Editorial: Indian population in Oklahoma will continue to expand

"Whites of European ancestry now represent less than half of all births in the United States. In many Oklahoma counties, at least 25 percent of children younger than 5 are minorities, due largely to American Indians and Hispanics. U.S. Census Bureau numbers indicate that immigration isn’t the main cause of the change, however. Instead, differences in birthrates explain the shift."

Overall, the U.S. Census reports that Oklahoma’s 2011 Hispanic population makes up 9.1 percent of state residents, while American Indians account for 8.9 percent and blacks are 7.6 percent.

In Oklahoma, it was once scandalous for a white girl to date an Indian boy. Today, many people try to claim even the weakest link to American Indian heritage. Those who were considered mysterious “others” in the past are today called “neighbor” or even “grandson.” That will continue to be the case as our state’s population changes.

Oklahoma’s history was built by people unwelcome in other states who came here for land runs. Our heritage isn’t based on ethnicity, but a pioneer spirit. That won’t change, even if our demographics do."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Oklahoma’s heritage won’t change, even if demographics do (The Oklahoman 5/20)

Related Stories
American Indian and Alaska Native population grows to 6.3M (5/17)

Join the Conversation