In this Edition... A Tribute to the Original Missourians

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, it is important to pay tribute to those who helped create many of the industrial foundations we know today. From mining to farming, we celebrate Missouri’s Native American heritage!

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Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

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Each year, we pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans, the first Americans, during the month of November for Native American Heritage Month. Missouri’s original inhabitants were peoples from several tribes, including Chickasaw, Illini, Ioway, Osage, Otoe, Quapaw, and Missouri (our state’s namesake). Missouri’s Native American roots are centuries old and remain a significant part of our state’s unique identity.

To discover the story of early Native Americans in our area, through exhibits, including stone tools, arrowheads, beadwork, and clothing, visit the display in the Missouri State Museum on the first floor of the State Capitol.

Today, more than 72,000 Missourians identify their race, either entirely or in part, as American Indian/Alaska Native. One way to respect our history is to prevent others from discriminating against Missourians who belong to the Native American community. In fact, the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) protects all Missourians from adverse treatment because of their race or ancestry and the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) enforces the MHRA by investigating complaints made by persons who believe they have been discriminated against in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation. If you suspect you have been discriminated against due to your race or another protected category, contact MCHR at 877-781-4236 or take this quick assessment to determine if the MHRA applies to your situation.

For a complete list of Native American Heritage Month events, visit the MCHR website.

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Origin of Mining Industry - from clay pottery to clay for NASA launchpads

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Mining has been a crucial part of Missouri’s trade and industry for more than 275 years. In fact, Missouri’s first miners were the Native Americans and their aboriginal ancestors. The Native Americans in the area gathered flint to make arrowheads for their hunting excursions. They also used iron oxide to make war paint and clay for pottery. The early Native American miners learned to trade the precious commodities to others throughout the area.

It didn’t take long for settlers and explorers to discover the valuable natural resources found in Missouri. With so many minerals, like lead, zinc, cobalt, and saltpeter, found in the depths of Missouri earth, mines began opening all across the state and many are still open today.

From the lead found in your computer screen and car engine to the lime used in your paper and cement, take a moment this Thanksgiving season to pay thanks to the many Missouri minerals we use every day and the original Missourians who helped us discover them.

Are you a miner? Learn more about our free safety training!

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Make Thanksgiving Matter

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Thanksgiving is a time to honor the early American settlers and Native Americans for building the agriculture foundation in the New World. Settlers worked together with Native American tribes, like the Wampanoag, to learn how to grow crops like maize, beans, and squash by adopting their growing techniques. In celebration of the first successful harvest season, the settlers sat down with the Native Americans to a feast of deer, corn, and shellfish.

Missouri's agricultural tradition also continues today--in fact, it is fourth in the U.S. for turkey production, sixth in cattle production, and ninth in corn production. Despite the commercialization of this holiday, this season may be a good time to get back to basics and consider the real meaning of Thanksgiving-- having friends and family come to the same table to share the fruits of their labor and enjoy one another's company.

Having everyone bring a dish they are each proud of and good at making will help you avoid the stress of being the only person responsible for the meal. And if even if you are on a tight budget, you can still enjoy the bounties of our land.

Here are some cost-efficient tips for planning a delicious holiday meal:

Plan ahead. Before you go to the grocery store, create a menu that is fitting for the amount of people attending your gathering. Then, make a list of the ingredients necessary for the dishes on the menu and check newspapers, weekly grocery store advertisements, online, or any other available outlet for coupons – even the smallest discounts will add to your savings on the grand total! And most importantly, stick to your shopping list and avoid impulse buys, as they add up quickly.

Assign dishes to others. Choosing a potluck approach is beneficial because it allows you to focus most of your time, energy, and funds on the Turkey, which usually comprises approximately 40 percent of the total cost of the Thanksgiving meal.

Going Generic. When shopping for ingredients, an easy way to save money is selecting generic brands – especially for dishes that call for multiple ingredients. Most customers believe they are partial to a specific brand because they think it actually tastes different than other brands. Going generic could save you several dollars; just be sure to check the list of ingredients to make sure you’re getting the same product as the name brand.

Buy in bulk! If you are purchasing potatoes, go with the bag instead of by the pound, and when it comes to spices, check and see if your grocery store has a bulk bin section. If so, you can purchase just the amount you need instead of an entire jar. Last but not least, remember to stick to the classics or dishes that you are comfortable making so you can avoid any cooking catastrophes!

Need some budget-friendly recipe ideas? Check online at websites like Food Network and Allrecipes for low-cost recipes specifically tailored to Thanksgiving.

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