Chickasaw Cultural Center Welcomes Spring with Lineup of Community Events
SULPHUR, Okla. — During the month of April, the Chickasaw Nation will host events open to the public at no charge at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, 867 Cooper Memorial Road.
Knowledge, health, community, nature, art and tribal libraries are on the calendar just in time for spring.
April’s opportunities are explained below, but more information can be found by visiting ChickasawCulturalCenter.com.
April 7-13 | National Library Week
The Chickasaw Nation will celebrate the significance of libraries during National Library Week Sunday, April 7, to Saturday, April 13, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.
According to the American Library Association (ALA), National Library Week was first sponsored in 1958 by the ALA and libraries across the country. It is now observed each April as a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.
Special activities are planned throughout the week at the cultural center. Visitors can browse the rare book collection and artifacts on display, get hands-on with make-and-take crafts or take advantage of the cultural center’s daily attractions.
Visitors will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a free book. Unique bookmarks depicting various historical events will be given away daily, and visitors can create their own bookmarks 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday, April 13.
The Chickasaw Nation Tribal Library and Holisso Research Center are two libraries situated in the Chickasaw Nation allowing individuals to broaden their understanding of Chickasaw history and culture while introducing visitors to many other resources.
The Chickasaw Nation Tribal Library in Ada, 1003 Chamber Loop, has something for all ages. The selection of books includes fiction, periodicals, children’s books, biographies, histories, magazines, and general reference materials. Audiobooks and DVDs are also available.
A genealogist and cultural research specialist are on staff for anyone interested in researching the Dawes Commission rolls for ancestors or explore Chickasaw history and culture.
Chickasaw citizens and Chickasaw Nation employees living in the 74820 or 74821 ZIP code are eligible to obtain a library card. Genealogy and research services are open to all visitors at no charge.
The Holisso Research Center at the Chickasaw Cultural Center includes a library with a large variety of books focusing on the Chickasaw Nation and other Native American tribes.
Dawes Commission rolls, historical records, cemetery records, government records, and family files are also located within the center.
The center is open to anyone interested in digging deeper into Native American life, history, and culture.
April 20 | Inkana 5K Fun Run
The second annual Inkana Run, a partnership run between the Chickasaw National Recreation Area and the Chickasaw Nation, is planned for Saturday, April 20. The unsanctioned 1-mile fun run/walk and 5K run will start at 8 a.m.
The course will start at Veterans Lake and end on the Chickasaw Cultural Center campus. Participants should park at the Chickasaw Cultural Center and ride the provided shuttles to the starting point. The last shuttle bus will leave at 7:15 a.m.
The $25 entry fee will benefit the Chickasaw Foundation for the division of social services general education scholarship.
Pre-registration is due April 5 and guarantees participants a T-shirt. Contact Janet Milburn at Janet.Milburn@Chickasaw.net to pre-register or call (580) 470-2131 to be directed to the nearest pre-registration site.
On-site registration begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.
April 20 | Easter Celebration
The Easter Bunny has planned a visit to the annual Easter celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 20, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.
The bunny will pass out Easter totes to children and pose for photographs. Other festivities include games, make-and-take crafts, stomp dances, and cultural demonstrations.
The family-friendly film “Hop” will be played at 11:30 a.m. and “Peter Rabbit” at 2:30 p.m. in the Anoli’ Theater.
April 20-28 | National Park Week
In recognition of National Park Week, the Chickasaw Cultural Center and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area (CNRA) have joined together to celebrate the natural springs, wildlife and lush foliage awaiting visitors at the CNRA.
Demonstrations and films are planned throughout the week of Saturday, April 20, to Sunday, April 28.
Episodes of “National Parks: America’s Best Idea” will be screened 2:30 p.m., April 20-28, at the cultural center’s Anoli’ Theater.
Park week is a good time to explore the Inkana Bridge, which connects the Chickasaw Cultural Center and the CNRA, offering access points near Veterans Lake and the traditional village.
For nearly 7,000 years, Native people seeking to relax and renew their spirit have cherished the springs that now form the CNRA.
The terrain at the CNRA is part of an ecotone in which the eastern deciduous forest meets the mixed-grass prairie. Because of this, a rich diversity of wildlife lives among the densely wooded areas, rugged slopes and rolling prairie lands.
Bison, white-tailed deer, bobcats and other wildlife may be observed, photographed and enjoyed by tourists who visit the park.
The property once belonged to the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations following removal to Indian Territory in the 1830s.
Recognizing that Oklahoma statehood was looming, tribal leaders turned over ownership of the land to the federal government in 1902 with the understanding it would be protected for future generations. It was called Sulphur Springs Reservation.
In 1906, Congress designated it as Platt National Park to honor a Connecticut lawmaker, Orville Platt, who sponsored legislation to protect the area. At the time, it was the nation’s seventh national park. It is the only national park to be established at the request of a Native American tribe.
In 1976, Congress renamed it the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
April 27-28 | Native-Pottery Market
Native potters from across the region will gather for the Native-Pottery Market 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 27, and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 28, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.
In conjunction with the Native-Pottery Market, the Chickasaw Cultural Center will host the Native-Pottery Symposium in the Anoli’ Theater. This will be a learning experience, bridging academic and artistic perspectives on Native pottery, offering a series of talks which will shine a light on topics such as traditional pottery revitalization and the diverse methods and styles of modern Native potters.
The potters will have a wide variety of unique, hand-crafted pottery for sale and will feature live pottery demonstrations in the lobby of the Anoli’ Theater.