Museum exhibit open through June 12

Robert Smith

A new Osage Nation Museum exhibit titled “Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces,” opened last Thursday evening and offered visitors a look at colorful panels developed by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

The exhibit is scheduled to run through June 12 in Pawhuska and it also offers visitors a chance to view local materials related to the military service of Osage veterans. Among those local materials is a U.S. Army dress uniform coat once worn by the Osage Nation’s director of operations, Christian “Casey” Johnson, who was a highly decorated non-commissioned officer.

One of the items that is sure to be deemed a highlight among the local materials is a large U.S. flag, now mounted on the Museum wall, that the U.S. government presented to Osage Chief Fred Lookout in the 1940s in honor of the service of Osage military members. Current Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear donated the flag, which had been passed down through his family to him. Chief Standing Bear explained that his grandmother, Mary Lookout Standing Bear, was the daughter of Fred Lookout.

Addie Roanhorse, acting director of the Osage Museum, credited Casey Johnson with reminding her to add the flag to the exhibit. She explained that special care was taken to prepare the flag for showing.

“I might actually get some sleep this weekend,” Roanhorse joked, reflecting on the labor involved in making arrangements for the Patriot Nations exhibit. The opening was well-attended and featured tasty reception fare, including Roanhorse’s candied bacon.

The exhibit opening was originally slated for Jan. 3, but had to be postponed until Jan. 10 because of inclement weather.