Standing Bear elected as new principal chief

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Standing Bear elected as new principal chief

By more than a 70-percent margin, Geoffrey Standing Bear was elected Monday to be the next Principal Chief of the Osage Nation.

Tribal voters also chose Raymond Red Corn as Assistant Principal Chief and filled six seats on the Osage Congress. The elections also resulted in the approval of three amendments to the ON Constitution and the defeat of three other amendment proposals.

Standing Bear received 1,615 votes in defeating the other Principal Chief candidate, Margo Gray, who was voted support by 652 of the tribal members. In the Assistant Chief race, Red Corn won with a nearly 12-percent advantage over Amanda Proctor, who finished as a close runner-up for the post, just as she had in the 2010 Osage election.

The top six finishers out of 21 candidates earned election to the Osage Nation Congress. Unofficial vote totals showed the congressional victors to be Alice Buffalohead (with 1,125 votes), Ron Shaw (1,052), William “Kugee” Supernaw (879), James Norris (779), Otto Hamilton (718) and Angela M. Pratt (714).

In a separate Monday election, Osage voters chose members for the eight-member Osage Minerals Council. Top vote recipients from a field of 17 candidates were Andrew Yates, Cynthia Boone, Talee Redcorn, Joseph “Blackbird” Cheshewalla, Galen Crum, Kathryn Red Corn, Everett M. Waller and Stephanie Erwin. (Yates, Boone and Crum were incumbents.)

Release of the unofficial Osage general election results was delayed for several hours after a “computer glitch” necessitated hand counting of all the ballots, tribal officials said. Vote totals were finally announced around 4 a.m. to a diminished group which gathered outside of the Osage Nation Congress/Osage Minerals Council Building.

Standing Bear is the great-grandson of Fred Lookout, a revered tribal leader who was elected as Osage Chief numerous times during the four decades preceding his death in the late 1940s.

A 60-year-old longtime attorney, Standing Bear has maintained dual offices in Pawhuska and Bartlesville. During the early 1990s, the Principal Chief-elect served one four-year term as assistant chief under the Osage Tribal Council form of government.

Red Corn and Standing Bear, as members of the last Osage Nation Congress, were involved in tribal proceedings which six months ago resulted in the removal from office of the previous Osage Principal Chief, John Red Eagle.

Scott BigHorse, who was elected as Assistant Principal Chief of the Osage in 2010, will continue serving as Principal Chief until inauguration ceremonies for the new officials are held July 2.


Voting for the Osage Minerals Council is conducted separately from the ON general election. Formerly called the Osage Tribal Council, the OMC is comprised of mineral-royalty interest holders who are elected to manage the tribe’s minerals estate.

Minerals council votes have values equal to headright-ownership amounts from the Osage Nation annuity roll for the latest quarter. Interests are derived from the original 2,229 Osage headrights.

Three incumbents were among the eight gained election to the Osage Minerals Council. Three new councilmen and two councilwomen were chosen to serve on the eight-member Osage Minerals Council.

Vote totals for the winning candidates included: Andrew Yates 262.93, Cynthia Boone 236.27, Talee Redcorn 231.79, Joseph “Blackbird” Cheshewalla 230.64, Galen Crum 219.39, Kathryn Red Corn 209.69, Everett M. Waller 206.36 and Stephanie Erwin 203.27. Yates, Boone and Crum were elected as incumbents.

Results for the remainder of the OMC candidates were: Linda Heskett 198.07, Robert E. Yarbrough 190.90, Curtis Bear 178.55, Ray McClain 178.43, Myron Red Eagle 177.29, Melvin Core 146.83, Kenny Bighorse 144.89, Cheryl Potts 142.82 and William St. John 115.55.

Unsuccessful bids for re-election were made by Bear, Core and Red Eagle.


The successful amendment proposals passed by margins four to seven percent over the 65 percent required for approval. Those gaining acceptance were:

Amendment one, which will change the constitutional language to ensure that lineal descendants of the 1906 Roll cannot lose their membership if the Osage Nation Congress should change the laws that govern the tribe’s membership. Changing the language from “are eligible for” to “have the right to” membership.

Amendment two, which is intended to “protect the integrity of laws that require an affirmative supermajority to access Osage Nation assets. It was designed as a safe guard to prevent a Congress member from amending a supermajority requirement in a law (more than 50% yes votes) to a simple majority (only a 50% yes vote) by only passing the reducing amendment by a simple majority of Congress. Congress will now have to generate more than a majority to access Osage Nation asset accounts.”

Amendment three, which will distinguish between the members of the Osage Nation who are headright owners from the members of the Osage Nation who are not. The amendment clarifies that the Osage Nation only has the right to protect the headright owners of Osage descent “as set forth in the Osage Allotment Act of June 28, 1906, as amended.”

Following are the unofficial vote totals in the Osage Nation’s two executive races and the election results (also unofficial) for Osage Congress.

Osage Principal Chief

Geoffrey Standing Bear 1,615

Margo Gray 652

Assistant Principal Chief

Raymond Red Corn 1,209

Amanda Proctor 958

Osage Nation Congress

Alice Buffalohead 1,125

Ron Shaw 1,052

William “Kugee” Supernaw 879

James Norris 779

Otto Hamilton 718

Angela M. Pratt 714

Other candidate vote totals (unofficial) for ON Congress: Cecelia Lemon Tallchief 698, John Star Bighorse 675, Clair Wood 656, Daniel Boone 650, Justin Mays 544, Anthony Whitehorn 499,Michael Kidder 495, John Free 486, Jacque Jones 451, Homer Troy Big Eagle 447, Beverly Brownfield 392, Teresa Bates Rutherford 359, Joe Conner 359, Rick Luttrell 346, Doug Cowan 175.