Community

2018 Year in Review

January

Osage Nation opens a new Domestic Violence Shelter and PRT facility

-       After nine months of construction, the Osage Nation opened its new domestic violence shelter and Primary Residential Treatment facility for women escaping abusive living conditions or needing help for substance abuse.

 

Construction on new Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center planned for 2019

-       Dr. Ron Shaw accepted a new post at the Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center as its new CEO and Chief Medical Officer and gave an update on construction plans for a new facility.

 

Dr. Ron Shaw resigns from the Fifth Osage Nation Congress to take post with ON Health Services

-       Dr. Ron Shaw resigns from the Fifth Osage Nation Congress to accept a new post at the Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center as its new CEO and Chief Medical Officer.

 

Four Osages File for candidacy seeking Executive Branch office

-       The 2018 election season was underway and four candidates for Principal Chief and Assistant Principal Chief filed their candidacies.

 

Fourteen Osage families receive free refurbished Dell computers for Christmas

-       The Osage Nation Police Department gave out 14 refurbished Dell computers as part of its continued partnership with the non-profit PC Power’s North Pole Computer Project.

 

February

Imperative Entertainment executives honored and overwhelmed by Osage tour and culture

-       Imperative Entertainment, which bought the rights to David Grann’s bestseller “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Indian murders and the birth of the FBI,” toured the Osage reservation with the Nation’s ambassadors. They toured the three Villages, met with Osage elders in Fairfax for interviews and were guests of honor at an Osage meal.

 

Stillwater Public Library showcases “Killers of the Flower Moon” with Osage events and discussions

-       The Stillwater Public Library held events highlighting the Osage Nation for a month and invited many citizens from the Nation to speak and give presentations.

 

Another wind project may be on the horizon for Osage County

-       Pitched as the second largest wind energy project in the world, Wind Catcher Energy Connection is a joint effort among Chicago-based Invenergy, Southwestern Electric Power Company and the Public Service Company of Oklahoma.

 

Young Osage singer wows crowd at Good Morning America studio

-       Ten-year-old Ava Rose Johnson took the mic at ABC’s Good Morning America studios in New York City and wowed the crowd.

 

Osage boys win big at OKWA Novice State Championships in Tulsa

-       Deacon Hendren, Leighton Shaw and Levi Hendren won the 2018 Oklahoma Kids Wrestling Association Novice State Champions.

 

March

 

Osage women and girls honored at Wak’on Owatsi

-       A group of organizers led by Dr. Moira RedCorn put on a weekend event that included a tea and dance to honor Osage women and girls in Pawhuska.

 

Candidates for Principal Chief debate on scholarships, economic development, water rights, food sovereignty and diplomacy

-       Principal Chief candidates Geoffrey Standing Bear and Maria Whitehorn debate issues of the day at the Osage News Candidate Debates, held at the Skiatook Osage Casino.

 

Assistant Principal Chief candidates share qualifications, debate education, economic development and water rights

-       Assistant Principal Chief candidates Otto Hamilton and Raymond Red Corn debate issues of the day at the Osage News Candidate Debates, held at the Skiatook Osage Casino.

 

Trump administration’s 2019 budget proposes steep cuts to Indian Country

-       On Feb. 12, President Donald Trump released his administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 and proposed steep cuts to Indian Country.

 

Osage man elected as first Native American Mayor of Oklahoma City

-       Osage citizen David Holt is the first Native American to be elected Mayor of Oklahoma City in its 129-year history.

 

April

 

Filing period closes with 15 Osage running for ON Congress in June 2018 election

-       Fifth Osages filed for candidacy seeking Osage Nation Congressional office in the June 4 general election during the filing period that ended March 12.

 

Indian Country spared from drastic federal budget cuts

-       Despite an 11th-hour veto threat, a 2018 federal budget is now in place that largely spares Indian Country from drastic budget cuts.

