A-37674, AUGUST 6, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 54

A-37674: Aug 6, 1931

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IS RESTRICTED TO MEMBERS OF THE OSAGE TRIBE OF INDIANS OF LESS THAN ONE-HALF OSAGE BLOOD. REQUESTING A DECISION OF THE QUESTION PRESENTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE OSAGE INDIAN AGENCY WHETHER UNALLOTTED OSAGE INDIANS OF LESS THAN ONE-HALF INDIAN BLOOD WHO WERE MINORS AT THE TIME OF THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2. IS HEREBY. WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THIS ACT IS APPROVED. THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED IN HIS DISCRETION TO GRANT A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY TO ANY UNALLOTTED OSAGE INDIAN WHEN IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE SAID SECRETARY SUCH MEMBER IS FULLY COMPETENT AND CAPABLE OF TRANSACTING HIS OR HER OWN AFFAIRS. THE FACTS GIVING RISE TO THIS QUESTION ARE STATED IN THE LETTER OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE OSAGE INDIAN AGENCY.

A-37674, AUGUST 6, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 54

OSAGE INDIANS - ACCUMULATED FUNDS THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1929, 45 STAT. 1478, REQUIRING THE PAYMENT WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF APPROVAL OF THE ACT TO "EACH ENROLLED INDIAN OF LESS THAN HALF OSAGE BLOOD," OF ONE-FIFTH PART OF HIS OR HER PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF ACCUMULATED FUNDS, DOES NOT INCLUDE UNALLOTTED INDIANS OF LESS THAN ONE-HALF OSAGE BLOOD BORN SINCE JULY 1, 1907, BUT IS RESTRICTED TO MEMBERS OF THE OSAGE TRIBE OF INDIANS OF LESS THAN ONE-HALF OSAGE BLOOD, ACCORDING TO THE ROLL PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1906, 34 STAT. 539.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 6, 1931:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 15, 1931, REQUESTING A DECISION OF THE QUESTION PRESENTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE OSAGE INDIAN AGENCY WHETHER UNALLOTTED OSAGE INDIANS OF LESS THAN ONE-HALF INDIAN BLOOD WHO WERE MINORS AT THE TIME OF THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1929, 45 STAT. 1478, MAY, UPON REACHING THEIR MAJORITY, MAKE APPLICATION FOR, AND DEMAND AS A RIGHT, THE PAYMENT OF ONE-FIFTH OF THEIR ACCUMULATED FUNDS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 OF SAID ACT WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR BE, AND IS HEREBY, AUTHORIZED, IN HIS DISCRETION, UNDER SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS HE MAY PRESCRIBE, UPON APPLICATION OF ANY MEMBER OF THE OSAGE TRIBE OF INDIANS NOT HAVING A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY, TO PAY ALL OR ANY PART OF THE FUNDS HELD IN TRUST FOR SUCH INDIAN: PROVIDED, THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR SHALL, WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THIS ACT IS APPROVED, PAY TO EACH ENROLLED INDIAN OF LESS THAN HALF OSAGE BLOOD, ONE-FIFTH PART OF HIS OR HER PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF ACCUMULATED FUNDS. AND SUCH SECRETARY SHALL, ON OR BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF TEN YEARS FROM THE DATE OF THE APPROVAL OF THIS ACT, ADVANCE AND PAY OVER TO SUCH OSAGE INDIANS OF LESS THAN ONE-HALF OSAGE INDIAN BLOOD, ALL OF THE BALANCE APPEARING TO HIS CREDIT OF ACCUMULATED FUNDS, AND SHALL ISSUE TO SUCH INDIAN A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NOTHING HEREIN CONTAINED SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO INTERFERE IN ANY WAY WITH THE REMOVAL BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR OF RESTRICTIONS FROM AND AGAINST ANY OSAGE INDIAN AT ANY TIME.

