We had in excess of 60 participants at our recent meeting in Petaluma. We might need to get a bigger room next time and we’re looking into other geographical locations. From the organizers point of view, it was rewarding and satisfying to see so many of you. Thank you for your participation!

Your feedback was very positive and we took your suggestions to heart. We will make sure that we have some audio amplification for our guest speakers. We also like to close future meetings with a little more time for your feedback and to encourage everyone to stay for a group photo if everyone will stand still that long.  Perhaps we could have a photo break in mid-afternoon when attendance is highest. It has always been a mystery to us to how many people would actually show up for our meetings and we’re happy to report that almost everyone that RSVP’d actually was able to make it. It really helps us to plan the venue and the meals.

We are eager to build up our attendance at these meetings and we are working to find interesting agenda items or activities that appeal to the majority of our members.

Ideas for Future Meetings
We have some input from people about ideas for future NCO meetings. If any of them seem more interesting than others we would love your feedback OR if you have other ideas, please send them along to us via email or fax, contact information below.

Here are some ideas we are thinking about in no particular order:

Hand Game (traditional gambling game with singing and dancing – some say it teaches intuition), How to cook a traditional Osage Meal, A Northern Calif. Osage Drum Group?, Osage Ceremonial Dress – explaining everything from tip-to-toe for both male and female and how and when it should be used, Osage Cultural Visitors, Moccasin making or other Osage dress, Lecture on Football Indian Style, Ribbon Work, Osage Minerals Council speakers with diverse viewpoints, Traditional Osage Dancing, Assistant Chief Scott Bighorse has volunteered to help facilitate a drum group, Political agenda relative to upcoming elections, and Traditional Elders visits and talks. What else would interest you?

Location of Next NCO Meeting
We are sensitive to the distance people have to drive to get to meetings. We are researching more central locations based on where the NCO membership lives. Would you be interested in knowing other Osages in your area and would carpooling be a good idea?

Osage Helping Osage Concept
We are looking for ways for the NCO group to build community and help one another. One idea we are looking at is developing a method for each of us to network or collaborate or just cooperate by being able to allow members to publicize a business, service, or event, perhaps in our web site (northernclaiforniaosage.org). Successful community’s help each other succeed.

For example, how many of you know of the upcoming art exhibit by Melani McKim (King), one of our fellow NCO members? She is presenting her art at an exhibit in Sacramento. For the particulars and if you are in the neighborhood this Thursday. May 12th or Saturday, May 14th, stop by and say hi to Melani and give her some support.

We are looking into ways we can easily showcase our members.  A business directory on our web site would be one example. Or, perhaps a section in the newsletter. What are other possibilities?

Purpose of the NCO Yearly Dues
The Steering Committee of our organization is an all volunteer group, so none of your dues go to salaries or retirement plans or new cars for the Steering Committee. In fact, your dues pay for renting venues, buying the food (sharing food among traditional Osages is often considered a form of prayer – Should we have pot lucks or is our present method ok?) drinks, all goodies and cups, plates, etc. Also, mailing expenses, phone, copying, website, incidentals and occasionally paying for flights for people from Oklahoma pretty much take up every cent we collect. Of course having more members means we have more funds for more activities. Do you know any Osages who might be interested in attending who didn’t know about our meetings?  Please alert them about our web site (northernclaiforniaosage.org) or send us names, address, email addresses, etc.

Please note that the dues cover both our Spring and Fall meetings. Until recently we have had no assistance from the tribe on supporting these meetings.  Our Osage Congress recently voted to offer groups of Osages outside the reservation help with meeting room and audio visual costs. We hope to begin accessing those funds with our Fall meeting, which allow us to broaden our choices of activities.

Volunteers Needed
From time to time we expect to have a task force or subcommittee to take on special projects or maybe some jobs associated with actually executing our meetings. So, if you are interested in helping to make this organization better for all, we would love to hear from you.

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Hawaii
One last item. Yes, the name of our group is Northern California Osage, but we do extend a warm welcome to any Osage that want to attend our meetings.

We are trying to provide a venue where we can learn more about our Osage culture, traditions, and language, and meet with our government representatives, and in just getting together with other Osage on a regular basis. Many of us that aren’t able to get to the Osage Reservation very often and we know that community has always helped Osage people survive and prosper.

Feedback
We welcome your input and feedback in any form, so email, pick up the phone and call, or send a carrier pigeon. We really want to know what YOU want in these meetings.

With Respect,
NCO Steering Committee

Chuck Maker
Melani King
Duane BigEagle
Karen Elliott
Forest Tracy