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Colonial Entanglement

Constituting a Twenty-First Century Osage Nation

Jean Dennison

Publication Year: 2012

From 2004 to 2006 the Osage Nation conducted a contentious governmental reform process in which sharply differing visions arose over the new government's goals, the Nation's own history, and what it means to be Osage. Osage anthropologist Jean Dennison do

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-v


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p. vii

Acronym Guide

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pp. ix-xi

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pp. xiii-xv

In writing this book, I incurred many debts, most especially to those Osage who have allowed me to share their perspectives and histories. The early encouragement and patience of the 31st Osage Tribal Council, Julia Lookout, Leonard Maker, Kathryn Red Corn, the Osage Government...

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pp. 1-15

Late one night in March 2004, I received a call from my father. He told me that he had been “up on the hill,” the area in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, where the Osage Tribal Council (OTC) chambers and other offices of the Osage Nation are located. He explained that there had been a lot of...

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1 Reform

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pp. 16-46

One of the first people I met when I began my research in the summer of 2004 was Leonard Maker, the head of the Planning Department at the Osage Nation. A small, middle-aged man with long Osage lineages on both sides of his family, Maker quickly impressed me with his grasp of Osage history, both ancient and recent, as well as his willingness to talk openly about Osage politics. Walking into his office for our first meeting, I was...

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2 Blood

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pp. 47-74

On July 1, 2005, I arrived, as usual, at the Osage Tribal Council chambers just before 9:00 a.m. The over-air-conditioned wood-paneled room where the OTC’s meetings were held had a domed ceiling with a skylight, a state-of-the-art recording system, and murals covering the walls. The murals were intended to tell the history of the Osage from past to present. They...

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3 Culture

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pp. 75-100

On a pleasant afternoon during my time at the University of Florida, I joined several graduate students and professors for lunch. We sat outside, enjoying the mild weather and hoping that the afternoon showers would hold off long enough for us to eat a leisurely meal. After discussing some current departmental politics, the conversation turned to my...

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4 Minerals

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pp. 101-128

We were all apprehensive as several of the reform commissioners, their lawyer, and I made the trek out to Grayhorse, the most remote Osage community. The Grayhorse Indian camp has always been known not just for its isolation but also for its inhabitants’ fierce independence and skepticism, especially concerning issues of Osage...

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5 Sovereignty

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pp. 129-155

Early in the morning on an unseasonably warm February day in 2005, I made the forty-minute drive northwest from Skiatook to Pawhuska, the capital of the Osage Nation. While this drive would later become routine with my almost daily travel, for now its scenery still captured my attention. The wildflowers that would cover the rolling prairie were not yet sprouts in the hard...

Appendix 1. 1861 Constitution of the Osage Nation

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pp. 157-160

Appendix 2. 1881 Constitution of the Osage Nation

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pp. 161-169

Appendix 3. 1994 Constitution of the Osage Nation

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pp. 170-186

Appendix 4. BAI Letter on Osage Citizenship

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pp. 187-188

Appendix 5. Public Law 108–431

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pp. 189-190

Appendix 6. 2005 Osage Government Reform Referendum Results

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pp. 191-196

Appendix 7. 2006 Constitution of the Osage Nation

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pp. 197-220


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pp. 221-234


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pp. 235-244


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pp. 245-256

E-ISBN-13: 9781469601557
E-ISBN-10: 1469601559
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807835807
Print-ISBN-10: 0807835803

Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 826442833
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Colonial Entanglement

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Osage Indians -- Politics and government.
  • Osage Indians -- Legal status, laws, etc.
  • Osage Indians -- Government relations.
  • Tribal government -- United States.
  • United States -- Race relations.
  • United States -- Politics and government.
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