Indigenous Day gets recognized by City of Wichita, community celebrates

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) During the 19th Annual Trail of Tears Memorial Day Celebration you could hear sounds of drums and songs.

Michelle Conine with the Mid-America All-Indian Center says this is a way to remember their ancestors and the struggles they endured.

She says there's more to pay tribute than just the indigenous tribes who walked the Trail of Tears during the 1800s and it came with a proclamation by the City Of Wichita recognizing Indigenous Day for a second time.

"So to acknowledge this is a way of thanking the people that moved here," said Conine.

Liz Two Hatchett says she knew the man who gave the Keeper of the Plains statue to the city and says he would be grateful of how Wichita is acknowledging the native community.

"He was one of the most wonderful Indian people I've ever known and he was always patient with ones of us who were not raised Indian," says Two Hatchett.

Two Hatchett is talking about Blackbear Bosin, he was the famous Comanche-Kiowa sculpture and painter behind some of the artwork in Wichita. Two Hatchett says she commends the City Of Wichita for the proclamation, but says it's up to the younger generation to keep the celebration going.

"At least they're holding it together and their still recognizing that they are part of the people and they need to keep the ways going," said Two Hatchett.

Conine says more than 80 different tribes are represented in Wichita and she hopes more people in the community will participate in future celebrations.