SECTION 5 OF THE SAME ACT, 45 STAT. 1481, PROVIDES:

THE RESTRICTIONS CONCERNING LANDS AND FUNDS OF ALLOTTED OSAGE INDIANS, AS PROVIDED IN THIS ACT AND ALL PRIOR ACTS NOW IN FORCE, SHALL APPLY TO UNALLOTTED OSAGE INDIANS BORN SINCE JULY 1, 1907, OR AFTER THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT, AND TO THEIR HEIRS OF OSAGE INDIAN BLOOD, EXCEPT THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED FEBRUARY 27, 1925, WITH REFERENCE TO THE VALIDITY OF CONTRACTS FOR DEBT, SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY ALLOTTED OR UNALLOTTED OSAGE INDIAN OF LESS THAN ONE-HALF DEGREE INDIAN BLOOD: PROVIDED, THAT THE OSAGE LANDS AND FUNDS AND ANY OTHER PROPERTY WHICH HAS HERETOFORE OR WHICH MAY HEREAFTER BE HELD IN TRUST OR UNDER SUPERVISION OF THE UNITED STATES FOR SUCH OSAGE INDIANS OF LESS THAN ONE-HALF DEGREE INDIAN BLOOD NOT HAVING A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO FORCED SALE TO SATISFY ANY DEBT OR OBLIGATION CONTRACTED OR INCURRED PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED IN HIS DISCRETION TO GRANT A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY TO ANY UNALLOTTED OSAGE INDIAN WHEN IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE SAID SECRETARY SUCH MEMBER IS FULLY COMPETENT AND CAPABLE OF TRANSACTING HIS OR HER OWN AFFAIRS.

THE FACTS GIVING RISE TO THIS QUESTION ARE STATED IN THE LETTER OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE OSAGE INDIAN AGENCY, AS FOLLOWS:

TENNESSEE EVANS, AN UNALLOTTED OSAGE OF LESS THAN 1/2 BLOOD, NOW 21 YEARS OF AGE (BORN IN 1909), HAS SUBMITTED AN APPLICATION, WHICH IS ENCLOSED, FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF $4,259.00 OF HER SURPLUS FUNDS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, CONTENDING THAT SHE IS NOW AN ADULT AND ENTITLED TO THIS, ALTHOUGH SHE WAS A MINOR AT THE TIME THE ACT OF 1929 WAS PASSED AND DID NOT ATTAIN HER MAJORITY WITHIN THE ONE-YEAR PERIOD DURING WHICH THESE 1/5TH PAYMENTS WERE REQUIRED TO BE MADE.

MISS EVANS COULD MAKE APPLICATION FOR HER SURPLUS FUNDS IN PART OR IN FULL UNDER THE ACT REFERRED TO, BUT SHE IS OF THE OPINION THAT SHE IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE AS A MATTER OF RIGHT 1/5TH OF HER ACCUMULATED FUNDS.

THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1906, 34 STAT. 539, ENTITLED "AN ACT FOR THE DIVISION OF THE LANDS AND FUNDS OF THE OSAGE INDIANS IN OKLAHOMA TERRITORY, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," MADE PROVISION FOR A TRIBAL ROLL, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT THE ROLL OF THE OSAGE TRIBE OF INDIANS AS SHOWN BY THE RECORDS OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES INDIAN AGENT AT THE OSAGE AGENCY, OKLAHOMA TERRITORY, AS IT EXISTED ON THE FIRST DAY OF JANUARY, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIX, AND ALL CHILDREN BORN BETWEEN JANUARY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIX, AND JULY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SEVEN, TO PERSONS WHOSE NAMES ARE ON SAID ROLL ON JANUARY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIX, AND ALL CHILDREN WHOSE NAMES ARE NOT NOW ON SAID ROLL, BUT WHO WERE BORN TO MEMBERS OF THE TRIBE WHOSE NAMES WERE ON THE SAID ROLL ON JANUARY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIX, INCLUDING THE CHILDREN OF MEMBERS OF THE TRIBE WHO HAVE, OR HAVE HAD, WHITE HUSBANDS, IS HEREBY DECLARED TO BE THE ROLL OF SAID TRIBE AND TO CONSTITUTE THE LEGAL MEMBERSHIP THEREOF. PROVIDED, THAT THE PRINCIPAL CHIEF OF THE OSAGES SHALL, WITHIN THREE MONTHS FROM AND AFTER THE APPROVAL OF THIS ACT, FILE WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR A LIST OF THE NAMES WHICH THE TRIBE CLAIMS WERE PLACED UPON THE ROLL BY FRAUD, BUT NO NAME SHALL BE INCLUDED IN SAID LIST OF ANY PERSON OR HIS DESCENDANTS THAT WAS PLACED ON SAID ROLL PRIOR TO THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF DECEMBER, EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY- ONE, THE DATE OF THE ADOPTION OF THE OSAGE CONSTITUTION, AND THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AS EARLY AS PRACTICABLE, SHALL CAREFULLY INVESTIGATE SUCH CASES AND SHALL DETERMINE WHICH OF SAID PERSONS, IF ANY, ARE ENTITLED TO ENROLLMENT, BUT THE TRIBE MUST AFFIRMATIVELY SHOW WHAT NAMES HAVE BEEN PLACED UPON SAID ROLL BY FRAUD; BUT WHERE THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS TO ENROLLMENT TO THE OSAGE ROLL HAVE BEEN INVESTIGATED BY THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT AND IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR THAT SUCH PERSONS WERE ENTITLED TO ENROLLMENT, THEIR NAMES SHALL NOT BE STRICKEN FROM THE ROLL FOR FRAUD EXCEPT UPON NEWLY DISCOVERED EVIDENCE; AND THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR SHALL HAVE AUTHORITY TO PLACE ON THE OSAGE ROLL THE NAMES OF ALL PERSONS FOUND BY HIM, AFTER INVESTIGATION, TO BE SO ENTITLED, WHOSE APPLICATIONS WERE PENDING ON THE DATE OF THE APPROVAL OF THIS ACT; AND THE SAID SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO STRIKE FROM THE SAID ROLL THE NAMES OF PERSONS OR THEIR DESCENDANTS WHICH HE FINDS WERE PLACED THEREON BY OR THROUGH FRAUD, AND THE SAID ROLL AS ABOVE PROVIDED, AFTER THE REVISION AND APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR AS HEREIN PROVIDED, SHALL CONSTITUTE THE APPROVED ROLL OF SAID TRIBE; * * *

THE TERM "EACH ENROLLED INDIAN OF LESS THAN HALF OSAGE BLOOD" IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1929, TO WHOM PAYMENT OF ONE-FIFTH PART OF HIS OR HER SHARE OF ACCUMULATED FUNDS IS REQUIRED TO BE MADE WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THE APPROVAL OF SAID ACT, IS RESTRICTED TO MEMBERS OF THE OSAGE TRIBE OF INDIANS OF LESS THAN ONE-HALF OSAGE BLOOD, ACCORDING TO THE ROLL PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1906, SUPRA, ALL OF WHOM WOULD HAVE ATTAINED THEIR MAJORITY ON OR PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1928, AND PRIOR TO THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1929, AND, THEREFORE, DOES NOT INCLUDE UNALLOTTED INDIANS OF LESS THAN ONE-HALF OSAGE BLOOD BORN SINCE JULY 1, 1907.

SINCE THE RESTRICTIONS CONCERNING LANDS AND FUNDS OF ALLOTTED OSAGE INDIANS AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE VARIOUS ACTS ARE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT, SUPRA, SPECIFICALLY MADE APPLICABLE TO UNALLOTTED OSAGE INDIANS BORN SINCE JULY 1, 1907, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT TENNESSEE EVANS AND OTHERS IN HER CLASS MAY NOT, UPON ATTAINING THEIR MAJORITY, DEMAND AS A RIGHT THE PAYMENT OF ONE-FIFTH OF THEIR ACCUMULATED FUNDS.