About the Seminole Nation Museum
Although it is one of the oldest, most culturally diverse and historically significant regions in Oklahoma, Wewoka and the Seminole County area for many years had no avenue of promoting and caring for its history. In response to this need, the citizens of Wewoka and members of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma established the Seminole Nation Historical Society in 1973 to perpetuate and preserve the history of the Seminole Nation, its capital, and the surrounding area. Its governing body was, and still is, composed of individuals representing the great cultural diversity of the Seminole County population. It is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ensuring the success of its vision through a combination of ethnological programming and educational outreach.
The center for the Society’s operation is the Seminole Nation Museum. The museum opened in the fall of 1974 as the culmination of almost ten years planning and labor by the community. It is housed in the former Wewoka Community Center, a native stone building built by the WPA in 1937. Originally, the facility contained approximately eighteen hundred square feet of exhibit space and a small office and gift shop. Today, it has grown to include almost four thousand square feet of display space, a research library, expanded arts and crafts center and an art gallery that displays original works of art as well as hosts traveling exhibits throughout the year. The museum chronicles the story of the people and events that shaped the Indian Territory home of the Seminoles since its creation following the Civil War. Through life-size exhibits, artwork and rare artifacts, the museum reveals to visitors the social, cultural, economic and educational heritage of these early day pioneers.
Since opening almost four decades ago, the Seminole Nation Museum has hosted over a half of a million visitors from every state in the Union and over one hundred foreign countries. It founded and co-sponsors Wewoka’s award-winning Sorghum Festival, an annual fall event that brings upwards of 30,000 to our community to experience historical-based demonstrations, re-enactments and programming for the arts. In 1985, the Seminole Nation Historical Society was the recipient of the Community Service Award from the State Arts Council for promoting cultural activities in Seminole County.
The museum offers in-house educational programs to both adults and students. Leaning courses cover various topics from art education to how to sew patchwork. In addition to numerous in-house tours given to visitors of all ages, the museum also provides traveling educational programs across Oklahoma and the continental U.S. Storytelling, music and traditional stomp-dance bring to life the people of the Seminole Nation and aid children in the understanding and appreciation of indigenous culture.
Admission is Free
For information regarding the museum, its mission or collections, or its educational programming, contact Richard Ellwanger, Executive Director at 405-257-5580.