Today, I am formally announcing my candidacy for the Office of Principal Chief of the Osage Nation. I did not come to this decision lightly, but only after careful consideration, reflection, and prayer and for the reasons that follow.
Soon after returning to Pawhuska, it became clear to me that our families are struggling to make ends meet in a very tough economy and that the health, educational, and social needs of our community are great and pressing. In listening to friends, relatives, and neighbors, I have felt their disappointment and frustration with the way things have been going within our Osage Government and their deep concern about what it means for the future – socially, politically, and economically.
Our people need a leader who not only will fight and stand strong for our tribal sovereignty, but who will also be a champion of the Osage citizenry and a peacemaker - someone with energy, passion, and vision; someone unafraid to step up and speak out, but with diplomacy and respect for the views of others. The Osage people have a right to fair and honest government and leadership that deeply believes in the Nation and its people.
From time immemorial, Osage men and women have worked together to build strong communities. These are core values that must always guide the Nation’s political leaders. In today’s world that translates into building a strong economy that produces good jobs with good wages and opportunities for business development and entrepreneurship. It means ensuring quality education to the upcoming generation, so that they may take the Nation to the next higher level when they take the helm.
I was raised to believe that Osage men and women must be strong and determined, but also fair and caring. I was taught that it isn’t enough just to survive, but to see that all thrive together. I was taught that service to others has been a core value in Osage culture from ancient times. I was taught that each of us has a responsibility to give of ourselves - whatever talents, knowledge, and skills we may offer.
We must deepen this commitment to service by respecting those who serve honorably. The Nation must be a good employer, so employees are confident that hard work, integrity, and accountability will be rewarded.
These are the values and principles I bring to my candidacy - the ideals that my lifetime of combined experience has inspired. I hold strong to the idea that we can strengthen our Nation’s relationships with key partners, foster the development and improvement of our economy and preserve the Osage way of life for all wherever they live. In asking for your highest degree of confidence, I offer my forty years of professional experience in service to Indian Country, my commitment to principled leadership, and my deep belief in each Osage from the oldest to the youngest. -
[Disclaimer: Candidate announcements are published without edits or changes from the Osage News staff.]