Author Talk “Indigenous Missourians: Ancient Societies to the Present to be featured at State Historical Society of Missouri

An upcoming public program will look at the centuries of Indigenous presence in the state as part of the History on Elm series in February. Author and historian Greg Olson will discuss the resiliency of Indigenous Missourians who survived and evolved despite extreme challenges they encountered. The public program titled: Points, Pots, Pipes, and Powwows, will be held Tuesday, Feb. 13, noon- 1 p.m. at the Center for Missouri Studies, 605 Elm St., Columbia.

“Many published works tend to include Missouri’s Indigenous people only during periods when they were a threat to the state’s white settlement,” said Olsen. “These histories overlook the fact that Native people have lived here for at least twelve thousand years and continue to call Missouri home today.”

Olsen, who lives in Columbia, has written multiple books and articles on the history of Ioway and Missouri Indians and the Indigenous people along the lower Missouri River valley. In 2020, Olsen was a Center for Missouri Studies fellow, examining the treaties that gave the United States legal claim to the state of Missouri.

Olsen’s recent book, Indigenous Missourians: Ancient Societies to the Present was published by the University of Missouri Press in 2023 and is available online or at the bookstore inside the Center for Missouri Studies. Olsen will be available to sign books following his presentation.

The State Historical Society’s History on Elm series explores a variety of topics on the second Tuesday of the month at noon, ranging from Missouri art and authors to unique and interesting collections at the State Historical Society. The series is free to the public and registration is not required.