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Harvest Moon Festival Returned Spirit Of Osage To Troost

For the past few years, 31st and Troost has been home to the Troost Festival. But this year, a new festival took root at the spot. A festival that taps into the Indian history of the place.

By Susan B. Wilson


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Harvest Moon Festival on October 12, 2011 was the brainchild of Teresa Bradskey, who describes herself as a dual citizen of the United States and the Miami tribe of Oklahama. She grew up in Michigan, and moved around a lot before coming to Kansas City eight years ago. When she moved here, she became involved in a group called "Troost Folks."

"Well, we were just a handful of folks, a grassroots thinktank, because it's always been a racial dividing line," Bradskey said. "It has this remarkable history. It is the historic Osage trail."

The Osage trail was one of many trails in the midwest created originally by migrating wildlife, and established by Native Americans. The Osage trail through Kansas City later became the basis for the start of the Santa Fe trail. Bradskey wanted to re-establish the Indian connection to the land.

"This is ancestral soil. Troost Avenue is the Osage Trail," Bradskey said.

Today, Bradskey said there are an estimated 60,000 Indians in the Kansas City area, but she said they can feel isolated.

Teresa Bradskey had worked in the music industry in Los Angeles, so she used those contacts to lure some national acts to the Harvest Moon Festival, like the grammy-winning Joanne Shenandoah, the blues-rock group Indigenous, as well as some local Indian and African American bands.

Bradskey is hoping to create a monument at 31st and Troost called the Osage American Indian Pergola to commemorate the native history of the spot. And, she plans to commemorate the Harvest Moon festival next year, too.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

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