Osage Nation

Chief: Keep OCC paws off trust

A flurry of long-distance politicking was unleashed late last week by rumors that some oil and gas producers want the Oklahoma Corporation Commission take over oil and gas regulation in Osage County. Such a step would require an act of Congress, since the rights of Osage shareholders to the mineral estate are governed by the […]

Tribe closes 2 Head Starts

Citing low Osage enrollment, the Osage Nation says it will not open the Head Start centers it operates in Barnsdall or McCord this coming school year. The Head Start in Barnsdall had an enrollment of 17 students, four of whom were Osage. McCord served 18 students and no Osages. The closures were announced by letter […]

IHS to be operated by Nation by Oct. 1

After more than a decade of plotting and planning, changes are about to hit the Pawhuska Indian Health Services Clinic. As part of its seventh special session, the Fourth Osage Nation Congress unanimously approved a self-governance compact with Indian Health Services to operate the clinic come Oct. 1. By compacting the clinic, the tribe will […]

Osages approve language immersion

Come August, a few more area children are going to be exposed to a second language. As the last vote of the seventh special session Friday, the Fourth Osage Congress approved an additional $195,896 appropriation to the tribe’s Division of Education and Early Childhood Services to fund an Osage immersion language nest in Pawhuska for […]

Judge rules OMC has to abide by Ethics Act

Despite a push to maintain separation, a trial court judge says the Osage Minerals Council is not exempt from a tribal disclosure law. On Monday, Osage Nation Associate Trial Court Judge Lee Stout denied a summary judgment motion from five members of the Osage Minerals Council and ruled that they are subject to the tribe’s […]

Minerals Council divided over relations with Chiefs

At their Friday meeting, the Osage Minerals Council decided to address what one member called the “elephant in the room” – relations between the Minerals Council and the Office of the Chief. Councilwoman Kathryn Red Corn raised the issue at the outset of the meeting. “We have no communication with Chief Standing Bear and Assistant […]

County OKs road pact

County OKs road pact

Osage County is embroiled in a legal battle between its Board of Adjustment and the proposed Mustang Run wind project, but county commissioners on Monday voted unanimously to approve a road maintenance plan with the wind company for a six-mile portion of Foraker Road. “It’s the same agreement you had with the other wind farm,” […]

Come October, Osages intend to operate IHS

Come October, Osages intend to operate IHS

Facing a loaded and potentially expensive agenda, the fourth Osage Nation Congress reconvened Monday for the start of its seventh special session. Of the 19 pieces of legislation filed for the special session, 15 are funding bills, including four that would allocate almost $16 million in revenue from fiscal year 2016 for the tribe’s entitlement […]

Producers have ’til Aug. 10

Producers have 'til Aug. 10

Osage County’s oil and gas producers may well heave a cautious sigh of relief as the deadline to comply with new oil and gas regulations moves back to at least August 10. The Osage Producers Association had asked a federal court for a preliminary injunction to prevent the rules from going into effect on the […]

Working on wind farm No. 2

Working on wind farm No. 2

After months of limbo as three wind lawsuits await action in two courts, the Mustang Run Wind Project is moving ahead, laying the groundwork to start building the 67-turbine array adjacent to the existing Osage Wind project. On Monday, Tradewind Energy asked the Osage County Board of Commissioners to approve a plan to use and […]

Oilmen: Feds are killing us

Oilmen: Feds are killing us

Five miles west of Pawhuska, a blue water tower rises incongruously from the prairie. Beside it is a gate just wide enough for a large pickup truck to pass, its posts topped with the tri-cone drill bits emblematic of the oil and gas industry. Mark Helmer exits his truck, opens the gate and drives through […]

Casino: Remodel or new building

Osage Casinos’ Pawhuska property is getting new digs, but the new facility’s specifics are raising some questions about the tribe’s Competitive Bidding Act. Speaking before the Osage Congress’ Commerce and Economic Development committee Wednesday, Osage Casinos CEO Byron BigHorse confirmed that the casino is relocating into seven new modular buildings once water, sewer and electricity […]

