The Importance of Acknowledging our History: The National Archives and the National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, Missouri

This post is another in my ongoing blog series that acknowledges the ancestral lands on which the National Archives’ buildings are situated across the country. This series of acknowledgements is a simple way to offer our recognition and respect to the people  who once lived on these lands.

National Archives and the National Personnel Records Center, photograph courtesy of L. Hurtado

The National Archives at St. Louis and the National Personnel Records Center, are located in Spanish Lake, Missouri, which is situated on the ancestral lands of the Osage Nation, the predominant peoples of the area.

“In 1808, the Osage signed their first treaty with the new government, ceding much of their homeland. The deal was made in Fort Osage, a new trading post and factory at present-day Sibley, Missouri. The question remains whether the Osage—or other tribes—fully understood the terms.” from  Missouri Life Magazine

There are no recognized tribes in Missouri today. A state law, passed in 1839 made it illegal for Indians to reside in the state. This law was not repealed until 1909. 

Enter your address in this interactive map of Traditional Native Lands to see who once lived where you are now.

My thanks to Gwen Grenados, Director, National Archives at Riverside, for the research and information she provided for this post. 

For additional information: 

Cession 67, Treaty of November 11, 1808 https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3701em.gct00002/?sp=37

Ceded lands map from Osage Nation website: https://osagenation.s3.amazonaws.com/B/B.2.a.CededLandsMap&Poster.pdf 

Cultural History of the Osage:  https://www.osageculture.com/culture/cultural-history 

Approachable summaries of Osage (and Missouria) land uses (the whole series of articles is is worth reading) https://missourilife.com/the-tribes-of-missouri-part-1-when-the-osage-missouria-reigned/

Osage Nation website: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/

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