Register Groups Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Forum Home - Go Back > General > Native Life > Native Issues Indian Center will close to regroup Indian Center will close to regroup

Reply LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-30-2004, 01:40 AM   #1
Junior Dancer
 
yuchgeha's Avatar
 
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
yuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Kansas
Posts: 198
Credits: 317.00
Savings: 0.00
Indian Center will close to regroup

Indian Center will close to regroup

City wants to balance books, then consider aid

BY FRED MANN

The Wichita Eagle


Two top city officials had different opinions Tuesday about whether to provide money to help bail out the Mid-America All-Indian Center, which will close at the end of the week for 60 days.

Mayor Carlos Mayans said the center will have to have money to reopen, but City Manager George Kolb said money isn't an issue yet.

The center's board of trustees decided Tuesday to close the center on Friday for two months and work with the city to sort through financial problems that have plagued the facility.

The center's 11 employees also were notified in writing early Tuesday that they will be laid off while the center is closed.

The center, located in the city's museum district, houses a museum and a replica of an Indian village, hosts powwows and offers job training programs.

The Youth Indian Pow Wow will still take place, and rentals that had been scheduled for the center will be honored, the city said.

It is not clear whether social services -- such as alcohol treatment and job training -- will be affected by the closing.

The center is an estimated $150,000 in debt and has been struggling to meet payroll and pay bills, among other issues.

While it is closed, the city will help the board restructure, take inventories of records and museum artifacts, analyze finances and plan for the future, said John D'Angelo, director of the city's division of arts and cultural services.

"We will try to get them back to being a viable organization," D'Angelo said.

"The city's role in this is purely to act in an assistance role," he said. "We're not committing any financial resources at this point. We're helping the board work through its finances and help get the center back on positive cash flow."

Mayans said the city will have to give the center money.

"They're going to have to have assistance," Mayans said. "But they're not going to receive assistance without us being involved in the inventories.

"That's why you're seeing this. We want to get a handle on the problems at hand before we provide any assistance. And we want to have some way to make sure that this doesn't happen again."

But Kolb said he wasn't thinking about money for the center yet.

"We first of all have to figure out where they are," he said.

"I'm not going to rule out that there might be financial support, but at this time I'm not even considering financial assistance."

Center employees wouldn't comment Tuesday, referring questions to D'Angelo.

Acting board chairman Newman Washington couldn't be reached.

D'Angelo said the city will take inventory of the center's financial records, items owned by the board and items in the museum collection.

The city will work with board members to come up with stabilization plan, then plan a strategy for the future.

He said the center doesn't have enough cash to continue paying employees, but they will be paid through the end of the week and receive vacation and sick leave.

Some employees may be called back sooner, some later, he said.

The center also may not remain closed for the full 60 days, he said.

"First we have to evaluate their assets," D'Angelo said. "We don't have that information, and remaining open just complicates that.

"They don't have the cash flow to keep going. So we need to stop and review this."

It isn't the first time the center has been in financial trouble.

In 1984, the city offered financial and accounting assistance to keep the center open after utility costs and dwindling federal funds put the center in debt.

The center opened at its current location at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers in 1976. It provides social services and referrals for Native Americans in 22 counties in south-central Kansas.

D'Angelo said he wasn't sure whether those services will be affected.

"We're trying to find what their options are, trying to maintain those services as best we can," he said.

The city owns the building and pays $57,900 for utilities, and $180,170 for maintenance and grounds upkeep. A 2001 tax form -- the latest one available -- listed the center's total revenue as $493,789. About $255,000 came from government grants and contributions, the rest from public support.

In mid-October, the center forfeited its status as a nonprofit corporation when it failed to file the required year-end report. The status was reinstated Nov. 5 by the Kansas secretary of state's office.

Also in October, the Wichita Police Department and the FBI began investigating allegations of embezzlement after a police report was filed by Washington indicating the center lost an unknown amount of money over the course of a year.

The center also has failed to pay its state withholding taxes. The liability insurance policy has lapsed. The center continued to deduct health insurance premiums from employees' paychecks months after the policy was canceled for nonpayment.

