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The Osage News 2013 Year in Review

The Osage News presents its Year in Review featuring highlights of 2013 news events and newsmakers involving Osages and the Osage Nation. The following are bulletpoints of those events.

Note: Osage Nation governmental offices will be closed Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014 in observance of New Year's Day. The Osage Newsstaff would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

January

·      The Third Osage Nation Congress passed a resolution (ONCR 13-01 Walker) for the Nation to borrow $10 million for the Campus Master Plan for phase one, construction of the Osage Nation Welcome Center. The estimated construction costs for phase one is $23 million. The controversial resolution barely passed. The Third Osage Nation Congress was tied 6-6 but Assistant Principal Chief Scott BigHorse broke the tie vote to proceed.

·      The first round of settlement checks for the historical class-action case of Cobell v. Salazar were mailed. The $1,000 checks were mailed to the Historical Accounting Class on Dec. 17, throwing Osages for a loop since their checks were not mailed, but deposited in their IIM accounts – no other tribe’s checks were deposited.

·      The Association of New Mexico Osages held their second formal meeting Dec. 8, 2012. Speakers from the Nation’s cultural departments were invited to attend, as well as elected officials.

·      The newly-elected Pawhuska Village Five-Woman Board began work on cleaning up the village. Paula Stabler, Paula Farid, Jodell Heath, Asa Cunningham and Renee Harris were elected to serve the community.

·      The Osage Nation Foundation hosted its inaugural Christmas Celebration and raised around $12,000. The event had about 150 guests and the money raised went toward the Foundation’s summer youth camps.

·      The Congress passed a $2.6 million capital contribution (ONCA 12-112 Edwards) to the Osage LLC to fund its 2013 operations.

February

·      Osage Agency BIA Superintendent Melissa Currey goes on leave for 120 days. Rhonda Loftin becomes the acting superintendent. Currey eventually resigns. The superintendent position is still vacant. The Osage Minerals Council passes a resolution in support of Currey.

·      The FBI wrapped up its investigation into the former Pawhuska Village Five-Man Board. The investigation into the former board activities launched after an ON Congressional Office of Fiscal Performance and Review audit was attempted in 2012. More than $806,000 from village money was unaccounted for, according to the report.

·      Osage Skiatook High School student Ashley Ghazal receives All-State Women’s Choir honors. The 17 year old made the 2012 All-District Honor Choir and the 2013 Oklahoma Music Educators Association’s All-State Women’s Choir.

·      The Nation plans summer events for the Wah-Sha-She State Park. Events included concerts, fishing and camping.

·      Osage Nation Police Department gives computers to families in need on Christmas. The Osage Nation Election Board holds an election process hearing Feb. 12 at the ON Congressional Chambers. The meeting is a joint effort between the board and the Osage Congressional Committee on Governmental Operations.

·      Osage Nation Housing Department develops plans for a housing project in Skiatook. The Third ON Congress approves $750,000 to purchase land for the project (ONCA 13-05 Supernaw).

·      The Osage County Historical Society Museum catches on fire. Not many Osage items are damaged.

March

·      Construction begins on the Grayhorse arbor.

·      WNBA Tulsa Shock and Osage Casino announce marquee partnership. The Casino and Shock officials announced the partnership and unveiled the new jerseys at a Jan. 31 press conference at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa.

·      Osage couple Stephen and Debra Easley open renovated Bed & Bath in downtown Pawhuska. The Easleys bought part of the Whiting Building on Kihekah Avenue.

·      Principal Chief John Red Eagle defends Rod Hartness to the Osage Congressional Committee on Commerce and Economic Development Jan. 30. The Osage Nation Energy Services board told the committee that Hartness and Osage Minerals Councilman Myron Red Eagle were meddling in their business.

·      FBI plans to conduct interviews in Pawhuska village investigation.

·      Osage County landowners speak out against bad drilling practices at the BIA-facilitated Negotiated Rulemaking Committee meetings at the Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center Jan. 25.

·      BIA Osage Agency to implement a call center to track complaints and log them in a database.

·      Election hearing brings voter and candidate issues back to forefront. Absentee ballots, requiring candidate’s to put who paid for their campaign signage, True Ballot Inc., and others.

·      Water Rights Task Force formed to develop water plan for the Osage Nation.

