American Indian Alumni Honoring Wilson Pipestem

The OSU Alumni Association and the OSU American Indian Alumni Society are honored to announce Wilson Pipestem has been selected as the American Indian Alumni Society Distinguished Alumni Award recipient for 2013. He will be recognized for his achievements at a public reception Nov. 9 at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center in the Craig Family Room.

“I was surprised and honored when I learned that I was chosen,” Pipestem said. “As one can quickly tell from my collection of orange ties and the ‘orange room’ in our home, I am a proud alumnus of Oklahoma State University. To be recognized by my fellow Indian alums is particularly humbling.”

While competing as a scholarship athlete on the OSU track and cross country teams, Pipestem served as president of the Native American Student Association for two years. He earned numerous academic awards and graduated from OSU in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Upon graduation from OSU, Pipestem continued his education at Stanford Law School in Palo Alto, Calif., where he earned his Juris Doctor in 1995. He began his tribal advocacy career in Washington, D.C. working for multiple law firms and honing his knowledge of tribal rights. Pipestem is currently the managing partner and co-founder of Ietan Consulting and president of Pipestem Law Firm. Pipestem’s professional career has been dedicated to advocacy on behalf of Native Americans and their tribes.

One of Pipestem’s most notable achievements is his role as lead counsel in the historical settlement reached for the Osage Nation in August 2011. After 11 years of litigation, the Osage Nation and the federal government settled to award headright holders of the Osage Minerals Estate $380 million for compensation for historical losses due to asset mismanagement by the federal government. This is the largest settlement of a case between an Indian tribe against the United States in history.

"It’s such an honor to recognize Mr. Wilson Pipestem as our Distinguished Alumni Award recipient this year,” said Christie Modlin, president of the OSU American Indian Alumni Society. "It is also an honor to recognize his accomplishments and how he has utilized his education, heritage, and passion for his native people in his career as an attorney to face some of the biggest challenges facing Indian Country.”

Pipestem is a frequent speaker on developments in federal law and policy and has taught Federal Indian Law at The Catholic University of America and at American University. Pipestem serves as chair of the Notah Begay III Foundation and is a member of the board of the Nike N7 Fund and the Close Up Foundation, all of which are not-for-profit organizations that provide opportunities for Native youth. He is active in Osage Ceremonial dances and serves on the Grayhorse In-Lon-Shka committee.

“He embraces his culture and heritage and strives to use his education and knowledge to benefit and help Indian Country,” Modlin said. “As a Native American man he has been such a great example and inspiration to our Native youth.”

A member of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and an Osage headright holder, Pipestem resides in Skiatook, Okla. with his wife Brenda and four children.

To RSVP for the American Indian Distinguished Alumni reception or to get more information about the American Indian Alumni Society, please visit