Jim Gray: Court wrong on ruling against Osage Reservation
"The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against the Osage Nation’s contention that it has a federal Indian reservation and therefore its members living and working on the reservation should be exempt from paying state income taxes as defined by federal law.

This was a reckless decision. It departed from precedent, established new law based on opinions of a handful of historians and glossed over evidence.

Perhaps worst of all, it adds to the fear and misinformation circulating among some people. My hope here is to be very direct in what our intentions are — and are not.

In 1872, the Osage Nation moved to Oklahoma from Kansas and bought its land, which was established as a federal Indian reservation. The reservation status has never changed. In fact, President George W. Bush reaffirmed the Osage Nation’s reservation status by signing the Osage Reaffirmation Act in 2004.

Congress had specifically, with clear language, disestablished reservations both prior to and after the 1906 Osage Allotment Act, but purposefully chose not to do so in the Osage case. The Oklahoma Tax Commission failed to identify clear language in any act of Congress which supports its "disestablishment by allotment” claim."

Get the Story:
Jim Gray: When tribe prospers, Oklahoma prospers (The Oklahoman 4/3)

10th Circuit Decision:
Osage Nation v. Oklahoma (March 8, 2010)

Related Stories:
Osage Nation asks 10th Circuit to rehear reservation case (4/1)
Editorial: Court confirms Oklahoma has no reservations (3/12)
Osage Nation wants rehearing over reservation status (3/9)
Court rejects Osage Nation over status of reservation (3/8)
Editorial: Osage Nation Chief Gray a 'radical' tribal leader (1/14)
10th Circuit hears arguments over status of Osage land (1/11)
Osage Nation files brief in reservation status case (7/28)
Osage Nation to appeal reservation status case (3/17)
Osage Nation seeks new ruling in reservation case (2/11)
Osage chief blasts ruling on reservation status (1/27)
Osage Nation loses state taxation lawsuit (1/26)
Supreme Court won't hear Osage Nation case (10/6)