By Maria Whitehorn
I am honored to announce my candidacy for the office of Principal Chief of the Osage Nation. It has been a pleasure to serve you for six years on the Osage Congress. My service has given me the opportunity to interact with and observe the inner workings of the Executive Branch of our government. I see that new leadership is needed to move the Nation forward and better serve the Osage people. From my vantage point, a few things have become abundantly clear. Wasteful spending is out of control, strategic government planning between the branches and entities is not common practice and productive communication is minimal. The Chief’s office must do better. The Osage people deserve a leader dedicated to building and maintaining our government through cooperative planning and a leader who will establish transparent and sustainable operating practices. I am that leader.
Our work begins with establishing a firm economic foundation beyond our successful gaming enterprise. New sources of tribal revenue continue to evade the Osage Nation, but with dedicated leadership who will prioritize economic development, we can be successful in other industries. Expanding our economic independence with a focus on creating new revenue will strengthen our Nation to better serve you.
Building a better Nation means being prepared to assert our sovereignty on all fronts. I have the resolve to protect, assert, or expand our jurisdiction. Building a better Nation means our Osage workforce will have the ability to serve the people free from political interference. Our merit employment system will be progressive, stable, and able to attract, employ and retain our Higher Education Scholarship graduates. Building a better Nation means supporting the People’s benefits by fully funding the Higher Education Scholarship, Burial Assistance, Health Benefit, and Medigap insurance. As your Chief, I will make these services my top priority and I will work with you to build a stronger Osage Nation.
I know that the strength of this Nation is greater than any one person can claim. Our Nation is best served by elected leaders who understand that the legacy we pass on to our children is more important than adding titles to resumes or granting political favors. I will work with other talented Osages to properly manage our resources, develop new opportunities in the reservation area, and protect our culture for generations to come.
I am humbled by the support I have already received from many of you, and I’d love to speak with you throughout this campaign. We need your voice at the table. You have a role to play in the future success of our Nation. My campaign is focused on communication and exploring what we can undertake together for the betterment of our People. I respectfully ask you to give me the opportunity to earn your vote during the course of this campaign.
Please feel free to reach out at any time, 918-760-0806 or you can find my campaign at www.facebook.com/Whitehorn.for.Chief