Pawhuska forges strong bond with France’s Occitan Region

BY KATHRYN SWANJ-C CORRESPONDENT
Pawhuska forges strong bond with France’s Occitan Region

On July 24, a delegation of nine Occitan’s met at the Osage Tribal Museum. The purpose of their visit was to present a monument commemorating the arrival of three Osages in Montauban, France, in November of 1829. At the base of the monument is the inscription, “The Earth does not belong to belongs to the Earth.”

To the right of an engraving of the Occitan Cross are these words which describe the bond between the two cities:

“In November 1829, three Osages arrived in Montauban, the Occitan Region of France. Little Chief, Big Soldier and Hawk Woman crossed the Old Bridge, received help from bishop Dubourg, and with the generosity of the people of Montauban, they were able to return to the Osage.

“In 1989, the friendship between the Occitan of Montauban and the Osage was revived. The cities of Montauban and Pawhuska signed a twinning agreement in 1999 so that today, we often see Osages in Montauban and Occitans in Pawhuska.

“With this monument, we celebrate that people across borders, mountains and oceans can unite, respecting their differences in ties of sincere friendship.

“Today, July 24, 2013, we hereby dedicate this monument to the many enhanced exchanges that encourage us to retain and maintain our distinct cultures, languages, and value systems.”

As a result of the historic Osage arrival 184 years ago, Pawhuska and Montauban became Sister Cities in 1999 when 25 delegates of the Osage Nation and Osage County traveled across the seas to France.