Maria and Marjorie Tallchief Day
On Sunday, October 29, 2023, Osage Nation celebrated Maria and Marjorie Tallchief Day. The event was a powerful and historic occasion filled with pride, celebration, reflection, and emotion. Together, with the United States Mint, the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, and the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, we welcomed home many Tallchief family members and honored guests, including Marilynn Malerba, the United States Treasurer and Chief of the Mohegan Tribe, along with Chief David Hill of the Muscogee Nation, Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, and esteemed members of our Osage Nation Congress.
Talee Redcorn, featured in the film Killers of the Flower Moon, blessed us with prayer after Veterans from Post 198 posted the colors.
Elise Paschen, Maria’s daughter, read from her new chapbook published in honor of the event by Magic City Books. Elise was joined by her husband Stuart Brainerd and her daughter Alexandra Brainerd. Marjorie’s grandchildren Nathalie Skibine and Adrian Tallchief Skibine, were joined by Gail Shumann Skibine, wife of George Skibine, Jr, and Jackie Skibine, wife of the late Alexander Skibine.
Cray Bauxmont-Flynn, Interim Executive Director of the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, and his staff were generous hosts and went out of their way to accommodate us. Osage Casino & Hotels newly announced sponsorship of the Five Moons Sculpture Garden is a 10-year commitment to help protect and preserve the sacred space.
We welcomed home C. Cali Martin, an Osage tribal member, Head of Collections Care and Stewardship at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Michele Thompson, the program lead for the United States Mint’s American Women Quarters™ Program led the symbolic coin pour, joined by special guest Misty Copeland, a renowned ballerina who visited our Daposka students as well as students at Dancemaker Academy in Pawhuska. Dancemaker directors Randy Tinker Smith and Jenna LaViolette gifted Misty with beautifully beaded pointe shoes by Osage artist Dana Bear, who helped with the coin pour. Selley Grace Card, Liliana Hudgins, and Xavier Reeves–cast members from Wahzhazhe Ballet shared their talents with extraordinary ballet performances.
A surprise guest, Lily Gladstone, star of the film Killers of the Flower Moon, read a letter she had written as a young ballerina to Maria, which was both heart-warming and funny. Another special guest, Chad Renfro, shared moving insights into his role on the design team for the quarter, which also included Dr. Herman Mograine Lookout and Vann Bighorse.
Our Osage singers led by Scott George, as well as songs sung by students from Daposka Ahnkodapi, made our hearts sing while the Grayhorse Taildancers made our spirits soar. The audience included some of the most celebrated artists, writers, dancers, and dance leaders in the world.
Thank you to all who were able to take part in the celebration. We invite all to view the celebratory event on Osage Nation’s YouTube channel. We appreciate your remembrance and celebration of the legacy of Maria and Marjorie Tallchief.