 

Candidate filing period ends with 14 candidates running for Osage Minerals Council

-       There are 14 Osage shareholders who filed for candidacy to run for Osage Minerals Council in the June 4 OMC election.

 

Wind companies appeal to U.S. Supreme Court after 10th Circuit rules in favor of the Osage

-       A 10th Circuit Court decision that opened the door for the Osage Minerals Council to potentially pursue damages from wind farm work is being challenged yet again.

 

Hominy Village Square nearing completion; slated to finish mid-May

-       Construction crews were hard at work on the new Hominy Village Square on March 14. The Hominy District will be dancing under a new arbor and congregating in a new community building this June.

 

May

 

Osage County Commissioners appeal denied on Osage Nation’s application for fee-to-trust in north Tulsa

-       Eddie Streater, Regional Director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Eastern Oklahoma Region, has denied the Osage County Commissioners’ appeal to the Osage Nation’s application for fee-to-trust on 75 acres in north Tulsa.

 

Chief and Congress attempt to find fix for struggling business arm of the Nation

-       Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and the Fifth Osage Nation Congress are working to find a fix for the Osage Nation’s business arm of Tallgrass Economic Development LLC and Osage LLC.

 

Gaming bill, allowing craps and roulette, signed by Gov. Mary Fallin

-       The Oklahoma Senate signed off on legislation to expand tribal gaming.

 

Osage youth wins Girls World of Wrestling Championships in Reno, Nevada

-       Since the age of 5, Tylen Edwards has been wrestling boys to the ground. It makes sense because her father is a former Oklahoma State University wrestler and her mother a College basketball player, but neither parent could predict their youngest of six children would be the 2018 Girls Flo Reno World Champion at the age of 10.

 

June

 

Standing Bear, Red Corn re-elected; two incumbents and four new Congress members elected

-       Geoffrey Standing Bear and Raymond Red Corn are re-elected for second terms at Principal Chief and Assistant Principal Chief. The Osage Nation Congressional election produced four new members of Congress and two incumbents. New members of Congress included Scott Bighorse, Eli Potts, Brandy Lemon and Paula Stabler. Incumbents re-elected were Alice Goodfox and Angela Pratt.

 

Osage Minerals Council election produces three incumbents and five new council members

-       The Fourth Osage Minerals Council was elected to include three incumbents and five new council members. The five new council members were Susan Revard Forman, Paul Revard, Marsha Harlan, Myron Red Eagle and Margo Gray. Incumbents re-elected were Talee Redcorn, Andrew Yates and Everett Waller.

 

Hominy Village celebrates completion of new dance arbor and community building

-       The Hominy Village Square project was completed and launched by Osage Nation officials with a ribbon cutting and celebration. A new dance arbor, community building, parking lots, visiting district arbors and new village brick square.

 

U.S. Supreme Court invites Solicitor General to submit brief in Osage Wind case

-     SCOTUS is one step closer to hearing oral arguments in a challenge to a 10th 

      Circuit Court ruling stemming from a controversial wind farm in Osage 

      County.

 

Osage Congress to consider the dissolution of Osage and Tallgrass LLCs

-       The Fifth Osage Nation Congress called itself into a 12th Special Session to consider the dissolution of the Osage LLC and Tallgrass Economic Development LLC, and a possible $700,000 appropriation to hire an agent to carry out the dissolution.

 

July

 

Osage Nation signs 75 acres into trust in north Tulsa

-       Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear signed a warranty deed to place the Tulsa Back 75 acres of the Nation’s land into trust on June 13. The land is located adjacent to the Nation’s new casino in north Tulsa. The signing comes after the Osage County Commissioners appealed the Nation’s trust application, citing a harmful reduction in ad valorem taxes to the county.

 

Osage officials and military veterans break ground on Veterans Memorial

-       On June 6, Osage veterans, government officials and contractors broke ground on the site of the Osage Veterans Memorial. The memorial is located adjacent to the Osage Nation Museum on the ON campus.

