On June 4th, I attended the Osage Nation Election and voted in person for the first time in my life. I have always wanted to attend and at 73 years of age and living in North Carolina, it was challenging to make the journey. This year, my wife and I attended the event and it was a remarkable experience.
To meet the candidates in person, and listen to their plans for the future was a special treat. I came away remarking that our candidates were very informed with a firm grasp of the issues, and obviously very intelligent. When we visited their respective assigned locations, the candidates came to greet us and introduce themselves. Nothing could replace actually meeting them and having the opportunity to listen to their accomplishments and plans for the future. In addition, it was hard to pass up all the food and snacks!
Being among fellow Osage members was an inspiring time. As one who lives far removed from the Osage Nation, though having been born in Muskogee, the feeling of pride and belonging was rewarding.
After spending a good part of the day meeting the candidates, we decided to visit the Pappin Cemetery. The location was remote and the countryside was a beautiful lush green, and very quiet. We located the grave of my great-grandfather, John La-Force Pappin, born in 1860 and died in 1909, as well as other relatives. My imagination of what my great-grandfather’s life was like filled my mind, knowing that he had lived in a difficult time for the Osages.
It was hard to leave the Nation, but we had to return home the next day. After meeting the candidates, I can only conclude that the Osage Nation has impressive leadership, one that realizes the challenges ahead for the Nation.
Joseph L. Pappin III