Kansas Tribe Reconsidered

WB_Ronald-D-Parks_The-Darkest-Period--The-Kanza-Indians-and-Their-Last-HomelandRonald D. Parks engaging account, The Darkest Period: The Kanza Indians and Their Last Homeland, 1846-1873 (University of Oklahoma Press, $34.95) tells a familiar story of a tribe struggling to withstand destructive and inconsistent federal policies.

Being compelled to accept a reservation, soon to be diminished, that was crossed by the Santa Fe Trail, plagued by white squatters and encompassed by the boomtown of Council Grove, intensified the assault on Kanza lands, culture and livelihood. They also suffered from debts to traders, the whiskey trade and enemy tribal attacks. Although retaining their identity and many cultural ways, they lost their Kansas homeland and were moved to Indian Territory in 1873. Parks relies primarily on Indian Office sources, as well as newspapers, and includes an exceptional number of useful maps.

– Wade Davies, author of Navajo Health Care in the Twentieth Century

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