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Native Indian Lore
Child Care Planning and Ground Breaking Ceremonies

Colbert Cole prays over and blesses the ground for the construction of the new child care center and place where Head Start will operate for the children of White Eagle of the Ponca Nation. Dan Jones, Chairman, stands with his head down on Colbert's left.

Actual Ground Breaking for this ceremony. Dan Jones with braids is on the left. At the center of the photograph in a yellow vest is the contractor from Kingston Environmental Services, Dr. Tom Cason, President of the company.

In the audience is Head of the Child Services Program at this time, Alexus Warrior. To her right is the representative from the Department of Human Services.

Eva Steeprock, Director of the Education Program is in the foreground. Dan Jones in the background on the left, Dick Stone, Mayor of Ponca City, man with back to camera is Gary Martin, City Manager of Ponca City. Bobby Cole is on the right. Bobby is a brother to Colbert Cole, who performed the blessing with cedar.

The gentleman on the left is Dick Stone, Mayor of Ponca City. On the right is Gary Martin, City Manager of Ponca City, Ok.

The gentleman in the center of the picture is Chris Little Cook. He is a descendant of Sam Little Cook
who was my great-grandfather.  Sam was the leader of the He-Sah-Dah, Straight Path, Rain clan. Chris works with the Native American Children in town. His gentle leadership with the children is outstanding.

Dan studies the blue prints for the new Child Care Building with one of the contractors. Sorry, I didn't get his name.

Wilkie Eagle shakes hands with my brother who is not in the picture. Wilkie is a descendant of Chief White Eagle. The community, White Eagle, carries his name. These are the ancient leaders whose ways are the ways of the Poncas. Even today,  compassion and thoughts for the people as individual and as a tribe are at the forefront of their conversations.  In a quiet way their concern and encouragement brings hope even for a person who might be suffering a trial all their own which others have not noticed.

This is a bronze of the Great Seal of the Ponca Tribe which was created by Dan Jones. Dan dug and refined his own clay which he culpted into the first mold for this. A plaster of paris mold was then created. At the foundry this bronze work was finished as it is here. It was a labor intensive project.

The peace pipe across the tee-pee is symbolic of a Ponca's wish to have peace with them.  The seven feathers represent the seven clans remaining. Mother couldn't remember the ones that are gone, other than the ice clan which no longer has a population.  There needs to be research in this area to place the population in their proper clan. No one wants to do it because it will be difficult. The tribal mixes make it almost impossible. Clan affiliation of a person goes to the paternal or the father and his clan with the Ponca. Our father was Scot-Irish with around 1/16 Cherokee. His father's ancestors came from Wales and mother was Scot-Irish. We would have to research the Blaylock and Howard families to learn their Cherokee clans.

Ponca grandmother was He-Sah-Dah and although we know their laws we don't have the right to follow her clan, and neither does our Mother since her father was Shawnee. We have no idea what his Shawnee clan was.

One of our grandmothers was Mary Hunter. There is a Mary Hunter buried at Grey Horse Osage Cemetery, close to Ralston. Recently I learned our grandmother was listed on the 1870 census rolls with her daughter, Elizabeth Ann who lived in Ralston. The Osages told me my grandmother was buried at Grey Horse. I didn't accept this because I thought she lived in Missouri. But apparently I was wrong.

Mary Hunter, buried at Grey Horse, Osage cemetery, has her Osage name as Wah-Kahn-Dah Ki-He-Kah, but there again, I think the Osage also follow the father's clan. What I'm saying is it would be hard to list the people of our tribe under one clan or another.

Dane Pryse who owns the local monument company created the this base where upon the bronze seal rests and is mounted. This will hang in the White Eagle District Court Room. It was a gift and contribution to the Ponca Tribe by Dan.

Gentleman on the left is Dr. Tom Cason, President of Kingston Environmental Services, Kansas City, Kansas.  Gentleman on the right is Rick Schulte who is in the employ of Dr. Cason.

This company also is engaged in asbestos and lead paint clean-up of buildings. They have completed that work on a school in the Dakotas. Part of their work is to go into the buildings and access how much of those materials are still there.

Some of the things Dan touched on in his speech at the ground breaking was that there is another building planned to be built and it will be called "The Clyde Warrior Memorial Building."  He mentioned that a time capsule is planned. "This will be to call attention of the fact that Native Americans plan many genereations ahead for their children,"  Dan said.  "To have a clean, new building where only the children will be served is a good thing and we look forward to it," were his encouraging words.

The old worn phrase, "As long as grass grows and water flows," is, indeed, still operating and in force (my comment).

Donna Flood

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