Luke 18:1-8 10.20.19
The Osage nation, together with other native American tribes, was shuffled to a desolate area of the Midwest called “Indian Territory”, with some of them settling in what was to become the state of Oklahoma. Over a period of many years, the US government systematically removed tribes from their ancestral lands and forced them to live separated from white settlers treating native Americans like they did not belong here, refusing to allow them to practice their traditional religion or speak their native tongue. It was a painful period in our history that has left its imprint on multiple generations to follow. When oil was discovered beneath their section of “Indian territory”, suddenly the Osage were wealthy, wealthier than any of their neighbors of any ethnic background. Every member of the tribe was allotted a regular share of the proceeds from the oil production. Yet because the Osage were not viewed as fully capable of managing their own money, most were assigned whites to serve as guardians over their share of the oil money, many of whom were dishonest and disrespectful, refusing to allow the Osage to spend their own money as they needed or claiming a portion of the funds for themselves.
This ugly story is chronicled in the book our multicultural book club is reading for our November discussion, titled Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann. In it, the sordid, shameful history of the way we have subjected people to oppression is exposed for all to see. Continue reading “Don’t Give Up!”