In the March issue of the Osage News, a front page story titled “Osage Minerals Council Request Non-Osages to give Shares Back” caught my attention due to a conversation I had with Kathryn Red Corn when she held a seat on the Minerals Council. Ms. Red Corn knew that several headrights had been willed to the Catholic Church and another headright was willed to the University of Oklahoma. Therefore, the use of these headrights were lost to the interest of the Osage people. Ms. Red Corn also expressed an interest in learning how we might work with these institutions in an attempt to have the heardrights returned to the ownership of the Osage Tribe. She also explained that she was concerned that pursuing this idea at that time might negatively effect the Fletcher lawsuit, which involved the return to the tribe of one-third of the original 2229 headrights that had passed into the hands of non-Osages through charity, trickery, violence or murder. We agreed that it would be in the best interest of the tribe to wait on the outcome of the Fletcher lawsuit. Now, I see this article and I have to wonder if members of the current Minerals Council are even aware of the same issues that concerned Ms. Red Corn. By sending out these letters, the Minerals Council may have damaged a lawsuit that could benefit the tribe as a whole. In addition to being dangerous, I find this lack of information on the part of the Minerals Council to be arrogant when I think that suck a letter may have been simply been addressed to the Vatican. I plan to look into this idea further to find out if it is alright to proceed. If so, I would be happy to accompany Ms. Red Corn should she wish to travel to the Vatican as a representative of the tribe to request the return of these of the headrights to the Osage Tribe.
West Hollywood, Calif.