August 23, 2022

Last year, Charla EchoHawk and Tosan Wess Farless began a planning and development strategy to introduce and implement our new Peoria Language Curriculum. This same week that I write this letter, our Cultural Preservation Department hosted both a virtual and in-person language class which fulfilled our mandate to revitalize and reintroduce our Peewaaliaataweenki (Peoria Language)! This course will be continuous for the next 10 weeks and will result in the first inaugural group of tribal citizens who will speak, read and write our Peoria Language. I would like to extend my sincerest “mihši neewe” (thank you very much) to both Charla and Wess for an exceptional job launching this program.

June 6, 2022

Aya,

It was so nice to see so many of you again at this year’s General Council Meeting. Our Peoria Showplace was packed with our citizens and families. We enjoyed sharing stories, reconnecting and reporting on the activities of this last year and the plans for next.

We held our annual elections as well. Thank you for the continued support to represent our people for another term. It is a great honor. We also placed two citizens on our Grievance Committee.

We are preparing for an exciting summer of activity through our Cultural Preservation Department. With our 25th Annual Peoria Pow-Wow in June and our very first language class beginning in August, we look forward to seeing you all.

During the summer months, as we vacation with our families, please don’t hesitate to stop by our Tribal Headquarters in Miami to visit our gift shop, tour our properties, renew your tags or just say Aya!

From my family to yours, Have a great summer and God Bless each of our citizens and their families.

#PeoriaProud

Be Well.

 

Craig Harper

Chief

February 2022

Aya,

 

Come January of each year, after completing all our December and New Year gatherings with family and friends, our collective Peoria eyes turn towards our upcoming General Council Meeting.

While this has been true for decades, I have to believe it has been true for centuries. While we can confer that yes, the dates might be different and the location in other venues, towns, or states, like-minded people have gathered to eat, share stories, and exchange ideas.  That will again happen this year on the first Saturday of March 2022.

Following a very difficult COVID season, we hope to gather and encourage one another, remember our ancestors, and speak into our youth. Details and times will be shared soon. Please don’t put off making your hotel reservations if traveling in from abroad.

Following our General Council, we will have another exciting event to attend. At our General Council Meeting two years ago, we broke ground on what was to become a lasting symbol of progress and pride for our people. This year, immediately after our meeting, we will host a ribbon-cutting event for our new Campus. In our last newsletter, I spoke about these three new buildings. We simply cannot wait to open these new facilities for tours that afternoon. Please make your plans to attend this year’s General Council Meeting. We have much to share!

 

As always, we remain #PeoriaProud!

 

 

Be well,

 

Craig Harper

Chief

November 1, 2021 ARPA Update

From the Desk of Chief Craig Harper
“This photo says a lot… I want to thank our citizens and our staff. We are one week in to the ARPA Relief Aid process, and it is working. Here are the processed applications on the left and completed checks on the right, ready to go out. We will get through this.. and we will get through it together!

September 23, 2021

Aya.

This last week was the Grand Opening of the First Americans Museum, or FAM, in Oklahoma City. A $175million, 175,000 square tribute to the 39 federally recognized tribes located here in the state of Oklahoma. This event was nearly 40 years in the making. From the planning stages, to fund raising, to the first days of construction that began in 2006, the idea lived on. During this day of celebration, it was not lost on me the depth of Unity that was cultivated and relentlessly maintained. Contributions through diverse funding partners included Tribal, State and City governments as well as Corporate and private citizens.

But always with the same intent and purpose, first nation stories told by the first nations.

This led me to remember our recent unity of Tribal governments during the gaming compact negotiations with the State. And this thought begins to resonate, In Unity and Consistency lies our victories.

It was a proud day for our First American people. It was a proud day for all of Oklahoma.

#PeoriaProud

Be well.

Craig Harper

Chief

May 24th, 2021

Aya,

I hope this message finds all our people well and strong and looking forward to Summer. Since our last newsletter here are a couple of updates and a great announcement. First, our Annual General Council in March came together beautifully. I would like to thank all our tribal government and casino team members for preparing and hosting a well organized and informative gathering of our Citizens. We completed another election cycle, presented our Annual Report and then socially gathered that evening to meet new friends and strengthen relationships with others. Governmentally we continue to coordinate with the Department of Treasury to participate in the American Rescue Plan Act. As information is provided by Treasury it will be shared through both our social media page and our website. We continue to be proactive in this process and look forward to the implementation of it for our citizens.

