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Osage Indian Nation Helps Mark La. Purchase Anniv.

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A delegation from the Osage Indian Nation is in St. Louis this week to commemorate the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase.

A panel of Osage women spoke at the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Thursday about the difficulties they face in maintaining their culture while living in a non-native society.

Deborah Yates says it's important for all people to remember they come from a tribal existence.

"We have people that we call wannabes, they want to be Indian," Yates said. "They want to wear our headdresses, and they want to have drum rituals and things they're searching for what we have. And that's a strong sense of family, relationship and identity. And it isn't a romantic thing - it's a system for survival."

The Osage were the principal tribe living in Missouri during the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The St. Louis Art Museum is opening an exhibit today (Friday) called "Art of the Osage." It will feature artifacts and art works from the Indian Nation.

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