january 31, 2015 –
MAYETTA: Native American Legislative Day at the Capitol will be held on Feb. 4 and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation is planning to participate. Members of the Tribal Council are scheduled to attend the day’s activities and the award-winning Royal Valley Native American Singers & Dancers will also perform at noon and be recognized by Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature.
This is the fourth year that Native Americans have been recognized by the Kansas Legislature. A bill was passed in 2013 that officially designated the first Wednesday of February as Native American Legislative Day at the Capitol permanently but last year’s activities were cancelled due to poor weather. Ponka-We Victors (Tohono O’odham), the first Native American woman ever elected to the Kansas Legislature, initiated the bill into law and is still a District 103 representative from the Wichita area.
The Royal Valley Singers & Dancers recently traveled to Bartlesville, Oklahoma and brought home the championship trophy in the 12th annual Battle of the Plains Native American Youth competition that is sponsored by Operation Eagle, the Indian Education Program administered through the Bartlesville Public Schools in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Several dancers also placed in individual competitions and took home awards.
The Royal Valley Native American Singers & Dancers is the only school-sponsored dance group in Kansas. The group is composed of young people from kindergarten to twelfth grade and is sponsored by Anita Evans and Connie Peters who are affiliated with the Royal Valley School District and the Prairie Band Boys & Girls Club. In addition, tribal members who perform with the Little Soldiers Drum group and many parents and family members are also active supporters of the young group that gives several performances each year.