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                                                       Calendar No. 697
108th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     108-343

======================================================================
 
    TO REAFFIRM THE INHERENT SOVEREIGN RIGHTS OF THE OSAGE TRIBE TO 
            DETERMINE ITS MEMBERSHIP AND FORM OF GOVERNMENT

                                _______
                                

               September 15, 2004.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Campbell  , from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2912]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (H.R. 2912) to reaffirm the inherent sovereign rights of 
the Osage Tribe to determine its membership and form of 
government, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill (as 
amended) do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of H.R. 2912 is to reaffirm the inherent 
sovereign rights of the Osage Tribe to determine its membership 
and form of government.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 2912 affirms the right of the Osage Tribe (the 
``tribe'') to form its own membership rules and tribal 
government, provided that no rights to any shares in the 
mineral estate of the tribe's reservation are diminished.
    The tribe is a Federally recognized tribe with a nearly 1.5 
million-acre reservation located in northeast Oklahoma. In 
1906, Congress enacted the Osage Allotment Act (``1906 Act''), 
which is unique among Federal Indian laws in that it restricts 
the Osage Tribe from defining its own membership rules, and 
prescribes a particular form of government which the tribe 
cannot change without seeking amendment of Federal law.
    All other Federally recognized Indian tribes in the nation 
generally have the sovereign right to make their own internal 
membership rules and to form suitable tribal governments. In 
brief, the 1906 Act--
          --Defined the legal membership of the tribe to 
        consist of all living Osage Indians who were on the 
        Secretary of the Interior's 1906 roll for the tribe, 
        plus their children born before July 1, 1907;
          --Allotted a certain amount of surface land in the 
        Osage Reservation to the tribal members;
          --Provided that the tribe retained all mineral rights 
        to the entire reservation in undivided ownership; and
          --Provided for the distribution of royalties from 
        development of mineral resources to each of the 
        enrollees, such shares in the royalties are called 
        ``headright shares''.
    The U.S. Federal court decisions have interpreted the 1906 
Act to mean that Congress took away the tribe's right to 
determine its own membership rules. The only individuals who 
may be members of the tribe and participate in the tribal 
government are those who are the lineal descendants of the 
original enrollees under the 1906 Act and who have a headright 
share of the mineral revenues from the reservation.
    As a result, the 1906 Act excludes many thousands of Osage 
Indians from being members of the tribe because they do not 
have headright shares. Ironically, in the eyes of the Federal 
government, such individuals (including full-blooded Osages) 
are not ``Indians'' because one must be a member of a 
Federally-recognized tribe to be an Indian.
    Those Osages who are precluded from being members of the 
tribe under the terms of the 1906 Act are thus denied important 
services and benefits, such as Native American academic 
scholarships, and more importantly, a role in participating in 
the life and government of the tribe.
    Without clarifying the 1906 Act, the tribe is prevented 
from exercising its prerogatives as an Indian tribal government 
and individual Osages are prevented from the full enjoyment of 
their rights and privileges owing to their rightful membership 
in the Osage tribe.
    H.R. 2912 clarifies the 1906 Act and re-affirms the right 
and authority of the tribe to craft its own membership, 
governance, and governmental rules on the same footing as all 
other Federally-recognized tribes. The bill provides that no 
individual Osage's rights to shares in themineral estate are 
diminished by the exercise of the tribe's re-affirmed authority to 
determine its own membership.
    The bill also directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
assist the tribe in holding appropriate elections and referenda 
at the request of the tribe.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    H.R. 2912 was introduced on July 25, 2003, by Congressman 
Frank Lucas (R-OK) and referred to the Committee on Resources. 
On March 15, 2004, that Committee held a hearing on the bill, 
and on May 5, 2004, the bill was favorably reported to the 
House of Representatives by unanimous consent. See H. Rpt. 108-
502. On June 1, 2004, the House of Representatives passed the 
bill, and when it came to the Senate it was referred to the 
Committee on Indian Affairs.
    On July 14, 2004, the Committee on Indian Affairs favorably 
reported H.R. 2912 to the Senate with recommendation that it do 
pass.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, in open business 
session on July 14, 2004, by a unanimous voice vote of a quorum 
present, considered the bill and ordered H.R. 2912, in the form 
of a substitute amendment, reported to the Senate with 
favorable recommendation that it be passed.

                      COST AND BUDGETARY CONCERNS

    The costs estimate for H.R. 2912, as provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office, is set forth below.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                               Washington, DC 20515, July 20, 2004.
Hon. Ben Nighthorse Campbell,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2912, an act to 
reaffirm the inherent sovereign rights of the Osage Tribe to 
determine its membership and form of government.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mike Waters.
            Sincerely,
                                         Elizabeth Robinson
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2912--An act to reaffirm the inherent sovereign rights of the 
        Osage Tribe to determine its membership and form of government

    H.R. 2912 would enable the Osage Tribe to determine the 
tribe's membership roll and government rules in the same manner 
as other federally recognized tribes. In 1906, the Congress 
enacted the Osage Allotment Act that defined membership in the 
Osage Tribe. Under that act, Osage Indians may be legal members 
of the tribe and participate in the tribal government only if 
they are lineal descendants of the original enrollees under the 
1906 act and own a share of the mineral revenues from the 
reservation. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2912 would 
have no effect on the federal budget because federal agencies 
currently provide services to all Osage Indians and do not 
restrict services to those considered to be members of the 
tribe under the Osage Allotment Act. Enacting H.R. 2912 would 
not affect revenues or direct spending.
    H.R. 2912 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. 
Enacting this legislation would benefit the Osage Tribe.
    On May 17, 2004, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
2912, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Resources 
on May 5, 2004. The two versions of the legislation and the CBO 
cost estimates are identical.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mike Waters, who 
can be reached at 226-2860. This estimate was approved by Peter 
H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The Committee has received no executive communications 
relating to H.R. 2912.

               REGULATORY AND PAPERWORK IMPACT STATEMENT

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires that each report accompanying a bill evaluate 
the regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that the 
regulatory and paperwork impact of H.R. 2912 will be minimal.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee finds that the 
enactment of H.R. 2912 will not effect any changes in existing 
law.