Listen: 12-04-19 Perspective on the Osage reign of terror
"Native voice one the native American radio network? This is native America calling. I'm Taraji would the story of a series series of murders on the osage reservation in the early nineteen. Hundreds is told in several books. Most recently writer David Granz Book Killers of the Flower Flower Moon became a bestseller and it's the basis for an upcoming movie superstars. Martin Scorsese Leonardo DiCaprio. And Robert Deniro. Zero are all a part of the project and behind the star studded recounting is a tragedy for the osage people greedy in calculating fleeting outsiders secured valuable mineral rights from osage members. We'll hear from some of the descendants today and get a better picture of what exactly happened during that time mm-hmm and we'd like to hear from you. Maybe you read Gillers of the Flower Moon. What do you think about Hollywood making an attempt to retail some of this story phone lines are open? The number is one eight hundred nine six two eight four eight. That's also one eight hundred nine nine native and joining us today from the osage nation in sky took. Oklahoma is chief Jim Gray. He is the great grandson of Henry. Roan and the former principal chief of the osage nation. He is osage which our pleasure to have him. Here chief gray. Thank you for being with us today. Glad to be here terror and so I just want to get your thoughts this this part of osage history making it to the big screen. What are your thoughts? Well it's I'm both excited and I have a lot of anxiety I think for good reason that there's a if anyone who is a student. Doc Hollywood or is watching Hollywood make movies about native Americans. There's been a lot of misinformation done especially those the forties and fifties and early sixties. And then there was a rebound in the sixties and seventies of a little bit more balanced in storytelling a little bit. Learn humanity in the stories and You know but the work continues to try to get Native American perspective and we know the power of Hollywood just as we know the power of Madison Avenue to drive an image drive a narrative. That exaggerates the success of manifest genesis destiny and diminishes the relative impact on native communities. And so with that being said we got to look at this in the context of how Hollywood has done movies about any people passed and You know someone who's personally connected to the story. Seeing a book of this nature going through that scenery in Hollywood is a little daunting To expect something to come out of it that elevates the humanity of the osage people who were caught into this trash and the and the fear that this may be another white savior savior narrative where the FBI comes in and saves the and so Yeah but The opportunity to get a chance to have our story told is incredibly exciting and a lot of people in our community are excited about it and they're vegetarian to help out to make this the best it can be. Wow some of us are little standoffish. Sure what's going to be on the screen because the movie's GonNa be directed by probably one of the foremost directors of our time in capturing the Gore. The graphic violence that comes with some story Kelly. And he's mated needed That's his area so it's GonNa be a balance of both real violence and unreal. I think and that's GonNa be the challenge in this movie in Chief Gray. What are your thoughts that do people? After they've read this book killers of the Flower Moon by David Grand Grand. A lot of the reaction is. I can't believe this happen in any way when somebody says it that way. Does it also hurt well if you will. I don't think our hurts. Probably any less than because of who had to have people come talk to them about wounded knee from you know There's examples throughout history if you have learned how Osceola was still in Florida. How Toronto's Del Mare Zone in Florida? I'm back to Fort Sill Oklahoma. There's a lot of these stores that have it's Crept back into our consciousness as as a country and and it doesn't show snide states flattering light that the initial stories came out in. That had this coming to him they lived the life of resisting. You know modern in society and and held onto their old ancient ways and then there's art that shows this poor Indian on a horse at the sunset of his existence. You GotTa understand that that you know this osage Rainha tears. It's called the kind of fits into that that whole narrative so when you hear people say wow. I didn't know this we're like yeah right. Of course she didn't you know stop. It wasn't sitting there Cole. All the time but it but you know thanks to David Grants Book and many others. It is now coming back into the conversations of you've United States policy towards Indians historically in to see some of this stuff today is another example too that you still have a long way to go to help. Bring the rest of the country up to how we see The world right now and And this could be a big help to that the to to help bring those kinda stories back to the floor. So maybe this is even a beginning. And it's interesting Ed hearing your take I was just watching an interview That MR gun did in stillwater with the very large osage audience present And his words of you know. What are you going to gain from this in in what do you think about people who say you're making money off of this and his response was Simply want I wanted this story to get out into the open and you know basically bottom line. That's what he said. When you hear something like Pat what do you think that some of your skepticism lower in in terms of why he did this well? 'cause business he's storyteller. That's the work he's chosen. That's his career. And this one you know is sir. One that fits his was of you know being a crime reporter And studying history is made A. He's made a good living having tonight and neither should we But the the issue for us is that oftentimes people don't burn About our stories Indian country from enabled due to have the luxury of being able to take advanced classes. If history at universe be able to learn some of these things a lot of folks don't get that far in their education so they don't get exposed to some of these stories but Hollywood makes it possible for them to get their version of it so while we hold ourselves goes to a standard that regicide. He hasn't caught up with. We have to rely on the opportunities that are existing to teach a mainstream screen naughtiest So the visual media of south of Hollywood becomes incredibly important for us even though they may take it as seriously. Because it's a business and my David. Graham gives them the organic materials to make a book. David grant will be the first. I wanted to tell you that when he sold the rights to Hollywood he has no control over what they screen so while his intentions may have been honorable. uh-huh sincere and you know you got my Ford. That doesn't necessarily mean it's going to translate all that can translate on the screen now. We have reason to believe. Believe that maybe Hollywood's GonNa treat this issue differently but when you look at the history of Hollywood you always know. I know that there's compromises made along the way it's spacing time character development. All these things become. What do you call art like the track record has not been good in and I hear what you're seeing and chief great? Have you had a chance to talk to anybody connected into the film I did. Actually I've had a couple of opportunities to One was I talked to David Grant when he was writing the book and the second time I recently had a chance to address. Scorsese Adamy community meeting. That was held onto husker A couple of weeks ago. Last month I guess early it was definitely It was amazing to see a guy who is is world renowned sitting in a community building and of sage nation listening to the descendants of the people who were Murdered in this book talk to him. Tau Port was that he captured the humanity of these people in order to tell the story right. We don't WANNA be two-dimensional figures out of focus in the background celebrating the heroic work of the FBI. It just seemed like Mrs very important piece. If that's all becomes. I think he got the message. Did he get a chance to respond. He did he made two comments. I'm paraphrasing the course for one comment was is that he he heard us. He understood the value of of taking the the second. Look at the script. There's things that he can do to help build these characters.."