The name Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw phrase, 'okla homma,' literally meaning red people.
Choctaw Chief Allen Wright suggested the name in 1866 during treaty negotiations with
the federal government regarding the use of Indian Territory, in which he
envisioned an all-Indian state controlled by the United States Superintendent of
Indian Affairs. Equivalent to the English word Indian, okla humma was a phrase in the Choctaw language used to describe the Native American race as a whole. Oklahoma later became the name for Oklahoma Territory, and it was officially approved in 1890, two years after the area was opened to white settlers. Formed by the combination of Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory on November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was the 46th state to enter the union. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City. The state has 77 counties.