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Oak's Indian Mission Children's Home

1926 - 1980

From its beginning, the Lutheran Missions were primarily focused on the education of Native American young people. The Oaks Mission as a Children’s Home was established in 1926 and is located approximately 65 miles east of Tulsa, Oklahoma, just 23 miles west of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

Until 1977, children of the Mission were treated without regard for individual needs. The children were housed, fed, clothed, supervised, and sent to school.

Individual needs were dealt with only as they surfaced in social and mental displays. The approach to the care of these children was “boarding school provision.”

In February 1979, the children were assessed according to four related sets of needs:

  1. Pre-delinquent:  Young children who have violated federal, state, or municipal laws and whom the juvenile workers and courts feel could better benefit from an “open” campus rather than the “closed” campus of a correctional institution.

  2. In Need of Supervision:  The child who has (1) repeatedly disobeyed reasonable and lawful directions of his/her parents or legal guardian; (2) is willfully absent from home without the consent of parents or legal guardian for a substantial length of time or without intent to return.

  3. Deprived:  A child who for any reason is destitute, homeless, or abandoned; or who does not have proper parental care; where there is neglect, cruelty, or depravity on the part of the parent or legal guardian; or where parent or legal guardian desires to be relieved of physical custody of the child.

  4. Boarding:  This child is placed outside his or her home because of a need of education. This is a nine-month resident who will return to his/her respective home after the completion of the school year.


1980 - PRESENT

The core ministry of Oaks Indian Mission is its care program for Indian children. All have suffered some form of abuse or neglect. Many are orphans. Others have been abandoned. Some come from loving homes where it is simply no longer possible for parents or grandparents to provide the needed food, clothing and education. The children range from age seven to age seventeen.

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