Welcome to the Kaw Nation

Arbor Groundbreaking

Arbor Groundbreaking

Kaw Nation hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 20 for the dance arbor at Allegawaho Heritage Memorial Park near Council Grove, Kan. In the future, Allegawaho Park will become the site of the Washunga Days Powwow.

The dance arbor will be complete by the end of the year.

Tribal Council Member Jason Murray spoke about the work that Kaw Nation has dedicated to the park, including building camp sites.

“We’ve put a lot of time into this. Going years back, this was part of our plan,” he said.

Chairman Guy Munroe lent his optimism for the future of the park.

“We’ve finally got something going and we’ll keep it going,” he said.

Luther Pepper also stated his optimism for the park with the coming of the powwow.

“It’s always good coming up here to be with friends we’ve made over the years.”

While expressing hope for the future of the park, Kansas Secretary of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Linda Craighead recalled how Chairman Munroe explained the significance of the location to the nation.

“The chairman told me, ‘You know, this place is very special to us. The hair stands up on the back of my neck when I come here.’ I hope to see this as an opportunity for Kaw Nation to tell their story.”

Her department funded the arbor with a grant. Grants from the Young Foundation and the Nystrom Foundation provide for picnic tables, barbecue stations, signage and the camp sites.

Tribal Council Member Gena Warren reflected on how the history of the Kanza people in Council Grove weighs on her heart when she travels to the town.

“We’re here because our ancestors were here,” she said. “When I come up here, it’s a solemn trip. Our people walked to Washunga when they were removed from here. We drive here. They walked all the way with all their belongings.”

Allegawaho Park Manager Barb Stanbrough thanked people who helped with park development, such as Sid Wilkerson, naturalist Glenn Fell, Clay Wilson, Nancy Stanbrough, welder C.B. Smith, Ronnie Patterson, Nanci Sigle, Ken Dougherty, the parks committee, Chairman Munroe and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.

Justice Center Grant

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded Kaw Nation with a grant of almost $1 million for a multipurpose justice center in Kaw City. This will combine the court and police department and feature an expanded court room.

“This grant will consolidate resources to provide coordinated services,” said Grants and Contracts Director Bernadette Hicks.

The justice center will host offices for Judicial Branch staff, officers and a satellite office for the Kaw Nation emergency manager. Also, court attendees will find a larger waiting room than the current one at the administration building.

The facility will have one temporary holding cell, as well as a room that functions as a safe room and safe exchange room to ensure that victims and offenders do not interact.

The justice center will be a place for coordinated services of the police department, Indian Child Welfare, Tribal Court, Emergency Management, Child Support Services and Domestic Violence.

The grant provides for the renovation of the administrative building at 698 Grandview Drive in Kaw City and relocation of staff to Newkirk. The repurpose phase of the grant is projected to be completed in 18 months after the grant starts on Oct. 1. Kaw Nation has already begun working with the Tulsa District Corps of Engineers on this and developed the repurpose design.

Kaw Nation developed a comprehensive court strategic plan to guide the modernization of the tribal court system.

Kaw Nation Chairman Guy Munroe had approached Hicks after she entered the position about the need for a justice center due to the small size of the courtroom and overflow of court attendees in the administration building. They spent some years looking for the grant that best fits the needs of the nation.

“The chairman deserves all the glory in the world for this,” Hicks said.

SouthWind Casino Braman

Southwind Braman

SouthWind Casino opened the doors to its newest location in Braman last week with a special opening for tribal members on Wednesday, one for tribal members, employees and VIPs on Thursday and the opening for the general public on Friday.
“I know that as a nation you’ve waited a very, very long time for this and as employees we’re proud to do this for you. This is your casino. We’re excited to get to this day and we’re proud to be part of it,” SouthWind Casino General Manager Pam Shaw told tribal members on Wednesday. “
Kaw Nation had worked for 24 years to obtain the gaming trust for 21 acres for the casino before constructing it.
Luther Pepper, who served on the Tribal Council as it worked to get the gaming trust, spoke hopefully for casino’s success.
“It’ll help the tribe and all its services,” he said.
Before the ribbon cutting on Friday, Braman Mayor Mike Barton said that the town is happy to see the nation further its relationship with Braman.
“I want to thank Kaw Nation. They’ve made a lot of contributions to Braman over the past several years,” he said.
As the doors opened to the public and a crowd rushed to try out the games on Friday, Braman American Legion Post 259 Commander Marv Sandbek declared, “This is a game-changer.”
SouthWind Casino Braman is open 24 hours per day and seven days each week. The casino has 113 games.
This is the first stage of the facility. The next casino building, which is under construction, will open at the beginning of 2015. This building will house 275 Class 2 games, table games and a café.
A larger casino with 500 Class 2 games and table games will open later.

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