Meeting to discuss the
listing of Chilocco with the National Registrar of Historic Places, January
Bret Carter was
there to offer his assistance. He is experienced with historical
restorations of numbers of structures in Ponca City.
“I am not making
money, my motivation is purely as a worker who loves the saving of valuable
historical sites. I feel Chilocco is an extremely significant site and it
deserves recognition. Listing does not mean anything other than it become a
national historical landmark.
Dr. Kathy Ambler who
works with saving history came to Chilocco last week. She was overwhelmed
and very impressed with the Chilocco campus. She feels the impact on
outsiders is huge and that it is unique in the whole of the United States.
Jim Gabbert, a
historian is willing to help write for any project on Chilocco. Bret said
he could and would write a nomination for Chilocco to be added to the
Bret pointed out that a
lot of foundations look for certification of this kind if a tribe should
wish to apply for grants. By certifying the school on the registrar it
makes a strong statement that they are, indeed, serious about doing
Another point he made
was that the alumni are willing to help and that they present strong
attachments and dedication to the work of keeping the school.
A project is listed in
districts as for a collection of buildings. The drive could be listed as a
district since landscapes alone have been listed on the National Register.
What does it mean to be on the National Registrar? There are no obligations,
no registrations, no stopping of commercial programs.
Because of the
previous work Bret has done he pointed out that he knows where to find
people who will help.
The listing does open
the door for foundations to consider grants and grant money.
It was pointed out that
since the property has not been used since 1998 it could be considered as
“wasted” by the federal government and they will not condone waste;
therefore they can take Chilocco back.
The alumni president, James Edwards, told how the alumni had spent long
hours researching to find the names of the children who are buried there. He
said they have documented 62 names. He noted that the graves are neglected
and not protected with a fence or markers. He told us that the Cherokee
tribe has donated land for a marker to be set at the arch with these names
engraved on it. The Cherokee tribe will erect the monument, free. A child
died, where are the names? Funeral homes at Arkansas City, Newkirk, Ponca
City have helped them with the names.
The deadline for the
National Registrar is in June.
Betty Durkee pointed out
that things do not happen overnite and after the National Registry is won it
doesn't mean the grants are automatically received.
Bret and Betty Durkee
both offered to do a basic survery. This is a great gift since these things
both take money.
James Edwards, Chilocco
Alumni president told us that the Oklahoma Historical Society has given them
a room just for Chilocco memorabilia. He asked that each tribal council
agree to let the alumni take what memorabilia is still left on the grounds
to the historical society where it can be displayed for all to see. He
asked that each tribe send them a letter so that they could save the things
that will eventually be lost that are still on the grounds.
brought out that every tribe had its own trail of tears and he felt that it
was wise to not forget but to remember the hardships. He said he felt it was
a good goal for the cemetery to be fenced, have the graves located and a
marker put on them.
Someone asked why there
wasn't a watchman or caretaker at Chilocco?
It was told that a
building had recently burned. The house next to Mr. Correll's house.
Ron Feazle agreed to
present the request to the Kaw councilman that the Confederation of Chilocco
Tribes be restored and reactivated. This is the organization who meets to
work with Chilocco.
Ron asked that a letter
requesting that restoration be made by the tribes, addressed to Guy Monroe,
Box 50, Kaw Tribe, Kaw City, Ok. Zip 74641
A meeting is planned
for on the grounds at Chilocco in April. It will be pot luck and will be
held in the lobby of Home Five. Date and time to be announced. The Kaw, Otoe
and Ponca tribe felt it would not be a problem to open the school for one
day. But official permission will have to be applied to them for that.
The purpose of this is
to begin “using” chilocco if nothing more than for an alumni meeting in
order that it may not be considered “wasted.”
Betty Durkee brought out
that when the school is recognized by the National Register the tribes will
be given information showing them where and how to get grant money. Some of
this would come under the need to clean up the asbestos, build walking
trails like around the Standing Bear Park, and more.
James Edward told that
in two weeks a notice would be in the paper for forming up of a Chilocco
Alumni chapter here at Ponca City. It was brought out that the Chilocco
Alumni now accepts anyone who was ever involved with the school, employees,
children of parents who attended, people related to an alumni or essentially
anyone whoever walked across the Chilocco campus and even those who only
wished to become a member could do so. In fact, anyone can become a member.
This will be a great advantage since it will give that person an opportunity
to tour the school.
It was requested that all
write to these following men of the five tribes begging them to work
together and with the Chilocco Alumni to make a beginning of activities and
to agree to make application for Chilocco to be put on the National Register
for Historic Places.
Michael Harwell, Otoe Tribe,
1151 Hwy 177, Red Rock, Ok.
Carl Martin, President Tonkawa Tribe, Allen Drive, Tonkawa, Ok.
Dwight Buffalohead, Chairman, Ponca Tribe, White Eagle, Oklahoma
George Howell, Jr. President of Pawnee Tribe, Pawnee, Ok.
Guy Monroe, Box 50, Kaw Tribe, Kaw City, Ok. 74651