It was April 10, 2010, when the oral history website Voices of Oklahoma was launched. We are very proud that our first storyteller was Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. Wilma’s story was recorded August 13, 2009, a short eight months before she passed on April 6, 2010.
Now eight years later, we have interviewed over 200 Oklahomans, fifty of whom are no longer with us. We feel an obligation to capture and publish as many stories as we can from the older generations, so they will not be lost to future generations. The website has become a valued source of unique historical information regularly accessed by students, educators, and the general public.
Voices of Oklahoma works in partnership with many foundations and individuals who have supported the mission from the very beginning. For the last three years, our relationship with the University of Tulsa and the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities has advanced the work of preserving these oral histories for all of Oklahoma.
As we observe our eighth anniversary, we urge you and your family to record your personal stories. We are preserving our state’s legacy one voice at a time and you can do the same with your family’s legacy.
Listen to Wilma Mankiller tell her story in her own words. Despite the many challenges she faced, professionally and personally, she never gave up while leading her nation and setting an example for us all to admire.
We urge you to share our website Voices of Oklahoma with your friends and family as we move into our ninth year of preserving our state’s legacy one voice at a time.