A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of all Osage Shareholders in Federal Court in Tulsa. The purpose of this lawsuit is to totally separate the Osage Minerals Trust from the Government of the Osage "Nation" created under the new Osage Constitution.
Our lawsuit charges that the US Dept. of the lnterior, Secretary of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Bureau of lndian Affairs have not conformed with the law as it relates to the shareholders rights set forth in the 1906 Act as a result of the new Osage Constitution and the Reaffirmation Act of 2004.
Although the law is clear that the new form of government was affirmed, "only if it did not diminish the rights of the shareholders", that has not been the case. For the last 5 years, the BIA has not fufulled its responsibilities to the shareholders.
The shareholders supporting this action are requesting that the BIA fulfill its obligations as follows:
- Recognize the 1906 Act and 25CFRs (Part 90) have not been altered, changed or modified by the passage of the 2004 Reaffirmation Act.
- Recognize the 2004 Reaffirmation Act allows the Osage people to determine their own form of government for all purposes other than the Minerals Estate.
- Recognize the “Osage Tribe” as defined in the 1906 Act refers only to original allottees and their respective heirs-at-law that are maintained on the rolls of the Osage Agency as having a “headright” interest in the Minerals Estate as “shareholders.”
- Recognize the “Osage Tribe” is a congressionally created Indian Tribe to hold the Mineral Estate for the exclusive benefit of the headright shareholders.
- Recognize the “Osage Tribe” possesses sovereign immunity.
- Recognize the “Osage Tribe” has sole jurisdiction to manage any and all aspects of the Osage Mineral Estate.
- Recognize the “Osage Tribe” is governed by a Chief, Vice Chief and eight (8) member Minerals Council established under the 1906 Act.
- Recognize the BIA has a duty to perform any election for a position in the “Osage Tribe” as requested solely by elected representatives of the “Osage Tribe.”
- Recognize that the election for a Chief and Vice-Chief of the Minerals Council established under the 1906 Act should occur as soon as possible.
- Recognize the “Osage Nation,” as defined by the Osage Constitution, has exclusive jurisdiction to govern all aspects of the Osage people other than the “Osage Tribe.”
My name is Cora Jean Jech. I will be 78 years old in January. I have 7 children and 14 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. I have lived in Pawhuska, Oklahoma all of my life. This is a small town and I probably know about one-half the people who live here. I was born in Hominy, Oklahoma the child of Charles Big Elk and Nancy Rogers. My parents divorced when I was a baby therefore l was adopted by my second cousin Cora Leahy Mundy and H.H. "Doc" Mundy. When l was young my dad Charlie died. I then became a ward of the government. My Osage headright interest came from my dad, Charles Big Elk. Even though I was adopted, the Indian agency had control over my Osage money. Doc Mundy was appointed my guardian. So you can see the BIA had authority over my income for many years.
Over the years, things continued on, business as usual until 2006, when the "New Constitution" came into being. This constitution is a poorly written document and has resulting violations of the 1906 Act by the BIA and the new Osage Nation Government which put our rights as shareholders in real jeopardy. The BIA is suppose to protect the rights of the shareholders, but under the new Constitution, the Osage Government is attempting to strip the Minerals Council of all authority and take our rights away from us.
According to the 1906 Act, only the shareholder's have the right to elect the Chief and Assistant Chief of the Osage Tribe (shareholders) to manage the Minerals Counsel. The Chief and Assistant Chief of the Osage Nation were elected by both shareholders and non-shareholders and the consequences of that fact are growing every day.
If the shareholders don't act to protect the Minerals Trust, we will lose our headrights interests and property rights as we have known them for the last 100 years.
TAKE ACTION NOW. We need your help. We need litigants to join us in this lawsuit, the more the better. We need money to file this suit. People, this is our last chance to correct the wrong that is being done to us and to separate our Trust forever from this happening again.
Cora Jean Jech
Pawhuska, OK 74056