native americans

Radio Readers BookByte: Turtles As Survivors

Aug 23, 2017

Growing up in the grasslands, I have always admired turtles. They are tough and beautiful, like the ornate box turtle, state reptile of Kansas. I met many turtles, from painted beauties to scary snapping turtles, when I went fishing. My grandfather Frank Bruner, of Lenape and Munsee heritage, both Delaware bands, reminded me of a turtle because Delawares associate themselves with turtles. Also, he was a tough survivor of the plains.

A long-lost city in south-central Kansas could put south-central Kansas on the map as the second-biggest settlement of Native Americans found in the United States.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, Etzanoa, near Arkansas City, has remained a mystery for 400 years. Archaelogists could not find it and historians thought reports of a permanent settlement with 20,000 Native Americans in it were exaggerated.

Native American Perspectives on Water

Feb 22, 2017
Frank Henderson / Metropolitan Museum Collection

Denise Low’s grandfather of Delaware Indian heritage was among the dislocated Eastern Natives who settled on the Kansas Plains of the 19th Century.  As one might guess, history and heritage both are important to her story as they are for many Native American poets and writers.

Today, Denise, a former Kansas Poet Laureate and a valued friend to the Radio Readers Book Club, explores shares the thoughts of some of her colleagues around the topic of water.

In the near desert Great Plains, waterways define the land for Native peoples.

Allison Herrera / KOSU

The Trail of Tears is one of the most shameful and painful episodes in American history. But now, reports KOSU, the descendants of the original Trail’s travelers have found a poignant—and grueling—way to honor their ancestors. In the winter of 1838, 16,000 Cherokee Indians were marched at gunpoint from Georgia to Oklahoma. Their land was taken from them so that white settlers could develop the territory. 4,000 Cherokee died on the thousand-mile walk. In 1984, contemporary Cherokees began an annual bike ride over the original trail’s route.

The Ada News

This week marked the 83rd anniversary of the first White House performance by the Chickasaw storyteller Te Ata. Te Ata was a graduate of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, reports The Ada News. She performed at the first state dinner of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency in 1933.

Darren Braun / Texas Monthly

This month Texas Monthly published a brief feature on the Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s headdress. The most well-known of the Comanche, Quanah’s name is still spoken with reverence in West Texas. He died in 1911, but the headdress he wore is now in the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, in Canyon, Texas.

The headdress is “a magnificent assemblage of 62 golden eagle feathers, each trimmed at the top with red turkey or rooster hackles and horsehair.”

A Fine High Plains Collection on View in Liberal

Oct 26, 2015
L&T Photos / Elly Grimm

The new exhibit at the Coronado Museum and Dorothy’s House in Liberal, Kansas, is drawing a good deal of attention. The show consists of art and artifacts from the Rash family collection, reports Amarillo.com and the Leader & Times.

Creative Commons

President Obama visited Oklahoma on Wednesday, and stopped by Durant to speak to the Choctaw Nation about expanding economic opportunities, reports KFOR. The president gave a speech focusing on improving conditions for all kinds of American communities, including the Choctaw Nation.

Public Domain

In this age of chain restaurants and big box stores, the Dodge City Daily Globe has published an important reminder about the first people who lived in the Dodge City Area. These people did not live in cities or towns. Instead they moved in camps as they followed the Buffalo across the plains. The Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche and Arapaho, were nomadic, and they used the buffalo for virtually all of their needs, including food, shelter, and tools. The slaughter of the buffalo was no accident.

Carol Campbell

A giant steel Comanche arrow lands at the Wildcat Bluff Nature Center west of Amarillo on Saturday morning.

The large sculpture is part of a larger project in which identical arrows have already been planted at various historical sites throughout the Texas Panhandle region. The arrows and their locations represent the historical range and serve as a physical reminder of the nomadic Comanches of the 19th century.

Nearly 150 years later, the Sand Creek Massacre remains a wound that has not yet fully healed.  This is evident in the recent closing of a permanent exhibit at the History Colorado Center in Denver exploring the 1864 massacre as part of its Colorado Stories section.  The closing was prompted by concerns of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members over aspects of the exhibit’s interpretation and the lack of prior consultation, according to a complete story in the Denver Post.  A reopening is pending the state and tribes reaching a consensus on the exhibit.