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American Indian Resource Center: Programs

The American Indian Resource Center provides cultural, educational and informational resources, activities and services honoring American Indian heritage.

AIRC Programming

AIRC E-Newsletter

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

American Indian Writers Award

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)

Dr. Henrietta Mann to be inducted in Circle of Honor during ceremony at Zarrow Regional Library

Submitted by John on Thu, 10/12/2017 - 10:27am

   Tulsa City-County Library’s American Indian Resource Center will induct Dr. Henrietta Mann into the Circle of Honor during a special presentation March 3, 2018, 10:30 a.m. at Zarrow Regional Library, 2224 W. 51st St.

   The Circle of Honor award presentation begins a monthlong celebration honoring the achievements and accomplishments of Native Americans. Programs will be held throughout TCCL locations during March.  All library events are free and open to the public.

   Dr. Mann is full-blood Cheyenne of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and was the founding President of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College. As a leading expert on American Indian Studies, she has lectured throughout the United States, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Spain, The Netherlands and Belgium.

   Both of Mann’s great-grandmothers survived the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 in Colorado Territory, when a Calvary of more than 500 men attacked and destroyed their village. She attributes her determination for equality to being a descendant of a strong line of survivors.

   Dr. Mann is a sought after educator and has taught at the University of Montana - Missoula; the University of California - Berkeley; Harvard University; and Haskell Indian Nations University. She served as Director of the Office of Indian Education Programs and Deputy to the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She was the National Coordinator of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Coalition for the Association of American Indian Affairs.

   As the first person to occupy the Endowed Chair in Native American Studies at Montana State University – Bozeman, Dr. Mann is a professor emeritus of Native American Studies and is an active member of Montana State University’s Council of Elders.

   “We are excited for the Circle of Honor event to return home to Zarrow Regional Library where the American Indian Resource Center is located,” said Teresa Runnels, American Indian Resource Center coordinator. “It’s the perfect homecoming honor for Dr. Mann who is a tireless advocate for American Indian education, rights and equality. She is truly one of the greatest elders who thrives on sharing her knowledge.”

   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., Dr. Frank and Mary Shaw, Friends of the Helmerich Library, 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, Billy Mills, Kirke Kickingbird, Ruthe Blalock Jones and Sam Proctor.

   Each March, TCCL’s American Indian Resource Center presents free, family events to celebrate the history, culture, arts and achievements of American Indians through a series of enlightening programs.

    The American Indian Resource Center 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,

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American Indian Circle of Honor

Inaugurated in 2004, the Circle of Honor ceremony honors an American Indian for their 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!  To be inducted on Saturday, March 3, 2017 at the Zarrow Regional Library

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)




Subject Guide

Teresa Runnels's picture
Teresa Runnels
Zarrow Regional Library
2224 W. 51st St.
Tulsa, OK
Website / Blog Page

Tulsa Library Trust

Funding AIRC Programs & Events
AIRC programs and events are community funded by people like you. If you would like to support the AIRC please contact the Tulsa Library Trust.

Projects & Programs Sponsored by the

Native READ video clip

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 Author Award and the Circle of Honor ceremony, which alternate each year.