We are thankful and excited to announce that this years Annual Pow Wow will be hosted at our beautiful grounds east of Miami. Like years past, we will gather with our inter-tribal family to celebrate, compete and honor one another. Please makes plans to join us and bring the whole family.

I look forward to seeing each and every one there.

As always, we remain PeoriaProud!

Be Well,

Craig Harper

Chief

February 15th, 2021

Aya,

Despite all the challenges we faced in 2020, I  hope our Spring Newsletter finds each citizen looking forward to a new season of hope, prosperity, and progress. I am excited about this edition and trust the information and program updates provided herein, will bring excitement to each of you.Planning for this year’s General Council Meeting is in full swing. The day will begin with our AnnualElection, followed by lunch at the Showplace, and finally our General Council Meeting at 1:00 p.m. Out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of our citizens, we will have protocols in place for social distancing and sanitizing. We look forward to seeing our Nation gathered together again this year. Final event details will be released as we get closer to our meeting date on Saturday, March 6, 2021.We continue to engage in a positive way with the new the Administration in Washington, D.C.With the nomination of the first Native American to Secretary of the Department of Interior, we trust the tribes will have a seat at the proverbial table.As far as the House and Senate are concerned, the electing of Native Americans continues to trend upwards. The current and future strength of our federally recognized Tribes has never been brighter.On the local level, the construction of our new Peoria community and learning centers continue to progress, despite the colder weather. With new roads being built, concrete poured, and steel being erected, it is another reason to be excited about the future of our Tribe.In closing, I wish to leave you all with a renewed sense of hope in this new season. Hope, that each of our citizens will be safe and healthy. Hope, that healing and peace will come to those that have lost loved ones in this last year. Hope, that we may all gather again for a time of refreshing, fellowship, and unity.

#PeoriaProud

Be well.

Chief Harper

November 6th, 2020

Aya,

As I sat down this afternoon at the keyboard, I must admit I had a very different direction for this letter in my mind.Today two of our Peoria Citizens made a planned and deliberate stop here at our TribalHeadquarters in Miami, OK. They shared their story of wanting to make this visit for years.Today they shared their family stories that had been told and retold. Stories of when the family lived here. Stories of family members resting in our Peoria Cemetery. They shared stories of the research and study that had been done by family members and how much they would enjoy reading back over those details after this visit. They visited several of our sites today and had great smiles on their faces when they left.It wasn’t wasted on me that this could have been the story of every one of our families. We all know that the remainder of this troublesome year, 2020 , will be spent gathering with family and telling these stories. Stories of remembering our pastand praying the best for our future. Let us not miss a chance to visit the family members we miss, eat festive meals together, listen to our Elders tell their great stories and teach our children as they ask us questions.Today, for a moment, there was no pandemic. No election turmoil. The sun was shining, the leaves were falling and our beautiful pine trees were as green as ever. It was a great day. Let us walk in peace the remainder of this year. Please stop by the Offices in Miami when you can.#PeoriaProud

Be Well,

Craig Harper

Chief

October 7th, 2020

Aya,

We welcome the Fall Season.As the days grow shorter and the evening arrives sooner, I hope this newsletter finds each of our citizens safe and well.This Fall season is a reminder of endings and new beginnings. It is a time of cooler evenings and less time mowing yards.It is a time of closing our gardens and putting them to rest until the Spring comes again. It is a time to prepare for changes in the meals we prepare and times spent retelling our stories this Winter.We are a people who know and understand these changes in the seasons.Although our gatherings during this last season were greatly impacted, we will again look forward to the days we can come together to celebrate our way with our family and neighbor Tribes.Please continue to reach out to our Elders and each other to share support and fellowship as we all walk through the remainder of 2020.Continue to check our website for Program and news updates. We continue to strive for improvements in the content and quality of information releases not only in this newsletter but also several social media outlets. Thank you to all of our Citizens that have stopped in at our Tribal Headquarters to visit both the Staff and our continually updatedTrading Post.As always, we remain #PeoriaProud.

Be Well,

Craig Harper

Chief

July 13, 2020

Aya.
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.
#PeoriaProud.
Be well.
Craig Harper
Chief