DAR Member with Native American Heritage shares her family’s story

Chris Curle
Special to the Eagle

An intricate American ancestry was the subject of the Marco DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) meeting March 17th at the Hideaway Beach Club.

DAR member Maryann Wyrick Esenwein displays her Native American tribal blanket at the March Marco DAR meeting.

Melbourne chapter member Maryann Wyrick Esenwein entitled her power point talk, “Prairie Tales: An Intimate Portrait of an Osage and Quapaw Family.”  She said, “It’s the story of the Osage and Quapaw tribes fight for survival on the everchanging American landscape as told through the oral traditions of my family.”

Maryann is Osage and Quapaw. She grew up on the Osage Indian Reservation in Oklahoma with her mixed Osage, Quapaw, and White family. She is a Mayflower Descendant and a 5th generation DAR member who has held many state level DAR offices.

More:Walking for PSP: Event spreads awareness for little-known deadly disorder

Maryann told her fellow DAR members “When my white mother married my Osage and Quapaw father, many of my mother's friends rejected her. The DAR, on the other hand, welcomed her warmly.”

 She went on to explain, “I was taught the stories of my people on the laps of my elders. I would like to acknowledge Principal Chief Sylvester of the Osage Nation. He made it his life’s mission to care for the physical, mental, and spiritual health of generations of Osages, especially my generation.  I tell our stories in his and all my elders’ honor.”

DAR is a service organization with 180,000 members in three-thousand chapters worldwide. Members are women eighteen years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot in the American Revolution.

More:Gold Star mothers bring message to Marco DAR

Monthly DAR meetings are at 10:30 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month, followed by lunch. Members also meet casually between meetings, just for friendship and fun. The chapter has 75 members and welcomes visitors from other chapters. Contact Ellen Camm, ellencammg@gmail.com, 317-372-1174.