News & Notes

Economic Development Survey

Dear Wyandotte Citizen:
Wyandotte Nation desires to increase economic development in our community. In so doing, we must collect information about our people and their current economic condition. We are interested in providing services to you, but first must know about the desires, ambitions, and plans of Wyandotte Nation citizens within our service area (50-mile radius of tribal headquarters in Wyandotte, OK). Please take a few minutes to share your opinions about what should be done to stimulate economic growth for Wyandotte Nation as well as new businesses and/or job opportunities you believe are needed in our community.
The following application is for any Wyandotte Nation citizen, ages 15 and older, residing within a 50-mile radius of Wyandotte, OK. Any questions you have about the survey should be directed to the Planning Department by phone at (918) 678-6309 or via email at
Please complete and return the application on or before October 31, 2020.
Thank you in advance for your participation.

–Chief Billy Friend

You will find the survey on our website by clicking HERE.

Mail the completed survey to:
c/o Planning Department
Wyandotte Nation
64700 East Hwy 60
Wyandotte OK 74370-2098
– or –
Scan and Email the completed survey to:
Subject: 2020 Economic Development Survey
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FAX the completed survey to: (918) 678-2944
ATTN: Planning Department

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Annual Meeting set for Sept. 12; cultural events cancelled

The Wyandotte Nation will have their constitutionally required Annual Meeting Saturday, Sept. 12. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation and the need for social distancing, they are limiting the meeting to only Wyandotte citizens ages 18 up.

The Tribe will serve lunch at their Title 6 facility, but it will be drive through and carryout only. Also, there will be no childcare available, but Heritage Acres Park and Splash Pad will be available.

For those who may not feel comfortable sitting in the meeting or may be high risk for the virus, you may pick up your packets at a designated area. There will be more information coming in the near future, so please check the Tribe’s website ( and Facebook page ( for further updates.

The Wyandotte Nation Board of Director’s have also made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Pow-Wow as well as the annual Gathering that led into Pow-Wow for tribal citizens. In addition, tribal leadership made the difficult decision to cancel the Wyandotte Artisan Showcase for 2020. Leadership will continue to monitor the situation and hope to host a showcase in Spring 2021.


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Help available for students who are tribal citizens

Using CARES Act funds afforded to the Wyandotte Nation, we are providing a maximum of $700 towards the purchase of, or reimbursement for, a computer, such as a Chromebook, desktop, iPad, laptop, or Tablet. We have determined the expense of ensuring our tribal citizens have access to computers in order to facilitate their distance learning is a necessary cost arising from the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Tribe will either purchase the required computer or citizens can apply to be reimbursed for purchases made after March 1, 2020.  This program is available to enrolled Wyandotte Nation citizens who are enrolled in a school or educational institution, and proof of enrollment is required (e.g. class schedule, letter from school).

Applications can also be found by calling/emailing the office and must be received in our office by Sept. 30, 2020.  For questions about this program, please call (918) 678-6319.

Click HERE for the application and program information.

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COVID-19 Relief Funds & Application

Wyandotte Tribal Citizens:

The Wyandotte Nation on June 22, 2020, created the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Relief Program as part of the Wyandotte Nation’s General Welfare Program. The purpose of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Relief Program is to provide direct emergency financial assistance from the Wyandotte Nation’s Coronavirus Relief Fund monies to our citizens to alleviate the hardships our citizens are facing as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Eligible tribal citizens may apply for a disbursement of $1,500.00

Eligible tribal citizens are those who will be age 18 or over as of October 1, 2020, and who submit the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Relief Program Application certifying they have suffered economic impacts due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and that economic assistance is necessary. Applications will be sent out to those who answered questionnaires on Monday, June 29 and will also be posted on our website and Wyandotte Nation Citizens Facebook page. Applications will be accepted through August 31, 2020.

