Commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc.
Dedicated on March 12, 2001
Enoch Kelly Haney was commissioned to create two sets of bronze roundels to be placed high above the entrances to both the House and Senate chambers. Sponsored by the Tulsa Tribune Foundation, the sets reprents the Eastern and Western Tribes of Oklahoma.
The tribes of Western Oklahoma are depicted in the two bronzes on either side of the House of Representatives' entrance. The Will to Live depicts a young warrior, and in the background of the relief is a buffalo, a native symbol of endurance. At one time, the buffalo was nearly extinct, but ultimately not only survived, but thrived. Likewise, the people of Oklahoma have faced many tragedies and challenges, but ultimately overcame them all. Opposite it is The Spirit of Heritage.
Truly a modern-day renaissance man, Enoch Kelly Haney's talents span two separate spheres - namely politics and art. Born on November 12, 1940 to William Woodrow and Hattie Louise Haney, Enoch grew up in Seminole, Oklahoma. The son of a full blood Seminole and Creek Indian, Haney's own grandfather was chief of the Seminole Tribe in the 1940s.
Haney's interest in Indian people is evident in his art, as he puts a great amount of energy into the research and documentation of Native American culture and traditions. His work is exacting in its detail and representation of native peoples. Haney received his Associate of Arts degree from Bacone College, and his Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Oklahoma City University.
In 1962 he was honored with the Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship at the University of Arizona. Haney was designated as the Master Artist of the Five Civilized Tribes in 1975; he also was awarded a Governor's Art Award, Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Indian Heritage Award. Along with his work as an artist, Haney has served terms in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, as well as the Senate.