Just 25 years ago, the Wyandotte Nation was operating very few essential programs and services for the Wyandotte people. None of those programs or services was funded at an appropriate level. The total funding was not adequate when compared to the needs of our Wyandotte people.
As Wyandotte’s, we were challenged to come up with proposals to grow our Tribe, reach a level of self-sufficiency and most importantly, serve Wyandotte people. It was clear that something had to be done to improve our futures. Our leaders developed what was believed to be an effective plan with an immense chance of success. This plan was put into action immediately.
It was determined in the early 1990s that the best avenue for success rested in Tribal Self-Determination and Tribal economic development. The Wyandotte strategy was to create Tribal businesses that took advantage of the talents we had to offer, and build those businesses into success stories. We believed that if we “planned our work and worked our plan” we would meet with success. We continue on that course today.
Did we encounter some bumps and detours along the way? Yes. That is to be expected when developing new businesses and opportunities. As we maneuvered the twists and turns of venture, we gained valuable experience. We soon were on a straight and narrow path that has brought us to where we are today.
Resources produced by our Tribal businesses are introduced to all the various programs, services, outreach and opportunities Wyandotte people can access today. Many of these resources have been dedicated to the revitalization and preservation of our Wyandotte culture, language and tribal heritage, with the ultimate goal of building a Tribal Culture Center in the very near future. This outcome is the result of a number of bright, industrious, hard-working people dedicated to delivering outstanding business achievements and great futures for all Wyandotte’s citizens.
We have come a long way these last 25 years. Every Wyandotte citizen today has many opportunities from which to choose. These opportunities extend from education, jobs, housing, health care and so much more. This year for the first time we are able to offer a healthcare benefit that will be available for every Wyandotte citizen to access regardless of the where they may reside. Wyandotte’s today are benefitting from our commercial success in a multitude of ways. The goal, as always, is to “improve the quality of life for every Wyandotte citizen”.
I believe we are just beginning to see what we can do if we remain committed and dedicated to our vision. We have accomplished so much together and there are great things ahead for our Nation. I have had the privilege of being a part of these achievements for the past 14 years, 8 years as an employee and 6 years as both Second Chief and Chief. I deeply appreciate your faith in me as your leader. The trust you have placed in me is both humbling and inspiring! I look forward to serving you for years to come.