For Immediate Release: February 5, 2010
Painting of Te Ata, the state’s first ‘Oklahoma Treasure’ to be dedicated Monday
A portrait of traditional Native storyteller Te Ata will be formally dedicated on Monday, February 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the Oklahoma State Senate Chamber.
Te Ata was in born in the Chickasaw Nation near Tishomingo in 1895 and achieved national and international acclaim as a storyteller, helping preserve tales from her own Chickasaw tribe as well as other Native stories. She was recognized by the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1958, and in 1987, Te Ata was named Oklahoma’s first Cultural Treasure by Gov. Henry Bellmon and the Oklahoma Arts Council. She died in 1995, just a few days before her 100th birthday.
Te Ata was the aunt of the late Senator Helen Cole, and the great-aunt of Congressman Tom Cole. The portrait is the latest to be unveiled by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc., led by former State Senator Charles Ford.
The painting is sponsored by Congressman Cole in memory of his mother and by the Chickasaw Nation. Congressman Cole and Chickasaw Governor Bill Anoatubby are expected to attend Monday’s dedication ceremony.
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