Despite Oklahoma having the largest most diverse Native America population in the United States, many of those interested in becoming artists and who wish to study in a formal academic setting presently leave the state to pursue their aspirations elsewhere. There is a strong desire to stem this exodus by offering academic opportunities that will meet the needs of Native Americans at home.
The Meredith Indigenous Humanities Center (MIHC)will facilitate the planning and development of interdisciplinary, multicultural approaches to the humanities using American Indian, Aleut, and Inuit languages in addition to English and Spanish.
The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) is located in the heart of Oklahoma, built upon land donated by a Chickasaw tribal member. Located between the Five Civilized Tribes to the east and the Plains Indian Tribes of the west, the region around USAO is home to over 40 federally recognized Indian tribes. As a state-supported liberal arts college serving a rural population, USAO has long attracted a large number of American Indian college students (13% of enrollment).
The American Indian Arts and Humanities Project is one of two remaining that will complete Phase I as the anchor in a multiyear, comprehensive "Realizing Great Expectations" capital campaign. That campaign will fully restore and rehabilitate the "Oklahoma College for Women National Historic District" listed on the National Register of Historic Places.