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National American Indian Heritage Month

The November 11th issue of The Independent, in celebration of National American Indian Heritage Month, will highlight American Indian leaders in Kansas City, non-profit organizations that serve the American Indian community, locally-owned businesses, and more. Click the image below to read the digital version of the magazine. 

TRAVOIS Organization

Founded in 1995 by David W. Bland and Marianne Roos, Travois exists to support Indigenous clients as they build affordable housing and grow their economies. While this is not a Native-owned organization, they feel, “It is imperative that we steadfastly acknowledge this context and continually educate ourselves about the realities faced by those we serve.” […]

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Rachel’s Reads – November 2023

With the resurgence of interest in Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass, I felt that this list of First Nations and Native American authors is quite timely. There are a few authors who have entered into the national canon. Louise Erdrich is well known and well respected in literary fiction, Stephen Graham Jones is one of […]

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National Urban Indian Family Coalition

The National Urban Indian Family Coalition, founded in 2003 by Janeen Comenote, elevates a national voice for American Indians and Alaska Natives living in urban communities and sustains indigenous values and culture through a strong network of urban Indian organizations. The NUIFC is proud to support the Kansas City Indian Center, one of the only […]

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Guardians Of Hallowed Grounds

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Kansas City underwent significant growth, transforming into a busy trading and transportation hub that attracted a continuous influx of settlers. Within the growing population, two Native American sisters, Eliza “Lyda” and Helena “Lena” Conley of the Wyandot tribe, found themselves in a fierce conflict with city officials […]

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Native Leaders Play A Key Role In Cultural Revival And Education Reform

The era of the American frontier is a history passed down through generations. Yet, a particular chapter we don’t often hear of is stained with injustice. According to some, the ripple effects of European colonization and the Native American boarding schools they erected can still be felt among Indigenous communities. Within the walls of these […]

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Land Acknowledgement: What Should We Know?

The discussion of land being taken away from and given to Native American Indians is a lengthy one fraught with many decisions and disagreements and recalibrations. Today, many institutions nationwide have been keen to acknowledge that the land upon which they sit is, indeed, Native American Indian land. We were particularly impressed with the depth […]

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Connections: Cherokees Living In Today’s World

Complicated – the word that comes to mind most often when contemplating life today, in 2023, as a Native American Indian. Living, working, playing, raising children, worshipping, building a life and some wealth, honoring culture, sustaining family traditions – all of those seemingly normal activities are bestowed a level of complication when trying to carry […]

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EARTH TONES: New generations of American Indian composers are steeped in classical and Native cultures

When Raven Chacon won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2022, the announcement surprised many American music-lovers, few of whom realized how strong the tradition of concert music by Native Americans had grown during the past two generations.  This year Raven was also awarded the MacArthur Award, given (as the MacArthur Foundation wrote) for “creating […]

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Crafting Cultural Connections Through Native American Jewelry

Across cultures, jewelry has long held social, economic, and personal value. It allows people to express their identity, personality, and individuality. Within Native American culture, jewelry takes on a more spiritual role, offering pathways to healing and cultural reconnection. In some cases, Native American jewelry may act as a bridge to initiate meaningful dialogues and […]

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Shawnee Indian Mission Foundation – Night at the Mission

October 13th was the date for the first-ever Night at the Mission fundraising event, which was held at the Shawnee Indian Mission to celebrate the historic landmark. Hosted by the Shawnee Indian Mission Foundation, and chaired by Jenny Waldeck, the evening boasted four conversations with experts in the fields of Mission history, master gardening, Missouri […]

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WYANDOTTE WAYS: Public Theatre co-founder brings family roots to bear in his work

Nathan Bowman doesn’t always advertise his Native American heritage when presenting himself to the public, but he is nonetheless proud of the deep roots that his family has always known are there. The co-founder and producing artistic director of Kansas City Public Theatre was raised knowing that, at the very least, he was descended on […]

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