About the Center
Board of Directors
- Alice Flanagan, Crow, Chair
- David Barnett, Muscogee (Creek), Vice Chair
- Kelli Albin, Commanche, Treasurer
- Teddy Tatum, Red Lake Band of Chippewa, Secretary
- George Biswell, Cherokee
- Deborah Veatch, Wea
- Mary Jane Acosta, Kickapoo
- Lori Tapahonso, Dine' (Navajo)
- Celia Ruiz
- Gaylene Crouser, Hunkpapa/Oglala, Executive Director
- Gayl Edmunds, Sicangu Lakota, Morningstar Counselor
- Anna Maria Windham, Stoney Tribe, Fort Peck, CSBG/Food Pantry Coordinator
- Delfina Segura, Prairie Band Potawatomie/Sac & Fox, Data Coordinator
- Moses Brings Plenty, Lakota, Community Outreach Liasion
The head of the spiritual being is synonymous with the eye of the eagle, and both watch over the smaller physical Indian, who is protected by two shades of spirit wings… representing traditional ways and modern life.
Incorporated in 1971, the Heart of America Indian Center, Inc., d/b/a Kansas City Indian Center operates as the Kansas City area’s only multi-purpose social service agency for American Indians.
Following World War II, with government relocation and training programs — and a formal policy in the early 1950s of reservation termination — American Indians were relocating to urban areas. To help sustain the cultural and spiritual beliefs of their tribes, local elders began a social club: The Council Fires of Greater Kansas City.
With the advent of Indian set-aside programs in the "Great Society " era, the center was founded as a formal, tax-exempt, 501-c-3 organization to accept federal, state and private funds for poverty-oriented social programs.