Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
On September 7th, 2011 the Osage, Omaha, Ponca, Kaw and Quapaw tribes met for the first time ever to address issues and hold workshops related to the Dhegihan language. The meeting was considered a success by the attendees and will likely become an annual event.
The Osage Nation places extra emphasis on language because in the U.S. language is also a legal matter. The Dhegihan dialect of the tribe is one factor that allows the Osage sovereignty and their own ruling government.
In 2005 the last Osage native speaker, Lucille Roubedeaux, passed away prompting the creation of a language department. Afterwards, for the first time in over 200 years the number of Osage speaking people increased.
Now, gathering support, the language department is expanding and reaching out to neighboring tribes.