by Mike Brothers
Drury University archivist Bill Garvin will present a virtual lecture next week exploring the university’s early connections to Native American people in the region. November is National Native American Heritage Month.
The talk, titled “From Tuskahoma, Tishomingo, and Tahlequah: Drury’s Indian Territory Students” begins at 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 23 and will be livestreamed on Drury’s website.
“From Drury’s founding in 1873 until the early 1900s, over 200 Native American students from ‘the I.T.,’ or the Indian Territory – what is now Oklahoma – attended Drury College and the Drury Academy,” Garvin says. “They were Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Cherokee, and a number of them went on to become luminaries in their communities. The story of our Native American students is a unique chapter in Drury’s early history, and one that we should all know.”
The origins of National Native American Heritage Month go back more than a century, and the month-long observance was formally codified by Congress in 1990. Celebrations this year included the opening of the National Native American Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.