·      Mobile Farmers Market cuts Fairfax from store route.

April

·      Ten Osage students travel to Washington, D.C., as part of the Close Up program, a weeklong learning session about the U.S. government.

·      Osage Minerals Council fires law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, March 20. OMC members said they were not happy with the decisions made during the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee process and blamed some of the actions taken by the committee on the firm.

·      Osages reflect on the Wounded Knee Occupation of 1973 for the 40th anniversary. Raymond Lasley, Marvin Lasley, Louis Gray, Mary Bighorse, Andrew Gray and Gina Gray all were part of the occupation.

·      Osages celebrate Sovereignty Day. Chief Red Eagle delivers State of the Nation address.

·      Osage author Mindy Standley publishes children’s book, “Frybread for Addie.”

·      The ON Congress subpoenas Rod Hartness contract, with no success.

·      Oklahoma Attorney General says Nation does not have rights to water in Osage County.

·      Osage Nation website to get a new look. Construction on the site begins.

·      Osage LLC receives 8(a) certification.

May

·      Maria Tallchief, Osage prima ballerina, dies at 88. Nation plans tribute to her.

·      The Osage Nation Supreme Court is asked to rule on whether or not Principal Chief John Red Eagle can appoint his brother, Eddy Red Eagle, to the ONES board.

·      Proposed CFR changes spur discussion on writing ON Village laws. Debates on whether or not the Osage Nation should create and pass its own laws to run the villages with less federal oversight begins.

·      ON Congress votes 7-6 to appropriate $13 million for the campus master plan. Once again, Asst. Principal Chief Scott BigHorse is the tie-breaking vote for the appropriation.

·      The Wahzhazhe: An Osage Ballet performs in Washington, D.C., at the National Museum of the American Indian March 20-23.

·      The Negotiated Rulemaking Committee denied the Osage Minerals Council’s request to extend the comment period in the updating of the Code of Federal Regulations to the oil and gas production on the Osage Minerals Estate.

·      Osage LLC reports $5.8 million in losses for 2012.

·      ON Congress reissues subpoena for Rod Hartness contract after a signature page is missing on the subpoena.

·      The Nation bands together with 23 tribal nations in its hope to extend its tobacco compact with the state of Oklahoma till 2017.

·      The ON Health Authority Board gets four new members in Margie Burkhat, Michael Moore, Tom Foreman and William Tinker.

·      Legislation to start hospice care is tabled in the Osage Congressional Committee on Commerce.  

June

·      The ON Supreme Court denied a claim for relief sought by the Third ON Congress in the inaugural declaratory judgment case filed against Principal Chief John Red Eagle regarding the board appointment of his older brother, Eddy Red Eagle Jr.

·      Enbridge pipeline brings nearly 200 jobs to Osage County.

·      Osage Casinos in Skiatook and Ponca City hosted Topping Out ceremonies to celebrate construction milestones in the new casinos that will include hotels, restaurants and travel plazas.

·      Osage fiddle player Nokosee Fields to play in England festival during the summer. Fields attends Eastern Tennessee State University.

·      Chief Red Eagle opposes Wind Capital Group’s application for an “eagle take” permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would affect eagle populations in Osage territory.

·      A four-year water resource study on Osage lands by U.S. Geological Survey was signed May 21 by Chief Red Eagle. The study will help establish water conservation and responsible water planning in the Osage.

·      ON Congressional Subpoena debate over Rod Hartness contract continues in court documents. ON Treasurer Callie Catcher files a protective order against the congress to prevent them from taking her oral deposition on the matter.

·      Osages visit St. Louis for a historical site visit. Osages visit the site of Sugarloaf Mound.

·      Work continues on the FBI investigation in the former Pawhuska Village Five Man board activities.

·      Famed Native American professional golfer Notah Begay III visits the Osage Nation for a youth soccer clinic to promote healthy living and to combat childhood obesity and diabetes.

·      Northern California Osage host their spring meeting in Petaluma, Calif., on March 23.

·      Indian Villages get storm shelters.

·      Osages enjoy the Grayhorse, Hominy and Pawhuska In-Lon-Schka dances.

July

·      AG Jeff Jones files a three-count written complaint describing two incidents where he believes Chief Red Eagle broke tribal law when he allegedly interfered with an investigation. This is the first time an ON AG has filed an ethics violation against a principal chief.

