July 13, 2020

Since the first of March we as Peoria citizens have found ourselves acting or reacting to this pandemic caused by the Covid-19 Virus. There is not an aspect of our lives that it has not affected. From where and how we work and play, to the places that we eat and entertain ourselves. During this time we have seen this turmoil boil into social and racial tensions. I pray that we find peace in what grounds us personally and corporately.
Our tribe and been focused on protecting our citizens, customers, staff and enterprise employees during this prolonged season of uncertainty.
But during the tests of life there are also milestones to celebrate and remember.
There have been both high school and college graduations since our last newsletter. There have been births, deaths and weddings to remember since our last newsletter.
The longevity of our story as a Tribe depends on the comfort that for every rising of a sun there is a setting and for every ending there is a beginning.
I will close by mentioning the newly enacted Covid-19 Public Health Emergency Relief Fund and the application that is included in this newsletter.
This Virus has had a negative impact on each of our lives. This application is intended to make financial support easily available for each of our eligible members. Please apply promptly and call our Headquarters for any necessary explanations needed.
Please keep safe and stay well until we are able to gather together again.
Be well.
Craig Harper

February 7, 2020


What an Event!

Let’s discuss three.

One of the highlights of our Peoria calendar each year is the Children’s Christmas Party.
With great care, our staff and a team of volunteers truly transformed the Peoria Showplace into a virtual Winter Wonderland. This annual Peoria event was diligently and carefully planned for and executed with the future of our People in mind.
The goal to bless, encourage and support the Peoria children and families in attendance was fulfilled in the smiles on the faces and the joy in the voices of our citizens as they enjoyed the time of fellowship and family. It is good for Us to be together.

Another event to discuss is the upcoming Peoria Tribe’s Annual General Council Meeting. It will again be held in the Peoria Showplace at our beautiful Buffalo Run Casino here in Miami, OK.  Plans for this annual gathering of our citizens are complete and the realization of these has begun. This serves as our major political and cultural event of the year. Building on the format established at last year’s meeting, our team will provide comprehensive reports and program updates. Special guests have been invited and exhibits will be on display.

Lastly, one of the most exciting announcements at this year’s General Council Meeting will be the unveiling of 2020-2021 tribal program expansions, including a ceremonial groundbreaking, which will be held immediately following adjournment. Once our business is concluded, we hope you will join us for a time of fellowship, as we close out the weekend festivities at our Annual Peoria Stomp Dance.

Let us gather together again as a nation and family, to remember where we have come from and to celebrate the promise of our future generations.


Be Well,

Craig Harper

November 15, 2019


Since 1990 the month of November has been federally recognized as National American Indian Heritage month and commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. However you refer to it, it is a uniquely specific time of the year.

It is not a coincidence that this recognition coincides with Veterans Day. It is well documented the unequaled commitment to the Armed Services per capita of the First Nations peoples. Recently, I had the distinct honor to attend the Veterans Day Service at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. As I spent time walking amongst the World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial, it was humbling to consider the commitment and sacrifice of so many native and non-native men and women to this country. Personally, my paternal Grandfather was combat wounded on Armistice Day.

So many things take place during the month of November; We take a day to remember and honor our veterans; We take a day to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. It seems a natural transition to honor the heritage of our own people in our own ways. Even this week, at the Civic Center here in Miami, through the Inter-Tribal Council and the support of numerous local tribes, including our own, elementary students from eight local school districts were able to see exhibition dancing, see artifacts, play games and hear stories. It was exciting to see that generation interact with our respective cultural ways and traditions.

While attending the November Inter-Tribal Council meeting, a representative from a park service in Ohio was present. As she explained the nature of her visit, I found it no surprise that it again tied directly to our story and our heritage. She shared that the scope of her work was to help present the Native American perspective of military movements and engagements from the late 1700’s that involved our tribes. It was easy to envision us fighting alongside many of the same tribes that we call neighbors still to this day. I would call it a great coincidence that this meeting happened during this month focused on our heritage, but I don’t believe in them.

