SULPHUR, OK (KSWO) -Oklahoma is filled with places where you can learn more about Native American culture, and this installment of One Tank Trips shows off the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur.
The pride of the Chickasaw people is on display every day at the Chickasaw Cultural Center. The amphitheater at center of the campus has room for 320 guests. It's the scene of living history performances, concerts and other presentations. The entire complex was opened in 2010, after more than 20 years of dreaming and planning. Spread over 100 acres, the center has drawn 460,000 visitors from around the world.
"The purpose of the Chickasaw Cultural Center is to serve as a home for Chickasaw people, and a place where we are able to share our history culture with the world," said Valorie Walters.
Walters says that culture is shared through a variety of activities, exhibits and displays, such as dancing, food, art and even landscaping that bring an all-encompassing learning experience.
"Whether you want to be really hands-on and learn some of our cultural crafts or dancing, or you want to taste some of the food that we have, we serve traditional meals here at the Chickasaw Cultural Center. We also have wonderful exhibits that allow you to understand who we are," Walters said.
That feeling is captured in a bronze sculpture called "The Arrival," which commemorates the Chickasaws arrival to new territory in Oklahoma after being removed from their original homeland. While the inspiration is borne out of a painful period of history, the message of hope and resilience is reflected in the expressions of the characters.
The center has a busy summer planned, with some special events coming up very soon.
"We will celebrate Fathers' Day this summer. We will have a giant kids' festival this summer, and we're going to have a Native American film festival in August as well, so lots of exciting things to do here at the cultural center," Walters said.