The University of Oklahoma Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) is offering their “Native 101” training session to Gibbs College of Architecture faculty and staff during the College’s Fall 2020 Back to School Meeting.

About the Session

The session will be led by OU Tribal Liaison Warren Queton and ODEI graduate assistant Antonio Guardado, and is structured in the format of a Jeopardy-style quiz game, with accompanying explanations and a closing Q&A session. Click here to download an overview of the training, which includes the land acknowledgement statement.

Please read on for more information about this training which will be held via Zoom from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 20.

Preparing for the Training

  1. Registration. In order for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to assign teams for the training, Gibbs College faculty and staff must register via this link by Tuesday, August 18:
  2. Pre-Assessment. Before the session starts, please complete the pre-assessment linked here:
  3. Pre-Reading. After you have completed the pre-assessment, please review the below “Pre-Reading” to prepare
  4. Questions. Make a list of questions you want to ask Tribal Liaision Warren Queton during the Q&A session
  5. Get Ready to Play. Before the session starts, please open www.playfactile/join on your smartphone browser


We will be playing a quiz show game during our training session; to get ready for the session, please read over the below facts.

American Indian Identities, Selected

  • The following are examples of terms native peoples may identify as: Native American, Indigenous, First Nations, and American Indian (Learn more)
  • Much like the Bible, American Indians have a large repertoire of oral traditions (Learn more)
  • Creation Stories are collective stories explain the origins of Native Peoples (Learn more)
  • Many tribes use the “Blood Quantum” as a qualification for membership (Learn more)

American Indian Religion, Selected

  • The Sun Dance is a popular Plains Indian religious ceremony that focuses on pledges or sacrifice oneself through skewering the body (Learn more)
  • The Ghost Dance was introduced by Prophet Wovoka of the Northern Paiute (Learn more)
  • The Native American Church was developed in the late 1800s, coming from Northern Mexico/South Texas and making sacramental use of the entheogen peyote (Learn more)
  • The Stomp Dance is a religious performance centered on a sacred fire that was brought from tribal homelands in Southeast United States during removal (Learn more)
  • Tribal Hymns comprise a religious musical genre that incorporates translations of the bible into songs (Learn more)

American Indian Foods, Selected

  • Southwestern tribes are not allowed to eat corn until after the harvest ceremony (Learn more)
  • Fry bread was developed during the reservation period using flour, lard, sugar, and baking soda provided in government rations (Learn more)
  • Bison (also sometimes called buffalo) offered a key source of supplies for food, housing and tools for many Plains Indian tribes (Learn more)
  • Wild onion is a wild vegetable that is harvested from late Winter to early Spring and is a great component to the sense of community within Southeastern tribes (Learn more)
  • Salmon is a common element of many Northwestern coastal tribes’ diets; dam projects in the region have affected seasonal salmon migrations and tribes’ access to these fish (Learn more)

Famous American Indian Leaders, Selected

  • Chief Wilma Mankiller was the first woman Chief for the Cherokee Nation (Learn more)
  • Chief Sitting Bull is often credited with the defeat of General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn (Learn more)
  • Geronimo, from the Chiricahua Apache Tribe, is among the most common symbols of Native American resistance (Learn more)
  • Chief Black Kettle was a Cheyenne Chief who flew an American flag over his tipi during the Battle of Washita because he thought it would keep his village safe (Learn more)
  • Chief Standing Bear was a Ponca Chief and Native American Civil Rights leader who proved in 1879’s U.S. District court that Native Americans also have right to Habeas Corpus (Learn more)

American Indian Art, Just to Name a Few

  • Five Native American ballerinas and choreographers from Oklahoma became known as “The Five Moons” (Learn more)
  • The 2D Native American artists highlighted by Oscar Jacobson became known as “The Kiowa 6” (Learn more)
  • The book There, There by Tommy Orange looks at ambivalence toward and complexity of Natives’ struggles; it was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize (Learn more)
  • The Native American rock band Redbone popularized the 1970s tune “Come and Get Your Love” (Learn more)
  • Note: The sculpture “End of the Trail” (1928) by James Earle Fraser is often falsely classified as Native American Art (Learn more)

