Te Ata Fisher

Class of
Te Ata Fisher

Te Ata Fisher


Regarded as “the Modern Pocahontas” and born Mary Thompson, Fisher was born near Tishomingo, Oklahoma, and earned her degree at the Oklahoma College for Women (now the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma) in Chickasha. She first told her Native American stories as a means to finance her acting career in New York. Eventually, her storytelling blossomed into the craft for which she was so widely known. Te Ata’s programs consisted of native legend myths, chants, and old rituals in gorgeous costumes native to her culture. She performed extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad until the late 1970s. She was a member of the National Congress of American Indians and became a close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. Te Ata, which means “bearer of the morning,” was named Oklahoma’s first State Treasure in 1987.

Fun fact

Te Ata Fisher was invited to represent Native Americans in a program for President and Mrs. Roosevelt’s distinguished guests, H.R.H. King George and Queen Elizabeth of England in 1939.

Oklahoma connections

Fisher was born near Tishomingo, Oklahoma in the Chickasaw Nation in 1895.










Relevant Exhibits

No Frontiers Beyond Our Reach: Native American Changemakers

No Frontiers Beyond Our Reach: Native American Changemakers

This exhibit highlights eight different trailblazing Native Americans that left impactful legacies in the fields of history, education, space exploration, military, politics, and the arts.