey Continues’ represents resilience in our past, present and future.”
This will be the first time Tulsa’s Native American Day Celebration will take place at Dream Keepers Park located at the intersection of South Boulder Avenue and 21st Street, which was formerly known as Veterans Park.
In June 2021, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum announced the renaming of two parks with the former Centennial Park now known as Veterans Park, making way for the first park to be renamed Dream Keepers Park, according to a Tulsa World article. On Nov. 13, 2021, the Greater Tulsa Indian Affairs Commission dedicated the renamed park with the new name coming from an annual award given to Native American citizens by the commission who exemplify strong character and have made a difference in their dedication to public service, according to a separate Tulsa World article.
For this year’s Native American Day Celebration, the selected artist is Joe Don Brave (Osage/ Cherokee) whose painting artwork “is a fitting image for our theme, illustrating multiple generations gathering for and sharing in a traditional dance,” the commission wrote. “In Brave’s painting ‘Under the Arbor’ depicts the dance arbor in Hominy.”
Follow “Tulsa Native American Day” on Facebook for information on vendor space registration and further updates on the celebration events and activities. To view more work of Joe Don Brave, visit www.JoeDonBraveArt.com