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H.R. 2912 (108th): To reaffirm the inherent sovereign rights of the Osage Tribe to determine its membership and form of government.

The text of the bill below is as of Jun 1, 2004 (Passed the House).


HR 2912 EH

108th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 2912


AN ACT

To reaffirm the inherent sovereign rights of the Osage Tribe to determine its membership and form of government.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. REAFFIRMATION OF CERTAIN RIGHTS OF THE OSAGE TRIBE.

    (a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds as follows:

      (1) The Osage Tribe is a federally recognized tribe based in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

      (2) The Osage Allotment Act of June 28, 1906 (34 Stat. 539), states that the ‘legal membership’ of the Osage Tribe includes the persons on the January 1, 1906 roll and their children, and that each ‘member’ on that roll is entitled to a headright share in the distribution of funds from the Osage mineral estate and an allotment of the surface lands of the Osage Reservation.

      (3) Today only Osage Indians who have a headright share in the mineral estate are ‘members’ of the Osage Tribe.

      (4) Adult Osage Indians without a headright interest cannot vote in Osage government elections and are not eligible to seek elective office in the Osage Tribe as a matter of Federal law.

      (5) A principal goal of Federal Indian policy is to promote tribal self-sufficiency and strong tribal government.

    (b) REAFFIRMATION OF CERTAIN RIGHTS OF THE OSAGE TRIBE-

      (1) MEMBERSHIP- Congress hereby clarifies that the term ‘legal membership’ in section 1 of the Act entitled, ‘An Act For the division of lands and funds of the Osage Indians in Oklahoma Territory, and for other purposes’, approved June 28, 1906 (34 Stat. 539), means the persons eligible for allotments of Osage Reservation lands and a pro rata share of the Osage mineral estate as provided in that Act, not membership in the Osage Tribe for all purposes. Congress hereby reaffirms the inherent sovereign right of the Osage Tribe to determine its own membership, provided that the rights of any person to Osage mineral estate shares are not diminished thereby.

      (2) GOVERNMENT- Notwithstanding section 9 of the Act entitled, ‘An Act For the division of lands and funds of the Osage Indians in Oklahoma Territory, and for other purposes’, approved June 28, 1906 (34 Stat. 539), Congress hereby reaffirms the inherent sovereign right of the Osage Tribe to determine its own form of government.

      (3) ELECTIONS AND REFERENDA- At the request of the Osage Tribe, the Secretary of the Interior shall assist the Osage Tribe with conducting elections and referenda to implement this section.

Passed the House of Representatives June 1, 2004.

Attest:

Clerk.