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Sovereignty Day celebrates 13th anniversary of reformed government

Photo caption: Chay Toehay-Tartsah, Osage/Kiowa (green dress), dances during the Women's Cloth contest at the ON Sovereignty Day Powwow in Tulsa on March 16. She won first place and took home $1,000. CODY HAMMER/ Osage News

2019 marks the 13th anniversary of the Osage Nation’s reformed government and its constitution.

In observance of Osage Nation Sovereignty Day, ON government offices were closed Friday, March 15, including the Nation’s schools, Head Start, three fitness and wellness centers and the Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center in Pawhuska.

On Saturday, March 16, the Nation hosted its annual Sovereignty Day Dance in the newly built Skyline Event Center at the Tulsa Osage Casino Hotel.  

Gourd dancing, a grand entry and competition dancing in categories for Men’s straight, fancy; Women’s buckskin, cloth; Teen straight, cloth; Junior straight, cloth; and Tiny Tots.

The ON government has celebrated Sovereignty Day each March to commemorate the reformed government and Osage Constitution approved by voters in 2006. The Osage Constitution has been amended three times by Osage voters in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

The Nation awarded more than $10,000 in prize money, with adult categories consisting of Men’s Straight, Men’s Fancy, Women’s Buckskin and Women’s Cloth. Winning dancers received $1,000 for first, $750 for second, and $500 for third place. There were also dance categories for Teen Straight, Teen Cloth, Jr. Straight, Jr. Cloth and Tiny Tots.

A list of winners is as follows:

Junior Girls Cloth:   

4th, Melanie Motah

3rd, Marlea Warrior

2nd, Keri Jones

1st, Candelinn Toehay-Tartsah

Junior Boys Straight:

4th, Leighton Shaw

3rd, Ashki Stumblingbear

2nd, Landon Savage

1st, Keaton Toehay- Tartsah

Teen Girls Cloth:       

4th, Jewell McDonald

3rd, Robyn Chanate

2nd, Ann Marie Cometseava

1st, Addison Cloud 

Teen Boys Straight:   

4th, Goodwarrior Deer

3rd, Lesharo Wildcat

2nd, Joseph Goodfox

1st, Brycen Whiteshirt

Women’s Buckskin:   

3rd, Whitney Sage

2nd, Crystal Lightfoot

1st, Jamie Jon Whiteshirt

Women’s Cloth:       

3rd, Alissa Hamilton

2nd, Erica Pretty Eagle Moore

1st, Chay Toehay-Tartsah 

Men’s Straight:        

3rd, Mason Bighorse

2nd, AJ LeadingFox

1st, Kiowa Cozad 

Men’s Fancy:            

3rd, Michael Roberts

2nd, Simon Washee

1st, Ryland Moore