Fort Cobb, OK – March 11, 2013 – In October of 1864, the Tonkawa Indian Massacre occurred 2.5 miles south of Anadarko, giving the hills of that region their name: The Tonkawa Hills. At that time and up to 1901, Anadarko was Indian Reservation land.
To this day, Anadarko is known as the Indian Capital of the Nation; and for many years, the National Hall of Fame for Famous American Indians and the Anadarko Visitors Center has welcomed thousands of people who entered Anadarko from the east.
Volunteers of the Center report that while they see many tourists from around the United States, it is actually foreigners who make up the bulk of tourists. "People want to know about the American Indian, about our life, our land. And this is the gateway to that,” said one of the volunteers.
But in the wake of an economic decline and natural disasters, the Center has suffered greatly in the past several years. A small grant helps pay for mowing during the summer months, but other than that, the Hall of Fame and the Visitors Center is operated and funded primarily by volunteers. And the volunteers, who do what they can to keep the Center open to the public, are mostly retired senior citizens.
So, on March 8, 2013, several volunteers joined together to start a clean-up campaign for one of Anadarko’s important historical sites. "To get more than a couple of groups to come together to work on this project is great," said Delaware Nation Economic Development Authority Project Coordinator Theresa Smith.
Volunteers from the following agencies helped with the clean-up efforts: The Delaware Nation, Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, Wichita Tribe, Caddo Kiowa Technology Center, Indigenous Technologies, City of Anadarko, Comanche Nation and Riverside Indian School.
These groups have made a commitment to make this an on-going effort.
For more information about the clean-up effort, contact Theresa Smith, Anadarko United, at 405-247-4997.
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Posted on Mon, March 11, 2013
by Susan McElhaney