Governor Brownback Issues Apology to Native Peoples at 150 Kansas Commemoration

November 16, 2011 –

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Chairman Steve Ortiz, second from left, shakes hands with Gov. Brownback after Brownback read a proclamation that included an apology to the Kansas Tribes and all Native peoples at the Tribal 150 Kansas Commemoration event held today at the Kansas Historical Society.  In the photo, to Ortiz’s left is Mike Daugherty, Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri chair, and blocked from view is Steve Cadue, Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas chair.  Next to Cadue is Tim Rhodd, Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska chair and Guy Monroe, chair of the Kaw Nation.

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Little Solider Singers during  the event.

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We-Ta-Se perfomed during opening ceremonies.

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PBPN Tribal Council members with Gov. Brownback in front of the Bison that was given as a gift to the tribes.  From left to right, Jim Potter, Carrie O’Toole, Gov. Brownback, Jancita Warrington and Steve Ortiz.

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Tribal Council members from all four tribes stopped for a pose before the event.



MAYETTA:  History was made today when Kan. Gov. Sam Brownback issued an official apology to Native Peoples at the Tribal Kansas 150 Commemoration held before a large audience at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka.

Several members of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN) attended the event and also had a role in the ceremony including We-Ta-Se Post #410 that provided the color guard, Little Soldier Singers who drummed and sang, and Steve Ortiz who gave the invocation.  The commemoration also included a welcome by Chris Howell, executive director of the Office of Native American Affairs, and remarks from Jennie Chinn, executive director of the Kansas Historical Society.

Tribal dignitaries recognized during the event were the chairpersons of the PBPN, Sac & Fox Nation of Missouri, Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, and the Kaw Nation, whose people played a large role in the statehood of Kansas, along with their Tribal Council members respectively.

When Gov. Brownback spoke he read a Proclamation where the last paragraph reads:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sam Brownback, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, do hereby proclaim and recognize the special legal and political relationship Indian tribes have with the State of Kansas and the solemn covenant with the land we share, and commends and honors Native Peoples for the thousands of years that they have stewarded and protected the land of Kansas, and expresses regret for former wrongs and apologizes on behalf of the people of Kansas to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, deception and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples, and resolves to 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 harmoniously steward and protect this land we call Kansas.

Brownback has been pushing for an apology to Native Peoples since 2004 when he was in the U.S. Senate.  During his tenure he introduced legislation along with Ben Nighthorse Campbell for a national apology but that has yet to happen.  Brownback became Governor of Kansas last January and issued an apology today at the State level before the five chairman who were in attendance and individually spoke accepting the apology. In addition, as a gift to each of the Tribes, Brownback also presented an American Bison from the state herd.

Today’s event was one of several events that are part of the Kansas 150 commemoration of statehood that recognizes when Kansas became a state in 1861. The We-Ta-Se color guard have been participating in some of those events including the kick-off with Brownback held Jan. 28 on the Capitol steps and also leading the Kansas Sesquicentennial parade held October 8 in Wichita.