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Experience Council Grove : The Main Street of the Flint Hills

THE KAW NATION

Celebrating and honoring the indigenous people that first called this land home. 

This land was once part of the Kanza and Osage homelands. In the early 1800s, the Kanza's domain extended well beyond today's state borders. In 1846, the federal government signed a treaty and, by 1848, had forced the Kanza people onto a twenty-mile-square reservation surrounding Council Grove. About 1,300 people, struggling with disease and starvation, lived in three nearby villages. The Kanza lived here in the Neosho Valley for less than 25 years when, despite an impassioned plea to Congress by Chief Allegawaho in 1873, the US government removed 533 Kanza to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). 

The Kanza people's strength, bravery, spirituality, and pride inspire today's citizens to live boldly and proudly in our home. Our school's mascot is The Braves, and we are thankful for the opportunity to make our Kanza and Osage brothers and sisters proud.

 

Today we celebrate our unique relationship with the Kaw Nation through various historical markers, events, and their sacred Allegawaho Memorial Heritage Park.

Allegawaho Memorial Heritage Park

Kaw Nation performing under the Dance Arbor

Allegawaho Memorial Heritage Park is the site of the Last Kaw Indian Village in Kansas prior to the forced removal, 150 years ago, of the tribe to Oklahoma in 1873. Today it is home to restored Interpreter's house ruins, two and one-half-mile walking trail along 11 identified historic locations, including the monument to an unknown Indian. This beautiful 158-acre Kaw Heritage Park is owned and managed by the Kaw Nation from their Oklahoma offices. In 2015, the Kanza dedicated a dance arbor at the park. Intertribal powwow dances are held under the arbor every June, as part of the Washunga Days activities.

Iⁿ'zhúje'waxóbe / The Sacred Red Rock

The sun shining behind Iⁿ'zhúje'waxóbe / The Sacred Red Rock

Photo by : James Pepper Henry

In 2023, or soon thereafter, Allegawaho Memorial Heritage Park will become home to the Kaw Nation's Scared Red Rock. The 28-ton quartzite boulder holds deep historical, cultural, and spiritual meaning to the Kaw People. Relocating the rock is ultimately a step toward mending the harm done and creating better relationships with Indigenous communities, as the Kaw Nation is one of many nations that originally inhabited Kansas.

1925 Monument to the "Unknown KanzaWarrior"

The Kaw Nation Memorial at Allegawaho Park

The 1925 Monument to the "Unknown Kanza Warrior" is a 35-foot limestone tower that was erected by Council Grove citizens in 1925 as a tribute to the memory of the Kanza's presence in the Council Grove area. It was prompted by the discovery of Native American remains exposed by erosion in a nearby stream bed. The Indian and his possessions were reinterred in the base of the monument in August 1925 during a ceremony attended by many members of the Kaw tribe. 

Please note : There are no close-up photos of the Kanza Monument on this site at the request of the Kaw nation.

Kanza Heritage Trail

The seal of the Sovereign Nation of the Kaw, Kanza

Photo by : James Pepper Henry

The two-mile-long Kanza Heritage Trail loops through the beautiful and historic 168-acre Allegawaho Memorial Heritage Park, owned and managed by the Kaw Nation, a self-governing tribe of more than 3,300 members. Currently based in north-central Oklahoma, the Kaw Nation is actively working to regain its cultural heritage, which was nearly lost when the Tribe was forcibly removed from Kansas in 1873. By walking this Trail, you will engage a wonderful landscape steeped in natural beauty and the rich cultural history of the Kanza people who once lived here. Allegawaho Memorial Heritage Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is one of the 25 Historic Sites of Council Grove & Morris County.

 

Stone ruins remain from three of the 138 huts the United States government built as dwellings for the Kanza in 1862. They lived in the stone homes for several years until 1866, when the Kanza left on their winter hunt, the whites stole the doors and windows from the Kaw's stone homes, making them unlivable. A few years later, the Kanza were forced to move to Oklahoma White settlers then lived in these structures until they had homes built. Then the huts served as outbuildings for their farms.

 

More sites of interest along the Kanza Heritage Trail : https://sacredredrock.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/allegawaho_kanza_heritage_trail_points_of_interest.pdf

The Dance Arbor

Kaw Nation dancer under the lights of the Dance Arbor

In 2015, the Kanza dedicated a dance arbor at the park. In August 2013, the Kaw Nation was awarded a $350,000 grant from the Kansas Department Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for a dance arbor and trails and campground improvements at the park. Groundbreaking for the arbor took place in September 2014. K-Construction, of Alta Vista, was selected to build the arbor, and it was completed in March 2015.

The tribe intends to re-establish a Kaw Nation presence in Kansas, and develop the park as a cultural gathering place for educating the public, promoting tourism, and preserving Kanza heritage.

Under this arbor The Kaw Nation will perform ritual dances. The Wichita Eagle reported in 2015 that the dances will be performed at the site of the last Kaw villages in Kansas, now known as Allegawahoo Memorial Heritage Park, before the Kaw Nation was forced to move to Indian Territory in Oklahoma in 1873.

