Osage Nation

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 […]


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 […]