Franklin County Historical Society News Release
Contact: Deborah Barker, Director, Franklin County Historical Society Franklin County Historical Society receives national award for Native Neighbors program
PO Box 145, Ottawa, KS 66067
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is honoring the Franklin County Historical Society and Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area with a Leadership in History Award, which is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
The Award of Merit recognizes FCHS and FFNHA for Native Neighbors from Freedom’s Frontier’s Past, the October 4, 2014 program that strived to share and preserve the stories of native and emigrant tribes who once lived in Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri.
The award will be presented during the 2015 AASLH Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 18. Only one other Kansas exhibit, Overland Park: A Place of Peace, Comfort, and Plenty, received this honor.
Native Neighbors from Freedom’s Frontier’s Past brought together historians, anthropologists, tribal leaders, and present-day tribal members to teach visitors about tribal history as well as share the stories of present-day Native Americans. Members of the Citizen Band Potawatomi, Munsee, Quapaw, Shawnee, Chippewa, Miami, Ottawa, and Wyandot tribes shared photographs, historical objects, music, art, food, and dancing.
The program was first offered in 2012 and focused on tribes who once called Franklin County home.
“We collaborated with Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area in 2014 in order to tell a much more comprehensive story of the tribes that lived in Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri,” said Deborah Barker, Franklin County Historical Society Director.
“It was a unique event that brought together an incredible group of people to exchange stories and histories. We’re honored the AASLH has chosen to celebrate this program with an award.”
Native Neighbors is now an official program of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area and will be offered in different FFNHA locations in order to extend the learning opportunities to other communities. In 2016, Native Neighbors will be produced by the Fort Scott National Heritage Area as an official event of the National Park Service.
Founded in 1937, the Franklin County Historical Society strives to preserve, present, and promote the history of Franklin County, Kansas.
Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area brings together the stories of the struggle for freedom—including the history of Native Americans, slavery, the Kansas-Missouri Border War, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement— in 29 Eastern Kansas counties and 12 Western Missouri counties.
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is a not-for-profit professional organization that works to advance knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of local history in America. Since 1940, AASLH has provided leadership and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history to make the past more meaningful.
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