Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 30, 2001 - Issue 39



Camp Celebrates Heritage


 by Vincent Brydon The Capital-Journal - June 23, 2001

Potawatomi Chief Abram BurnettTopeka, KS - Drumming, singing and dancing, historical reports, and plenty of food were on the agenda Friday for the last day of the Indian Education Summer Camp at Meadows Elementary School.

"It's the only time that native kids in 501 schools get to learn about their history, culture and tribe," Indian Education Program director JoAnne Kaner said.

The camp, a 30-year tradition, ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for two weeks. In addition to researching information on a tribe of their choice, this year's 72 participants went swimming, fishing, canoeing and traveled to Topeka's Burnett's Mound, named after Potawatomi Chief Abram Burnett, to research legends surrounding the site.

More than 125 students, staff and parents gathered on Meadows' field Friday to participate in the day's events, which included student presentations, drumming by the GeMonenWek drum troupe, and a meal that included American Indian dishes such as fry bread, pork gravy and hominy soup.

Kaner said she has identified 39 native groups in USD 501 schools, 14 of which -- including the Iowa, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, and Sac and Fox tribes -- were represented by students at camp this summer.

Kaner said her office provides support to at-risk American Indian students and their families during the school year.

"We've had a good summer experience and a good response from students and families," district support programs director Roger Dierks said. "We feel good about the academic and cultural accomplishments and are looking forward to resuming our efforts at the start of the new school year."

Map - Topeka, KS

Maps by Travel


Indians of Kansas
The history of the Pottawatomies, even after they were in communication with the Europeans, is difficult and often obscure.




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