Beautiful weather and big crowds turned out to downtown Tulsa Monday, Oct. 14 as the state celebrates Native American Day. Mayor G.T. Bynum took the stage at Guthrie Green to welcome representatives of Oklahoma tribal nations on the third annual celebration.
Leaders of Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Osage, Choctaw, Pawnee, Iowa and Ponca Nations spoke before the crowd. Themes included the progress made by Native citizens and the good working relationship between the tribes and Tulsa county and city.
"It's underrepresented because I will be representing the governmental interest of the Cherokee Nation," says Cherokee Government Director Kimberley Teehee, who will be the first tribal delegate in Congress. "No other member of congress representatives the interest of a tribal nation."
Cherokee Chief Chuck Hoskin Junior was elected back in August, and said appointing a delegate was one of the first things he wanted to do. He says their original 1835 treaty allows them to be one of three tribes to have a delegate in the house.
"To go to D.C. and assert that right really shows where we are to have the strength to assert that right," says Cheif Hoskin. "Also, it's a point of pride for all Indian nations to remind the united states that treaties do not expire and to have a voice inside Congress."
One highlight of the celebration was a parade that featured tribal princesses, drummers and community organizations.
The celebration runs through 5 p.m. with music, singing, dancing and art exhibits.
Watch the video attached to this story for more, and watch updates in tonight's newscasts.