GRAYHORSE VILLAGE, Okla. – Osage Nation Congresswoman Brandy Lemon hosted friends, family, fellow constituents here for a May 1 dinner announcing her plans to seek a second term.
Lemon is seeking re-election to a second four-year term on the Eighth ON Congress in the June 6, 2022 General Election. She shared some of her experiences in her first term and endeavor interests, if elected to another term. She hosted the event at the Village Community Building with Wilson Pipestem, Osage/ Otoe-Missouria attorney also from the Grayhorse District, delivering welcome remarks and a prayer.
“She’s one of those Congress persons that’s well prepared, thoughtful and knows a lot about this community, she’s a product of this community,” Pipestem said of Lemon. “Her family’s very proud of her … she brings a lot of knowledge about healthcare, about her heritage.”
An experienced nurse, Lemon said she is interested in expanding her studies and recently applied to the University of Oklahoma’s graduate (non-attorney) program to study Indigenous law because “I think it’s important to have a good foundation and understanding of Indigenous law.”
Looking back, Lemon said her term “went by in a flash and I learned so much … The decisions sometimes that are in front of us are not easy, they tug at you, tug at your gut, tug at your heart and people you’ve known your entire life come up and say, ‘why did you vote like that?’ They’re hard on you, but you know what? That’s OK … I need that from you, but I also need you to be informed.”
In discussing recent legislation she sponsored, Lemon mentioned the food sovereignty laws passed by Congress and those that are still in the works. “Ultimately to me, what it means is that we’ve got to figure out a way – if we ever get in a pandemic again, they said it would happen and it did 100 years apart – we’ve got to figure out how we can be sustainable in our jurisdictional boundaries if we get in that situation again. That we can take care of our people and food sovereignty is one way to do it … Food code laws for safety and security and to be able to buy the amount of food that we need for the amount of people we serve in Osage County.”
Lemon also mentioned the Nation’s Harvest Land and Butcher House Meats operations as examples of recent improvements “from where we were four years ago … I am happy to say I like being a part of that and I want to continue to be a part of that.”
She also said she is interested in working on a safe water act “to do a study and find out what we don’t know, who has well water? Who has rural water hook-up? Who has none? And then figure out what we can do after that. Is it going to take some dollars? It is. But water is (a basic need).” In current times, Lemon said her husband hauls drinking water for a rural Osage household not hooked up to a rural or municipal water line and has a leaking well.
“I love what I do, but it is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had in my life, I take it seriously,” Lemon said.