Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: October 9, 2017
Sen. Ron Sharp welcomes Absentee Shawnee Tribe Governor
to the State Capitol on Thursday, October 5.
Sen. Ron Sharp gathers with presenters at the State Capitol
following the interim study
on Teaching Tribal Sovereignty and Tribal Histories in the Public
Sharp holds tribal sovereignty, histories interim study
Shawnee State Senator Ron
Sharp held an interim study this week at the State Capitol to
discuss potentially adding instruction about tribal sovereignty
and tribal histories to the Oklahoma public school curriculum.
Thursday’s interim study concentrated on building a partnership
between the state of Oklahoma and tribal governments to bring American
Indian histories and cultures into classrooms across the state.
Several state and educational leaders were in attendance and offered
testimony in their area of expertise.
Speakers for the interim study included Absentee Shawnee Tribe Governor
Edwina Butler-Wolfe; Debbie Hogue-Downing, retired teacher from
Shawnee Public Schools and Native American Taskforce member; and
Lucyann Harjo, Director of Indian Education at Norman Public Schools
and President of the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education. Other
speakers were Dr. Blue Clark, Professor of Law from Oklahoma City
University School of Law; John Harris, government and social studies
teacher from Big Pasture Public Schools; and public school students,
Bella Cornell and Jalen Black.
“Oklahoma has 39 separate federally recognized tribes and
it’s very important for students to understand we have three
sovereign governments in Oklahoma; federal, state and the 39 tribes,”
said Sharp, who is also a former teacher. “All of these comprise
who we are in the state of Oklahoma and the presentations we heard
in the interim study highlighted even further the importance of
bringing that education and understanding into our classrooms.”
For more information, contact:
Sen. Sharp: (405) 521-5539