February 15th, 2021
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.
November 6th, 2020
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
October 7th, 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.