The Importance of Acknowledging our History: The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home

This is part of our ongoing series of blog posts that acknowledges the ancestral lands on which the National Archives’ buildings are situated. This series of acknowledgements is a simple way to offer recognition and respect to the people who once lived on these lands.

Photo of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, U.S. National Archives.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home is located in Abilene, Kansas, which is situated on the ancestral lands of the Kaw Nation, also known as the Kansa or Kanza people.

Map with approximate location of the Eisenhower Presidential LIbrary (LP-DDE) noted under the “I” in “PLAINS”,  National Atlas, Indian Tribes, Cultures, and Languages, Department of the Interior: Geological Survey, Library of Congress.

In 1815, approximately 1,500 members of the Kanza nation were living in 130 earth lodges near the mouth of the Saline River, which is about 25 miles west of Abilene. You can learn more about the long history of the Kanza people on their website.  The lands of the Pawnee, Osage, Kiowa, and Sioux tribes were also quite close to the area where the Eisenhower Library now stands. 

More information about the Kanza people is available at Kawnation.com.

NARA holds many records that pertain to the Kaw/Kanza/Kansa people, here are just a few:

  • Ratified Indian Treaty 75: Kansa – St. Louis, October 28, 1815 NAID 83226167 (available online)
  • Ratified Indian Treaty 143A: Documents Accompanying the Message Transmitting the Osage, Kansa and Shawnee Treaties, 1825 (Ratified Indian Treaties 126, 127, and 143) to the 19th Congress NAID 179034069 (available online)
  • History of the Kanza Tribe/Native Flute Music/the Surly Surveyor NAID 26053530
  • Registers of Kaw Families, ca. 1915 – ca. 1915, NAID 2569299
  • Schedules of Allotments to Kaw Indians, 1901 – 1903, NAID 2569314
  • Records of Disposition of Tonkawa and Kaw Allotted Lands, 1914 – 1990, NAID 2569351
  • Records Relating to the Kaw Boarding School,  1886-1904, NAID 1101848 
  • Register of Individual Kaw Accounts, 1927 – 1928, NAID 2570396 

Have a question about NARA’s records pertaining to the Kaw/Kansa/Kanza Nation? Ask your question on History Hub. 

Enter your address in this interactive map of Traditional Native Lands to see who once lived where you are now. 

My thanks to Mary Burtzloff, Archivist, Eisenhower Presidential Library, who researched the information for this land acknowledgement. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *