Photo caption: More than 400 people attended the Honoring Osage Full Bloods event on Aug. 4 at Wakon Iron Hall in Pawhuska. SHANNON SHAW DUTY
Tommy Daniels, William Samuel Fletcher, Mongrain “Mogri” Lookout, Yvonne Lookout Wilson, Elda June “Kimmie” Morrell McNiel, Eddy Red Eagle Jr., former Principal Chief John Red Eagle, and Minerals Councilman Myron Red Eagle, were honored for being the last living full blood Osages.
Each individual has contributed greatly to the Osage Nation, either through culture, community outreach or government.
The event, which was organized, hosted, and supported completely by volunteers and donations, was held at Wakon Iron Hall on Aug. 4. And, like most events held at Wakon Iron Hall through the years, it was a dinner. A full Osage feast prepared by 19 cooks that fed more than 400 people.
Osage singers sang two honor songs for the honorees, children sang a song in Osage. Language Director Vann Bighorse said the prayer for the meal, and Wah-Zha-Zhi Youth Council representatives, Osage Nation Princess Lainie Maker and Noah Shadlow, expressed their appreciation, both in Osage and English.
The event’s main organizer, Mary Mashunkashey, thanked everyone for being there and expressed her appreciation for everyone’s support for the event. She called upon Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear to present Pendleton blankets to the honorees, a plaque, and other gifts.
“I, like many, are fortunate to know you and when we want to know something, we still come to you,” Standing Bear said to the honorees. “We need you here for a long time. You have become precious to us.”
He said there was a time that Osage customs were well known by everyone and that the individuals being honored that day have played a part in carrying on Osage traditions.
Gwynn Pahsetopah sang, “Amazing Grace,” and afterward Mashunkashey dismissed everyone so they could visit and take photos with the honorees. Osage artist and photographer, Ryan RedCorn, took portraits and Kilan Jacobs of the Nation’s Historic Preservation Office interviewed the honorees for the ONHPO.
Mashunkashey posted her gratitude to the community on her Facebook page:
“Today was indescribable the outpouring of love and respect close to 400 Osage’s and close friends came to honor our Last Living Fullbloods. After months of hard work and organizing this amazing event it came together perfectly, I want to thank all of you who donated, volunteered spoke kind words of encouragement and hugs. I want to tell the cooks how deeply I appreciate each of them and their selfless giving of themselves it is hard work but blessings abundantly will abide. From the bottom of my heart I love and thank you all.”
Organizers for the event included the Northern California Osage Association, Mashunkashey, Julie Malone, Danette Daniels, Ginger Hollis, Celena White, Asa Concha, Gene Dennison, former Principal Chief Jim Gray, Congressman Alice Goodfox, Congressman Scott Bighorse, Tincy Kari Irons Fish, and Jan Mansfield.
The Osage News will be writing a series of articles on the remaining full bloods, blood quantum and what it means to the Osage community. Look for the articles in the September edition of the Osage News.