Tribes of Oklahoma, Selected

  • Oklahoma means “Red People” in the Choctaw language (Learn more)
  • 39 tribes reside in Oklahoma (Learn more), and all but the Yuchi Tribe are recognized by the federal government as sovereign nations (Learn more)
  • The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee), and Seminole tribes came to be referred to as the “Five Civilized Tribes” during the mid-nineteenth century. Today they are known as the “Five Tribes” (Learn more)
  • The Sac and Fox Nation was the first tribal nation to produce their own car tags as a sign of their tribal sovereignty (Learn more)

Tribal Festivals in Oklahoma, Selected

  • The Tuskahoma Choctaw Festival coincides with the “Labor Day” federal holiday weekend (Learn more)
  • The Standing Bear Powwow is held the last Friday and Saturday of September and hosted by the six North-Central tribes of Oklahoma (Learn more)
  • The Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival is an early Fall festival that highlights the fine art and talents of American Indian artists (Learn more)
  • The Chickasaw National Annual Meeting & Festival is an annual celebration hosted by the Chickasaw Nation that lasts for a whole week and takes place in different cities (Learn more)
  • The Ottawa Powwow & Celebration allows families the opportunity to relax and enjoy no-contest dancing with space for camping (Learn more)

Homes of the Eastern Tribes, Selected

  • The Aroostook Band of the Micmac tribe reside in Maine (Learn more)
  • The Ojibwa or Chippewa tribe has lived for hundreds of years in the Great Lakes region (Learn more)
  • The Chickahominy tribe resides between Richmond and Williamsburg in Virginia (Learn more)
  • The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute bands of the Lower Sioux reside in Minnesota (Learn more)
  • The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation resides in Connecticut (Learn more)

American Indian Federal Policy

  • The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was a federal policy that forced all tribes East of the Mississippi river to leave their homelands for lands on the West (Learn more)
  • The General Allotment Act of 1887, also known as the Dawes Act, was a federal policy that broke reservation communities up into 160 acre parcels of land for individual families (Learn more)
  • The Federal Boarding School program, which was in place from 1860 to 1978, required thousands of Native American children to be pulled from their communities and families to assimilate into white society by cutting their hair, wearing uniforms, and learning English (Learn more)
  • The Native American Graves Protection and Reparation Act (1990) supported the return of Native American artifacts and burial remains to their tribal communities (Learn more)
  • The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (1975) allowed for federal grants and contracts to be made directly with tribal governments as well as it gave the tribes full authority to manage the funds without outside influence (Learn more)

Things to keep in mind, Selected

  • Antonia Belindo is OU’s person of contact for American Indian Programs and Services (Learn more)
  • It is important to remember that no one person may speak for all Native Peoples. It can be vital for Native students to learn with a culturally relevant lens (Learn more)
  • Avoiding eye contact is a common Native American student behavior that can be confused with shyness or not paying attention (Learn more)
  • Native American students might need to request to miss class for funerals, powwows, and ceremonies, which can be classified as religious observances (Learn more)
  • Respectful Protocol for Attending Ceremonies involves avoiding taking pictures or recording without permission, avoiding touching regalia, and dressing respectfully (Learn more)

Stereotypes and Phrasing to Avoid, Selected

  • “Chief” is a word used in executive positions that dehumanizes Indigenous Peoples, but it is also used as an elected office within Tribal Governments and academia (Learn more)
  • While the term “Indian Princess” may be use to refer to women who represent their tribes in an official capacity, it can also be seen as a derogatory term if used to stereotype Native American women (Learn more)
  • “Redskin” is a pejorative term referring to Native Americans (Learn more)
  • Tipis are household structures commonly used to symbolize Indianness, despite the fact that there are wide diversity in Native American homes (Learn more)
  • The phrase “Low man on the totem pole” being used to identify the status of a person can be understood as insensitive, as totem poles are not hierarchical (Learn more)
  • It is a common misconception that all Indians carved totem poles, which serve as family crests, house the ashes of the dead, and are also used as shame poles to be erected in front of homes of individuals who have done wrong (Learn more)
  • The phrase “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” is not a culturally sensitive way to refer to there being too many bosses and not enough employees (Learn more)
  • “Let’s powwow” is not an appropriate phrase to use to start a meeting (Learn more)
  • The phrase “off the reservation” is not an appropriate way to indicate that someone has lost their connection to an issue or that their argument missed the mark (Learn more)
  • The term “squaw” dehumanizes American Indian women and implies subservience to men; it is understood as an ethnic and sexual slur (Learn more)

Image credit: Brian Hardzinski / KGOU