Osage Nation Support Plan – Public Schools Walk-out

Published April 4, 2018

PAWHUSKA, OKLAHOMA – Osage Nation spent several weeks organizing a response to the Teacher Walk-out in Osage County.

The Osage Nation team developed a comprehensive plan to support Osage families and more than 300 Osage children in the Public School System of Osage County.

Osage Nation employees strengthened communication with Public School Districts, attended Board of Education meetings, and monitored social media as Administration and teachers across Osage County prepared for their protest against state educational funding decisions.

On Monday, April 2, 2018, the Osage Nation Congress approved $60,000 in funding as a budget for the support plan.  The Support Plan organizes elements of needs for children Pre-K through 12th grade.  Based upon the Education Department’s logistics and feedback from a community-driven survey, the Osage Nation plan intends to provide services to over 200 students affected by the walkout.  Facilities are being designated, meals are being planned, employees are volunteering, and the Osage Nation Education Department and Language Department are designing a rotation of activities and educational services for participants.

Turning what could be perceived as a problem or crisis into an opportunity to teach and protect our children is the theme of the plan being implemented.  Positivity, community-service, and teamwork are traditional ways of the Osage people.  While teachers work out their differences with the state, Osage Nation plans to hone in on math, reading, anti-bullying, history, wildlife, culture, language, health, and nutrition.  Not only will parents be able to continue normal work duties, Osage students will be supported, educated, and promoted through self-identity.

The Director of Emergency Management, Bobby Tallchief, takes the lead on the project.  Although the mission statement is to “reduce the effects of man-made and natural disasters through planning, preparation, mitigation, and response to these emergency events”, Tallchief stands by to manage the departments and employees as Osage Nation conducts the first indigenous response to education in many years.  Osage Nation staff will be standing by at the local Osage Nation WIC office in Pawhuska, Fairfax, Hominy, and Skiatook accepting applications for Osage students in need of this plan.

“One of the first teaching lessons in the teaching of Indigenous Education is to explain that prior to the invasion of Indigenous communities in the Americas and the imposition of Euro-American educational systems, tribal nations had their own, very diverse educational systems that were culturally responsive to their children.  These traditional educational systems were culturally and linguistically designed to provide education informally through parents, extended families, Elder members of the tribe, and religion and social groups.” –Dr. Cornel Pewewardy

Prepared by Dena Cosby of Osage Nation Education
Contact Bobby Tallchief of Osage Nation Emergency Management at 918.287.5225 for more information on application and locations.

Osage Nation Support Plan – Public Schools Walkout (Application and Details)

Employees will be present at WIC Offices in Pawhuska, Hominy, Fairfax, and Skiatook to distribute and collect applications for the Osage Nation Public Schools Walkout Support Plan. Applications will be accepted April 3rd and April 4th at all locations until 4:30 PM.

If you have an Osage child, Pre-K through 12th Grade, currently affected by the walkout, please apply as soon as possible. Osage Nation employees may also apply for services. Osage Preference will be applied to all applicants.
Applications may also be printed and returned via email to btallchief@osagenation-nsn.gov.  With questions call Cherokee Cheshewalla at 918-287-9707 and Bobby Tallchief at 918-287-5225.

Application Pick Up and Drop Off Locations:

Emergency Management
1071 Grandview Lane
Pawhuska, Oklahoma 74056

Pawhuska WIC
1301 Grandview Avenue
Pawhuska, Oklahoma 74056

Skiatook WIC
519 Maplewood Lane
Skiatook, Oklahoma 74070

Hominy WIC
303 E. Main Street
Hominy, Oklahoma 74035

Fairfax WIC
261 N. Main Street
Fairfax, Oklahoma 74637

Once applications are complete, parents/guardians will be contacted by Emergency Management staff with further details regarding specific location drop off and pick up times. Students who attend will be provided supervised care, educational activities, two meals and a snack.

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