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Director Martin Scorsese meets with the Grayhorse Community

Photo caption: Director Martin Scorsese addresses the Grayhorse community on Nov. 20 at Wakon Iron Hall in Pawhuska. SHANNON SHAW DUTY/Osage News

Much like an Inlonshka Committee Dinner, members of the Grayhorse District lined up around Wakon Iron Hall and one-by-one, from elder to small child, Oscar-winning Director Martin Scorsese shook hands and introduced himself to the nearly 200 Osages in attendance.

Due in large part by the efforts of Osage/Otoe-Missouria attorney Wilson Pipestem, who is also a member of the Grayhorse District, Scorsese and his team sat down to an Osage dinner prepared by Grayhorse cooks to hear concerns from the community about the upcoming film “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The Grayhorse cooks served meat gravy, frybread, dried corn, squash, green beans and salad.

Pipestem facilitated the conversation as Osages stood up to tell their stories. They spoke about their ancestors, about their lives growing up within the historical boundaries of the Osage, and the trial and tribulations they faced and endured. They spoke about the Osage Reign of Terror, how the killing of their ancestors left historical trauma in their families and how they have coped over the last 100 years. They spoke about strong Osage women, they spoke about Mollie Burkhart and they expressed their fears about the upcoming film and the impact they hope the film has.

After all the Osages had spoken, Scorsese stood up and spoke.

“My heart is in the right place. I hope I can do that, I hope I can give you that sense of knowing that what you’re giving to me, in my hands, that I’m going to try better than my best, I can tell you that,” he said.  “We’re working as hard as we can.”

“It is a process that we’re working on now … we won’t be finished with it until it’s right, I can promise you that.”

Scorsese said they will keep a constant dialogue with the Grayhorse community as well as all the other communities involved as pre-production gets underway.

After he finished speaking Pipestem said there was time for gifts and photos, and everyone took advantage of this time. In what was supposed to be a two-hour visit, turned into nearly three-and-a-half hours. However, Scorsese never complained. He accepted every gift, spoke with everyone who wanted to speak to him and took photos with everyone who wanted a photo. His team spoke with Grayhorse community members at length afterward and visited about the meal and its preparation.


Shannon Shaw Duty

Original Publish Date: 2019-12-02 00:00:00


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Shannon Shaw Duty
Shannon Shaw Duty is the editor of the Osage News. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from the OU College of Law. She served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) from 2013-2016 and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee from 2017-2020. 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 (NCAIED). In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award, NAJA’s highest honor. An Osage tribal member, she and her family are from the Grayhorse District. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and six children.

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