 

Osage Minerals Council election supervisor certifies results despite two challenges

-       OMC Election Supervisor Billie Ponca certified the minerals council election results despite two challenges from candidates Cynthia Boone and Linda Heskett. Boone, who served on the First, Second and Third minerals councils finished ninth, just shy of a seat on the council, and Heskett finished 12th.

 

Osage Nation Election Board certifies general election results

-       The ONEB voted unanimously to certify the 2018 general election results. There were no challenges filed. Standing Bear received 67.85 percent of the votes cast and Red Corn received 69.53 percent of the votes cast.

 

August

 

Osages take oaths of office at Inauguration ceremony

-       Inauguration Day was held July 14 at the Osage Casino in Ponca City. Government officials from all three branches and the Fourth Osage Minerals Council all took their oaths of office. The Osage Language Immersion School students said the invocation for the event in the Osage language and Andrew Cote performed an original piano composition for the officials.

 

Standing Bear makes address at Inauguration adding ‘We can do more’

-       In his second inauguration speech to the Osage Nation and community members, re-elected Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear lauded the Nation’s government history and recognized several entities that supported the accomplishments made during his administration’s first term in office.

 

First class of Osage Nation Educational Leadership Academy receives master’s degrees

-       Families and friends honored and celebrated the first class of the Osage Nation Educational Leadership Academy at their graduation on July 8. Each graduate received their Master of Science in Education Leadership from Kansas State University. The partnership is a first for a federally recognized tribe and a major university.

 

RJ Walker elected as ON Congressional Speaker by colleagues

-       RJ Walker was elected by his peers on July 14 to serve as Congressional Speaker. Walker has served as a Congressman since 2012. Walker has served on many community boards and has chaired several Congressional committees during his tenure.

 

Fourth Osage Minerals Council takes their oaths of office

-       The Fourth Osage Minerals Council took their oaths of office on July 2 in the council chambers on the Osage Nation Campus, ahead of the Nation’s Inauguration Day. Councilwoman Marsha Harlan was elected to serve as chair.

 

September

 

At last, the new Osage Casino & Hotel opens in Tulsa

-       After almost two years, the construction dust finally settled at the Osage Casino Tulsa. On Aug. 29, tribal, county and municipal officials cut the ribbon on a $160 million expansion of Osage Casinos’ flagship property in north Tulsa. The 250,000 square foot casino features a 141-room hotel tower, three restaurants, 1,600 electronic games, 16 table games, a multi-level parking garage, a 4,000 square foot onsite brewery, a 120,000-gallon outdoor pool, a 15-person hot tub and a new event center. 

 

Tribes not buying in to potential Department of Interior reorganization

-       A proposed shuffle at the Department of Interior received a chilly reception from tribal officials at an Aug. 7 consultation session. For more than three hours, a standing room only crowd at the Embassy Suites picked apart a draft version of a reorganization plan from the Department of Interior that would redraw its programs’ regional boundaries worldwide.

 

Community comes out to honor the Nation’s remaining Full Bloods

-       Tommy Daniels, William Samuel Fletcher, Mongrain “Mogri” Lookout, Yvonne Lookout Wilson, Elda June “Kimmie” Morrell McNiel, Eddy Red Eagle Jr., former Principal Chief John Red Eagle, and Minerals Councilman Myron Red Eagle, were honored for being the last living Osage full bloods. A dinner was held in their honor on Aug. 4, along with presentations by Osage language students, gifts and Osage artist Ryan RedCorn took their portraits.

 

Osage chainsaw artist sculpts Maria Tallchief for Fairfax Community Foundation

-       To see the finished sculpture of famed Osage Prima Ballerina Maria Tallchief standing in front of the Tall Chief Theatre, one takes in the intricate detail put into the sculpture and the beauty of the wood that carves out her face. The sculpture was made by Michael Lynn over a period of about 10 days by chainsaw and other carving tools.

