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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Osage Nation Received The First-Ever Tribal Operation AmeriCorps Grant
by The Osage Nation public news

Osage Nation Communities of Excellence (ONCOE) hosted an event Wednesday afternoon to welcome Wendy Spencer, CEO of Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS). The Osage Nation, as announced by CNCS, was “one of 10 communities nationwide to become a partner of the agency’s new Operation AmeriCorps initiative” … and the total for the two-year project to build WAHZHAZHI Eco Park along with continued work on Bird Creek Farms will be an investment of nearly $1.4 million.

The Osage Nation was also the only tribe to receive this grant. CEO Spencer pointed out that WAHZHAZHI Eco Park was unique from any of the other grant submissions.

Principal Chief Standing Bear and CEO Spencer spoke to the audience made up of AmeriCorps staff, members of the Osage Nation Congress, and others from the Office of the Chiefs. Other speakers at the day’s event were Osage Nation Congresswoman Angela Pratt and AmeriCorps member Cade Rector.

Ms. Spencer swore the AmeriCorps members into service and Osage Nation Judge Marvin Stepson swore the members into service with the Osage Nation.

In addition to Bird Creek Farms, the new project WAHZHAZHI Eco Park will have nature trails and outdoor classrooms. There will be areas specifically designed for Elders and be handicapped-accessible.

AmeriCorps members also assist with other projects such as Junior Nutrition Warriors and the Half-Pint Academy along with other Osage Nation programs and events. AmeriCorps members are striving to improve the health of the community.

At the conclusion of the grant announcement, ONCOE Director Gail Boe took Wendy Spencer on a tour of WAHZHAZHI Eco Park. The night before, Pawhuska received several inches of rain but Ms. Spencer was not deterred by the mud and overgrowth, as Director Boe stated in an email, [Ms. Spencer] “used to run the parks … in Florida and fell in love with the site.”

Osage Nation - AmeriCorps Press Release


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