For more than 50 years, members of the Kiowa Gourd Clan have performed their annual Gourd Dance in a public park in southwestern Oklahoma, but a new bridge over the park forced them to come up with a new site. With help from a local contractor, Kiowa tribe members built a new location for the sacred practice: a park with a dance arena – on tribal land.
In one Oklahoma town, a state budget crisis and low enrollment have reignited rumors that the local public school will be shut down. The closure might save money, but for the community’s Cherokee population, there’s much more at stake.
The Kiowa Tribe's language had been slowly dying out, but a revitalization program is sponsoring programs of storytelling, singing and language instruction to pass on the language to Kiowa youths. Using a federal grant, the tribe will train 25 teachers to educate students at a variety of age levels, as well as hold regular singing sessions and storytelling evenings.