Visitors center opened

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com
Addie Hudgins, director of the new Osage Nation Visitors Center, cuts the ribbon last Friday morning as Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and others look on.

The Osage Nation has added a fresh touch of hospitality to Pawhuska that should especially appeal to visitors who want to know more about the language, history and culture of the Osage people.

The ON Visitors Center, 602 E. Main, opened Friday morning on the southwest corner of the intersection of Main Street (Highway 60) and Lynn Avenue. Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn were on-hand.

Addie Hudgins, Cultural Center/Visitors Center director for the Osage Nation, said the development of the project had been long, and its successful completion depended on the love and patience of numerous people.

“It just started with nothing in here,” she said of the building. “And so, we’ve redecorated and brought the cabinets in.”

The Visitors Center features an iPad bar, where you can check out an Osage language app, or view a collection of historic photographs. Hudgins said there will probably be another language app available in early 2019.

“I think it’s important for the Osages to tell their history from their perspective,” Hudgins said, commenting on the cultural and historical theme highlighted by the materials one can view via Ipad.

The Visitors Center will feature and promote Osage culture, the work of artists and the products and services of Osage-owned businesses. Beverages, such as coffee and pop, will be free, Hudgins said.

Hours for the new Visitors Center will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Hudgins said it is likely that Saturday hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Osage Casinos provided funding for the Visitors Center, Hudgins said. Julie O’Keefe served as a consultant on the project.