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American Indian Resource Center   Tags: american indians, native americans  

The American Indian Resource Center provides cultural, educational and informational resources, activities and services honoring American Indian heritage.
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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AIRC Turtle Logo

Turtle Logo


AIRC Programming

Osage Language Class

Zarrow Regional Library


6:30 - 7:30


Skiatook Library


6:00 - 7:00



    Cherokee Language on Mango Languages

    AIRC E-Newsletter

    The American Indian Resource Center offers a monthly e-newsletter to keep customers informed of upcoming AIRC programs and events.


    Welcome to the American Indian Resource Center!

    Established in 1999, the mission of the American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) is to provide cultural, educational and informational resources, programming, activities,and services highlighting the American Indian heritage. The Center provides access to more than 4,000 books, magazines, newspapers, and media for adults and children by and about American Indians.




    2016 American Indian Circle of Honor and Festival of Words


    Sam Proctor To Be Inducted Into American Indian Resource Center's Circle of Honor

    Sam Proctor To Be Inducted Into American Indian Resource Center's Circle of Honor


    Submitted by John on Tue, 12/15/2015 - 9:45am

    Tulsa City-County Library’s American Indian Resource Center will induct Sam Proctor into the Circle of Honor during a special presentation March 5, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at Hardesty Regional Library’s Connor’s Cove, 8316 E. 93rd St.

    Proctor’s award presentation begins the monthlong celebration honoring the achievements and accomplishments of Native Americans. Award-winning and internationally acclaimed artist Dana Tiger, Muscogee (Creek), painted a portrait of Sam Proctor and will have prints for sale after his ceremony. Programs will be held throughout TCCL locations during March. All library events are free and open to the public.

    Proctor, Muscogee (Creek), was born south of Hanna in the Weogufkee community of Oklahoma, the heart of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and is a lifelong Oklahoman. He is a descendant of Opethleyahola, one of the great Creek leaders.

    Proctor has dedicated his life’s mission to encouraging families to incorporate Muscogee (Creek) traditions in their daily routines. He believes that the language and traditions are vital to maintaining a way of life that promotes balance and harmony with family, friends and strangers.

    His knowledge of traditional and sustainable agriculture was beneficial in the efforts to establish the Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative in Okmulgee, Okla. in 2007. The purpose of the program is to help the Muscogee (Creek) people and their neighbors in the eight counties that make up the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to improve their health through agriculture, economic development and community involvement.

    Proctor actively participates as the medicine man of Tallahassee (Wvkokaye) Ceremonial ground, located in rural Okfuskee County. Each summer he participates in the annual Green Corn ceremonies, which is a time of purification, renewal and moving forward. During the ceremony, the central sacred fire is extinguished and its ashes are added to a mound to show the relationship between people and the land. A new fire is lit and its embers are shared with the surrounding hearths of the camps, to begin a new cycle.

    Proctor, along with tribal members Tecumseh Jackson and Nancy Scott Fields, established a Muscogee (Creek) hymn singing class as an additional preservation effort.

    “I have known Sam Proctor my entire life and have long been inspired by his efforts to preserve the heart of the Muscogee Creek culture and keep the traditions alive,” said Will Hill, American Indian Resource Center advisory board member. “Sam is a distinguished tribal elder and is regularly asked to share his insights in the preservation of tribal languages and culture. He is even considered a statesman after speaking in Washington D.C. on the preservation efforts of the Creek people.”

    The Circle of Honor ceremony recognizes an American Indian for his or her achievements by acknowledging the inductee’s contributions that have enriched others’ lives and by celebrating the inductee’s action in the face of adversity, commitment to the preservation of American Indian culture and legacy for future generations.

    Sponsored by the Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation, Cherokee Builders Inc., American Indian Resource Center and the Tulsa Library Trust. The award consists of a $5,000 honorarium and a medallion featuring the American Indian Resource Center’s turtle logo.

