OK. University of Oklahoma (OU) President David L. Boren
today announced that he will recommend the elevation of the Native
American Studies program to a department, the creation of a Native
Nations Center and the appointment of a Tribal Liaison Officer.
"From the very beginning of the University, we have been extremely
proud of our Native American heritage which has permeated our entire
university." Boren said. "The diversity of Native American cultures
can be seen all around the campus, from statues to artwork in buildings.
The University is committed to supporting tribal sovereignty and
continuance by growing the resilient and vibrant Native American
culture on campus and by providing additional resources and programs
to members of the OU community."
Pending approval from the OU Board of Regents and the State
Regents for Higher Education, the university is elevating the Native
American Studies program to full department status under the College
of Arts and Sciences. The newly elevated department will provide
additional resources and learning opportunities for students on
the Norman campus.
We Have Peace" bronze statue of Native American holding
peace pipe by Allan Houser located on the North Oval of University
The University is working to combine and strengthen existing
programs with additional resources to create a Native Nations Center.
Under the leadership of Amanda Cobb-Greetham (Chickasaw), an initiative
of the Native American Studies Department, the OU Native Nations
Center, will provide a "front door" and clearinghouse for those
interested in Native initiatives at OU and elevate and institutionalize
OU's existing good relationships with tribal nations. The Center
will provide resources for students as well as provide additional
space within the newly elevated Native American Studies Department.
As the Center grows, it will provide research and policy resources
for Tribal Nations as well as grants and research opportunities
for OU students and faculty and for scholars across the nation.
Plans for the Center have been underway for more than a year and
draw on OU President William Bizzell's original vision for such
a center in 1929. Because of President Bizzell's vision, OU became
one of the first universities in the United States to make American
Indian subject matter a curricular focus.
Mark Wilson (Cherokee) has been appointed the Tribal Liaison
Officer and will be a part of the leadership team in the Office
of the Vice President for the University Community. Wilson has over
20 years of experience at OU, working in Prospective Student Services,
where he focused on Native American Recruitment for over 10 years.
He has also been a Tribal Liaison at the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center.
These initiatives outlined by President Boren continue to contribute
to OU's long-standing reputation as a national and international
leader in this area.
In his remarks, Boren said that Native peoples have made a significant
contribution to the fabric of the University and to the unique culture
of the state of Oklahoma.