The Osage Nation Supreme Court issued a strongly worded opinion Friday afternoon ruling in favor of the nation’s attorney general, who had filed against five minerals councilors who refused to file annual ethics disclosures.
The opinion also says that the minerals councilors’ mistrust of the 10-year-old Osage Nation government is “misdirected.”
The “most egregious offenses against Osage headright holders, which resulted in the deaths of entire generations of Osages and in the historical trauma we experience to this day — were committed by non-Indian businessmen and non-Indian guardians,” the ruling notes, referring to the time of terror in the 1910s and 20s when Osages were murdered for their headrights.
More recently, the ruling noted, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has poorly managed the Osage mineral estate, as evidenced in federal reports from the Office of the Inspector General and Department of Interior.
“The mistrust and skepticism by Osage headright holders is well-earned, though misdirected,” the opinion says. “It is not Osages without headrights that have caused the greatest losses to the Mineral Estate and its shareholders.”
The Bigheart Times will have a complete story about the ruling in next week’s edition.
Here is the opinion: minerals-council-vs-osage-nation-slip-opinion