Please direct any questions you may have to Family Services by phone at 918-678-6319 or email at

For more information and the application, click HERE


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2020 Gathering canceled

Wyandotte Nation Tribal Leadership has been closely monitoring the evolving situation due to COVID-19. At this time, Leadership has made the difficult decision to cancel The Gathering for 2020. Chief  Billy Friend and the Board of Directors understand this is unfortunate, but the health and safety of our citizens, guests, and employees rates most important. As of this time, the annual Pow-Wow is still scheduled. We apologize for any issues this may cause. For questions, contact Sherri Clemons@ 918-678-6344.

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Wyandotte Nation to reopen casinos June 1

The Wyandotte Nation will reopen its 7th Street Casino in Kansas City, Kansas, and River Bend Casino & Hotel in Wyandotte, Okla., June 1 with safety measures and guidelines put in place to ensure the safety of its employees, guests and communities. The Lucky Turtle Casino in Wyandotte will remain closed with a time and date of reopening still to be determined.

The Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma (WTOK), the federally-chartered corporation of the Wyandotte Nation, has put a number of safeguards in place at each location.

Both properties will follow recommended sanitation procedures for using safe chemicals and cleaning surfaces. Signage will be placed reminding guests of physical distancing and hygiene.

The River Bend Casino & Hotel will reopen at 10 am with the following changes:

  • Club 60 West will be closed with a time and date of reopening still TBD.
  • Meeting spaces will be closed with a time and date of reopening still TBD.
  • Hotel occupancy reduced to 50 percent.
  • Reduced occupancy limits of 30 percent to the casino floor and Twin Bridges Restaurant and the Deli.
  • No Sunday buffets.
  • Tables removed and spaced for social distancing.
  • Sneeze guards installed in customer service locations.

7th Street Casino will reopen at 9 am with the following changes:

  • Reduced occupancy to 25 percent for the casino floor.
  • Café seating reduced.
  • Sneeze guards installed in customer service locations.

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Fireworks Display

The Wyandotte Nation will host an Independence Celebration with live music and fireworks display Thursday, July 2, at the Wyandotte Nation Pow-Wow Grounds, 5.2 miles East of Wyandotte, Okla., on HWY 60.

Food vendors will be on site. Personal coolers are allowed.

No alcohol, firearms or personal fireworks.

Parking will be free and security will be on site.

Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy this fun event for the entire family.

Gates will open at 6 pm, the live music will start at approximately 7 pm and fireworks will begin at dark.

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Lost Creek Recycle Center reopens

Wyandotte Nation Lost Creek Recycle Center in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, has reopened to the public! The bins for recyclables have been placed outside again. Please be mindful of our employees health and wellness by rinsing out all metal and tin cans, #1 and 2 plastic containers ( please look on your plastic containers for the recycle symbol for 1or 2).

We accept clean cardboard also. If it has food or grease on it anywhere, it is contaminated and we do not accept it. Please no toilet paper rolls as they are very unsanitary!

We do NOT recycle plastic shopping bags, soiled diapers, or any medical waste.

Thank you for your patience and understanding!

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Wyandotte Nation continues effort to slow spread of coronavirus

The Wyandotte Nation, as part of our ongoing effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), will make several changes to keep our citizens, employees and guests safe:

  • The Wyandotte Nation will operate with essential employees and limit public access to emergency services effective March 18. If services are needed, please call or email.
  • The Bearskin Fitness Center is closed effective at 9 pm March 17.
  • Turtle Tots (including preschool, and childcare) is closed effective March 19.
  • Wyandotte Nation Cultural Center is closed effective March 18.
  • Elders Services (Title VI) will continue to serve lunch as TAKE OUT ONLY from 11 am – 1 pm. No public access to the building will be allowed during this time.  Staff will be available to deliver meals to your vehicle.  Please stay in your vehicle and drive through the driveway.
  • Housing – Activity Center and Community Center closed effective March 17.
  • The Bearskin Clinic will provide limited services. Please call before coming to the clinic. Pharmacy services will continue.

