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Fourth Osage Minerals Council takes their oaths of office

Photo Caption: The Fourth Osage Minerals Council takes their oaths of office on July 2, at the Minerals Council Chambers in Pawhuska. BENNY POLACCA/Osage News

The Fourth Osage Minerals Council has been sworn in and is now under new leadership.

After a cedar ceremony led by former Principal Chief John Red Eagle, Osage Nation Trial Court Judge Marvin Stepson administered the oath of office July 2 before a standing room only crowd in the council’s chambers.

In the ensuing special session, Marsha Harlan was unanimously elected the council’s new chairwoman and Andrew Yates was unanimously elected vice chairman.

“I don’t think I’ve ever sat on this side of the room,” said Third Minerals Council chairman Everett Waller with a grin after Harlan was tabbed as his successor.

With new leadership in place, the council voted to add committees – and tweak some existing ones – in an attempt to better manage the minerals estate.

Among the new committees formed are Natural Gas, Business and Economic Development, and Oil and Gas Legislation.

“We need oil and gas laws on our tribe’s books,” Councilwoman Margo Gray said. “They are 12 years overdue.”

Additionally, what was the Media Committee is now the Technology Committee. Along with updating the council’s information technology infrastructure, the committee has also been tasked with publishing the council’s newsletter on a more frequent basis.

“There are a lot of voters out there who said they were not informed about what’s been going on here, especially in the last couple of years,” Councilman Myron Red Eagle said. “I talked to some people in California and Texas who said they’d like to see more editions of the newsletter. We used to send it out every quarter.”

Both Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and Congressional Speaker Angela Pratt were on hand to offer their congratulations to the new council and express their respective branches’ interest in collaboration and cooperation.

“My office is open,” Chief Standing Bear said. “We will stay out of your business, but we are here to help you.” 


Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton

Original Publish Date: 2018-07-03 00:00:00


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Benny Polacca
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.

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