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Osage tribal identity

Centuries ago our ancestors knew who they were and what was expected of them. There were groups of extended families that evolved into clans, and the clans made up a tribe.

Clans were there and accepted infants when infants were born. From the beginning of their lives those Old Timers knew who they were. Within their first year of life on this earth the clans gave each person a name with an identity. It was an identity born of Water, and Earth and of Sky.   

There was order. It was an order created from knowledge as reliable as the seasons. That same order provided teachings that came from nature and lead to a way of living that the ancient ones agreed was a good way to live. It all made sense.

Each clan had leaders, and the leaders knew how to lead. 

Just as important, there were followers and each follower knew how to follow. That was no accident, because followers and leaders received the same instruction.

It happened like this. 

In the not too distant past children were taught while sitting on blankets, placed on the ground in a semi-circle before a Wise Man. The man was known as a No’n Hah Zhi Ga, a Man of Knowledge. Each No’n Hah Zhi Ga  knew the teachings of the clans. Those children were learning how to be Osage leaders and Osage followers.

While gathered in that circle the No’n Hah Zhi Ga instructed the children in the ways of the clans, teaching them lessons of nature that are needed to live an orderly life.

I hear criticism about the government we have. Still, I believe there is much that is good about the government we have built so far. After all, it is built on several centuries of being a people.

What matters at this point in our tribal history is that we build on the government we have developed so far. By making good decisions about whom we elect we can make it an even better government. 

If we use this process to select strong positive leadership it is probable we will create a system of selecting proven and capable leaders and followers. Again, with equal stress being placed on the role of follower as is placed on the role of leader. 

We are a diverse and strong people, and we should take advantage of this opportunity to advance an attitude of cooperation and teamwork between leaders and followers. Such an attitude will enable our government to make more meaningful progress for the people.