·      The Nation moves closer to finalizing a Tobacco Compact with the state as the deadline set by Governor Mary Fallin passes.

·      The ON Tax Commission begins offering free Elder Tags for Osages 65 years and older and free tags for disabled veterans. The law, sponsored by Congresswoman Maria Whitehorn, was signed into law April 9.

·      The Osage News sues Chief Red Eagle in ON Trial Court, June 18. The News alleges Chief Red Eagle violated tribal law when he refused to comply with the Open Records Act and turn over the consultant contract for his pipeline consultant, Rod Hartness.

·      The Osage Minerals Council elects Andrew Yates as Chairman.

·      The Third ON Congress considers forming a Select Committee of Inquiry to investigate allegations against Chief Red Eagle.

·      Osage student Layton Lamsam is selected as a 2013 Udall Scholar. Lamsam is a senior at Stanford University majoring in biology.

·      Osage News Editorial Board swears in board member Teresa Trumbly Lamsam via Skype on June 27.

·      The ON Tax Commission staff attends the United Osages of Southern California meeting May 18 in Carlsbad, Calif. They take photos of tribal members and offer photo ID cards offered by the Tax Commission.

·      Enbridge Inc. awards Nation with $20,000 grant to build a broadband tower, to be placed near the ON Emergency Services office.

August

·      The ON Congress receives a list of 15 allegations made against Chief Red Eagle on July 8 during its special session. On July 9, the congress approved a motion to form a Select Committee of Inquiry to investigate the allegations.

·      Chief Red Eagle responds to ethics allegations from the ON AG Jeff Jones and says they are unfounded and he never interfered in any investigation by the AG’s office.

·      ON Police Department seizes $45,000 worth of marijuana in Fairfax. Plants were being grown on restricted land west of town, two blocks from elementary school.

·      Osage language students further their education by going on immersion trip to Colorado Springs.

·      The Nation plans Maria Tallchief tribute on Aug. 9 at the Bartlesville Community Center. Diana Gomez, principle dancer for the Tulsa Ballet, performs a rendition of, “The White Swan,” originally composed for Tallchief by her then-husband, renowned choreographer, George Balanchine.

·      The ON Congress passes a resolution supporting the nomination of Osage investor Vince Logan to be the next Special Trustee for American Indians. Based in New York, Logan is owner of The Nations Group, LLC, an investment consulting firm focused on Native America with experience in private banking as a corporate attorney.

·      Select Committee of Inquiry picked to investigate allegations against Chief Red Eagle. ON Supreme Court Chief Justice Meredith Drent selects Speaker Raymond Red Corn, Alice Buffalohead, John Jech, Archie Mason and Maria Whitehorn.

·      ON Trial Court Judge Marvin Stepson recuses himself from the Osage News v. Osage Nation Principal Chief John Red Eagle case and Associate Judge Lee Stout presides. Oral arguments are to be heard in the case on Aug. 8.

·      Osages honor the historical French connection with the Osage by dedicating a monument in front of the Osage Tribal Museum. A French delegation attends for the honor and more than 30 Osages attend the celebration.

·      Osage Nation firefighters help with wildfires in Colorado and Arizona.

·      Richard Chissoe, Osage gaming regulator considered for National Indian Gaming Commission post. ON Congress passes a resolution (ONCR 13-15 Red Corn) in support.

·      Hominy native Todd Nance becomes first Osage to enter into priesthood.

September

·      U.S. Attorney’s office declines to prosecute former Pawhuska Five-Man Board case. The U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI said no federal charges would be coming. The investigation into the former board activities launched after an ON Congressional Office of Fiscal Performance and Review audit was attempted in 2012. More than $806,000 from village money was unaccounted for, according to the report.

·      Congressional Select Committee of Inquiry begins investigation into 15 allegations against Chief Red Eagle.

·      George Tall Chief, former principal chief, dies at 96.

·      Chief Red Eagle attempts to have the Osage News’ case against him dismissed. Associate Judge Lee Stout denies the dismissal.

·      Nation asks for help from Osage County in fight against eagle kill permits requested by Wind Capital Group. The Nation notes that it has contributed more than $36.3 million to Osage County roads and bridges since 2009.

