• Home
  • Governor Brownback Issues Proclamation Apologizing for the Potawatomi Trail of Death

Governor Brownback Issues Proclamation Apologizing for the Potawatomi Trail of Death

Monday, October 7, 2013

On September 29, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a proclamation recognizing the history and perseverance of the Potawatomi and apologizing for the deaths, hardships and maltreatment their ancestors endured along the Trail of Death.  The text of the proclamation follows.

 

To the People of Kansas, Greetings:

WHEREAS, for a millennia, Native peoples have honored, protected, and stewarded this land of Kansas we cherish, and Native Peoples are spirited people with a deep and abiding belief in the Creator, and for millennia Native Peoples have maintained a powerful spirited connection to this land; and

WHEREAS, too often in our Nation’s dealing with Native Peoples there was a spirit of deception. A desire to mislead to gain advantage; and

WHEREAS, the United States forced Indian tribes and their citizens to move away from their traditional homelands and onto federally established and controlled reservations. Many Native Peoples suffered and perished during the execution of the Federal Government policy of forced removal, including more than 850 Potawatomi Indian people removed from their Indiana homeland and marched at gunpoint for 660 miles along the “Potawatomi Trail of Death” to present day Osawatomie, Kansas and ultimately to Linn County, KS seeking winter shelter; and

WHEREAS, despite the deaths of more than 40 men, women, and children during the march from Indiana to Kansas, and despite the wrongs committed against the Potawatomi Indian People, the Potawatomi have remained committed to the protection of this great land by continuing to serve honorably in the United States Armed Forces, and remain resilient and determined to preserve, develop and convey to future generations their unique cultural identities and certain unalienable rights endowed by our Creator, and among those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sam Brownback, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, do herby proclaim and recognize the Potawatomi Trail of Death and the special and historical significance the trail and the Potawatomi have with the State of Kansas, and expresses deep remorse for the ramifications of former wrongs and apologizes on behalf of the people of Kansas to all Potawatomi Peoples for the deaths, hardships and maltreatment their ancestors endured along the Trail of Death, and resolves to move forward with the Potawatomi 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.


View the proclamation (pdf).

Read more on the Citizen Potawatomi Nation website. 



Give to Indigenous Studies

Follow Us

Local Events

2nd Annual American Indian Art & Culture Extravaganza 
Saturday, December 9 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Johnson County Community College, Atrium at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
Free and open to the public
American Indian arts and crafts vendors, lectures of American Indian cultures and issues, performances by American Indian dancers, photos with American Indian Santa, exhibitions by American Indian community members, silent auction to benefit scholarships for American Indian students, traditional American Indian soup and bread sale, and more
For more information: 913-469-8500 or cais@jccc.edu

FILM - Out of State
Saturday, December 09 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
In 2007, the state of Hawaii outsourced the care of roughly 2,000 male prisoners to a private, for-profit prison in Arizona. Exiled thousands of miles from their island home, a group of indigenous Hawaiian inmates have discovered their calling on the inside: teaching each other their native language and dances. As several of the men complete their sentences, the film follows them as they reintegrate in Hawaii. Out of State explores questions of cultural and religious identity; the overabundance of native Hawaiians and minorities in the prison system; the cycle of criminal behavior and its impact on the family; and prisoner entitlement. Join us for a moderated discussion led by Native-Hawaiian filmmaker and Out of State’s director, Ciara Lacy, and member of the Osage Nation, Jimmy Lee Beason II, M.S.W.

Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today