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American History
Meeting, 12th Jan 2005

Meeting to discuss the listing of Chilocco with the National Registrar of Historic Places, January 12, 2005.

         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 National Register.”

      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 something.

       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.

     Tony Arkeketa 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

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