Thursday, June 23, 2016

Meet Native America: Glenna J. Wallace, Chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma

Meet Native American. The National Museum of the American Indian.

"In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native peoples today." 
-Dennis Zotigh, NMAI 

Chief Glenna J. Wallace, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. Image Courtesy of the National Museum of American Indian Blog.
Chief Glenna J. Wallace, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.
Image Courtesy of the National Museum of American Indian Blog.
"Where is your tribe located?

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe is one of three federally recognized Shawnee tribes, all located in Oklahoma. We Eastern Shawnees are in the extreme northeast corner of Oklahoma, in an area where three neighboring states can be accessed within minutes—Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. The tribe borders Missouri, and we can be in Kansas or Arkansas in 30 minutes, max.

Where are the Eastern Shawnee originally from?

We were known to be a wandering, traveling tribe, living in close to thirty states until we settled in Ohio in the early 1700s. We eventually shared a small reservation there with the Seneca Cayuga Tribe. Together we were known as the Mixed Band.

After the passage of the 1830 Indian Removal Act, the Mixed Band was the first group to be forcibly removed to Indian Territory, a journey we made on foot with more than 15 percent not surviving the ordeal. That occurred in 1832, and we remained the Mixed Band until 1867, when we were separated into two distinct tribes, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe and the Seneca Cayuga Tribe. Both tribes remained in the northeast corner of Indian Territory, which became the state of Oklahoma in 1907."

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