Anadarko, Oklahoma – On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, Native Americans gathered to preserve their rich and colorful history in the minds of the Oklahoma people. Held in Anadarko, otherwise known as the Indian Capital of the Nation, the American Indian Exposition is like no other ceremony in the state and exemplifies Oklahoma’s heritage. Anadarko’s annual American Indian Expo showcases the arts, crafts and traditions of 13 plains Indian tribes. Afternoons and evenings are filled with a variety of tribal dances and rites and is kicked off by the annual parade. The Expo Parade is considered to be the largest American Indian parade in Oklahoma and the Parade theme this year was “Standing Strong on Sacred Ground.”
Tribal Princesses representing individual tribes are honored at this event each year. The Princess Pageant hosts the many tribal nation Princesses or, Ambassadors of their tribes, who dress in full regalia that tells a story of each individual tribal nation, their culture and history. During the Exposition, the Princesses are introduced by their Princess Directors and Coordinators and appear in the pageants, dances and other programs. To be selected as the Princess to represent her tribe at the Exposition is considered a great honor.
The American Indian Exposition or otherwise known as The Southwest Indian Fair was created by the Kiowa Indian Agency and first held in 1931 at the Caddo County Fairgrounds where it is still held to this day. The goal of the “Southwest Indian Fair” was to promote cultural life, handcrafts and arts that are part of the Native heritage and handed down from generation to generation. The Indian Fair was such a success for Anadarko that the city, State Legislature and government appropriated funds for the continuance of an annual event. To this day, without the support of the town, tribal nations and many patrons the event would not be possible. The American Indian Exposition is a non-profit organization and was held on Wednesday, August 14th through the 17th.
Led by a police escort, the parade began at around 10:00 a.m. near the old train depot and looped back around by the Redskin Theater and ended at 12:00 p.m. Delaware Nation participated in the parade and the theme this year was the “Lenape Creation Myth”. Delaware Nation hopes everyone had a good time. On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 87 years of tradition, heritage and legacy took place on the streets of Anadarko, OK.