 

October

 

Indian Country exempted from DOI reorganization

-       A proposed reorganization at the Department of Interior will go forward – but without three agencies that have an Osage County footprint. During the Sept. 19 Osage Minerals Council meeting, Pawhuska Agency Superintendent Robin Phillips announced that her office was notified that it, along with the rest of the BIA, the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians and the BIE were exempted from an overhaul of regional boundaries used by agencies under the DOI.

 

AARP honors two Osages at Indian Elder Honors’ 10th Anniversary

-       Osage elders Richard Luttrell Sr. and Romaine Shackelford were two of 50 elders honored at AARP Oklahoma’s 10th Annual Indian Elder Honors at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Oct. 2.

 

Congress to review Health Benefit Act; health card referred to as ‘medical per cap’

-       The Sixth Osage Nation Congress has appropriated $9.75 million for the Health Benefit Plan Fund for the upcoming year, the most money ever appropriated to the fund since its inception in 2008.

 

Medical Marijuana slow to grow in Osage County

-       Although Oklahoma Osages will soon be able to legally purchase medical marijuana, accessing it may take a little extra effort. In June, Oklahoma voters approved a ballot measure to allow residents to legally grow, possess and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

 

ON Congress approves additional $1.1 million for new Grayhorse community building

-       The Grayhorse Village will receive a new community building as early as 2020 after the Sixth Osage Nation Congress voted unanimously on Sept. 21 to appropriate $1.1 million toward additional building costs for a new structure.

 

November

 

Unease as Hollywood tackles the Osage Reign of Terror

-       Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio officially signed on to direct and star in the film adaption of David Grann’s bestselling novel, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.” However, many Osage question whether the film will do justice to the Osage story.

 

Osage Nation receives second shipment of bison at Bluestem Ranch

-       The Osage Nation’s Bluestem Ranch LLC Board acquired a second shipment of bison, which were shipped to the 43,000-acre ranch southwest of Pawhuska on Oct. 2. That day, 5q bison arrived via tractor-trailer at the ranch from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s herd in southern Oklahoma.

 

Waller elected new Minerals Council chair after Harlan resigns

-       At a 15-minute special meeting on Oct. 12, the council voted 5-3 to name Everett Waller as its new chair. Waller previously served as chairman of the Third Osage Minerals Council. The move came after Councilwoman Marsha Harlan tendered her resignation as chairwoman earlier in the week, citing an ongoing personality conflict with another council member.

 

ON Purchased Referred Care takes place of Pawnee Health Benefit package

-       The Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center now provides medical referrals for diagnosis and treatment beyond provided clinic services. This service is called Purchase Referred Care and it takes the place of the Pawnee Health Benefit package.

 

December

 

Osage Veterans Memorial dedicated, now open to the public

-       Those who visit the newly completed Osage Veterans Memorial will see approximately 1,200 names of Osages who served in the armed forces etched in the memorial’s granite walls in Pawhuska. The names are placed according to the military branch in which they served.

 

NCO Fall Gathering discussions focus on Osage culture and history

-       On Nov. 4, over 50 people including Osages, their families and government officials from Oklahoma attended the annual fall gathering held at the park, which featured culture and history presentations.

 

Riley Boone signs with OU Softball for 2019-2020 season

-       An Osage student-athlete is taking her talents to the University of Oklahoma next year. On Nov. 15, Owasso softball standout Riley Boone signed a letter of intent with the Lady Sooners on the first day of the NCAA’s early signing period.

 

Visitors Center opens to highlight Osage Nation

-       With the 2018 holiday season starting, the Osage Nation opened its Visitors Center on Nov. 16 to greet Pawhuska visitors and to offer an information outlet to the public on the Nation from the Osage perspective.

 

UOSC hosts 2018 fall gathering in Carlsbad

-        Osages and their families enjoyed a Saturday filled with fellowship and learning more information about the Nation during the Nov. 3 United Osages of Southern California fall gathering. The day-long event took place at the Carlsbad Senior Center where scores of attendees gathered to meet with Osage Nation tribal officials visiting from Oklahoma.