Groundbreaking ceremony planned for Wakon Iron Chapel in Pawhuska Indian Village

Osage Nation invites the public to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Wakon Iron Chapel on Wednesday, June 30 at 1 p.m. The construction location is at the Pawhuska Indian Village between E. 21st St. and John Dahl Ave. in Pawhuska, Okla.  
“The three Chapels at Grayhorse, Pawhuska and Hominy serve as the place where we conduct the last rites of many of our people,” said Chief Standing Bear. “They are places we make sacred through the prayers made within them. This new Chapel at Pawhuska will replace one that is dear to many of us because of the memories that occurred within it. The new Chapel will be large enough to accommodate our larger population. It will be built and maintained as a place of prayer.”
Wakon Iron Chapel construction funds totaling $1,720,000 were authorized and appropriated by Osage Nation Congress on April 21, 2021 and signed into law by Chief Standing Bear on April 23, 2021. The bill was sponsored by Congresswoman Paula Stabler who has also served as the Chairwoman of the Pawhuska Indian Village for over ten years.
“These villages are our cultural homes,” said Congresswoman Stabler. “They are the most important properties we own. The place where we are tribal. When I think of the old building and the memories of all of the events that took place, what I remember are the people, their faces, the laughter and tears. But it's the activities they bring to our community that are most important - the namings, the handgames, the funerals, feasts, the songs and dances. These new buildings will be the evolution of our time, we have made it through grass arbors, round barns, old school houses and now to new commercial buildings and they will hold the future memories for our children and their children.”

Congresswoman Stabler continues: “It’s these traditions and cultural relationships that allow us to exist, so I can think of no greater reason to build these buildings but give us another 50 years or more of memories.”
Osage Nation Director of Operations Casey Johnson will oversee construction management team Builders Unlimited throughout the project.

“Builders Unlimited went through the bidding process with several other excellent builders and were awarded the job based on price, quality of work, and an outstanding working relationship with the Osage Nation,” said Director of Operations Johnson. “The build for Wakon Iron will be in two phases, the first will be the new chapel this year with the second phase beginning next June after the Inlonshka for Wakon Iron Hall. Builders Unlimited is very familiar with these time constraints as they built the Hominy arbor and community building and the Grayhorse community building.”
The new Wakon Iron Chapel is expected to be completed May 2022.