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HomeGovernmentMinerals CouncilFour selected for Minerals Council's Wah-Tiah-Kah Scholarship

Four selected for Minerals Council’s Wah-Tiah-Kah Scholarship

Blake Bledsoe, Jordan Brace, Braiden Holloway and Allison Koopman will each receive $1,000 for the upcoming fall semester

The Osage Minerals Council announced four recipients of their Wah-Tiah-Kah Scholarship for the upcoming fall semester.

Blake Bledsoe, Jordan Brace, Braiden Holloway and Allison Koopman will each receive $1,000 as they further their educations in an energy-related field, said Minerals Councilman Myron Red Eagle.

The council started the Wah-Tiah-Kah Scholarship program in 2016.

“I knew the Nation had their scholarship program, but we wanted to help out students going into an energy-related field, people majoring in energy-related sources,” Red Eagle said who was on the 2nd Osage Minerals Council. “We base it on Wah-Tiah-Kah because they sent him down here to inspect the land, he was a surveyor you might say.”

Red Eagle noted that current OMC employee, Lanayah Turley, is a past recipient of the scholarship, “So, it’s already paying off. She came back to work for us.”

The OMC awards the scholarship twice annually in recognition of Wah-Tiah-Kah, who originally surveyed the present-day location of the Osage Nation in 1870-71 to determine whether the tribe should leave its Kansas lands and move to Indian Territory. It is said that as Wah-Tiah-Kah walked the land, he envisioned his grandchildren prospering. Wah-Tiah-Kah believed that Wah-Kon-Tah had blessed this land for the Wahzhazhe people, according to published reports.

The students may be awarded additional funds for each subsequent semester provided they submit a completed renewal form.

The Fall 2020 Wah-Tiah-Kah Scholarship recipients are: 

  • Blake Bledsoe, of Fairfax, will be a sophomore at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kans. He is working toward an Associate in Nondestructive Testing Technology and is expected to graduate this December. He wants to use his degree to further his career in the welding field and work in the oil industry as a Nondestructive Weld Tester.
  • Jordan Brace, of Pawhuska, will be a freshman at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, Okla. He is working toward an Associate in Applied Science in Pipeline Integrity Technology, with hopes of starting a career in the Pipeline industry and traveling the country.
  • Braiden Holloway, of Fairfax, is a sophomore at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Okla. He is working toward an Associate of Applied Science, Process Technology degree and plans to graduate in May 2023. Upon graduation, he would like to work for the Osage Nation, OG&E or the refinery industry at Phillips 66.
  • Allison Koopman of Flemington, N.J., is a senior at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. She is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Math. She is expected to graduate in May 2023 and with her degrees hopes to further study the field of oil fracking to produce clean energy.

For more information about the Wah-Tiah-Kah Scholarship, contact the Osage Minerals Council office at (918) 287-5346.


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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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