Students and advocates from Haskell Indian Nations University are traveling primarily on-foot through Missouri on their way to Washington, D.C. The purpose of their journey is to save the Wakarusa wetlands in Lawrence, Kansas from becoming part of the South Lawrence Trafficway. Click to hear KMZUs John Chojnicki talk with chief-coordinator and junior at Haskell Milli Pepion:
The “Trail of Broken Promise” members are carrying a draft of the Protection of Native American Sacred Places Act which would be an amendment to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. “We’re primarily focused on the proposed roadway through areas of the wetland behind Haskell Indian Nations University,” Pepion explained. “However, the act being presented before Congress would change the law for all Native American Sacred Places”
While on this journey the group is following the Potawatomi Trail of Death from Kansas through Indiana. Click to hear KMZUs John Chojnicki talk with Haskell student Leonord Lowery:
The assembly made their way to Carrollton Wednesday evening around 6:30 p.m. The group performed a ceremony in front of the Carroll County Museum by the Trail of Death marker. “We walk with a flag and a staff for members of the group who are veterans,” explained Lowery. “The flag travels in front, and when it arrives we greet that flag by song and retire it for the night.”
It was an extremely emotional event for member of the Potawatomi Tribe Mark Olsen. “A lot of people write about Trail of Tears, but not many people know about the Potawatomi Trail of Death,” explained Olsen. Click to hear KMZUs John Chojnicki talk with Olsen:
There were many other Native Americans traveling with the group and the end goal being Washington, D.C. on Monday, July 9.
Click to hear KMZUs John Chojnicki talk with Haskell student Mary Iorio:
Click to hear KMZUs John Chojnicki talk with Witchita State student Shireen Ohadi-Hamadani:
The assembly continued on to Brunswick to stay the night.