Leaders of the Kickapoo Tribe, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Iowa Tribe, Sac and Fox Nation, and Kaw Nation joined Kansas Governor Sam Brownback for the Kansas 150 Tribal Commemoration at the Kansas Historical Society, an official event of the state's sesquicentennial celebration held last week.
"Our state's sesquicentennial also has been a time to rediscover the heritage and cultures that have helped shape Kansas history and will continue to impact the future of this great state. The history and culture of our state have been significantly influenced by Native Americans and indigenous peoples," Brownback said.
Nineteen tribes were once relocated to Kansas before they were ultimately relocated to Indian Territory, which became the State of Oklahoma. There are four tribes residing in Kansas today: the Iowa Tribe, the Sac and Fox Nation, the Kickapoo Tribe and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.
Recognizing the tribes' impact on the State of Kansas, Brownback signed a proclamation recalling the wrongs committed against them through forced relocation and mistreatment and offered an apology on behalf of the people of Kansas.
"As Governor, I resolve we will move forward with the recognized tribes in a positive and constructive relationship that will help us fairly and effectively resolve differences to achieve our mutual goals and work together to protect this land we call Kansas," Brownback said.
He also presented an American Bison from the state herd to each of the tribes.
The event included a welcome from Chris Howell, executive director for the Kansas Native American Affairs Office, followed by posting of the colors by Prairie Band Post 410 Color Guard. Jennie Chinn, executive director of the Kansas Historical Society, also made remarks about Kansas 150 events.
The commemoration is one of several events that are part of the Kansas 150 commemoration of statehood. Kansas was admitted to the Union January 29, 1861. For more information about Kansas 150 events, visit www.ks150.org.