In closing, Thank you. Thank you to our citizens who continue to promote our ways. Thank you to our citizens who attend our events and meetings and stop by the Office to do business and visit. Thank you to our citizens who have called into the office. Thank you to our citizens who watch our web and social media pages for news and updates.

Have a great Heritage month and Fall season. We look forward to seeing all who attend the Children’s Christmas Party and begin to look ahead to the March General Council Meeting.

Be Well.

Craig Harper



We hope this Newsletter finds each of our citizens well.  It is a great time of the year.  Our children are back in school and our college students are back on campus.  We hope all our citizens are taking full advantage of the school supply reimbursement program and our tuition program.  Thank you to our staff and Education Committee for their time and efforts to process and review each application and get these funds out to each one eligible.

Thank you to the Pow Wow Committee and Buffalo Run Casino staff for another successful event.  Our June Pow Wow was pushed indoors because of the ongoing rain which provided for saturated grounds and in turn delayed the improvements to the Peoria Pow Wow grounds and buildings.  We are pleased to announce that the improvements will be finished by late Fall and the 23rd Annual Peoria Pow Wow (June 2020) will be able to showcase our improved grounds.

In addition to the work being done at the Pow Wow grounds there has been some changes happening at Buffalo Run Casino.  To start with, a new sign has been erected on the Interstate 44 side of the property.  In addition, to the new digital sign there is improved landscaping throughout the property and the outdoor concert venue received some updates, just in time to welcome Toby Keith for Labor Day.

The outdoor concert venue has been a busy place this summer!  To start with the City of Miami hosted their Annual 4th of July festivities at the property.  The ongoing rain showers of May and June created flooding at the planned location and the Peoria Tribe and Buffalo Run were happy to be cosponsors and welcome the City and their attendees to our amazing property.  The days activities included many city sponsored activities and the Peoria CCDF was able to step in and provide some GREAT kids activities including:  Camel rides, bounces houses, face painting, and balloon art to name a few things.  The day concluded with a spectacular firework show.

Following this great event, the Peoria CCDF program hosted a “Back to School Bonanza and Movie Night” at the Buffalo Run outdoor venue.  Initially the CCDF program purchased 300 back packs and a variety of school supplies for the backpacks.  However, the large volume of people who showed up, displayed how obvious the need for backpack and school supplies was and the Peoria CCDF Program did a second order of backpacks and supplies.  A second distribution brought the number to 900 backpacks.  For more info on the Peoria CCDF Program go to page 10 of the Newsletter.

In closing we would like to remind everyone of the annual Veteran’s Day Memorial Service to honor tribal veterans, as well as all veterans, on Sunday, November 9, 2019.  The service will be at the Peoria Tribal Cemetery beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Hope to see you all soon!

Craig Harper



Trusting the Spring season finds my Peoria family doing well. I am always encouraged by the transitions of Spring; as the days lengthen and gardens come to life, renewed energy and hope restored.

This past year has been an incredible journey that has brought fresh vision and a more precise direction for our future prosperity. I had the privilege of meeting with many Tribal and Cultural Leaders, State Officials, and Federal Agencies in hopes of strengthening and building new relationships for the future benefit of our citizens. With this purpose in mind, I attended Nation- To- Nation conferences, Tribal Economic Development conferences, and Tribal Finance Summits.

I firmly believe, that for us to continue moving forward and know EEHIŠI IIYAAYANKWI {Where we are going} as a tribe, we must understand where we’ve been.  One of my personal goals has been not just to gain a deeper understanding of our Tribe’s history and culture, but to truly learn about our ancestors and our ancestral lands. One of the highlights in this regard was my recent trip to Cahokia Mounds, located just outside of St. Louis, Mo, designated as a World Heritage site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This 2,200-acre mound civilization complex is a true marvel. Second Chief Logan Pappenfort and I were recently hosted by the Museum Director and toured both the Museum and property. The focus and labor of the Cahokia citizens were monumental. It was inspiring to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors.

Following our visit, the Peoria Tribe has been invited to participate in upcoming events at Cahokia Mounds. We are currently planning chartered day trips from Miami for our citizens to coincide with future events there. Continue to watch our website and Facebook postings for details.