 

“This is significant because that was the site of the last Kanza villages in Kansas before our removal into Indian Territory in 1873,” said Pauline Sharp of Wichita, vice president of the cultural committee for the Kaw Nation. “This was where our ancestors lived, and I think if you talk with any Kaw tribal member who has gone out to the park, it has a special feeling.When the tribe was forced to move, it had fewer than 500 members. Today, the Kaw Nation has almost 3,500 members."

More information on the Kaw can be found here :

Members of the Kaw Nation making their grand entrance at Washunga Days

 

Council Grove is proud and humbled to be able to celebrate and honor this rich history. We thank the Sovereign Nation of the Kaw for their insight and support and for allowing us to be inspired by the gifts they have given our community.

Explore Kaw Nation Events...

  • CGAT&TA : Quarterly Events Committee Meeting
    CGAT&TA : Quarterly Events Committee Meeting
    Multiple Dates
    Thu, May 23
    DESTINATION : Council Grove
    May 23, 2024, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    DESTINATION : Council Grove, 116 W Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    May 23, 2024, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    DESTINATION : Council Grove, 116 W Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    We invite all members who want to be more involved to join our event committee meetings in 2024, held at DESTINATION: Council Grove, located at 116 West Main Street, CG. This is a great chance to contribute your ideas and help shape the exciting events happening in our community.
  • Cottonwood 200 Gravel Ride
    Cottonwood 200 Gravel Ride
    Sat, May 25
    Council Grove
    May 25, 2024, 12:00 AM – May 27, 2024, 12:00 AM
    Council Grove, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    May 25, 2024, 12:00 AM – May 27, 2024, 12:00 AM
    Council Grove, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Memorial Day WEEKEND 2024 More details to come!
  • Together With Veterans & Morris County : Steering Committee Meeting
    Together With Veterans & Morris County : Steering Committee Meeting
    Multiple Dates
    Thu, May 30
    Alexander Artworks
    May 30, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    Alexander Artworks, 120 W Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    May 30, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    Alexander Artworks, 120 W Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Steering Committee Meeting at Alexander Artworks.
  • Together With Veterans AND Morris County / American Legion Post 121 : Veterans Coffee
    Together With Veterans AND Morris County / American Legion Post 121 : Veterans Coffee
    Multiple Dates
    Wed, Jun 05
    The Former National Guard Armory
    Jun 05, 2024, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
    The Former National Guard Armory, 1020 E Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Jun 05, 2024, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
    The Former National Guard Armory, 1020 E Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Veterans Coffee at the former National Guard Armory (1020 East Main Street): join us for coffee, tea and some light snacks as we talk about current issues surrounding our military and personal lives to include VA enrollment, benefits, and other topics effecting Veterans!
  • Second Saturdays in Council Grove
    Second Saturdays in Council Grove
    Multiple Dates
    Sat, Jun 08
    Council Grove, Kansas
    Jun 08, 2024, 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Council Grove, Kansas, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Jun 08, 2024, 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Council Grove, Kansas, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Community • Shopping • Recreation • Fun • Shopping • Dining • Stay-the-Night!
  • Valerie's Gifts & Such : Second Saturdays
    Valerie's Gifts & Such : Second Saturdays
    Multiple Dates
    Sat, Jun 08
    Valerie's Gifts & Such
    Jun 08, 2024, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Valerie's Gifts & Such, 211 Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Jun 08, 2024, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Valerie's Gifts & Such, 211 Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Every Second Saturday of the month, Valerie's Gifts & Such will be switching up Wind & Willow Dip and Cheeseball Mixes for you to sample while you peruse their stock of great gifts, home decor, kitchen, and children's items, and oh so much more!
  • Fredrick Phillips American Legion Post 121 Monthly Meeting
    Fredrick Phillips American Legion Post 121 Monthly Meeting
    Multiple Dates
    Mon, Jun 17
    Council Grove Recreation & Events Center
    Jun 17, 2024, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    Council Grove Recreation & Events Center, Old Hwy 56, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Jun 17, 2024, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    Council Grove Recreation & Events Center, Old Hwy 56, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Meetings happen on the Third Monday of Every Month at 6:30pm.
  • WASHUNGA DAYS 2024! VIP Ticket
    WASHUNGA DAYS 2024! VIP Ticket
    Fri, Jun 21
    Neosho Riverwalk Amphitheater
    Jun 21, 2024, 12:00 AM – Jun 22, 2024, 11:50 PM
    Neosho Riverwalk Amphitheater, 14 E Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Jun 21, 2024, 12:00 AM – Jun 22, 2024, 11:50 PM
