Tulsa City-County Library's American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) is one of only two centers in public libraries across the nation that provides cultural, educational and informational resources, activities and services highlighting the American Indian culture. The AIRC, which began in 2003, provides access to more than 4,000 books, periodicals, and media for adults and children by and about American Indians, including historical and rare materials, new releases, films and music with a focus on native languages.
American Indian Laws & Treaties
Find links to American Indian laws and treaties, including links to treaties with the Five Civilized Tribes and Freedmen, as well as books in Tulsa City-County Library's collection and other important resources.
Oklahoma Tribal Links
Includes links to nearly 40 Oklahoma American Indian tribes.
Use our language packets to learn more about the Sauk, Euchee and Yuchi languages.
Native Language READ Posters
Access native language READ posters here.
American Indian Resource Center at a Glance
Nestled in the northern corner of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the American Indian Resource Center resides at the Zarrow Regional Library in west Tulsa. The AIRC is one of only two centers in public libraries across the nation that provides cultural, educational and informational resources, activities and services highlighting the American Indian culture.
Meaning of the Turtle Logo
The logo design representing the American Indian Resource Center is a turtle surrounded by a circle. The turtle is a stylized representation of an engraved shell figurine pendant found at the Spiro Mounds archaeological site in Spiro, Okla. (See The Spiro Ceremonial Center, James A. Brown. University of Michigan, Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, Number 29, 1996, p. 597).
Artifacts found at the Spiro site indicate that prehistoric Spiro people created a sophisticated culture which influenced the entire Southeast.
The image also pays tribute to the beginnings of Tulsa. “Tulsa's first 'town council' meeting in 1836, under an oak tree which still stands on a hill near the downtown area, was presided over by Archie Yahola, a full-blooded Creek Indian and chief of the Tulsa Lochapokas. The name Tulsa was derived from 'tallasi,' a contraction of the Creek 'Tullahassee' or 'tallahassee,' meaning 'old town.'“ (City of Tulsa)
Surrounding the turtle is a circle, a symbol common to American Indian cultures. The circle suggests continuity, wholeness and interconnectedness. The history of American Indians is integral to American history as well as the history and culture of Oklahoma.
In an effort to inform the public about services, programs and resources available through the AIRC, an e-newsletter is released each month. Please feel free to forward the newsletters to others who might be interested or benefit from the information.
AIRC Song (mp3)
The American Indian Resource Center is privileged to have its own theme song, composed by Jay Mule with lyrics provided by Warren Pratt Jr., in the Pawnee language. The song is about: "The turtle is always the smartest of animals."
Location and Hours
OKLAHOMA HUMANITIES COUNCIL ANNOUNCES 2011 TULSA AWARDEES
Oklahoma City, OK—The Oklahoma Humanities Council (OHC) announced the names of the 2011 awardees to be honored at its Oklahoma Humanities Awards dinner, February 24, 2011, at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.
“We want to honor the people and programs that enrich our state’s cultural life,” said OHC Executive Director Ann Thompson. “The occasion demonstrates the relevance of the humanities to modern society. By recognizing outstanding public programs like exhibits, book discussions, and classroom projects, we can showcase how the humanities expand our worldview and change people’s lives every day.”
Tulsa City-County Library projects and employees will be recognized, including:
The American Indian Resource Center of the Tulsa City-County Library will be honored with the Humanities in Education Award for achievements in language preservation through development of its Native Language Supplemental Packet. These materials were developed for educators and students to facilitate learning introductory words and phrases, and to stimulate further interest in the Native language. The packet has been used successfully in the Sauk and Euchee language programs.
Teresa Runnels, coordinator for the resource center, is gratified to see the work recognized. “Receiving the 2011 Oklahoma Humanities Council’s Education Award galvanizes my desire to see American Indian history and traditions preserved,” said Runnels. “Knowing the history of the people who lived in North America long before us is important to understanding the path we will travel in the future.”
Cindy Hulsey and Laura Raphael of the Tulsa City-County Library will receive the Community Leadership Award for creation and implementation of “Novel Talk: Smart Conversations for Serious Readers.”
For more information contact OHC at 405/235-0280 or visit www.okhumanities.org/oklahoma-humanities-awards.
About the Oklahoma Humanities Council
The Oklahoma Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide meaningful public engagement with the humanities—disciplines such as history, literature, film studies, art criticism, and philosophy. As the state partner for the National Endowment for the Humanities, OHC provides teacher institutes, Smithsonian exhibits, reading groups, and other cultural opportunities for Oklahomans of all ages. With a focus on K-12 education and community building, OHC engages people in their own communities, stimulating discussion and helping them explore the wider world of human experience.
American Indian Festival of Words
Tribal elders, storytellers, craftsmen, dancers and musicians share the history and traditions of North America’s native people during the American Indian Festival of Words, held annually in March.
The free festival celebrates the contributions of American Indians through enlightening family programs offered at numerous libraries.
The highlight of the festival is the presentation of the American Indian Festival of Words Writers Award and the Circle of Honor ceremony, which alternate each year.
American Indian Circle of Honor
This event takes place the first Saturday in March.
Inaugurated in 2004, the Circle of Honor ceremony honors an American Indian for his/her lifetime achievements and contributions that have enriched the lives of others. Induction into the Circle of Honor is a celebration of the honoree’s actions in the face of adversity, commitment to the preservation of American Indian culture and legacy for future generations. An individual is inducted into the Circle of Honor in even-numbered years. Recipients receive a $5,000 cash prize which is sponsored by the Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation.
2018 Dr. Henrietta Mann (Cheyenne)
2016 Sam Proctor (Muscogee Creek)
2014 Ruthe Blalock Jones (Shawnee)
2012 Kirke Kickingbird (Kiowa)
2010 Billy Mills (Oglala Sioux)
2008 Neal McCaleb (Chickasaw)
2006 Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee)
2004 Charles Chibitty (Comanche)
American Indian Writers Award
This event takes place the first Saturday in March.
Inaugurated in 2001, the American Indian Festival of Words Writers Award recognizes written contributions of outstanding American Indian authors, poets, journalists, film and stage scriptwriters. It is the first and only award given by a public library to honor an American Indian writer. The award is given in odd-numbered years. Recipients receive a $5,000 cash prize which is sponsored by the Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation.
2017 Tim Tingle (Choctaw)
2015 Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki)
2013 Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Creek)
2011 LeAnne Howe (Choctaw)
2009 No Award Given
2007 Carter Revard (Osage)
2005 Leslie Marmon-Silko (Laguna Pueblo)
2003 Vine DeLoria, Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux
2001 Joy Harjo (Muscogee Creek)
American Indian Databases
Use your Tulsa City-County Library card to access American Indian databases here, including: The American Indian Experience, Bibliographies of Native North Americans, Biography in Context, Daily Life Through History, and Mango Languages.