Osage Nation receives 20-acre donation

Osage Nation

The Native American Rights Fund has donated 20 acres of Osage ancestral land back to the Osage Nation.

NARF Executive Director John E. Echohawk and Director of Development Donald M. Ragona visited the Osage Reservation on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 to sign over the deed alongside Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn, Historic Preservation Officer Dr. Andrea Hunter, Attorney General Clint Patterson, Assistant Attorney General Adam Trumbly and former Osage Nation Chief Jim Gray.

NARF has been working with the Osage Nation since 2013, with the goal of returning the land. Osages have a rich and varied geographical history. Origins begin in the Ohio River Valley with a slow western migration, due to forced removal, toward what is now the Osage Reservation in northeast Oklahoma.

The state of Missouri holds culturally significant areas in the Osage settlement pattern. Dr. Hunter verified that the land, located in Lafayette County, is ancestral to the Osage and she has identified visible mounds on the property.

“This is at the core of what we do,” Dr. Hunter said. “We are here to protect our people and protect our ancestors.”

NARF, headquartered in Boulder, CO, is a non-profit organization that focuses on applying existing laws and treaties to guarantee that national and state governments live up to their legal obligations. According to their website, NARF has successfully asserted and defended the most important rights of Indians and tribes in hundreds of major cases, and has achieved significant results in such critical areas as tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, natural resource protection, and Indian education.

“Our focus is on tribal existence, sovereignty and asserting our rights,” said NARF Executive Director John E. Echohawk during the deed signing. The donation was received the day after “Picture Cave,” a property also verified as Osage ancestral land located in Missouri, was auctioned off and sold to a non-Osage bidder.

Anyone interested in supporting the efforts by NARF, can find donation information at www.narf.org/support/us.