    The Circle of Honor alternates annually with the American Indian Festival of Words Author Award. Past Circle of Honor recipients include Charles Chibitty, Wilma Mankiller, Neal McCaleb, Bill Mills, Kirke Kickingbird and Ruthe Blalock Jones.

    The American Indian Resource Center, located at the Zarrow Regional Library, 2224 W. 51st St., provides educational and informational resources, activities and services honoring American Indian heritage, arts and achievements. The center also provides access to more than 4,000 books and media for adults and children by and about American Indians, including historical and rare materials, new releases, videos and music CDs.

    Recent additions to the collection include native-language printed materials and CDs for independent learning. The goal of this collection is to promote, revitalize and preserve our country’s native languages.

    For more information on the Circle of Honor ceremony, call the AskUs Hotline, 918-549-7323, or visit the library’s website,



      Native READ video clip


      Cherokee language available on Mango Languages


         As fluent speakers of Native American languages decline, efforts to save these valuable languages are increasing.

         Tulsa City-County Library Chief Executive Officer Gary Shaffer saw an opportunity to

      advance the language preservation efforts of the Cherokee Nation, the largest Native American tribe in the United States with about 315,000 registered citizens around the world.

         Through a collaboration of Tulsa City-County Library, the Cherokee Nation and Mango Languages, anyone can now learn the Cherokee language from their home computer, laptop and mobile device.  The Mango Languages software is available to Tulsa City-County Library customers,, as well as 3,000 other libraries nationwide, to learn to speak, read and write Cherokee.

         Mango Languages is an online language-learning system that can help you learn by listening to native speakers and engaging in the interactive lessons offered through this user-friendly language instruction tool.

         Shaffer, working with Teresa Runnels, Tulsa City-County Library’s American Indian Resource Center coordinator, reached out to the Cherokee Nation to form a language preservation partnership.

         “The collaboration certainly would not have come about if it were not for the backing of Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, the belief in the project exhibited by Dr. Candessa Tehee, director of the Cherokee Heritage Center and Roy Boney Jr., Cherokee Language Program manager,” said Shaffer.  “We are excited to have helped bring the Cherokee language project to fruition and celebrate as library customers in Tulsa and around the world can now begin to learn Cherokee through Mango’s free language-learning app available from their local public library website.”

         Throughout 2014, Mango worked with Cherokee elders Anna Sixkiller and John Ross to develop the language lessons.  Sixkiller and Ross also are the voices heard during each conversational lesson.

         “Anna and John each liked the process for the language lessons. It was a neat experience for them as first-language speakers to see what second-language learners go through to learn the Cherokee language, said Boney Jr.  “They are two of the most trusted language experts the Cherokee Nation has.  Both are designated as Cherokee Nation National Treasures.”

         Now that the language-learning app is available on Mango Languages, non-Cherokee’s have commented this is the first time they have seen the Cherokee syllabary and some people are hearing the language for the first time.

         “Mango Languages has made it possible for the tribe to reach a wider audience,” said Boney Jr.  “People are now getting library cards so they can use Mango Languages to learn Cherokee.”

         Mango Languages features more than 60 languages from around the world and continues to grow.  Ideas for new languages and courses often begin with requests from libraries and curious learners.

         “Mango is always listening for what new content our users want,” said Robert Thayer, Mango Languages, Public Libraries Division director.  “We’re proud to offer lesser-known and endangered languages from across the globe.  Given the positive response the Cherokee course has received, more Native American languages are definitely a possibility.”

         For more information on learning the Cherokee language, call the AskUs Hotline, 918-549-7323, or visit Tulsa City-County Library’s online language learning center featuring Mango Languages,

        American Indian Resource Center

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        Teresa Runnels, Coordinator
        Contact Info
        American Indian Resource Center
        Zarrow Regional Library
        2224 W. 51st St.
        Tulsa, OK 74107
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        2015 American Indian Writers Award


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