BIA, producers continuing in tiff

BIA, producers continuing in tiff

Last Thursday’s BIA-hosted public information session bore more than a passing resemblance to the climactic scene of “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” in which rugged individualist Max faces off against the unbelievably strong giant known as Blaster. Just replace Max with a group of frustrated oil producers and Blaster with the cumbersome machinery of federal government, […]

Oil producers sue BIA

Oil producers sue BIA

The Osage Producers Association is going for broke in a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The trade organization contends that new oil and gas regulations issued by the BIA are not only “arbitrary and capricious” but unconstitutional. OPA is also seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the rules from going into […]

Casinos over budget $30M

An interim report from the Office of Fiscal and Performance Review has some members of Congress questioning some of the procedures used in two Osage Casino expansion projects. Speaking Tuesday afternoon before the Osage Nation Congress’ Commerce and Economic Development Committee, Kelly Corbin outlined OFPR’s initial findings on Osage Casinos’ expansions in Skiatook and Ponca […]

Council fights ethics laws

Six members of the Osage Minerals Council are seeking a judicial ruling that their body is so removed from the Osage Nation that they cannot be forced to abide by the tribe’s ethics laws. The six – Cynthia Boone, Galen Crum, Everett Waller, Katahryn Redcorn, Joseph Cheshewalla and Stephanie Erwin – are the target of […]

Council vows to fight oil rules

The Osage Minerals Council is pushing back against oil patch policy changes set to take effect this summer. At its Wednesday meeting, the Minerals Council adopted a resolution requesting a stay of the implementation of the pending changes to the section of the Code of Federal Regulations that oversees the drilling regulations in Osage County.  […]

Cop canned because of fatal hit and run

An Osage Nation police officer involved in a hit-and-run incident earlier this month does not work for the tribe anymore. On Thursday, Osage Nation Attorney General Holli Wells issued a statement announcing that Corey Stewart’s employment with the tribe was terminated due his involvement in a May 1 hit-and-run accident in Tulsa. The announcement came […]

Oilmen’s input with BIA is slight

Producers are still digesting the federal policy changes coming to the Osage oil patch, but with a bad taste in their mouths. On May 11, the Bureau of Indian Affairs released its revisions to 25 Code of Federal Regulations part 226, which spells out the policies for leasing Osage County land to use for oil […]

County inaction slows HUD funds

A few months ago, the Osage Nation asked the County Commissioners for a standard tax exemption that comes with Native American housing developments funded in part by grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. On the advice of their lawyer, District Attorney Rex Duncan, the commissioners refused to grant the Osage request […]

BIA issues new rules

After months of meetings and more than 500 public comments, the new rules for Osage County producers are now out in the public eye. On Monday, the Bureau of Indian Affairs released its revisions to 25 Code of Federal Regulations part 226, which spells out the policies for leasing Osage County land to use for […]

Cop says he took Oxycodone after fatal hit and run

Cop says he took Oxycodone after fatal hit and run

  The Osage Nation police officer who fatally hit a pedestrian then left the scene of the accident on May 1 in Tulsa told police he took oxycodone after the wreck, according to the accident report filed Tuesday in Tulsa. The report also says that Corey Stewart, 26,  “concealed” his damaged undercover police truck under […]

ONPD cop kills man, leaves

ONPD cop kills man, leaves

An Osage Nation police officer who formerly worked for the Skiatook Police Department fatally wounded a man with his patrol pickup truck in Tulsa on Friday night. Officer Corey Blake Stewart, 26, was off-duty when he hit Shawn Rex Watashe, 55, near 73rd East Avenue and  East Admiral Place around 9:30 p.m. According to law […]

Tribal structure changes afoot

With the Osage Nation Congress adopting three bills Friday afternoon by razor-thin margins, an overhaul for several Osage Nation departments is on the horizon. Touting a projected savings of more than $250,000 to the tribe, three bills would reorganize several divisions currently under the Executive Branch’s purview, including Governmental Operations; Child, Family and Senior Community […]