Library and Learning Center

The next chapter in preserving our culture. The Southwind travels far and fast and knows the movements of the buffalo and other foragers.  The wind conducts reconnaissance on enemies and carried messaged to and from allies.  The wind knows where nuts, fruits, and grains grow and the hiding place of squirrel, rabbit and turkey. And so the Kaw (Kanza) lived long with the Southwind and the Southwind with them. The backbone of any nation is its people, and the Kaw Nation is no different. We Kanza (or Koln-Za before it was phoneticized by the French) people are proud and independent, and have overcome many obstacles to become the sovereign nation we are today. Each day, we are discovering more of the long, rich history of our heritage and from where we came.  The obstacles that we have faced include a succession of treaties that sought to change us from an independent, semi –sedentary people, into individual family famers on the model of white agriculture, diseases (small pox, cholera, and influenza) that decimated the tribal population, and the diminishing of tribally owned lands. Within less than 90 years the tribe was reduced from 1,500 to 194 and the tribe was legally obliterated in 1902, not to be recognized again until 1959. The Kaw land was diminished from 20,000,000 acres to 100,127 acres in less than 50 years. The remainder of the land was inundated in the mid 60’s by the construction of the Kaw Reservoir. From that devastation, the tribe has risen, regained land, progressed economically, and become a federally recognized self-governing tribe of 3,723 members. In 2000, over 100 bodies were discovered by the Kaw Nation’s Environmental Department at Washunga Bay. The bodies had been left during relocation of the cemetery in the early 70’s. The tribe relocated the remaining bodies to the Kaw Cemetery in Newkirk. Ironically, it is on 803 Washunga Drive that Kaw Nation constructed the Kanza Library and Learning Center. It is the result of a dedicated group of people working to ensure that the culture of the Great Kaw Nation and of all Native American people are honored, preserved and remembered. The 4,200 square foot Kanza Education and Learning Center opened its doors to the public on August 6th, 2010 and features a library, offices, meeting room with large projector screen and wireless projector with technology to allow for educational classes and conferences. Four computers and Internet internal ports are available for public use. The Kanza Education and Learning Center is also the home of a walking trail and was funded by the Indian Community Development Block Grant and sits on land donated by the City Kaw City. The basic elements of the Kanza Education and Learning Center are very much the same as any public library or learning center. We contain collections of material, are organized for use by the community, operate in a space or facility set aside for that purpose and are managed by personnel with specializes skills.  The purpose of the Kaw Nation Education and Learning Center is to provide the following:

  • Recreational Reading – Providing materials of popular and cultural interest to community members of all ages
  • Community Information Center – Providing accurate and useful information for individuals and organizations
  • Community Activities Center – Providing activities and services in cooperation with other community agencies and organization and serving as a meeting place for groups and classes
  • Independent Learning Center – Providing materials and services to individuals to support their formal and informal educational and self-improvement interests
  • Research Center – Providing specific information on selected subjects
  • Community Computer Access Center – Providing free Internet access and computer usage to library patrons of all ages
  • Cultural Center – Archiving and managing records for the Kaw Nation tribal government
  • Cultural Activity Center – Providing activities that preserve the history and culture of Kaw Nation

Contact: 580.269.2738