The Delaware Tribe of Indians may relocate its headquarters to the Leavenworth area.

The Delaware Tribe of Indians may relocate its headquarters to the Leavenworth area.

That's according to Dee Ketchum, a consultant for the tribe who also previously served as the tribe's chief.

Ketchum said the tribe is looking to move its headquarters from Bartlesville, Okla., to Kansas. Officials are focusing on Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties, an area that was part of a Delaware reservation between 1830 and 1867.

"We're still looking for a property," Ketchum said.

He said there's no timeline for when a decision will be made about a location. He said officials also have looked at areas around Tonganoxie, Bonner Springs and Kansas City, Kan.

He said they are doing research and making sure they will be welcome at the location they choose.

"We want to be a good neighbor," he said.

He met with Leavenworth city commissioners this past week.

"We would definitely welcome you," Mayor Larry Dedeke told Ketchum during the meeting.

Ketchum said Leavenworth was kind of the heartland of the tribe's former reservation.

According to Ketchum, land purchased by the tribe would not become a reservation. He said there's a multitude of things that could be included in the tribe's operations such as health care, housing and child care.

Ketchum acknowledged that gaming could be part of an economic development effort. But he said that's "not the whole reason for relocating."

He said the decision to move came as the result of restrictions the Delaware Tribe faces while at its current location, which is in the jurisdiction of another tribe.

He said the Delaware Tribe of Indians has about 10,500 members. It's the 25th largest tribe out of more than 500 federally recognized tribes.