Osage ‘Sovereignty Day’ will feature public dance

Geneva HorseChief-HamiltonOsage Nation Communications

Osage Sovereignty Day is an annual observance to commemorate ratification of the Constitution of the Osage Nation on March 11, 2006.

This year’s Sovereignty Day celebration will include several days of activities for Osage people of all ages and activity levels. The celebration begins Wednesday, March 11, on the 10th anniversary of the historic event.

each year since that historic day, tribal members have celebrated by hosting an open-to-the-public Sovereignty Day dance. This year, the festivities will feature several days of activities for Osage people of all ages and activity levels. The 2015 celebration will begin on Wednesday, March 11, with a gathering of Osage Nation leadership at the Osage Minerals Chambers in Pawhuska at 2:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear will provide a welcome address and speech. Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn will follow. There will also be a youth speaker and representatives from the judicial, legislative branches and Osage Nation Minerals Council.

Day two of celebrations, Thursday, March 12, will include one of the Nation’s most precious resources, Osage Nation youth. There will be a series of story times with Osage Nation leaders at the Nation’s eight Head Starts and daycares in Pawhuska, Hominy, McCord, Barnsdall, Hominy, and Fairfax. Story time is not open to public; however, Osage Nation Communications and Osage News will provide photos for web updates and social media.

The third day, Friday, March 13, is dedicated to Osage Nation elders. There will be a Tai Chi demonstration at 11am at the Title VI in Pawhuska followed by a “Lunch with Elders” at 11:30am. This event is open to the public with lunch available for purchase.

The last day of celebrations, Saturday, March 14, will be the biggest day and all activities are open to the public. The day’s events include an Osage Sovereignty Walk and Family Fun at the Osage County Fairgrounds, Agricultural Building in Pawhuska. Registration opens at 9am to 9:45am. The walk will begin at 10am. A lunch will be provided at 11am and family activities will also start at 11am. Families can enjoy face painting, Indian Dice, bean bag toss, and orange relay.

The annual Osage Sovereignty Celebration Dance is the conclusion of all events and immediately follows the walk and family fun at the fairgrounds. The public is encouraged to attend and take part in this colorful display of togetherness, traditional singing, dancing, and world championship dancing. The dance starts at 2pm with a gourd dance hosted by the Osage Gourd Clan. Supper will be provided for the public at 5pm and grand entry is scheduled for 7pm.

Immediately after supper and before grand entry, William S. Fletcher will speak about Osage Sovereignty. Fletcher is a descendent of Chief Black Dog; he is the lead plaintiff in the Fletcher v. United States case, and a long-time proponent of Osage sovereignty and the protection of Osage headrights.

Contest categories include men’s straight and women’s cloth or buckskin, children’s junior contests for ages seven to twelve, and teen contest for ages thirteen to seventeen. There will also be a tiny tot contest for children ages birth to five years.

For more information about Osage Nation Sovereignty Celebration Week contact the Osage Nation Executive Office at 918/287-5582.