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K-State Today

April 8, 2022

Interdisciplinary panel focused on history of Kansas land treaties

Submitted by Laura Perez

The Chapman Center for Rural Studies and Manhattan Public Libraries host an interdisciplinary panel bringing together scholars and students to launch an online exhibit focused on our local history of land treaties. "Kansas without the Kanza: Understanding how the Kanza Homeland became K-State," is from 7-8 p.m. April 21 at the Manhattan Public Library.

The panel will present their research and host a discussion on the project. Panelists include Mary Kohn, Chapman Center director; Lisa Tatonetti, professor of English; C. Huffman, poet, theologian, and Kaw Nation Citizen; Tai Edwards, associate professor of history and director of the Johnson County Community College Kansas Studies Institute; Chester Hubbard, senior in geography and Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation member; Kinsley Searles, senior in English; and Haley Reiners, senior in English.

Kansas without the Kanza was created to discuss the findings of the Kansas land treaties research project. This project was a collaboration with the Chapman Center, panelists and April Petillo, former assistant professor. Humanities Kansas awarded the research team $3,500 earlier this year to create online educational resources about the treaties and complex histories that undergird K-State’s land grant.

During the panel discussion, the public is invited to learn more about the treaties which cumulatively dispossessed the Kanza, the present-day Kaw Nation, of 18,233,620 acres of land. As the presentations will address, this land loss paved the way for the rapid settlement of the region by non-Native settlers and helped fund institutions of higher learning, including K-State.

Members of the research team will share their experiences of working with these primary documents and discuss how treaties in the Tallgrass prairies shaped this region. This multimedia project will raise awareness of the social repercussions of land dispossession in Kansas and amplify Kaw narratives, thereby shedding light on aspects of history that are frequently overlooked or misrepresented.

This in-person event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required, but seats can be reserved on the Manhattan Public Library's event website.

To learn more about the Kansas Land Treaties research project and for updates on this event, visit the Chapman Center’s webpage.

Funding for this event is provided by Humanities Kansas, a nonprofit cultural organization connecting communities with history, traditions, and ideas to strengthen civic life.