Eleven service-oriented Osage Nation departments and programs are moving to new locations this month and should be fully moved before Feb. 1.
The Communities of Excellence, ON AmeriCorps, the Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center, Tribal Works, the Bird Creek Farms staff, Compliance Department, Grants Department, ON Language Curriculum Team, Child Care staff, Constituent Services (Welcome Center, commons area) and the Housing Program (now in Pawhuska).
The former Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center building will be renamed at a future date and it will still be available for dances and dinners, said Deputy Director of Operations Jodie Revard.
According to a press release, Revard emphasized that the relocations are intended to improve efficiency in serving the Osage people and did not cost the Nation additional money, only manpower.
She said for several years various programs assist many of the same constituents but the services they need would often be located in different towns and areas of the nation.
For example, if a constituent from Skiatook needed financial assistance for their home, they would visit the Financial Assistance office in the Welcome Center in Pawhuska, then they would have to travel to Hominy to visit the Housing Program, and then travel back to Pawhuska to fill out additional paperwork. Plus, if the constituent did not have adequate transportation or the time to travel, it caused a needless burden. Now, they can get all their business done on the Osage Campus in one trip.
Revard said other service programs that share knowledge will be within collaborative proximity. For example, the ON Language and the Cultural Center will now be in the same building instead of two different locations.
The relocations are also intended to improve use of space for departments who have large numbers, such as the ON AmeriCorps, and bring down space costs.
The ON Archives department is expanding to occupy the entire building where the Housing department used to be, in the ON Industrial Park in Hominy. The Harold Bigheart Smalley American Legion Post 198 meeting place used to be in the former Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center but has relocated to its own building at 226 E. 6th in Pawhuska.