    Neosho Riverwalk Amphitheater, 14 E Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    LIVE MUSIC • KIDS ACTIVITIES KAW NATION INTERTRIBAL POWWOW FIREWORKS • CAR SHOW • PARADE FOOD VENDORS • VENDOR FAIRS COMMUNITY NIGHT (JUNE 20th) & MUCH MORE!
  • WASHUNGA DAYS 2024! General Admission Ticket
    WASHUNGA DAYS 2024! General Admission Ticket
    Fri, Jun 21
    Neosho Riverwalk & Amphitheater
    Jun 21, 2024, 12:00 AM – Jun 22, 2024, 11:50 PM
    Neosho Riverwalk & Amphitheater, 14 E Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Jun 21, 2024, 12:00 AM – Jun 22, 2024, 11:50 PM
    Neosho Riverwalk & Amphitheater, 14 E Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    LIVE MUSIC • KIDS ACTIVITIES KAW NATION INTERTRIBAL POWWOW FIREWORKS • CAR SHOW • PARADE FOOD VENDORS • VENDOR FAIRS COMMUNITY NIGHT (JUNE 20th) & MUCH MORE!
  • 2024 Kaw Mission Councils • Council Grove, KS
    2024 Kaw Mission Councils • Council Grove, KS
    Multiple Dates
    Fri, Jun 21
    Kaw Mission
    Jun 21, 2024, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Kaw Mission, 500 Mission St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Jun 21, 2024, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Kaw Mission, 500 Mission St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    The 2024 Kaw Mission Councils are a series of lectures and events focused on the rich history of westward expansion and how in affected Anglos, Hispanics, and Native peoples. All programs unless indicated will be held at 2pm on the Santa Fe Trail at the Dealership Building, 318 West Main Street.
  • Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo
    Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo
    Multiple Dates
    Fri, Jul 05
    Morris County Rodeo Arena
    Jul 05, 2024, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
    Morris County Rodeo Arena, 612 US-56, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Jul 05, 2024, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
    Morris County Rodeo Arena, 612 US-56, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Come on out for some fun family entertainment. Two evenings of classic ranch rodeo competition. Concession stand on site (fundraiser for the MCYRA Scholarship fund).
  • Pink Gravel's THE RIVERBANK RIDE
    Pink Gravel's THE RIVERBANK RIDE
    Sat, Aug 03
    The Event Center on Block 31
    Aug 03, 2024, 8:00 AM
    The Event Center on Block 31, Dwight, KS 66849, USA
    Aug 03, 2024, 8:00 AM
    The Event Center on Block 31, Dwight, KS 66849, USA
    The Riverbank Ride returns. A 40-50 mile Gravel Bicycle route starting at The Event Center in Dwight to Council Grove's Riverbank Brewing and back for a post ride meal at The Event Center.
  • 2024 Morris County Youth Rodeo
    2024 Morris County Youth Rodeo
    Sat, Aug 03
    Morris County Fairgrounds
    Aug 03, 2024, 6:00 PM
    Morris County Fairgrounds, 612 US-56, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Aug 03, 2024, 6:00 PM
    Morris County Fairgrounds, 612 US-56, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Morris County Youth Rodeo Our traditional rodeo for the youth of Morris County and surrounding communities. We keep the entry fees low and the prizes attractive to enable more youth to participate.
  • EMT Training with Butler College of the Flint Hills
    EMT Training with Butler College of the Flint Hills
    EMT Training with Butler College of the Flint Hills
    Mon, Aug 19
    Butler Community College
    Aug 19, 2024, 12:00 AM
    Butler Community College, 131 W Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Aug 19, 2024, 12:00 AM
    Butler Community College, 131 W Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Enroll Today! Classes begin August 19, 2024
  • The Dealership Building Presents : Oktoberfest on the Santa Fe Trail!
    The Dealership Building Presents : Oktoberfest on the Santa Fe Trail!
    Sat, Sep 28
    The Dealership Building
    Sep 28, 2024, 2:30 PM
    The Dealership Building, 318 W Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Sep 28, 2024, 2:30 PM
    The Dealership Building, 318 W Main St, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Join us for local craft beer flights, Kansas whiskey samples, and live music! You can also flex your muscles for the stein holding competition!
  • Just A Chill Ride -50K Sixth Edition
    Just A Chill Ride -50K Sixth Edition
    Sat, Oct 05
    The Event Center on Block 31
    Oct 05, 2024, 9:30 AM
    The Event Center on Block 31, Dwight, KS 66849, USA
    Oct 05, 2024, 9:30 AM
    The Event Center on Block 31, Dwight, KS 66849, USA
    "Just A Chill Ride -50K Sixth Edition" hosted by Pink Gravel is a free gravel bike ride. Start and Finish at The Event Center in Dwight. Camping available onsite.
  • MCYRA Fall Ranch Rodeo
    MCYRA Fall Ranch Rodeo
    Sun, Oct 06
    Morris County Fairgrounds
    Oct 06, 2024, 1:00 PM
    Morris County Fairgrounds, 612 US-56, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Oct 06, 2024, 1:00 PM
    Morris County Fairgrounds, 612 US-56, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Morris County Youth Rodeo Association is having their Fall Ranch Rodeo
  • 2024 CG/D UMC Fall Bazaar and Luncheon
    2024 CG/D UMC Fall Bazaar and Luncheon
    Sat, Oct 19
    Council Grove United Methodist Church
    Oct 19, 2024, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
    Council Grove United Methodist Church, 21 North Msn, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Oct 19, 2024, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
    Council Grove United Methodist Church, 21 North Msn, Council Grove, KS 66846, USA
    Bazaar and Luncheon
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