Fifty-eight GEAR UP students from Antlers High School recently traveled to Durant, OK, to tour the newly constructed Choctaw Cultural Center. Wade Bohanon and his Choctaw Cultural Educators greeted the students and led them to Luksi Activity Center, where students enjoyed the fun and immersive environment of the Choctaw turtle and friends.
Next, students were led on a guided tour of the center. Students explored the Choctaw Gardens exhibit, which provides sights and sounds of the Mississippi homelands as they existed hundreds of years ago. The tour continued with the Hall of Treaties, illustrating how the Choctaw people maintained relations with the government, ultimately leading to the Trail of Tears. The largest exhibit the GEAR UP students visited was “Oklahoma” where they learned the Choctaw story from the 1830s to the modern Choctaw Nation.
The tour concluded with a question and answer session and a visit to the gift shop and the Champuli Cafe.
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP program. Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant in 2017, and will serve more than 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.