Osages just keep on bridging one generation with another generation, making adjustments along the way in order to remain relevant along the pathways of life. Osage People seem to do this by keeping an appreciation of what each generation has carried forward.
Today we are lucky, or more accurately we are blessed, to be who we are at this point in the history of the People. We can look back to just about any point in our history and see a positive picture to be proud of.
I believe that to be true, because, at this point in our history we as a people are a more diverse group of individuals than we have ever been. While diversity can be a difficult thing to deal with it is good to remember that we still have more in common with other Osages than we have differences. Also, it should be true that diversity can help us effectively address any challenges we as a People may have.
There is something good when that diversity includes having roots in ancient teachings that are founded in nature, and acknowledging that our sovereignty and traditions come to us from those things.
Since childhood I have heard people speak, hopefully, of another form of economic activity that could do what petroleum did for Osages during the past century. The drilling for and production of Osage-owned oil and gas reserves continues today. Some Osages say the casinos are fulfilling that role today. While there are others who point out a negative social impact that gambling brings to society as a whole. While that is the question, I do not hear much debate on the subject, just an acknowledgement that both sides of the question have an understanding of the question. Perhaps the point most heard on the subject is this, “If the profits are effectively spent, the positive activity will diminish, and maybe even erase, any negative effects of gaming.”
I believe the Osages I have heard are honest in their view of this subject. Certainly, no Osage wants another Osage, or any other person to be harmed.
We have evolved into a complicated People. That complex nature of Osages of today gives we the People more options to solve problems. Our challenge is to be cooperative with each other in meeting those challenges with appropriate solutions.
I also believe that the glue that holds the People together enough to even be having this dialogue comes from far back in the early days of our story of being a People. Long before there was a tribally owned Mineral Reserve, back to when the Clans first became Clans. Long before there was an Allotment Act, the People were strong and stood for what they knew was good for all members of the Tribe.
As recent as the past decade we, a diverse and traditional People, adopted a Constitution that is based on our ancient government that evolved with its roots in the Clans.
The Clans evolved into a beautiful way of life. It was a way of life that has a place for every one of the People. That is where the strength of the Osage People is found.
Today, that is where diversity that is rooted in the ancient and traditional past becomes a positive factor in today’s world.