The first meeting of the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women was hosted in 1969 by Alice and Boyce Timmons and Georgeann Robinson. Over fifty women of different tribes came together on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman to form a statewide organization of Indian women.
The organization was founded under a state charter on April 17, 1972. A constitution was written with the stated purpose: “the advancement of the economic and social welfare of the American Indian; the development of education and cultural programs; preservation of Indian culture and traditions; and to portray the true image of the American Indian.”
The Federation began the Miss Indian Oklahoma pageant in 1973, with Deana Harragarra crowned as the first MIO. In 1983, the Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma pageant was initiated as a fund-raiser for the organization.
Since that time both pageants have grown into pageants stressing not only the beauty of the American Indian women but the scholastic, cultural traditions, and current issues as well.
The Federation has grown and changed with the times but still remains true to the original purpose. A wide range of programs are conducted including the annual series of events featuring the two title competitions, a fine arts and crafts showcase, statewide awards, and a youth conference added in 1998. The events are held annually in a weekend series showcasing the finest traits and talents of the American Indian.