Osage Nation Launches “Wahzhazhe Always” Campaign Celebrating Culture and Sovereignty

Osage Nation artwork

PAWHUSKA, OK – The Osage Nation has launched “Wahzhazhe Always” as a visual platform, branding campaign and overall statement for members near and far to reconnect and celebrate an enduring legacy. The launch coincided with the Nation’s Sovereignty Day observance on March 10, 2023 with the release of a narrative video highlighting services and programs at the Osage Nation. 

Using the traditional name and spelling of Wahzhazhe, historically deduced to the interpretation and spelling of Osage after colonization and forced migration, the term is embraced by tribal members and amplified throughout the campaign. Daily use and visibility of Osage orthography remains of the utmost importance to Osage Nation as an act of sovereignty and language education efforts. The full application reflects the cultural connection and endurance of the Osage Nation. 

“We are a giving people,” said Secretary of Culture, Language and Education Vann Bighorse. “We are a community of artists, makers, entrepreneurs and visionaries, sharing opportunities, wisdom, and eternal connection. Wahzhazhe is who we are. Our language and stories keep us alive.”

With much anticipation for the cinematic translation of a snapshot of the Osage story soon to be released worldwide with “Killers of the Flower Moon” – a narrative of trust, betrayal, and murder – tribal leaders focused on a campaign to draw from recurring elements of pride, service, community and endurance that have provided a sense of vitality and belonging through times of celebration or hardship. 

When audiences seek information about the Osage Nation – past and present – they will find a thriving Nation focused on cultural preservation, language revitalization, and community service. Wahzhazhe Always includes an explicit call to action for visitors, focusing on education and reminders to respect sacred boundaries across the reservation of historic landmarks that may be depicted on the big screen. 

The campaign narrative states, “We are Wahzhazhe. Still here. Still moving forward. A Nation to be proud of.” As the Nation has thrived and grown a successful economy with a preserved culture and uplifting services and programs, recurring themes provided by tribal members revolved around then, now, forevermore, leading to various campaign messages of Always Proud, Always Providing and Always Enduring. The overall goal of the campaign is to inspire, encourage and connect the 24,000-plus tribal members in Oklahoma and beyond. 

“Wahzhazhe people have unique ways and talents to, not only build a more beautiful Nation, but ultimately we also support surrounding communities and the state economy at-large,” said Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear. “I am proud to be Wahzhazhe. We live our culture.” 

Wahzhazhe Always

Campaign assets are curated from the Nation’s language, imagery, voices and art. The wordmark consistently includes Wahzhazhe orthography and the typeface compliments the font featured in the Osage Seal. Nation brand colors, Wahzhazhe blue and yellow, are prominently featured, while Wahzhazhe red supports the campaign and was inspired by the Striking the Earth symbol – packaged together as the primary campaign symbol. The Striking the Earth symbol is an historic symbol representing the uniting of the sky and earth used to represent and celebrate the Wahzhazhe people’s endurance and will to survive.