WYANDOTTE – The Wyandotte Nation has long been a supporter of education, and the tribe’s recent $100,000 donation to Wyandotte Public Schools is a large investment in the future.

According to a Wyandotte Nation press release regarding the donation, “The Wyandotte Nation has strived to build ‘community’ in the Wyandotte area, and part of that is being a good neighbor and partner with the town of Wyandotte and Wyandotte Public Schools. With that in mind, the Tribe is donating $100,000 to the Wyandotte Public School District to help during this difficult time of budget cuts facing schools statewide.”

The Wyandotte Nation and its Board of Directors presented the $100,000 check to Superintendent Troy Gray and the Wyandotte Public Schools District back on Oct. 27.

Gray said there are no stipulations placed by the tribe on the district for the use of the donations.

“We really were in dire need transportation wise, so we purchased two vans with that, which will allow us to transport our kids obviously because ours were getting really high mileage, and the rest will be used to enhance our kids’ education and whatever we need it for,” Gray said.

Gray said the Wyandotte Nation has continually been behind Wyandotte Schools helping to sustain and fostering educational excellence.

“It’s hard for us to do the things we need to do for our kids with all the cutbacks. To get donations like that allows us to do things in technology, in transportation, and it kind of lets me take my funds and focus on protecting our teachers because it’s really tough right there,” he said. “We have a really good staff, and we’re blessed there, but it's getting tough right now with all the cuts we continue to get from the state. It’s a real balancing act to keep all your classes and have quality teachers to teach them and take care of the daily needs.”

Wyandotte Public Schools currently has an enrollment of 805 students, according to Gray.

The Wyandotte Nation is an integral part of the community and operates its own Police Department, which is unique in that it is the only tribal department in the U.S. that provides a non-tribal community with their sole source of police services. The Tribe also operates the Bearskin Healthcare & Wellness Center and the Lost Creek Recycling Center, and both serve the surrounding area.

Recently, the Tribe built the Heritage Acres Community Center and the Heritage Acres Park and Splash Pad – all of which serve the entire community – and opened the Wyandotte Nation Cultural Center and Museum.

Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at mstotts@miaminewsrecord.com or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.