Women in leadership: Yahola Osborn excited for Council position

Women in leadership: Yahola Osborn excited for Council position
(MNN File Photo) Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Representative-elect Thomasene Yahola Osborn discusses her upcoming term.


Liz Gray/Reporter

Representative-elect discusses upcoming term

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Tukvpvtce District Seat B Representative-elect Thomasene Yahola Osborn reacted toward stepping into the seat once held by her father, Thomas Yahola, in one word. Honored.

“He’s put a lot of years into helping the citizens…” Yahola Osborn said. “…I’ll have him to lean on some things that I’m not familiar with but we are two different people…”

Yahola Osborn said she brings something different to the table.

Employee rights appear to be her main focus coming into the position, but she said there are also some housing issues she would like to address.

She said her experience as an MCN employee for 17 years drives her to make changes to the Employee Protection Act at the Nation.

Yahola Osborn said the act was something she did not know existed when she was an employee at the Housing Department.

“When we became employees of the tribe, we weren’t given that employee Protection Act so I’d really like to get into maybe making some changes,” she said.

MCN took over management of the Housing Authority in 2004.

When asked about the recent sexual harassment allegations made by Rep. Dode Barnett, Yahola Osborn said she is not worried because she will set her boundaries early.

She said after seeing Barnett’s interview with Mvskoke Media, she discussed with her husband about her experience during her time as an MCN employee.

“I have faced some things like that when I was an employee of the tribe…” Yahola Osborn said.

Yahola Osborn said she warned her daughter when she started working for the Nation.

“I hate that I had to say that to her,” she said. “…I think that needs to be looked at, I think that kind of works hand in hand with the Employee Protection Act.”

Yahola Osborn said she is nervous and excited at the same time about her representing her people on the Council.

“I’m ready to get started,” she said.

Inauguration for the Seat B Elects will be held in January.

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