History of Indigenous Peoples

Kansa (Kaw) Indians

On Fri, 31 Mar 1995 mcelhent@lhl.lib.mo.us (Timothy McElhenie) wrote:

> I am interested in obtaining basic information regarding the history and
> culture of the Kansa Indians.
>
> I understand the tribe resides in Oklahoma!!!!
>
> Any information sent will be much appreciated!!!

Tim,

Wow! I get so excited when I see or hear something about the Kaw
or find someone interested in us. I have some info but haven't been able
to find out too much about the older religious practices, if you find
anything let me know.

The Kaw or Kansa tribe belongs to the Southern Siouan or Dhegiha
Sioux group. The Kansa, Osage, Ponca, Omaha, and Quapaw were one tribe at
one time. They lived somewhere east of the Mississippi, some say in the
Lower Great Lakes area, some say in the Southeast, at any rate, they had
moved west by 1673. The various tribes broke away and migrated along several
rivers with the Kansa settling on the Missouri at one time. By the early
18th century, the tribe had settled near the Kansas and Blue rivers in Kansas
(both the river and the state are named for the tribe).

The tribe lived on a reserve near present day Topeka until 1846,
when they were settled on a smaller reserve in the upper Neosho Valley,
near Council Grove, KS. There was a lot of trouble with whites because the
area was along the Santa Fe trail, traders and squatters moved in, and the
railroads wanted land to build track. There was also some big scandal
involving the Territorial Governor and some unscrupulous land speculators.
In 1873 the tribe was moved to Indian Territory and bought some land for a
reserve from the Osage. The tribe is still based in that area of Kay County,
OK.

The tribal government offices can be reached at:

Kaw Nation of Oklahoma Tribal Office
Drawer 50
Kaw City, Ok 74641 Ph. 405/269-2552

The tribal newspaper is called the Kanza News and it is published quarterly.

Suggested reading:

THE KANSA INDIANS - A History of the Wind People
by William E. Unrau
University of Oklahoma Press

I hope this helps. Contact me directly and I can give you more
information or point you toward some publications and resources.

-Michelle Lilburn_
shellyl@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu

############################################
If anyone else has information on or is interested in the Kaws, I'd love
to correspond with you! Are there any other Kansa out there?
############################################

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