Byline: Morgan Taylor/Multimedia Producer
HENRYETTA, Oklahoma – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Behavioral Health Department held a community resource fair at Yardeka Community Center for the members and community residents.
Behavioral Health Care Coordinator Kim Morrison organized a series of events to reach out to each community possible.
Morrison grew up in the Yardeka community area but has since moved. She still has close family living in the area and feels she knows some of the needs.
A total of 13 departments were invited to participate, including College of Muscogee Nation, Reintegration, Lighthorse, Diabetes Prevention, Social Services, Social Security, Dept. of Education and Training, MAT, Senior Services, Contact Health, TANF, School Clothing along with Behavioral Health.
Unfortunately, the turnout did not go as expected, with just a few attending community members, “I tried to do my part by bringing the resources here, and I feel that’s all I can do for now.”
Morrison’s Uncle, Michael Winap, serves as the center’s interim Chair, and he was a bit disappointed at the participation. He reached out to several residents to come to see what the fair may have to offer.
Winap said Yardeka is newly reestablished under the MCN Community Research and Development Department. He started holding meetings again just last May. Since then, membership has grown some.
“We have a lot of elders,” he said. “I want to get the younger people more involved.”
Located in McIntosh Co., the monthly meetings have attracted the National Council Representatives Galen Cloud and Darrell Proctor when they can attend.
He claims the center will hold elections next month to determine the official chairpersons and other positions.
In 2022, the center held its first Halloween celebration and Christmas.
“We provided everything free for the Halloween Party,” Winap said. “We were overwhelmed with the turnout.”
He and other member volunteers fed visitors hotdogs, nachos, Frito chili pies, drinks, sweets, and candy.
Yardeka provided gifts for over 20 kids of the center’s community members. Two of the mothers volunteered their time to go and get the gifts and got each child something they wanted using the funds from CR&D.
According to Winap, the boundaries have recently been expanded for Yardeka. With two ceremonial grounds (Arbeka and Hickory Ground), Ryal Public School, and five churches within the Yardeka boundaries, Winap expects more will join as word get around the community.
The center holds meetings on the last Monday of each month that anyone in the community can attend.
To reach out about membership, please the Yardeka Community Center call 918-652-3822.
For more information about the Community Research and Development Program, please call 918-732-7963.