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Tribe Seeks to Move Rock

Image: Kansas Geological Survey

A Native American tribe is seeking the return of a prayer rock that was transformed into a monument honoring Kansas settlers.

Before the Kaw people were forcibly moved from Kansas to what is now Oklahoma in 1873, they held ceremonies and gatherings before the 23-ton boulder known as the “Big Red Rock,” the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

As Lawrence prepared for its 75th anniversary in 1929, the rock was moved from a site that the tribe considered sacred to a park in town.

It then was fitted with a plaque listing the names of the abolitionist settlers who founded the city.

A letter from the Kaw Nation says the intent is to bring the rock to a Heritage Park in Council Grove as part of a long-range goal to develop the site into an educational resource for all Kansans.

Lawrence Vice Mayor Courtney Shipley said that in her mind the question is “how we are going to raise the funds to move it safely.”

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