Community , Culture

Osage citizens invited to dedication of research facility in Missouri

The inauguration of a new research facility named by the Tribal Cultural Advisors committee and the Historic Preservation Office will be dedicated at the University of Missouri-Columbia on Oct. 29.

The new facility, named “Land of the Osages,” is the university’s Center for Agroforestry’s new research center in the Lake of the Ozarks area in central Missouri, said Osage Nation Historic Preservation Officer Dr. Andrea Hunter.

“They really want as many Osages to come as possible,” said Hunter on Aug. 9 to the TCA committee. “This is Agroforestry, teaching students how to care for the land in a sustainable way.”

The committee discussed attending the inauguration. Hunter said Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear will be speaking, as well as Osage Congressional Speaker Joe Tillman, TCA Chairman Norman Akers, MU’s President, Chancellor and Dean, and the Governor of Missouri has been invited to make remarks, she said.

Hunter sits on the university’s Indigenous Advisors Board and knows the inauguration is something the university is looking forward to. “It is a pretty big event as they have not opened a new research center in many decades,” she said.

The inauguration starts at 9 a.m. on Oct. 29 and the location is in the area of Sunrise Beach.

“We will have our color guard and drummers do our Flag song, plus Vann [Bighorse] will say the prayer,” she said. “After the speeches, lunch will be provided followed by a field day in the afternoon to visit the new research center.”

She said the dress is business for the inauguration and then walking shoes/boots for the afternoon. Hunter closed her remarks by noting that MU has followed up with her over the years and has “increased their indigenous representation.” She said MU used to have a scholarship for Osages and they’re trying to revive it.

“It really creates a future for us, for our young people,” Akers said. “If we could make this relationship with the University of Missouri, our young people could go study there.”