Wyandotte Nation Leadership is continually monitoring this situation and will reassess these decisions March 31.

Continue to check back on our website or visit our Facebook page for the latest information.

Change in hours at Turtle Stop in Wyandotte

Our Turtle Stop in Wyandotte will temporarily have new hours. The Turtle Stop will be open from 5 am to 11 pm daily. For the time being gas will not be available at the pump when the store is closed, however we are working  to have pay at the pump services when the store is closed. We will keep you updated when that might be available.


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Supplemental Health Program (Benny Card) information for tribal citizens

Wyandotte Nation Citizens Supplemental Health Program (aka the Benny card) information:

The Supplemental Health accounts have been renewed as of January 1, 2020.  As a reminder, CoreSource has officially changed their name to Trustmark.  Any correspondence you receive in the future will reflect this name change.  Another change, for some, will be that the new cards you receive will no longer include the word “Benny”.  Cards are now blue and read “Benefit Card”.

*December 31st was the last day to use your Benny card for 2019 expenses.  Any 2019 expenses that are billed after January 1, 2020 MUST be paid via a reimbursement by either submitting a claim form (included with post) or through the app.

*To check balances for your account you can do so by calling CoreSource at 800-990-9058 x42086, on the website at (this address will direct you to the new site) or by using the app.

*If you have a smart phone, please consider downloading the app!  You can check balances, submit claims, scan bar codes to find out if an item is an eligible expense and see your expenditures.  A flyer with instructions for the app is included with this post.

If you have questions please feel free to call the Family Services Department at 918-678-6319 or 918-678-6329.

To access the claim form and and the mobile app flyer, click on the links below:



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‘Shop With a Cop’ continues to grow

The Wyandotte Nation Tribal Police Department (WNTPD) hosted its annual ‘Shop With a Cop’ Sunday, Dec. 8. Participating officers, not only from WNTPD but other area law enforcement, took 30 kids and 45 volunteers shopping at the Walmart in Miami, Okla. However, officers and volunteers purchased gifts for 51 kids total. That is the most kids the program has provided shopping for since the WNTPD started taking part in it.

(Photo by William Swaim)

To read the full article, CLICK HERE


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Wyandotte Nation breaks ground on new admin building

After constructing many walls and rearranging offices over the past 41 years, the Wyandotte Nation will have a new building to call home as the Tribe broke ground Thursday, Sept. 26, on its new Administration Building.

“It’s a great day, it’s a great day for us, it’s a great day for the Wyandotte Nation, and I just want to say thank you to everyone for coming out and supporting,” said Wyandotte Nation Chief Billy Friend to a crowd of onlookers. “It is something we have dreamed about for a long time, and now it is going to become a reality for us — we are looking forward to it.”

(From left) Wyandotte Nation Board of Directors Juanita McQuistion, Vivian Fink, Ramona Reid, Second Chief Norman Hildebrand, and Chief Billy Friend take the ceremonial scoop of dirt for the groundbreaking of the new Administration Building Thursday, Sept. 26. (Photo: William Swaim/Wyandotte Nation)

To read the full article, CLICK HERE
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Tribe raising awareness for domestic violence problem

The Wyandotte Nation continued its ongoing support to protect victims of domestic violence by signing a proclamation Thursday in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Chief Billy Friend signed the proclamation on behalf of the Tribe.

Chief Friend thanked the Wyandotte Nation domestic violence and sexual assault victim advocates.

“They work tirelessly around the clock many times, advocating for those in this area, being an advocate for those who have been victims of domestic violence,” Chief Friend said. “We appreciate them and we appreciate the work that they do.”

