This is part of the conference “Building Partnerships Between Archives and Indian Communities,” held at the American Philosophical Society (APS) in Philadelphia, May 2010.
“Greeting.” Chief Glenna Wallace, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.
“The Shawnee are originally from the area. In 1682 we met with William Penn, and again in 1701 with the Indian Tribal Conference. We were forcibly removed from our indigenous land in Ohio in 1832. We were the first tribe after the passage of the 1830 Indian Removal Act. We made the 700-mile trek to Oklahoma. Who we lost and how many, we do not know.
“In 2007, 175 years later, we returned to our ancestral land in Ohio. In 2009, we went to [Colonial] Williamsburg, where we advised them on incorporating Native American history into their curriculum. We were told that within 10 years, the Shawnee language would be extinct. There are three Shawnee tribes in Oklahoma, one has less than 50 members, and one has less than 10. There are no fluent speakers anymore. In 2009, was also the beginning of the planning of this conference. Here we are, and this is an historic opportunity.”