Community , Culture

Annual Cultural Walk no more; name and venue changed to Annual Cultural Encampment

Photo caption: Participants enjoy frybread, green beans, chicken and dumplings, boiled potatoes and steam fry at last year's 9th Annual Cultural Walk at the Mullendore Cross Bell Ranch. This year, the Annual Cultural Encampment will be hosted on the Nation’s Bluestem Ranch for the first time. SHANNON SHAW DUTY/Osage News

For those who have made the Annual Cultural Walk a part of their fall plans, they will now have to pencil in the Annual Cultural Encampment. In essence, they are the same event – but this year it will be held on the Nation’s Bluestem Ranch.

For nine years the popular annual cultural walk, which was hosted on the privately-owned Mullendore Cross Bell Ranch, was an overnight campout with cultural activities that ended with a symbolic walk from the point where Osages crossed over into Indian Territory from eastern Kansas in 1871. The event was started by Vann Bighorse, who is now the director of the Osage Language Department. The Historic Preservation Office also played a big role in hosting the event in past years.

“Since the conception of this annual event we have been looking for ways to make it better and progress,” said WahZhaZhe Cultural Center Director Addie Hudgins in an ON press release. Hudgins has been involved with every cultural walk since its inception. “We feel this is a great time to move forward and make great use of the beautiful land we as a nation now own again.”

The Annual Cultural Encampment is Oct. 20-21 and will consist of an overnight campout and cultural activities on the Bluestem Ranch. Registration begins Aug. 20 and ends Sept. 21. The Nation took ownership of the 43,000-acre ranch from media mogul Ted Turner in 2016.

Eligibility for the Cultural Encampment consists of an Osage Nation membership card. Non-Osage parents, spouses, or significant others will be allowed with a registered Osage member. Children 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Participants must attend orientation and a training the morning before the campout. No alcohol, ice chests, and no pets. The food and water is provided. Pre-registration is required, there will not be onsite registration.

Items to bring include tents, walking shoes, sleeping bags or blankets, warm clothing, toiletries for an overnight stay, rain or snow gear, flashlights, and chairs. Hudgins said the campout will proceed rain, sleet, snow or shine.

“Our people walked from the Ohio basin to what is now the Osage Reservation. Over the past nine years, we have experienced what the journey might have been like for our ancestors from eastern Kansas. This year, on the tenth anniversary of this cultural family event, we are excited to announce a new adventure,” Hudgins said in the release. “Please join us for the 10th Annual WahZhaZhe Cultural Encampment at our very own Bluestem Ranch.”

Register for the Cultural Encampment online at www.osagenation-nsn.gov or email culturalcenter@osagenation-nsn.gov. Call (918) 287-5555 for more information.