Research Team, Working Group and Tribal Institutional Partners


Curatorial leadership during the exhibit design and content development process over the past years has been provided by a core Research Team and Working Group. This leadership team has collaborated with the Ralph Appelbaum exhibit designers and The Center staff to provide cultural and scholarly guidance to the project.

Research Team (past)

  • heather ahtone (Choctaw/Chickasaw), Research Coordinator and Artifact Researcher
  • Jane Martin, Image Researcher
  • Dr. Mary Jane Warde, Head Researcher
  • Dr. Donald Fixico (Muscogee Creek), Head Researcher
  • Dr. Myra Alexander-Starr (Muscogee Creek), Researcher
  • Dr. Mark Palmer (Kiowa), Researcher
  • Michael Jordan, Researcher
  • Josh Clough, Researcher
  • Nathan Hart, (Cheyenne), Community Liaison

Working Group

  • Jim Anquoe (Kiowa)
  • Jimmy Artebery (Comanche)
  • Dr. C. Blue Clark (Muscogee Creek)
  • Lawrence Hart (Cheyenne)
  • Ted Isham (Muscogee Creek)
  • Kirke Kickingbird (Kiowa)
  • Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell (Choctaw, Chippewa)
  • Linda Poolaw (Delaware, Kiowa)
  • Russ Tall Chief (Osage)
  • Dr. Mary Joe Watson (Seminole)
  • Olin Williams (Mississippi Choctaw)
  • Connie Yellowman (Cheyenne)

Tribal Institutional Partners

Following the creation of the State Agency in the mid 1990's, Native American Cultural and Educational Authority (NACEA) representatives reached out to the individual tribal Nations to help shape the Vision Plan. The Tribal Nations of Oklahoma have consistently partnered with The Center at each phase of development, contributing to the conceptual framework, offering access to proprietary cultural heritage and contributing financially to the debt service repayment, sponsorship at the 2005 Groundblessing Ceremony and in the Foundation’s capital fundraising campaign. Additionally, Multi-year partnerships have been developed to test pilot museum programming.