·      Oklahoma standards for Native American language instructors change. State makes it easier for Native speakers to become certified teachers.

·      The AG’s ethics case against Chief Red Eagle is delayed after Red Eagle’s attorneys file a continuance due to the 15 allegations and Congressional Select Committee of Inquiry testimony and work Red Eagle and his attorneys needed to focus on.

·      Nonprofit formed to help with funding Native American language programs in the Dhegiha linguistic family. The Dhegiha Preservation Society is formed.

·      Osage LLC sells Sprouts Farmers Market shares, earns $684,000.

·      Osage Casinos share org chart and ethnicity of employees for the first time with the public.

·      Jodie Revard is appointed to the Osage Foundation Board.

·      ON Election Office shreds 2012 election ballots.

October

·      Osage Casinos deny sponsorship to Osage professional MMA fighter Chance Rencountre.

·      The Select Committee of Inquiry continues its work into the 15 allegations against Chief Red Eagle.

·      Osage News columnist Dr. Ron Shaw helps Osages navigate the Affordable Care Act and the role of the Indian Health Service.

·      Osage officials get extension as tobacco compact deadline passes.

·      ON Attorney General requests scheduling conference in ethics case against Chief Red Eagle.

·      Osage Nation ready to implement Violence Against Women Act changes to tribal code. LaVina Clark gives insight into the domestic violence happening on the Osage reservation.

·      Nation’s Whistleblower Protection hotline’s effectiveness questioned as special assistant to Chief Red Eagle, Linda Teeman, is called out for abusive behavior toward ON employees.

·      Osage County Bar Association answers questions about estate planning for Osage shareholders and tribal members.

·      Pawhuska Indian Village Five-Woman Board hold elections Oct. 15.

·      Osage Minerals Council at odds over storage unit and its contents bought by Councilwoman Cynthia Boone at auction.

·      Road dedication honors late Principal Chief Paul Pitts. Members of Pitts’ family attend the ribbon cutting.

November

·      The Congressional Select Committee of Inquiry recommends a removal trial for Chief Red Eagle.

·      The ON Communities of Excellence department leads the trend of using locally grown vegetables to combat diabetes, obesity and heart disease. They host a Champions of Health & Rising Star Advocates for Healthy Living awards banquet and honor community leaders who have advocated for healthy eating and living.

·      The Nation joins with The Nature Conservancy to develop best practices of the preservation of eagles, raptors and other migratory birds as they combat the wind farm coming to Osage County.

·      The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals says the United States owes accounting to Headright holders and thus breathed new life into the decade old Fletcher v. United States case.

·      Osage Pro MMA Fighter Chance Rencountre defeats Rashid Abdullah of Texas to become 11-0.

·      The Osage News sets the dates for their 2014 Election Debates. For the Primary Election, the debates are set for Feb. 1-2 in Hominy. For the Osage Minerals Council candidates, the debates are set for April 26 in Pawhuska. For the General Election candidates, the debates are set for May 3-4 in Pawhuska.

·      AARP Oklahoma recognizes Charles Lookout and Julia Wilson at their annual Elder Awards ceremony.

·      Ramona Horsechief (Pawnee) wins the 2013 Indian Taco Championships. Debra Lookout (Osage) comes in second and Jonna Beartrack (Osage/Kiowa) places third.

·      Paula Stabler, Jodell Heath, Paula Farid, Renee Harris and Asa Cunningham were all re-elected to the Pawhuska Village Five-Woman Board on Oct. 22.

·      Chief Red Eagle does not reappoint Stacey Laskey to the ON Gaming Enterprise Board and GEB member Randy Carnett resigns.

·      Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signs 10-year tobacco compact with the Nation on Oct. 31.

·      Rhonda Wallace is confirmed and sworn in to the Tax Commission board, Charles Pratt is confirmed and sworn in to the Tribal Cultural Advisory Board for the ON Historic Preservation Office and Jodie Revard is confirmed and sworn in to the Osage Foundation Board.

·      The Nation is recognized for job creation with a national award from the U.S. Department of Labor on Oct. 30. The ON Education Department and Human Resources Department are recognized for their work on the job training and job creation for the Enbride Inc. Flanagan South Pipeline that will run through the Osage reservation.

Location

Osage News
619 Kihekah
PawhuskaOK
United States