Osage Heritage Sites Visit 2017

St. Louis, MO


Osage Nation members, hosted by the Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office, traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to participate in the Annual Osage Heritage Site Visit. This visit, which provides for Osage members’ travel, lodging, and food expenses, is an annual program that allows Osages to learn and experience Osage significant sites throughout Osage ancestral lands. The Heritage Site Visit also provides an opportunity for Osages to hear firsthand from expert scholars that lead tours and present information at each heritage site. This year’s visit focused on prehistoric sites in Missouri and Illinois, areas that many Osages do not often get a chance to explore.

Osages reported that the highlight of the 2017 Heritage Sites Visit was the tour of Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, Illinois. Osages had the opportunity to learn about Cahokia and Mississippian culture and were led on an expert tour Dr. Bill Iseminger, including a climb up the 100 ft. tall Monks Mound.

The Osage Heritage Sites Visit also included:

  • a tour of behind the scenes at St. Louis Art Museum’s Osage art and artifacts not on display facilitated by Curator Alex Marr, along with a presentation on ancestral Osage Mississippian artifacts with Dr. Carol Diaz-Granados and Mr. Jim Duncan;
  • a trip to view prehistoric rock art at the Washington State Park Petroglyphs site, led by rock art experts Dr. Diaz-Granados and Mr. Duncan;
  • a presentation on the destruction of the St. Louis Mound Group in the late 1800’s from Ms. Karen Goering, a Director of the Missouri History Museum, as well as a viewing of historic maps and daguerreotypes in the Missouri History Museum’s Archives;
  • ascending 150 ft. at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower in Hartford, Illinois to take in views of the powerful confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers;
  • a quick stop at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site to hear about the historic expedition that also navigated the confluence;
  • consulting on the Osage section of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial exhibit on early St. Louis at the Old Courthouse in St. Louis;
  • a visit to a development site that had impacted burials to demonstrate the Historic Preservation Office mission;
  • a trip to Sugarloaf Mound, the last standing mound of the St. Louis Mound Group;
  • and a presentation at the Big Mound site by expert archaeologist Dr. John Kelly.

The Historic Preservation Office is grateful to all of the participating constituents, staff, and other friends who helped make this trip a success. Next year’s Heritage Sites Visit is scheduled for sites in the “four corners” of historic Osage territory in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas, so please check the Historic Preservation Office’s homepage for more information throughout the year!