A recent Bigheart Times online article attributes former and discredited Osage Nation Division Leader Norma Merriman with giving “testimony” to a committee at Congress in a formal proceeding.
In fact, nothing but speculative hearsay statements flourished unchecked at the committee meeting. Thus, characterizing the statements as “testimony” elevates them to a status they do not deserve.
In addition, although an audio tape of the meeting is easily accessible on the Osage Nation website, the statements attributed to Merriman in the article are not in quotes, rather, they are an inaccurate summary prepared by the writer for the Bigheart Times. As such, they are mere speculation and cannot be considered facts.
The article attributes statements to Suzanne Hartness, former Counseling Center Director, who was not present at the committee meeting. This is an example of the hearsay being offered as fact. In fact, no documentation was ever produced proving any of the allegations Merriman made.
The article consists of nothing more than tabloid-style writing, which should be taken by the reader with same skepticism as the contents of every other tabloid publication on the market in the grocery store check-out aisle.
John D. Red Eagle
Osage Nation Principal Chief