Welcome to the Kaw Nation

Domestic Violence Walk

Kaw Nation justice programs participated in the third annual Six Nations Walking Together Against Domestic Violence event on Oct. 17 at Pioneer Park in Ponca City.

Kaw Nation Domestic Violence Program Coordinator Whitney LeGrand and Tribal Government Coordinator Dawn Rowe spoke at the event. While thanking tribal councils for supporting domestic violence programs, Rowe spoke about Kaw Nation’s holistic approach to domestic violence and the origin of the walk.

“Our tribes are so close together and we consider each other collaborative partners. We speak to each other on a daily basis. Our whole goal is to never turn a victim of domestic violence away. They should never have to hear, ‘We can’t help you.’ That’s why we keep this network going. We just want to spread awareness that there are programs to help you,” she said.

The walk, which had 214 participants, went around Pioneer Park. Kaw Nation Police Department helped marshal the walk.

Also representing the nation was Kaw Nation Princess Casey Horinek. The princesses from the nations placed honor shawls on seats near the lectern in honor of those who couldn’t be there.

Behind the lectern stood silent witness, red silhouettes with stories of domestic violence victims.

Corey Spottedbear was the keynote speaker.

“When you raise your kids, remember, do you want your daughter to grow up and think it’s okay to get beat or do you want your son to think it’s okay to hurt his wife or his girlfriend?” he asked the audience.

Huch and Kekahbah sworn in

IMG_5841 IMG_5846Chairwoman Elaine Huch and Tribal Council member Erin Kekahbah were sworn into office at the Kaw City headquarters on Nov. 5. Huch had edged three-term incumbent Guy Munroe by two votes to win a run-off for chair, 133-131.

“I would like to thank all of you for your support,” she said in a speech following the ceremony. “I would also like to thank Guy Munroe for his more than 10 years of service.”

Huch had served as Tribal Council secretary from 2012 to 2014 before being elected to lead Kaw Nation.

Kekahbah won her run-off against Clark Pepper 143-119 to earn a second term on the Tribal Council. She was first elected in a special election in 2011.

Kekahbah is the second Tribal Council member to be reelected after the 2011 Constitution, which states that Tribal Council members may serve two consecutive terms before waiting two years to run again.

KNED Keep Oklahoma Beautiful finalist

The Kaw Nation Environmental Department was named a finalist for a Keep Oklahoma Beautiful award for its Beaver Creek Wetland outreach program on Tuesday.

KNED was nominated under the tribal government category for its educational outreach. Since 2011, the department has brought classes of middle school age children from area schools to the wetland east of Kaw City to teach them about its role in the ecosystem.

This May, KNED brought classes from Blackwell Middle School, Braman School, Shidler Middle School and Newkirk Middle School to the wetland. Students participated in plant identification, water sampling and soil study activities.

Beaver Creek Wetland is the only wetland in the north central Oklahoma. KNED maintains the wetland throughout the year by performing prescribed burns, mowing grass and monitoring water quality in Beaver Creek.

KNED was a finalist last year for the wetland program, but did not win.

The Keep Oklahoma Beautiful awards will be presented on Nov. 20 at the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Kaw Powwow


The Kanza people gathered for the Kaw Powwow Oct. 3 to 5, finding the warmth of the arena as they waited until Sunday to feel heat in the air.

Casey Horinek received the princess crown from her cousin, MatheAnna Williams, who is close kin to her and held the reign two of the past three years.

“She’s more like my sister,” Horinek said. “It’s really not that different since we’ve been playing princess since we were really little. It was really a nice moment to have that moment with my sister. I really didn’t think any of this would be happening. I didn’t know that I would be princess of so many different things. It was all my grandma’s grand plan.”

Horinek has also been the Tonkawa Tribe Princess and Standing Bear Powwow Princess.

“It’s equally special as those other ones. It’s another amazing title that I get to go through,” she said.

Horinek added that she grew from those experiences.

“Now I know what I’m supposed to do, so now I know what to do whenever I get time,” she said.

Robert Allen reflected on the Kaw Powwow after having also been the Head Man at the Washunga Days Powwow in Council Grove.

“It’s the same because of the circle and the drum, the singers and the dancers. We lived there, died there and were buried there. We celebrate our ancestors. We give thanks to our creator,” he said.

The flag flew in honor of Sonny Holloway on Friday, William Louis Pappan on Saturday, and Jack Benbrook on Sunday.

“It was just last year that I was standing at that flag pole with Sonny,” Johnny Pappan recalled of his cousin, who died last November at age 89.

Tribal members commemorated Holloway in a memorial before the veteran’s lunch on Friday.

On Saturday, Lieb spoke about songwriting.

“Years ago, my uncle, Harry Buffalohead, told me, ‘Maybe you’re not even trying to compose a song and a tune will come to you and the words will follow.’ That’s something that some singers are gifted with. Sometimes singers are asked to write a song, and we oblige only because of respect of those who are asking,” he said.

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