The Osage Nation Congress will be considering the nominees for the Foundation Board during Friday morning's congressional session. The board will be responsible for the Nation’s non-profit foundation.
“Some people have publicly doubted the credibility of this board,” said Osage Nation Congressman Raymond Red Corn during a Health and Social Services Committee meeting Tuesday. “I think it’s fair to say that these [nominees] don’t really need to serve on this board….I think we’re really lucky to have these people.”
The nominees for the board are Katsy Mullendore Whittenburg, Monte Boulanger, Bill Kurtis, Nancy Pillsbury Shirley and Alex Skibine.
Congressman Eddy Red Eagle wanted to ask the nominees questions via teleconference during the meeting but Congresswoman Shannon Edwards said that she had announced during Tuesday’s session that she needed to know if any of the members of Congress wanted to speak with them because she needed to let them know to call in. Edwards also said that the nominees had been scheduled for questions two previous times and no one wanted to speak with them.
“How are they going to maintain day-to-day operations?” Red Eagle said. “What are their thoughts on program criteria . . . How much time allocation would they be donating to the foundation . . . Where are they going to put the foundation office?”
“And lastly, the [Osage News], and their comments on oversight of that entity,” Red Eagle said.
The health and social services committee passed it out of committee and the board nominees will be either confirmed or rejected by Congress Friday during session.
The Foundation Board nominees are:
Whittenburg, Osage, owns one of the largest historic ranches on the Osage reservation. She serves on the boards of the Woolaroc Frank Phillips Foundation Trustee, the River Oaks Bank in Houston, TX, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the American Quarter Horse Association of Amarillo and she is the host of the largest fundraiser for Eldercare of Washington and Nowata counties.
Boulanger, Osage, is the Senior Operations Manager in Bentonville, Ark., for Wal-Mart’s Credit Card and Financial services for the Western United States. He is also the chairman of Tribal Voices and American Indian and Alaska Native Resource Group which advises Wal-Mart on how to appeal to consumers on a cultural and community basis.
Kurtis is the current host of the A&E channel’s “Investigative Reports,” “American Justice” and “Cold Case Files.” He is a former CBS News anchor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and two Peabody Awards. He also serves on foundation boards for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, the Nature Conservancy of Illinois, the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library, the National Park Foundation and the Woolaroc Foundation.
Shirley is currently president of the Pillsbury Marketing Company. She has served in senior positions on both the Ed & Harriett Pillsbury Foundation and the Harriet Pillsbury Foundation. She is a supporter of the Osage Tribal Museum.
Skibine, Osage, is a professor at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. He has served as deputy counsel for Indian Affairs on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has served as a regional representative for the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the Bureau of Indian Affairs and as a staff attorney and project director for the Institute for the Development of Indian Law.