Sitting on the Old Santa Fe Trail, the town of Shawnee Mission was originally that: a mission for members of the Shawnee tribe who were transplanted from their native territory.
The story of federal Indian policy and missions is a tale of clashing cultural perspectives. On one side, there's the story of brave, compassionate missionaries who sacrificed to provide native people with a better life through Christianity. But in the eyes of many, forcibly removing people from their land, re-settling into Kansas colonies and converting them amounted to cultural genocide.
Tai Edwards is an assistant professor of history at Johnson County Community College. She's studied Kansas' missions and their impact on gender roles in native communities. She'll be discussing Native American Missionization in Kansas at the Shawnee Town Museum on Tuesday, May 8 at 7pm.