Skip to Content

Is a Norman Coffee Shop Being Built On an Indigenous Burial Ground?

As a person that grew up on horror films in the 1980s, I was taught that ancient Indigenous burial grounds are a sacred space that should never be tampered with, mostly due to a dearth of angry spirits that will haunt your lovely white family.

Nowadays, however, it’s become more about respecting our late loved ones final resting places, much like the way that I’m sure you would want with your heritage. But, still, I’m positive there are those of us that wouldn’t mind a few angry spirits haunting your lovely white family anyway.

The main reason that I bring it up is, apparently, in Norman a coffee shop is currently being built near Main and Berry on a possible Indigenous burial ground. I’ll take a mocha frappuccino, hold the spooky spirits!

From KOCO:

A member of Norman City Council got involved after a social media post claimed that Dutch Brothers Coffee was being built over the graves of Indigenous people. Neighbors claim they heard that a coffin was dug up, but the city of Norman said there is misinformation circulating.

Well, of course they did…that’s what government does, in the movies and in real life. Just ask Canada.

I’m currently in Norman, a few blocks from where construction is currently taking place, housesitting for a friend. When I asked her about it, she told me that this isn’t the first time this story has made the news. When Johnnie’s, the veritable hamburger place, first opened up in that spot many years ago, this same story was rampant among local media. Of course, no one did anything about it.

“So, when they are getting upset because something currently is happening there, I’m not sure I’m understanding because there’s always been something there. I’ve been in Norman since 1963. We have always been told that it was an old Indian burial ground,” Sonya Grob said.

I’m not sure if Sonya’s upset about it or not. But even though the city of Norman says there’s definitely, absolutely, no possible way for an Indigenous burial ground to be on these premises, they have placed a memorial plaque on the site, just in case. Good thinking, Norman!

If Dutch Brothers were a responsible company, they’d halt construction and get an accredited team of scientists down there—you’ve got a college in town, you know—to dig up the property first, just to make sure that, like the city claims, there’re no Indigenous bodies buried on the lot. But I guess that would mean a company would actually give a damn about Natives and we know that’s never going to happen.

But, after the coffee shop is built—not to far from java joints on both sides, by the way—hopefully we can get an undercover team of Indigenous paranormal hunters in there to find the truth. Anyone know any Native ghost finders that are up for the challenge?


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter