A dedication ceremony for the Chickasaw Garden will be held at Oklahoma City University at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6. The garden is south of the University Center near N.W. 25th Street and Florida Avenue.
The garden was built over the course of the summer to provide an appropriate setting for a statue that was donated to the university by Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. The statue, titled “Chickasaw Warrior,” was designed by prominent Native American artist Senator Enoch Kelly Haney, an OCU alumnus who also designed the statue that tops the Oklahoma Capitol building.
OCU President Robert Henry said careful planning went into the garden in the center of campus that will encircle the statue.
“This will be a place where students and campus visitors can relax, study or just think in peace while surrounded by beauty,” Henry said. “Every little detail from the color of the walkway to the layout of the garden was carefully considered in order to create a space that is fitting for this great work of art.”
The statue will be installed on a pedestal to raise it slightly above ground level. A walkway and other features are intended to mimic the American Indian medicine wheel with an unbroken circular form.
The four quadrants within the circle represent the four cardinal directions, the four seasons of the year and the four seasons of life — birth, adolescence, adulthood and death.
The design uses regional materials like pink granite and sandstone along with native plants to reflect the colors and textures of Oklahoma.
The dedication ceremony will include a Cedar blessing by Steve Littleman of the Kiowa tribe, a prayer by Chickasaw elder Lee Frazier and a flute performance by musician Me-Way-She Greenwood of the Chickasaw, Ponca and Otoe tribes. Haney, Anoatubby and Henry will be present.