City Of Tulsa To Rename 2 Parks, Acknowledging History Of Native Americans & Veterans

Thursday, June 17th 2021, 5:36 pm
By: Sawyer Buccy

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The City of Tulsa is announcing their plans to rename two city parks to honor the history of veterans and Native Americans in the area.

They hope that by September 11 of this year, Centennial Park will be Veterans Park and by October of 2021, Veterans Park will be Dream Keepers Park. This plan will go to the Park Board next and then the City Council for approval.

These are just city parks to some people, a spot where you come to watch your kids play soccer on the weekends or where you take a walk with your family.

But they are more than that.

There are groups here in Oklahoma who are hoping these spaces can be places to gather, places to educate.

"We were here first. Every single acre of Tulsa was originally owned by one of our citizens," said Second Chief Del Beaver of Muscogee Nation. "There is nobody better to tell our history than ourselves. Whenever these things present themselves, we got to step up and fill in that gap of let us tell our history from this side - from our perspective."

"When they initially put Veterans Park where it is at now on Boulder, the veterans' memorials got great visibility, but since the city has shifted and populations have shifted, they have kind of fallen to where you can't see them anymore," said Veterans Chair for Tulsa Human Rights Commission Josh Starks. "I want Veteran's Park to be a reflection of the citizens’ love for their veterans."

Del Beaver said the renaming of both parks is incredibly important to acknowledging the history of indigenous people in this area.

"Anytime you can provide an opportunity to educate especially the young ones then we are all aboard - that is where it starts, is education," said Del Beaver.

Starks has been advocating for these changes for four years now.

"This actually is creating an epicenter of Veteran's activities. We will be able to end the Veteran's Day Parade at Veteran's Park now," said Starks. 

"We want Tulsa to be a city where we honor heroes," said Mayor G.T. Bynum.