Osage Nation Asks TPS To Reconsider School Name Change
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Osage Nation is urging Tulsa Public Schools to not change the name of Chouteau Elementary School.
Statement to TPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist:
"Members of the Chouteau family are part of our Osage Nation. They have great pride in their ancestors. We understand there is a name change contemplated for Chouteau Elementary School under your jurisdiction. Although we do not know the reason for the change, we do encourage you to keep the name Chouteau for this school.
Pierre Chouteau, Jr. began trading relations with the Osage People at age 15. He and his brother Auguste Pierre Chouteau were prominent members of the French families which eventually settled with the Osage. Pierre Chouteau was the son of Jean-Pierre Chouteau. People often confused the two as Jean-Pierre is often referred only as Pierre Chouteau.
We urge you to continue honoring the Chouteau family."
Tulsa Public Schools is considering changing the name of Chouteau Elementary and three other schools that are named for those with ties to slavery.
The other three are Robert E. Lee Elementary, Jackson Elementary and Columbus Elementary.
The Tulsa school board could officially vote on removing the names of the four schools as soon as March 15th.