Sacred Red Rock Project
On April 4th, 2022, the Mellon Foundation announced a major grant to the Iⁿ‘zhúje‘waxóbe / Sacred Red Rock Project (formerly known as Between the Rock and a Hard Place) for the return of a 28-ton red Siouxan quartzite boulder located for the past ninety-three years in Robinson Park, Lawrence, Kansas to the Kaw Nation.
The Iⁿ‘zhúje‘waxóbe / Sacred Red Rock Project is a project being administered by the University of Kansas, the Kansas University Endowment Association, Kaw Nation, and the City of Lawrence. The I ‘zhúje‘waxóbe / Sacred Red Rock Project rematriation leadership team includes representatives from the University of Kansas’s Institute for Policy & Social Research (IPSR) (Prof. Jay T. Johnson, Director of the Center for Indigenous Research, Science, and Technology [C-FIRST]), the Kaw Nation (James Pepper Henry, Tribal Council Vice Chair, and Pauline Eads Sharp, Chair of the Kanza Heritage Society), local artist and community organizer (Dave Loewenstein), City of Lawrence (Toni Wheeler, City Attorney), and the Spencer Museum (Sydney Pursel, Curator for Public Practice).
As a team, we feel strongly that this is the time to engage in this effort. All around the Country, communities are thinking about how they are represented or misrepresented by local monuments. Now Lawrence has the opportunity to begin this process by reflecting on its founding monument and, if needed, redressing its faults and omissions.
Many people have shared their knowledge, skills and experience with this project including: James Pepper Henry, Curtis Kekahbah, Curtis Charles Kekahbah, Lauren Kekahbah, Charlee Huffman, Jay Johnson, Tai Edwards, Sara Gregg, Beth Schultz, Dennis Domer, Brett Ramey, Toni Wheeler, Dawn Buehler, Nicholas Ward and David Roediger. We are grateful to them all.