Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska
Remarks by Former Tribal Chairman Marvin Franklin on 20 Oct 2001
Ioway Tribal Council
White Cloud, Kansas
October 20, 2001
Fellow Tribal Members:
My first visit on the reservation was in 1930, when my father, John Charles Franklin brought me here to visit a few days and meet some of my distant relatives. My second visit was in 1940 when I piloted an airplane owned by an oil company interested in prospecting in this area. On that trip I visited with my cousin, Evelyn Nanomantube in Fall City.
The next trip was in 1961 at the urging of my Aunt Lil, known on the reservation as Rosa Franklin. Her concern, in plain and simple language was, "You're a practicing attorney, our tribe has a claim against the government and we need help." Most of you are familiar with the wrath of an Indian woman. I complied promptly.
At that time the tribe was held together by four dedicated women, Florence Hall, Audry Cornelius, Sarah Roubidoux and Mary Louise Rhodd. As I look back, my admiration for those four leaders swells with pride for the efforts and the personal sacrifices they gave to this tribe. That was forty years ago.
I must tell you their job was a challenge to accomplish the impossible. The reservation had no visible resources with which to operate. They introduced me to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Anadarko. The more I learned, the more interested I became. The tribal assignments had lacked supervision, the roads were in need of attention, and the only visible asset was the Community Building.
I was elected to a position on the tribal council. Made contact with the Law Firm in Detroit, Michigan that was handling the claims matters for the combined Kansas and Oklahoma Tribes. The committee related this information to their tribal members. During this period we also got the attention of the Bureau and they made an effort to provide improved services to the reservation. The committee did the best it could in view of the fact it was without resources.
Finally, in 1970, the Indian Claims Commission approved the three claims that had been filed. On April 29, 1970, at a special council meeting in Hiawatha the tribe voted to accept two claims and appeal the third one. About a year later, I testified for our tribe and Soloman Kent represented the Oklahoma tribe. Upon the approval of the claims by the government, Forrest Fee testified before the Congressional Committee with regard to the distribution.
Meanwhile, the tribe was not idle. In 1970, those living on the reservation and with the cooperation of the Bureau, we began a long journey to bring economic betterment to the reservation. First, the formation of a Kansas Corporation named Indian Affiliates, which promptly obtained a contract with the Bureau to operate an Employment and Vocational Training Center in Kansas City. To help our fellow Kansas tribes we gave each tribe a 25% interest in the company, placed two members from each tribe on the Board of Directors and began receiving applicants through the Bureau from any tribe in the United States. Needless to say, it was a successful venture, well received by the Kansas City community, and fulfilled the needs of those sent by the Bureau.
After three years of operations, the contract was terminated and the board made the decision to send the accrued profits for the benefit of all the Kansas Tribes. That resulted in the building of the medical complex in Horton and moving the Indian Health Service from a store front on the square to a facility with examination rooms, dental office, a reception room and adequate parking. The new organization, United Tribes of Kansas, headed by Forrest Fee, negotiated a long term lease with General Services for the IHS which was adequate to meet the mortgage obligations. United Tribes expanded its service in many directions and is an operational arm of this tribe to this day. Meanwhile Bingo became a tribal enterprise and the tribe began to have resources and a remarkable increase in talented people willing to promote the general welfare of the tribe. You are surrounded today by the efforts of many hard working, willing, and knowledgeable members of your tribe.
On this day, each of us can be proud of our tribe, proud of each individual member, as we begin our journey into this 21st Century knowing full well that we are grateful for the results of our accomplishments and assured of continued success in the future. It is a good omen for those youngsters that will follow in your footsteps.
Thank you for the many courtesies and opportunities you have given this old warrior who might well be enjoying his final visit with his Indian family, tribal surroundings and the rich history of the Ioway Tribe.
SOURCE: Thanks to J. K. Suttle
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