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Northern California Osage

by William S. Fletcher

On Monday, April 19,1997, the Northern California Osage Association held its first meeting at the Sycamore Clubhouse in Danville, California. This meeting was the result of the efforts of a steering committee composed of Duane BigEagle, Dave Evans, Irene Hopper, and Chuck Maker, all of whom are Osages now living in California for several years. The Steering Committee felt it was time to give voice and organization to the Osage who live in the Bay Area and Northern California. A similar organization, the United Osages of Southern California, has been in existence for many years now and is well organized.

The Northern California Osage Association's mission is:
1) to support Osage people and perpetuate the Osage way of life,
2) to enhance cultural awareness and to give a voice to Northern California Osages,
3) to provide information and resources for Osages in Northern California.

About eighty Osages, including spouses and children, were on hand at this first meeting. The meeting place was very impressive, set in a community park in Danville where everything seemed to be at its greenest. The park is composed of 14 acres with walkways in view of the clubhouse. The agenda included a Welcome/Prayer from Duane BigEagle, followed by the Osage Flag Song led by Eugene Snyder of the Bear Spirit Drum. Next there were opening remarks by each member of the Steering Committee, followed by introductions of guests.

The guest speaker was William S. Fletcher of Hominy, Oklahoma. Mr. Fletcher gave a presentation on "Recent Changes in Osage Government". This covered problems that lay before us and a positive vision for the future of the Osage people now that the Osage, at long last, have reorganized their government with membership and voting for ALL Osage. (Note: See more recent changes on page 4). There were concerns voiced regarding education, especially with regard to Osage children, and the urgent need to take steps to preserve the Osage language and the Osage cultural heritage. The Steering Committee plans to work to define and develop the NCOA Charter.

A buffet was served by volunteers of NCOA with Osage meat pies and corn soup as the main dishes. The meat pies were made by Michelle Tallchief Ritchey and Dorcas BigEagle. Mr. Fletcher prepared the corn soup. Everyone present is looking forward to the next meeting.

(Reprinted from the Inside Osage Newspaper)

NCOA May 2002 Meeting in Oakland

Last updated: April 30, 2003
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