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Traci Phillips hosts announcement dinner in seeking Osage Congressional office

Phillips is running for a seat on the 9th ON Congress in the June 3 General Election

GRAYHORSE VILLAGE, Okla. – In her inaugural run for Osage Nation Congressional office, Traci Phillips hosted an announcement dinner for the community to hear her interests in serving the Osage people.

Approximately 60 individuals attended a March 28 evening Osage meal hosted by Phillips in the Grayhorse Village. Osage/ Otoe-Missouria Attorney Wilson Pipestem delivered opening remarks and introduced Phillips at the event.

“Here we are today thinking not only about June, but about our government and our leadership, who are good people to be in those positions as elected officials? We have our own government structure here,” Pipestem said. “We’re at a time of thinking about change, think about what our new season’s going to look like, how we’re going to be going forward. And so, Traci Phillips, she’s declared herself as a candidate for the Osage Nation Congress and there’s been a lot of people who encouraged her to run for this office … And I agree with that, I think she’ll be a fantastic candidate for Osage government.”

“I’ve been truly grateful since I announced and made this decision and the support people have shown to me – it’s a little overwhelming and humbling to have this opportunity to be here,” said Phillips who grew up in Tulsa where she now lives. “I graduated from Edison High School, got a business degree in college and went into the information technology sector and worked there for 10 years.”

Phillips, who now has her own electronics recycling company, said she has experience working with other tribal nations and federal and state government contracts in several states. “You can go get a business degree or an MBA, but nothing I read in the books prepared me for owning my own business and making payroll and all the things that have to occur with that,” she said of her learned professional experiences.

In her initial weeks of campaigning, Phillips said she “really wanted to listen to people and hear what other people in the communities have to say, the complaints, what they like, what they don’t like, things that are important, things that aren’t … And that will be one of the things I intend on doing, if I am fortunate enough to be elected. I value communication all the way around.”

For her work, if elected, Phillips said priorities include “tribal sovereignty has to be first and foremost. Without it, we don’t have anything. For cultural strength, I believe that we have to be culturally strong. I started language classes during COVID … It was the first time language was on Zoom, because of my schedule, it allowed me to participate in something that I really want continue to carry forward. I’ve learned so much about who we are as people.”

“I’m a shareholder, I support the development of the Minerals Estate and those efforts … I’m very honored to be here and I would love to spend more time with anybody who has more questions,” Phillips said in closing.     

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.

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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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