Fifth ON Congress meets for 2016 Tzi-Zho Session starting Sept. 6

The Fifth Osage Nation will meet for its first Tzi-Zho Session starting Sept. 6 in the Congressional Chambers building in Pawhuska.

The 24-day fall Congressional sessions are used to consider and approve the ON government operations budgets for the next fiscal year. The Nation operates on an October-September fiscal year cycle.

Also the Congress will consider other bills, resolutions and other matters brought to the 12-member Legislative Branch’s attention.

In July, the Executive Branch submitted the FY 2017 government operations budgets to the Congress and those will be up for consideration and action throughout the Tzi-Zho Session. Other bills filed by sponsoring Congress members will also be up for consideration during the session.

As of Aug. 31, the following bills and resolutions are filed in the Congressional Office for consideration:

ONCA 16-76: (sponsored by Congresswoman Alice Buffalohead) An act to amend the Nation’s election code to require candidates requesting an election recount to be present during the recount conducted by the Nation’s Election Office and board.

ONCA 16-77: (Buffalohead) An act to change the definition of marriage in Osage law. According to the filed bill, the law (if passed) would be amended to state: Marriage is a personal relation between two persons arising out of a civil contract to which the consent of parties legally competent of contracting and of entering into it is necessary, and the marriage relation shall only be entered into, maintained or abrogated as provided by law.”

ONCA 16-78: (Congresswoman Angela Pratt) An act to prohibit burning without a permit; to prohibit burning on designated fire days; and to establish penalties for violation. This act (if passed) would amend Osage law to insert new sections into the criminal code to prohibit burning without a permit. The proposed law charges the Nation’s Wildland Fire Department to prepare the burning permits and to have rules/ regulations for the permits.

The law also states the penalty for unlawful burning without a permit is punishable by jail imprisonment of up to three years or a civil fine of up to $250 for the first offense and up to $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

ONCA 16-35: (Buffalohead) A resolution request for museum and research institutions to require proof of tribal enrollment for artisans who claim Osage affiliation. The resolution states: “It is important to protect the interests of the Osage Nation and our individual members in the artistic, historical, literary and anthropological communities by preventing others from appropriating our unique tribal identity.

If passed, this resolution “respectfully requests that museums and research institutions promoting the history, art, language and culture of the Osage Nation require proof of tribal enrollment of individuals who hold themselves out as affiliated with the (Nation) as a condition of acceptance to any professional alliance with said museums or research institutions and prior to any public listing of tribal affiliation with the (Nation).”

The Congress will also hold select and standing committees as needed during the 24-day session to initially consider the budgets, bills, resolutions and other matters. Filed legislation documents and recorded sessions and committee meetings are available on the Congressional website at