To read the full article, CLICK HERE

Wyandotte Nation Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Advocate Cesilie Hale (left) and Lisa Arnold (right), Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Advocate/Educator Supervisor, look on as Chief Billy Friend signs the proclamation. (William Swaim/Wyandotte Nation)

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(Re)Launching of our YouTube Channel

We are launching a new YouTube channel where we will post Q&A’s, informational, events, crafts videos and much more. If you were subscribed to the old channel, please visit and subscribe to the new channel. Hit the notification tab to stay in the know when we post videos and don’t forget to hit the ‘like’ button on the content you do see. When we have enough subscribers we will change to a custom site link, until then, find us at the linked site:

Wyandotte Nation YouTube Channel

Our first posts will be Generation Wyandotte Q&A series where tribal citizen and Wyandotte Nation intern Addison Butcher sat down to talk with Chief Billy Friend and Second Chief Norman Hildebrand, Jr. Check them out as we release them!

The videos will mostly be educational and informational with a mix in of some of our events. If there is anything anybody would like to see, please let us know.

For more information, please contact Kim Garcia at (918) 678-6317 or at, or William Swaim at (918) 932-4778 or


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Senior Energy Program Available Nationwide

Tribal leadership have been working to expand social service programs to better serve all Wyandotte Nation citizens.  Beginning July 1st the Senior Energy Program will be the newest program available.  This program will provide utility assistance to citizens age 55 and over with $100.00 in the summer and $100.00 in the winter.  Please see the application for additional information.  The application can be found on the website under the “Community/Family Services” tab.  Citizens can also contact a member of the Family Services staff for applications or information at 918-678-6319 or 918-678-6329.

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Wyandotte Nation Warrior Society

The Wyandotte Nation is proud to announce the creation of the Wyandotte Nation Warrior Society. The goal of the society is to identify, and honor our tribal citizens who have served honorably in the Armed Forces.

Throughout our history the Wyandotte have always been fierce warriors. Chief Bearskin, who was a bomber pilot in World War II, is perhaps one of our greatest warriors. We honor his and all our veterans legacy with this society.

Wyandotte Nation Warrior Society Patch

The application is located on our website (see link below). Once completed and returned to the Tribal Heritage Department, with proof of service (either honorable discharge or DD 214 form), each veteran will receive a patch identifying membership in the warrior society.

We also hope to identify citizens who have an interest in joining the nations honor guard. Who carry on the tradition of honor and respect of our Warrior history.

To join the society, fill out the Warrior Application by clicking here, and print or email to:

Wyandotte Nation

Heritage Department

Attn: Sherri Clemmons

5 Council Fire Road

Wyandotte OK 74370

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For Wyandotte Nation citizens who received new Benny cards and are trying to activate them, you will use your 4 digit roll number. If your roll number is 1, 2 or 3 digits you will add zeros at the beginning of the number to make it 4 digits, for example, if your roll number 5 you will enter it as 0005. If you have additonal questions please feel free to call the Family Services offices at 918-678-6329 or 918-678-6319 or CoreSource at 800-990-9058 x42086.

Supplemental Health Information (Benny)

With the end of the year approaching we are receiving several calls and emails regarding Benny card balances. While we are happy to assist, we wanted to remind tribal citizens of the other options available with 24/7 access. Balances can be viewed at the website and there’s a great new app from CoreSource that will allow you to view balances AND claims, including the location/vendor. The app is titled “myCoreSource FSA/HRA” and I have included a photo for easy identification. The first time you log into the app your username will be your CoreSource MemberID which is WY000(your 4 digit roll number) and your password is your zipcode+your 4 digit roll number. After you have logged in the first time you can change both the username and password for easier access if you choose. If you have any questions regarding the app or the website feel free to call us at 918-678-6319 or 918-678-6329 or CoreSource at 800-990-9058 x42086.

Also be watching for replacement cards coming in December for those cards expiring this year.

This document will assist you with setting up your mobile app access.

