The Exposition began with the All-Indian Fair first held in 1924. In 1935 it was incorporated as the American Indian Exposition with the stated purpose of "promoting and retaining Indian cultural life, handicrafts, arts, crafts, and farming and livestock skills by providing a yearly showcase".
The Exposition features a week-long program of dance contests, parades, pageants (Indian Princess, Prettiest Baby), sporting events (horse racing, All-Indian golf, bowling, etc.), as well as arts and crafts contests. The fairgrounds also provides camping accommodations for the participants. Nearby is the Southern Plains Indian Museum,the American Indian Hall of Fame, and Indian City USA.