Center officials have declined to say how much the center owes.

Concerned Citizens for the Indian Center, a group of community members who have been tracking the center's operations for two years, estimates the debt at $150,000.

Susan Seal, who heads Friends of the Keeper Inc. and Concerned Citizens for the Indian Center, said she and her members had urged the city to shut the center down two weeks ago.

"This didn't surprise me when I heard it," Seal said. "I'm just not sure which direction they're going in."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reach Fred Mann at 268-6310 or [email protected]
yuchgeha is offline   Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-30-2004, 10:27 AM   #2
Teen Dancer
 
orangepridendns1's Avatar
 
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
orangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond reputeorangepridendns1 has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 422
Credits: 212.00
Savings: 0.00
This is a sad thing to happen

As we live in wichita we have spent some time at the Indian Center...there are community programs and outreach programs that are vital to our native families in this area...Our family is deeply saddend to see this happen and we truly hope that the center will reopen and the problems will be fixable. We have met new friends while at community nights and we were welcomed with open arms and friendship....
orangepridendns1 is offline   Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-30-2004, 04:30 PM   #3
PauWau Coordinator
 
WhoMe's Avatar
 
Items Devil
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
WhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond repute
WhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond reputeWhoMe has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Land of 370 Broken Treaties
Posts: 7,150
Credits: 11,589.70
Savings: 0.00
Here's a realistic question. .


If the city of Wichita forecloses on the property where the Indian center is now located, what will become of the 25-foot statue, "Keeper of the Plains" by sculpter, Black Bear Bosin?

Are all the winter powwows cancelled?

That is such a tasteful and dignified Indian Center. I feel bad for the Wichita Indian community.
__________________
Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.
WhoMe is offline   Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-31-2004, 11:29 AM   #4
Junior Dancer
 
yuchgeha's Avatar
 
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
yuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Kansas
Posts: 198
Credits: 317.00
Savings: 0.00
Posted on Thu, Dec. 30, 2004

Indians fear for cultural haven

The lack of care taken to keep the Mid-America All-Indian Center solvent worries members of the American Indian community.

BY CHRISTINA M. WOODS

The Wichita Eagle

The temporary closing of the Mid-America All-Indian Center because of financial problems is a disappointment to some community members who view the center as a cultural haven for the city's American Indian population.
"That museum means everything to us," said Betty Nixon, a charter member and a founder of the Mid-America All-Indian Center, Inc. "We dedicated ourselves to getting the museum and to see it continued with the best of care we can get. But they've let it go."
The center will close for two months Friday as city officials work to solve the center's lingering financial problems. Its 11 employees have been temporarily laid off.
The center, which houses a museum of Indian artifacts and provides cultural programs and social services, can no longer pay its bills or its employees. The city now manages the center at 650 N. Seneca.
About 10 community members requested their items back from the center's museum as of Wednesday, said John D'Angelo, director of the city's division of arts and cultural services.
People who loaned the museum artifacts may retrieve them, but proof of ownership will be required, D'Angelo said.
D'Angelo said the city will ask experts to assist in organizing the remaining artifacts.
"Some things, in respect to the tribes' spirituals beliefs, are not supposed to be handled," D'Angelo said. "We understand the significance of the artistic, archival, historical and spiritual aspects of this collection."
Organizing and identifying the artifacts in the museum is among the top priorities for city officials working to get the center back on track.
Federal social service programs operated out of the center may be relocated, but D'Angelo said people in need of help will continue to receive assistance.
No one knows how much the center owes, although its debt is estimated at about $150,000.
The debt particularly troubles Sonie Simon, who served as co-interim executive director with her brother, Kalvin, in 2003. They preceded Cecilia White, who was named to the position this year but resigned in October.
Simon said she and her brother worked from May to September 2003 to decrease the center's debt from about $40,000 to $5,000.
"We worked hard, but we did nothing compared with what the early people did," Simon said. "They gave money they didn't have a lot of. They had a really good vision. They put together a really wonderful program."
Simon said she and her brother cut staff and scaled back work weeks, and used facility rental money and grants to scale the debt back.
"How they ran up $150,000 in one year is just unbelievable," Simon said. "It's very disappointing."
Calls to current board member Bob Marley and acting chairman Newman Washington were not returned Wednesday.
Washington filed a police report in late October on behalf of the board indicating that an unknown amount of money was missing and possibly embezzled from the center.
Washington took over for Michael Gallegos in September when Gallegos resigned as chairman following his medical leave. Gallegos served as board chairman for nearly three years before his resignation.
D'Angelo said the center's current board, which has at least six members, will continue to assist city staff in working through the center's issues.
But Nixon is among community members who blame the board for a lack of oversight in the first place.
"I hate to see them go ahead and continue with this because they have shown us they don't know what to do with it," Nixon said.
Earlier this month, city officials met with Friends of the Keeper, a community group, which offered to act as a managing board for the center. Several members of the committee are former center board members, who worked off debts as large as $85,000 in years past.
"We're thrilled people have stepped forward willing to help," D'Angelo said. But officials will have to determine where the center needs help before the city accepts assistance from anyone, he said.
At this point, the city has not committed any money to the center beyond the $57,900 a year it pays for utilities, and the $180,170 it budgets for maintenance and grounds upkeep. The city owns the building that houses the center and leases it to the organization for $1 a year.
"In 60 days, we're hoping to have an understanding of where are we and where we need to be going," D'Angelo said. "We know we're not going to have everything fixed."

