The Osage News asked candidates to answer 13 questions about their families, Osage culture, work experience and education. The News did not edit their responses and all questions were optional.
1) Name: Mary Jo Kipp Pratt
2) Osage Name: Xhuedoin
3) Clan: Golden Eagle
4) Band(s): Big Chief Band
5) District: Zonzoli
6) Family: Proud mother of George, Daniel, Manny,
Ruby & Tuff; seriously proud grandmother of Julien and Malea.
7) Osage ancestry: I am the oldest daughter of Stacey Kipp Pratt and granddaughter of Freda Lee Kipp. My great grandmother is Josephine MoSeCheHe WaXthiZhi (original allottee 42), great great grandparents are Charles WaXthiZhi (original allottee 40) and HluAhMe (original allottee 41), great great great grandparents include WyUTsaKahShe (original allottee 12) and NeKah (original allottee 756).
8) Education: I am a proud first generation college graduate. I have earned an Associate in Science – Accounting degree from Tulsa Community College, A Bachelor of Science – Forensic Accounting degree from Rogers State University, and a Master of Business Administration degree in IT Management focusing on Data Driven Strategic Solutions from Western Governor’s University.
9) Work Experience: 2014 – 2018 Cherokee Nation Businesses - Corporate Accounting & Finance; created the annual budget for assigned sector (total of $1 billion + annually), performed monthly financial reviews for all assigned LLCs, ensured all company costs were appropriately recognized in a timely fashion. Completed all work with heavy emphasis on teamwork, collaboration and problem solving. Ensured and appropriated spending. Captain of the Community Impact Team volunteer group.
2018- present Cherokee Nation Businesses – Business Development; I creating value; contribute to proposal development, analyze client needs, perform customer relationship management and partnership development. I work to create, maintain, and grow long term-strategic relationships so that my business can grow and prosper for generations to come. Last but not least, I connect large corporations with minority and/or disadvantaged businesses. This includes having the ability to bring diverse partners together to deliver a quality solution for our customer. Captain of the Community Impact Team volunteer group.
10) Are you cultural? My grandparents emphasized learning our culture; from a very young age, we knew our way of life, art, languages, beliefs, traditional ceremonies, dress, and music. We are very thankful for their efforts. My family and I have been blessed to participate in our precious Inlonshka. At the moment, I am teaching my young people how to sew a men’s shirt (no, they aren’t taking orders just yet J). They are also helping one another with restringing beads, chokers and pretty much anything else that’s needed. My family does not hesitate to reach out and ask questions; I encourage you to do the same. We have many elders that would be happy to visit.
11) Are you related to any other candidate? No, not closely related
12) Are you related with a current Osage official? I believe we are one and that is our strength; we move as one. One family, one people & one Nation.
13) Anything else you would like to add? I appreciate each one of you that supported me two years ago. I am going to ask for your continued support now. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about our future. I know what we do today will not only affect our children and grandchildren, but it will also leave a lasting impact that will be felt by the next seven generations. More than ever, we are living in extraordinary times. Our people have endured much in our long history; we must ensure that we are taking a unified approach and that our people come first.
I strongly believe in transparency, accountability and public trust. Having served in Corporate Accounting, I know the importance of maintaining and providing fundamentally objective information to key decision makers. The numbers tell a story and it’s vital to understand that story as it relates to creating a budget & making important decisions for our people.
I fully understand the magnitude of the choices I make. After all, I am Osage and I believe in it.