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Bluestem Ranch board gives bison meat to three districts for In-Lon-Schka

The Bluestem Ranch LLC board of directors received 800 pounds of bison meat from the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council in May.

The board turned around and gave 160 pounds to the Pawhuska District cooks, 125 pounds to the Hominy District cooks and 60 pounds to the Grayhorse District cooks for the In-Lon-Schka dances. The meat came in cuts of stew meat, ground meat and roasts.

Board member Jackie Badley said she ate at the Grayhorse camp during the Pawhuska In-Lon-Schka dances and the cooks made a stew with the bison meat and it was “delicious.”

Bluestem Ranch manager, Kelly Corbin, former director of the Office of Fiscal Performance Review for the Osage Nation Congress who quit his post on June 19 to take the post with the ranch, said the meat was given to the ranch board on May 30 and stored in Tulsa. The meat was then picked up by the Nation’s Food Distribution program and is being stored in Hominy at their facility. “Fi Davis was a great help to us,” Corbin said. Davis is the director of the Food Distribution program.

Corbin said the remaining meat is going to Elder Services in Fairfax in the amount of 175 pounds, the Heritage Corn Group will receive 60 pounds and the Head Start facilities will receive 85 pounds. Corbin said the meat has not been federally inspected, only state inspected, so only those programs who rely on tribal and state funds, and not federal funds, can receive the meat. The Elder Services in Pawhuska is federally funded.

The buffalo meat comes from the surplus buffalo at Yellowstone National Park. All members of the ITBC received free bison meat from the surplus.

Buffalo preserve

Corbin said he has an upcoming meeting with officials from The Nature Conservancy and the Quapaw Nation on best practices for a bison preserve. He said it will take some time to map out what lands will be used for the public, the Osage tribal members, the bison preserve, the hunting grounds, the cow pastures, etc.

As far as the remaining bison on the Nation’s Bluestem Ranch, a bison calf was born this month, the first bison calf to be born under the Nation’s ownership of the land.

Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council

On May 24, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear wrote to the ITBC and designated the representative from the Osage Nation to be Faren Anderson, chair of the Bluestem Ranch LLC board, and the alternate representative to be John Mashburn, the newest member of the Bluestem Ranch LLC board.

“As a federally recognized tribe, the goal of the Osage Nation is to re-establish bison herds on tribally-owned land,” Standing Bear wrote in the letter. “We are a people who respect the bison as a life symbol which provides us the blessings of food, clothing, and spiritual power. We also know the essential role of the bison in restoring the Tallgrass Prairie where we live.”


Shannon Shaw Duty

Original Publish Date: 2017-06-28 00:00:00


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Shannon Shaw Duty
Shannon Shaw Duty

Title: Editor


Twitter: @dutyshaw

Topic Expertise: Columnist, Culture, Community

Languages spoken: English, Osage (intermediate), Spanish (beginner)

Shannon Shaw Duty, Osage from the Grayhorse District, is the editor of the award-winning Osage News, the official independent media of the Osage Nation. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Legal Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Peoples Law. She currently sits on the Freedom of Information Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists. She has served as a board member for LION Publishers, as Vice President for the Pawhuska Public Schools Board of Education, on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (now Indigenous Journalists Association) and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive NAJA's Elias Boudinot Free Press Award. The Osage News won Best Newspaper from the SPJ-Oklahoma Chapter in their division 2018-2022. Her award-winning work has been published in Indian Country Today, The Washington Post, the Center for Public Integrity, NPR, the Associated Press, Tulsa World and others. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and together they share six children, two dogs and two cats.

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