This is my first opportunity to address you as Chief of the Wyandotte Nation. I would like to say thank you for your support and to let you know I consider it an honor and a privilege and am humbled to serve you in this capacity. It has been a very busy summer here in Wyandotte with our Summer Youth Program, youth intern work program and several projects completed and some just starting. Construction has recently begun on the addition of more senior housing units and should be completed by late fall. Our new additions at the Bearskin Healthcare and Wellness center are now complete and we are looking forward to hosting our first Annual Meeting in the new gymnasium this September.
Along those lines, we would like to encourage every tribal citizen that can to attend and participate in our Annual Meeting and Culture Day Activities. Our Culture Committee has been working very hard on this year’s event and has some great things in store for those who attend. For more information, visit our website at www.wyandotte-nation.org.
One of the projects I have a spent a lot of time on is our property in Park City, KS. We made application with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2006 to have our 10.53 acres of land taken into trust for gaming. The application was approved at the regional level and is now at the central office in Washington DC. The Tribe purchased this property in November of 1992 with P.L. 98-602 funds and at the time was told that the chances of gaming there were very slim. The tribe then refocused their efforts on Kansas City, Kansas. After over 12 years of litigation on our Kansas City property all parties have conceded the fact that the Park City property can be placed into trust for the Tribe for gaming. This is a very exciting opportunity for the Tribe; the property actually sets on I-135 on the north edge of Wichita, Kansas and has great access to the Interstate. After numerous trips to Washington DC and countless hours wading through red tape, we are getting very close now to seeing this project become a reality for the Nation and I hope by the time we meet for our Annual Meeting we will have good news to report.
In closing, I would like to say it is a pleasure to welcome Norman Hildabrand on board as our new Second Chief. Norman was appointed by our Board of Directors to that position upon my succession to Chief after the retirement of Chief Bearskin. Norman served on our Board of Directors for several years and will do a great job serving you as Second Chief. Also, congratulations to Eric Lofland upon his appointment to fill the vacancy on our Board of Directors. Eric and his family are lifelong residents of the Wyandotte area and he will be a great addition to our Board.
“Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.” Romans 15:33