Member Num Mobile and Website flyer_ (002)

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Wyandotte Nation and 7th Street Casino donate to Wyandotte County Museum

Attending a $10,000 check presentation from the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma to the Wyandotte County Museum today were, left to right, Edwardsville Mayor John McTaggart, Rebecca Meditz, president of the Wyandotte County Historical Society and Museum, Unified Government Commissioner Mike Kane, Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma Chief Billy Friend, Kansas City, Kansas, Unified Government Mayor David Alvey, Unified Government Commissioner Melissa Bynum and Wyandotte County Museum Director Trish Schurkamp. (Courtesy Photo)

Preserving the future of their past has been one of the themes of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma, according to Chief Billy Friend.

As part of that historical preservation effort, today the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma presented the Wyandotte County Museum a check for $10,000. The museum is located at 126th and State Avenue inside the Wyandotte County Park at Bonner Springs.

Friend said one of his goals as a tribal leader is to make sure the next generations of the Wyandotte Nation know their history. For the past 10 years or more, he has brought busloads of Wyandottes to the museum to learn about their history, he said.

To read the full article, click here.

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Reminder to all Bearskin Clinic Tribal Patients

All appointments, including optometry, dental, audiology and PRC (Purchased/Referred Care), x-ray, laboratory, etc., must be approved prior to visit!
Failure to do so will result in denial of payment.

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Honor Guard looking to add youth  program

The Wyandotte Nation Honor Guard is exploring the opportunity to create a Junior Warrior Program. Participants can be either male or female, ages 12-17. The program will focus on mentoring of youth by using discipline, respect, tradition and community service. Participants will be asked to participate in a weekend training event and then support the Honor Guard at Pow Wows and other ceremonies. Members will be required to participate in quarterly community service events. Ribbon shirts and other items will be supplied at no cost to the participants.

We are looking for young people who have a strong desire to give back to the Nation and who will be good role models for their fellow youths.

For more information or to volunteer contact Dave Culver at

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*The program year began on January 1st and all active accounts were renewed. You will use your existing card until the expiration date at which time new cards will be sent.
*You can not use your Benny card for expenses that were incurred in 2016. If you have remaining funds from 2016 you have until February 28, 2017 to file a claim for reimbursement for eligible expenses. No exceptions. Claim forms can be found on the CoreSource website or by contacting the Family Services Department.
*Benny cards that were issued in December had an incorrect number. The correct number to call CoreSource is 800-990-9058 and ext 42086 will get you directly to a representative on our account. New cards WILL be sent to replace those at a later date.
*You can check account balances by calling the above CoreSource phone number during business hours or through the website 24/7 by setting up online access at
*Over the counter medications such as pain relievers and cold remedies can’t be purchased with the Benny card. However, some OTC medications are reimbusable if found medically neccessary by a physician.
*Statements are mailed quarterly with balances. If you aren’t receiving your statements please contact the Family Services Department to update your address.
As always the Family Services staff is available to assist you with the program, but there instances where we will need to refer you to CoreSource if we don’t know the answer. Please feel free to call and visit with us if you have questions about this program or any other programs facilitated by the Family Services Department.
Dana Butterfield, Director 918-678-6319
Tara Gragg, ICW Supervisor 918-678-6355
Leeanna Radabaugh, Assistant 918-678-6329
Tiffany Garner, ICW Worker/DV Advocate 918-678-6324

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Traditional Stories on iTunes

We are pleased to announce that some of our talented summer youth have been working hard to illustrate some of our traditional Wyandotte stories. Two of these stories are available now on iTunes. They are currently only available for Apple devices. We are in the process of making those available for android users. Will post when these are available. The book is entitled “Wyandotte Traditional Stories Vol. 1”.


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We’re on Facebook!

Stay up to date: Visit the Wyandotte Nation Facebook page. Click on the button below and ‘Like Us.’ There you will have the opportunity to connect with fellow Wyandottes, Wyandotte Nation staff, family and friends, as well as see all the latest news, photos and video from various tribe activities. FB

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