By Raymond Red Corn
I’m announcing my candidacy for Assistant Principal Chief of the Osage Nation. I do so without reservation, knowing this is the job for which I am best suited.
Osage voters choose the Principal Chief and Assistant Chief separately. As a result, the productivity of the Assistant Chief is determined by the cooperation of both. Before 2014 this position was often limited to breaking ties in the Congress. That has changed. The Assistant Chief is now an active participant in Osage government.
The challenges of the office have been formidable at times. To be effective, the Assistant Chief must earn the trust of the Principal Chief and the Osage Congress. He or she must also assume duties assigned by the Principal Chief. He or she must take on the full responsibility of the Chief’s office when asked to do so. For 80 days during this term of office, I’ve done exactly that.
My responsibilities have not been limited to interaction between the branches. Compact negotiations with both the BIA and IHS have resulted in favorable outcomes. Railroad property claims have been undertaken and completed. Talks with state officials resulted in mitigation of gas leaks at Pawhuska High School. With encouragement from Chief Standing Bear I am spearheading an effort to develop our Tulsa Airpark as a technology center, focusing on Unmanned Aerial Systems, a growth industry with outstanding potential.
I find these assignments both challenging and rewarding. That said, one person alone can never do much. In the above examples success was achieved because a team of individuals worked together, sharing goals but respecting roles. As an example, the recent budget session with Congress was friendly, cooperative and productive.
The Osage Nation is not immune to success, especially when we cooperate. We will succeed, but only if we continue to work together.
The Bluestem Ranch is productive and profitable. Bird Creek Farms grows vegetables for our seniors and children. The new Tulsa Casino - our flagship - will open next year with an event center and hotel. More children speak Osage than have in generations. Our LLC's have over $41 million in government contracts, dwarfing past totals. Our workforce employs more Osages than ever before. And the dollars going directly to benefits for Osages have never been higher.
These results can be credited to cooperation and strong leadership in both branches, especially when we share goals and respect roles. I believe our best years are just ahead. If you agree, I request your favorable consideration in the 2018 elections.