Monday, February 1, 2016

6 things you want to know about Oklahoma

sign at the Texas Oklahoma border
1. The name of the state comes from two Choctaw words, okla and humma, which mean "red people." There is evidence that Native peoples travelled through Oklahoma as early as the last ice age.

unidentified round thing at Cherokee Heritage Center
2. Thousands of Native Americans were expelled from their homelands during the 1800s and resettled in what is now Oklahoma. In the early 1900s, attempts were made to establish the area as an all-Indian state. The state's nickname, "Sooner State," refers to non-native settlers who came in advance of the official opening of the territory.

Natural Falls at Dripping Springs State Park
3. Nearly 2/3 of Oklahomans live within the metro areas of Tulsa and Oklahoma City, but the state has more than ten distinct ecological regions. Most of the state is in "Tornado Alley."

Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Building in Tahlequah4. Oklahoma is a major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products.

5. The state of Oklahoma had the second highest Native American population in the country in 2002; about 22,000 people speak Cherokee (mostly in eastern Oklahoma). More than 25 Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma. However, Spanish is the second most common "at home" language spoken in the state after English.

6. There are no reservations in the state, but tribal governments hold land granted during the Indian Territory era.