Press Release
Eleven Point River Spring

Award recognizes groundbreaking work by the Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office. 

OSAGE NATION SERVICE AREA, OKLA. (January 4, 2023) – The U.S. Forest Service awarded Osage Nation’s Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and Director of the Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office (ONHPO) Dr. Andrea Hunter the Outstanding Wild & Scenic River Stewardship during the Wild and Scenic Rivers National Awards Ceremony, held virtually, on December 8, 2022. The U.S. Forest Service annually honors employees, volunteers, and partners who demonstrate excellence in wild and scenic rivers management and addressing needs of the river and surrounding communities.

Dr. Hunter and the ONHPO staff authored a significant document to the Eleven Point Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP) providing the Mark Twain National Forest with an Osage perspective on resources of significance throughout the Eleven Point River landscape. The Eleven Point Wild and Scenic River flows within the ancestral lands of the Osage Nation. Dr. Hunter and the ONHPO’s work provides long overdue context and guidance when managing such a culturally significant river resource. Norman Akers, Osage elder and Chairman of the Osage Nation Traditional Cultural Advisors Committee, also provided an introduction statement to the document.

“On behalf of the Osage Nation, I would like to congratulate Dr. Hunter and the entire Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office for this incredible accomplishment,” said Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear. “The work we are doing to educate folks who reside on our ancestral lands in Missouri is critical for understanding and reconciliation. We are very proud of the Historic Preservation team and thank the U.S. Forest Service for honoring their hard work.”

Dr. Hunter collaborated with David Cain, who previously served as the South Zone Archeologist for the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri, to form pre-contact era narratives and Tribal historic contexts to incorporate them into the Eleven Point comprehensive river management planning process. Their efforts ensured that Tribal oral histories, origin stories, ecological knowledge, and ancestral land usage were recorded and given the prominence they deserve in the completed management plan. A significant statement from the Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office was included in the plan and contributed to the development of the desired conditions, management actions, and future monitoring activities on the Eleven Point. This team effort is a groundbreaking example of appropriately recognizing, celebrating and incorporating the history and ongoing significant connections of Indigenous people to wild and scenic rivers.

The Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office mission is to preserve the culture and history of the Osage Nation and to share that knowledge with the Osage people. To find out more about the ONHPO, please visit

[Image of the Eleven Point River is courtesy of David Cain]