Reach Christina M. Woods at 269-6791 or [email protected]
yuchgeha is offline   Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 12-31-2004, 11:33 AM   #5
Junior Dancer
 
yuchgeha's Avatar
 
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
yuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Kansas
Posts: 198
Credits: 317.00
Savings: 0.00
Posted on Fri, Dec. 31, 2004

Indian Center halts job training

The center's directors are forced to suspend its Workforce Investment Act Program, affecting an estimated 75 American Indians.

BY CHRISTINA M. WOODS

The Wichita Eagle

American Indians will no longer receive job training and employment assistance from the Mid-America All-Indian Center, according to city officials.
The Indian Center's board of trustees suspended its Workforce Investment Act Program on Thursday, according to John D'Angelo, director of the city's division of arts and cultural services.
D'Angelo said the move could affect an estimated 75 American Indians.
D'Angelo said he may know early next week whether displaced clients can be transferred to other Workforce Investment Act programs in the city.
The program's six employees are among 11 center staffers who will be laid off for the next 60 days as city officials begin sorting out ongoing financial struggles at the center.
"We're certainly not trying to harm people we're serving," D'Angelo said. "But they (board members) could be making themselves more liable on legal issues that right now they're not able to handle."
D'Angelo said the center failed to meet the terms for the program's federal grant funding. The center is behind on taxes and has not performed an audit for the past two years, both of which are required to receive the federal funding, he said.
D'Angelo said the program could have received about $150,000 this year, but he is unable to determine the amount because of inaccurate and incomplete record keeping at the center.
The center's grant was designed to exclusively help American Indians. Other Workforce Investment Act programs in the city are geared to provide assistance regardless of race or ethnicity.
D'Angelo said the grant money was placed in the center's general budget then distributed to the program and its employees by the board, D'Angelo said.
"Suspending the grant is the best thing until we know that there wasn't misappropriation of dollars," D'Angelo said.
D'Angelo said the U.S. Department of Labor agreed the program should shut down until all investigations are complete.
No one at the of Labor Department's regional office in Kansas City, Mo., could be reached Thursday for comment.
The center's finances continue to be investigated by the FBI, D'Angelo said. The board's president filed a police report in October saying an undetermined amount of money was missing from the center and may have been embezzled.
Abel Perez, manager at the Wichita Workforce Center at 402 E. Second St., said his organization could assist former Indian Center clients, but he is awaiting permission from the federal government before doing so.
The Wichita Workforce Center, which also receives Workforce Investment Act funds, serves as many as 1,000 people weekly, Perez said.
Perez said he doesn't think that serving the Indian Center's clientele would place a hardship on the current operation.
"We would try to service them like we do other customers," Perez said.
D'Angelo said it may be possible for another American Indian nonprofit organization to assume the grant and continue providing job-training services.
"There are a couple of employees that are very committed to the program," D'Angelo said. "They wanted to continue the program, but we can't do that."
NOW YOU KNOW
People who have been receiving job-training assistance may call the Indian Center at 262-5221 for more information next week.