Planning is also underway for the 22nd Annual Peoria Tribal Powwow. We look forward to seeing everyone there as we gather together to celebrate as a family.

It has been an honor to complete one year in office as Chief; serving this great Tribe and our proud Peoria People. Please, make plans early to stay at the Buffalo Run Hotel and tour the casino. While you’re in town, the staff and I welcome each of you to stop past the Tribal Office for a visit.

Hope to see you all soon!
Craig Harper

Greetings Peoria Citizens!

Unity, progress, cultural revitalization, and a new vision for tribal prosperity, will continue to be the focus of our tribal leadership as we look onward to the new season.  I am eager to connect with friends and family alike as we gather for the 2019 Annual Peoria Council Meeting.  It has been an exciting year of change, and I believe hosting the meeting in a new venue will embrace the progress.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the Peoria Showplace in Buffalo Run Casino on March 2, 2019.  I believe we are just beginning to see what we can do if we remained committed and dedicated to our vision.

I want to share with you a brief recap of what has materialized as relationships merge on this journey.  I had the privilege to attend Governor Kevin Stitt’s Inauguration.  Just as optimism and hope filled the air at this event, I hope to project the same sentiment to my fellow Tribal members.   I hope we can have respectful and meaningful conversations that lead to movement and future progress.

I would encourage you to attend the Annual Meeting, bring your family, socialize, meet a Peoria citizen you may not know.  The Annual Meeting is a time for us to conduct the business of the Tribe but is also a time to gather.  For so many generations oral history was the only form of sharing and passing along traditions and stories.  Let this be a time to gather, reflect, share and begin to rebuild.

As I look back to the growth of our Tribe, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the past leaders.  Our previous leaders laid the foundation for future generations, so without that dedication and commitment, we would not be where we are today. In saying that, I thank you all, for your imprint on our Tribe.

2019 Annual Meeting preparations


March 2nd is quickly approaching and the office is bustling with activity as we are coordinating all aspects of putting the meeting together:  Reports, room set up, trading post items and such.  This is a busy time of the year and the staff is always eager to ensure that the details are all taken care of and that each Annual meeting will be the best that it can be!

As a reminder, the Annual Meeting will take place at the Peoria Showplace, Buffalo Run Casino & Resort.  We are excited about this and have been working with the Casino staff to ensure all the details are taken care of.  Also, there will not be an election, you should have received notification of the cancellation.  According to the Election Ordinance:  “In the event that only one candidate files for elective office, that candidate shall be declared elected.  In the event a candidate is declared elected, it will not be necessary for the Peoria Tribe to conduct an election by ballot for that elective office.  Furthermore, in the event a candidate is declared elected, the candidate shall assume office immediately in the case of a vacancy, or at the next annual Peoria Council meeting upon the expiration of an elected official’s term.”  With that being said the day will begin with lunch at 11:30 am – 12:45 pm and we will start the Council meeting at 1:00 pm.  The day will be concluded with the Stomp dance with the evening meal being served at 5:30 pm and the Stomp dance will begin at 7:30 pm.

We look forward to this Annual gathering of our membership.  This is a time to conduct business, but it is also a time to gather, share with one another and celebrate being Peoria!  We hope to see you and your family members on March 2nd!

Website update at week 3


The new website is a few weeks old and we are excited about the comments we have received so far.  There is still work to do, on the website, but we are happy with the new format and look.  The staff is learning the “ins and outs” of how to make changes and add new information and we look forward to the opportunity to provide new information and updates.

Chief Harper

January 2019

Welcome to 2019!

It is my sincerest hope that you and your loved ones enjoyed a blessed holiday season.

We look forward to progress, continuing change and growth.

Be safe and see you when the Tribal offices open back on Wednesday, January 2nd.



Peoria Tribe
Business Office

118 S. Eight Tribes Trail
Miami, Oklahoma 74354


Phone: (918) 540-2535
Fax: (918) 540-2538

Office Hours

M-F : 8am—4:30 pm
Sat : Closed
Sun : Closed