The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 13, 2014

Wyandotte Nation to open new community center

WYANDOTTE, Okla. — Members of the Wyandotte Nation plan a grand opening ceremony Monday for a $1.2 million building that will serve primarily as a community activity hub and as a safe room when necessary.

The building, located at 14325 Porcupine Road in Wyandotte, marks a two-year effort to expand the tribe’s community improvement project. The tribe secured an $800,000 Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which required that at least 20 percent in matching funds be spent on the project. Wyandotte Chief Billy Friend said the grant was vital to the project’s development.

“Thanks in part to this grant, we are able to offer a hub of tribal activity to our community,” Friend said. “There will be a great deal of entertainment options to people of all ages in addition to an available community safe room that will also double as a computer lab.”

Friend said the center will be available for rent by civic groups for meetings in addition to tribal families. It also will house a senior center. It has a full kitchen.

Monday’s grand opening will include the Wyandotte Nation tradition of a smoking ceremony at 2 p.m. Leaders will smoke a pipe with tobacco, sage, sweet grass and cedar as a way to bless the use of the center.

“It is a tradition of the Wyandottes that has been passed down through tribal leadership that asks a blessing from the maker for those involved with the new center,” Friend said.

Police station

THE WYANDOTTE NATION Tribal Police Department, which also serves as the municipal police department in Wyandotte, has moved to the building that was previously occupied by the tribe’s housing department at 64600 E. 145 Road. Chief Billy Friend said current contact information for the Police Department will remain the same.

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