Osage Nation

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 […]


Tribe mulls gay marriage

Thanks in part to an Associated Press article, the Osage Nation may be changing its marriage laws. On Monday, Congresswoman Shannon Edwards introduced ONCA 15-54, which would alter the tribe’s marriage laws to include gay and lesbian couples. The tribe’s current statute, adopted in 2012, does not explicitly ban gay marriage, but defines the union […]


Osages dip into savings

The Osage Nation Congress may be cracking open its piggy bank to finance two direct service programs. On Wednesday, the Congress voted to adopt a recommendation from its Appropriations Committee to take $2 million out of the tribe’s $30 million permanent fund to help finance the tribe’s college scholarship program and its health benefit card.  […]


Osage Nation may have to tap reserves

Citing financial concerns, the Osage Nation Congress may be tapping into its permanent fund to keep two of its entitlement programs sufficiently funded for the rest of the year. On Tuesday, the Congress’ Appropriations Committee voted 4-1 to recommend accessing $2 million from the tribe’s permanent fund to finance bills that would allocate more money […]


Tribe hires new AG

So much for retirement. On Feb. 28, Holli Wells officially stepped down as a special district judge for Cherokee County. On Wednesday, she was introduced as the Osage Nation’s second attorney general, pending confirmation by the tribe’s legislature during its spring session. “My intention was to take some time off, get some rest and do […]


Tribe looking at declining revenue, more

Defending Osage sovereignty and a looming potential government reorganization in light of a budget crunch were the headlining topics of the 2015 edition of the Osage State of the Nation address. Rather than deliver it earlier in March at Sovereignty Day, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear offered up the remarks Monday as his executive message […]


Osage Congress tackling drug banishments, village status

As of Monday, the spring 2015 Hun-Kah session is underway for the fourth Osage Nation Congress. “The legislative priorities for this session are to work together and follow our processes that we need to go through to move our legislation through and get to the end,” Speaker Maria Whitehorn said. “We need to keep it […]


Burbank woman critically injured in wreck

Burbank woman critically injured in wreck

A Burbank woman was critically injured in a car accident Friday in Pawnee County, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Arlene Christenson, 78, was airlifted to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa after the accident on OK 18 two miles north of Pawnee at 12:44 p.m., according to a report by Trooper Justin Garrison. The report […]


Minerals says no to BIA MOU

Minerals says no to BIA MOU

Citing the federal government’s actions during the negotiated rulemaking process and frustrations with the constant delays over new assessment rules, the Osage Minerals Council voted Wednesday afternoon against signing a memorandum of understanding Wednesday with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The proposed MOU would have guaranteed the Minerals Council representation in the final negotiation stages […]


Judge case to be argued

Judge case to be argued

The ongoing skirmish between the district attorney and judges over the establishment of a drug court in Pawnee County played out in Bristow on Monday, when Creek County District Court Judge Joe Sam Vassar granted a one-week continuance and set the matter for oral arguments this coming Monday. Duncan has accused Pawnee County Associate District […]


A family, completed

A family, completed

On Monday night, Pawnee-Osage Court Appointed Special Advocates held a dinner in Pawhuska to honors its volunteers. Jack and Dee Dee Ditto were among those honored. The Dittos were the first CASA volunteers in Pawnee County to work through an adoption – a boy who became known as Koty Wilson, the son of Barnsdall wrestling […]


Tribe looks to take over IHS duties

Health care in Osage County may be changing in the near future. With the Osage Nation Health Authority Board confirming it has clean financials over the last three years, the tribe is moving forward to plans to implement a self-governance agreement with Indian Health Services by Oct. 1. More than 60 percent of federally recognized […]


Fugitive shoots, kills himself

Fugitive shoots, kills himself

A man who bolted from police during a Pawhuska traffic stop in January fled again on Thursday evening, this time with disastrous consequences: He shot himself in the head inside a car at the Eastland Shopping Center in Bartlesville. Osage County Undersheriff Lou Ann Brown said that lawmen got word that William David Parks Jr., […]


Spelling Bee yields a champ

Spelling Bee yields a champ

It started off easily enough Wednesday afternoon at the Osage County Spelling Bee. Mass. Gene. Bias. Text. And then the more difficult words came flying towards the 29 kids packed into the Osage County Interlocal Co-op Building: axis, divisor, position, scissors. The first five words in the fourth round – equivalent, parallel, resistance, appendix and […]


Osages celebrate sovereignty

Osages celebrate sovereignty

A single word carries a lot of different meanings to Osage leaders and citizens. In honor of the 2006 ratification of the tribe’s constitution, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and other officials with the Osage Nation took to the microphone Wednesday afternoon in the Congressional Chambers to discuss what sovereignty means to them as part […]


Oil producers ream BIA ‘vindictiveness’

Oil producers ream BIA 'vindictiveness'

The Osage Producers Association sounded a loud alarm Monday, saying that Osage County’s oil-based economy is starting to belly up and placing the blame squarely on the Bureau of Indian Affairs for “choking out drilling” by forcing those who produce a handful of barrels of oil a day to abide by the same regulations that […]