A sacred rock on display in Lawrence, Kan. is being returned to the Kaw Nation.
Rhonda LeValdo has the story.
The vice chair of the Kaw nation James Pepper Henry spoke of the first time he learned of the sacred rock from his uncle.
“I first witnessed Iⁿ‘zhúje‘waxóbe about 30 years ago. My great-uncle Luther Pepper was vice chair of the Kaw Nation at the time, and he brought me here to Kansas to see the stone and some other sacred sites that were important to the Kaw people. That really opened my eyes to our history and our culture and what we were losing. He said at that time, some day, Iⁿ‘zhúje‘waxóbe will come back to the Kaw people.”
Iⁿ‘zhúje‘waxóbe was removed from its foundation and the plaque dedicating it to the first founders of Lawrence was also removed.
The Sacred Rock will be moved to Council Grove, Kan.
The Kaw Nation has a centuries’ long relationship with the Iⁿ‘zhúje‘waxóbe and value it as a sacred item of prayer.
In a public event Tuesday, many in attendance heard about the history of the sacred rock including Gov. Laura Kelly (R-KS).
“Well, today’s return is a significant step forward in the relationship between the Kaw Nation and the City of Lawrence, it alone is not enough it must be part of a statewide effort to respect the significance of sacred places and support tribal cultures.”
Iⁿ‘zhúje‘waxóbe is a 28-ton red Siouxan quartzite boulder currently located in Robinson Park in Lawrence, Kan.
It was moved there from the confluence of the Shunga-nunga Creek and Kansas River in 1929 to become a monument to the early founders of the City of Lawrence.
It is set to leave for its permanent home back with the Kaw Nation today.
Tribes in California blasted the state’s university system for withholding nearly 700,000 Native American remains at a state legislative hearing Tuesday.
It comes as an audit finds more than half the California State University campuses have failed to turn over any remains to tribes.
Christina Aanestad reports.
State Rep. James Ramos (Serrano/Cahuilla/D-CA) called on 21 of the state’s 23 universities to repatriate Native remains to their tribes.
“it is very concerning that decades after federal and state laws were enacted to repatriate remains and cultural objects almost nothing has been done to fulfill that obligation.”
Rep. Ramos called a hearing on the issue at the state capitol after an audit report in June found more than half the state universities failed to even begin returning native American remains to their tribes and many still don’t even know what remains they have.
Several tribes responded to the report.
Jack Potter is chair of the Redding Rancheria Tribe, Melissa Tayaba is vice chair of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, and Leo Sisco is chair of the Tachi Yokut Tribe.
“This report is sad and heartbreaking, it is hard when we know the spirts of our ancestors are locked on shelves. It’s painful to see more than 700,00 are sitting on boxes tagged numbered, not only is the CSU system disrespecting the laws, they’re disrespecting the memory of our people. It is appalling, unacceptable and shameful.”
The audit calls for a systemwide policy for repatriation, an oversight commission, and funding to catalog and inventory remains and artifacts as part of repatriation efforts.
Rep. Ramos says he will put forth legislation to force the state universities to act.
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