Tribe asks to take over former boarding school in Kansas

Jan 3, 2023, 9:26 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2023, 12:00 pm
FILE - The Shawnee Indian Mission in Fairway, Kan., is pictured in this undated photo. The Shawnee ...

FILE - The Shawnee Indian Mission in Fairway, Kan., is pictured in this undated photo. The Shawnee Tribe is asking to take over ownership of the historical site in Kansas that might contain unmarked graves of Native American students. The tribe released an architectural survey Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, that found the three buildings remaining at the Shawnee Indian Mission need millions of dollars in repairs, The Kansas City Star reported. (The Kansas City Star via AP, File)

(The Kansas City Star via AP, File)

FAIRWAY, Kan. (AP) — The Shawnee Tribe is asking to take over ownership of a historical site in Kansas that might contain unmarked graves of Native American students.

The tribe released an architectural survey Tuesday that found the three buildings remaining at the Shawnee Indian Mission in Fairway, Kansas, need millions of dollars in repairs, The Kansas City Star reported.

The site, formerly known as the Shawnee Indian Manual Labor School, was one of hundreds of schools run by the government and religious groups in the 1800s and 1900s that removed Indigenous children from their families to assimilate them into white society and Christianity.

It is owned by the Kansas Historical Society. The city of Fairway manages daily operations.

In October, state officials announced that they planned to conduct a ground study to search for unmarked graves on the 12-acre (4.86-hectare) site. That process stalled after the Shawnee Tribe said it had not been consulted enough and raised questions about the proposed study.

Tribal leaders contend that state and Fairway officials have not properly maintained the site.

The Oklahoma-based tribe commissioned the study from Architectural Resources Group last year because leaders are “concerned about the future of this historic site,” Chief Ben Barnes said in a statement Tuesday.

“Over the last year, we have had numerous conversations with the city and state about the need to save this special place,” Barnes said. “When it became clear that there was no plan in place, we began conversations about the possibility of the Shawnee Tribe assuming responsibility for restoring and repairing this site.”

Officials with the Kansas Historical Society and the city of Fairway rejected the suggestion that the site be transferred to the tribe.

Patrick Zollner, acting executive director of the Historical Society, said the organization has already made several improvements, is planning more restoration work and remains committed to telling the history of the site.

In a statement released Tuesday, Fairway officials questioned whether the tribe had the resources to pay for needed renovations and repairs. They also questioned what the tribe would do with the land, and said the city and state may not have any authority over how the land was used.

Tribal leaders estimate the repairs would cost up to $13 million. If given ownership, the tribe said it would repair the buildings in multiple phases while meeting historical preservation requirements.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in Nov. 2022, a...
Associated Press

News groups ask Idaho Supreme Court to reject University slayer gag order

Thirty news organizations have asked the Idaho Supreme Court to overturn a gag order in a case against a man accused of stabbing four students to death.
10 hours ago
Nathan Chasing Horse stands in court. Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in North Las Vegas, Nev. Nathan Chasing...
Associated Press

‘Dances With Wolves’ actor charged in 2018 rape in PNW

Canadian police confirmed Tuesday they are pursuing a criminal case against a former "Dances With Wolves" actor who was arrested last week and charged in Nevada with sexually abusing and trafficking Indigenous women and girls.
10 hours ago
Associated Press

Michigan woman accused of fatal hit-and-run off to Thailand

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities believe a Michigan woman fled to Thailand to avoid the consequences of a hit-and-run crash that killed a suburban Detroit college student on New Year’s Day. Tubtim “Sue” Howson, 57, was charged Monday with a federal crime related to her sudden one-way flight to Thailand on Jan. 3. Benjamin […]
1 day ago
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., leaves the House Chamber after President Joe Biden's State of the Union...
Associated Press

In new role, Sanders demands answers from Starbucks’ Schultz

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders settles into his new role as chairman of a committee that oversees health and labor issues, he says some corporations “should be nervous.” And the longtime liberal crusader’s first target is Howard Schultz, the interim CEO of Starbucks who has aggressively fought his workers’ efforts to unionize. […]
1 day ago
FILE - House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, presides over the House on the first day of the ...
Associated Press

Tenn. House speaker mulls rejecting federal education money

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — One of Tennessee’s most influential Republican lawmakers says the state should stop accepting the nearly $1.8 billion of federal K-12 education dollars that help provide support for low-income students, English learners and students with disabilities. House Speaker Cameron Sexton told The Associated Press that he has introduced a bill to explore […]
1 day ago
In this photo provided by Chad Fish, a large balloon drifts above the Atlantic Ocean, just off the ...
Associated Press

Not just balloons: How US sees China spying as major worry

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Chinese balloon that traversed the United States before being shot down last weekend captivated public attention and drew sharp denunciations as a brazen spying effort. But if the vehicle for espionage seemed novel, the concept was anything but. In ways that are far less public, but often more worrisome, U.S. officials […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Tribe asks to take over former boarding school in Kansas