Reach Christina M. Woods at 269-6791 or [email protected].
yuchgeha is offline   Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 03-04-2005, 02:00 AM   #6
Junior Dancer
 
yuchgeha's Avatar
 
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
yuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond reputeyuchgeha has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Kansas
Posts: 198
Credits: 317.00
Savings: 0.00
2/25/05 Update

Indian Center asks city for loan
At least one member of the Wichita City Council supports the center's stabilization plan.

BY CHRISTINA M. WOODS

The Wichita Eagle


Officials with the Mid-America All-Indian Center plan to ask the Wichita City Council for a $175,000 loan to straighten out the center's finances.

In exchange, the city would take ownership of the center's museum collection until the loan is paid off. City officials will not say how much the museum's collection is worth.

The loan is part of a plan to stabilize the center, which city officials say has a debt of about $135,000.

The center, which offers social services, entertainment facilities and meeting places for American Indians, is tentatively scheduled to reopen April 1. It closed Dec. 31.

The museum is scheduled to reopen May 1, said John D'Angelo, director of the city's division of arts and cultural services.

The stabilization plan, which has the support of the center's board, would go into effect immediately upon the council's approval. The plan is scheduled to go to the council March 8.

In addition to the loan request, the plan calls for:

The city to staff the center and the center to repay the city for its services.

The board to aggressively raise funds.

The City Council to appoint up to three people to serve on the center's nine-person board. The appointees would have veto power over any financial decisions.

City Council member Sharon Fearey, whose district includes the center, said the council should support the plan.

"We don't want a museum in our museum district that is closed," she said.

If the debt is not paid off, the city would retain ownership of the museum collection.

"We're all committed to making this work," D'Angelo said. "We're not going into this thinking they're going to default and we'll get the collection."

D'Angelo said he suggested that the board revisit and possibly change its bylaws, which require officeholders to be American Indian.

"If you get somebody who is a good leader, let them lead," D'Angelo said. "Being an Indian is not the critical issue. The critical issue is agreeing to the mission of the center."

Six people currently serve on the board, which has been criticized by members of the American Indian community and former center staff members for its lack of oversight of the center's finances.

The center, according to D'Angelo, owes at least $67,000 to vendors, $44,000 in federal withholding taxes, $5,000 in state taxes and $3,000 in state sales taxes.

D'Angelo said it could take the center three years to pay off the proposed loan.

The center would be staffed by up to four people, according to D'Angelo. It previously had 11 employees, who were laid off in December.

The city would still pay about $58,000 a year for the center's utilities and $180,000 for maintenance and grounds upkeep. The city also may pay for some of the building maintenance projects, D'Angelo said.

Newman Washington, acting chairman and spokesman for the center's board, said he has confidence in the plan.

"We're starting to look at the credibility of the Indian Center," Washington said. "It's kind of been tarnished over the years from a business sense."
yuchgeha is offline   Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Indian Way Paul G News and Announcements 0 11-15-2002 08:48 PM
Non-Indian pow-wows lngfthr Archives 48 09-17-2000 06:37 PM
INDIAN, AMERICAN INDIAN OR NATIVE? bluewolf Archives 32 07-03-2000 04:07 PM

    

Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

Join PowWows.com Today!

Your Guide to Native American Pow Wows Since 1996

Register For Free

Enjoy the benefits of being a member of PowWows.com!

Join our Native American online community focused on Pow Wow singing, dancing, crafts, Native American music, Native American videos, and more.

Add your Pow Wow to our Calendar

Share your photos and videos

Play games, enter contests, and much more!






New Threads

Pow Wow Calendar Search

 
Month: Year:

Location:

Videos

Featured Articles

Dance Styles

Crafts

Gallery