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Osage Congress meets for 11th Special Session starting Feb. 27

Congress plans to consider passing legislation to go toward planning for a new building to house the Wahzhazhe Cultural Center and Language Department entities.

The Eighth Osage Nation Congress is convening for its 11th Special Session starting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27 in Pawhuska.

A written legislative proclamation signed by more than two-thirds of the 12-member Congress is calling for the special session as allowed by the 2006 Osage Constitution. For this special session, Congress plans to consider passing legislation to repurpose building project funds previously appropriated, which would go toward planning for a new building to house the Wahzhazhe Cultural Center and Language Department entities.

In January, the Main Street building – known as the Heritage Center – housed the two entities side-by-side in Pawhuska, but the employees and operations are now in temporary locations after the building sustained damage due to the frigid winter temperatures. With the building situation moved up as a priority due to the damages, Congress is scheduled to consider appropriation legislation to address the situation. 

During the final day of the 10th Special Session on Feb. 7, Congressional Speaker Alice Goodfox informed the Congress of the upcoming special session after enough signatures were received for the proclamation. 

According to the agenda, the legislative items up for Special Session consideration are:

– ONCA 24-29 (sponsored by Congressman Joe Tillman) is “An Act to repeal ONCA 23-65 and return two $200,000 to the General Fund originally appropriated for a fire suppression system at the Cultural Center.”

– ONCA 24-30 (sponsored by Congresswoman Brandy Lemon) is “An Act to repeal ONCA 22-112 and return $500,000 to the Property Income Account originally appropriated for improvements to the Osage Nation Legislative Branch Office Building.”

– ONCA 24-31 (sponsored by Second Speaker Pam Shaw) is “An Act to amend ONCA 23-85 to provide a supplemental appropriation to the Executive Branch in the amount of $174,675 for Gaming Enterprise Board.”

– ONCR 24-12 (Shaw) is “A Resolution to revise the compensation and reimbursement allowance for the Boards and Commissions of the Osage Nation for fiscal years 2023 and 2024.”

For more ON Congressional information on sessions, committees and to view filed legislative documents, visit the Legislative Branch website at: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/legislative-branch

Author

  • Benny Polacca

    Title: Senior Reporter

    Email: bpolacca@osagenation-nsn.gov

    Instagram: @bpolacca

    Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

    Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

    Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

    Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

    Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.

Benny Polacca
Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org

Title: Senior Reporter

Email: bpolacca@osagenation-nsn.gov

Instagram: @bpolacca

Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.

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