The story of the 1889 Land Run is complex, said Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
“Transfer of land occupation and ownership is not unique to Europeans coming to America. Indian tribes fought each other, and as one tribe would grow and become more prosperous, they would expand,” Blackburn said. “Where did they get the land from? They got it from some other tribe.
“Taking land is nothing new in history. What's new is you get this clash of two cultures. Losing land and winning land, that's history. Is it right or wrong? That's one person's judgment.
“One person will see (the land run) as another step in becoming a state and making possible what we have today, and other people will say ‘Oh no, that was a catastrophe.'”
Priya Desai, an American Indian woman who helped place the skulls at the monument, said it was a peaceful, nonviolent way to convey information.
“It is a silent but powerful message which packs more of a figurative punch for intellectual thought,” Desai said.Land Run of 1889 facts