Upcoming Events
  • Support Group
    Thursday, November 19, 2015

    Domestic Family Violence Program is hosting a support group from 6 pm-8 pm at the Wichita Complex Family Services Building

    Local transportation and child care will be available

    More information can be found in the flyer to the left.


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November 2015
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Wichita Tribes Blog
  • Walk Your Mocs
    November 13, 2015 11:21 AM

    In Recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month and “ROCK YOUR MOCS”  Day the Special Diabetes Program is Hosting a Diabetes Awareness Walk and Rock Your Mocs Contest. Where:  Wichita and Affiliated Tribes Complex When:  10am—12pm Registration:  9am What:  1 mile walk/run and Moccasins contest Health Screening provided Participants receive T-Shirt/Water Bottle Contest for best moccasins Snacks […]

  • AoA Thanksgiving Luncheon
    November 13, 2015 11:17 AM

    AoA Thanksgiving Dinner will be on Thursday, November 19. We invite all Wichita Elders to enjoy this meal with us.

  • Storm Shelter survey
    November 13, 2015 10:14 AM

    Storm Shelter Survey-We have received several of the storm shelter surveys back. Please make sure that you fill out the form that was in the October and November newspapers if you are interested in the Tribe having a storm shelter program. Identifying that there is a need for many helps us put a program in […]

  • Support Group
    September 21, 2015 9:56 AM

  • Food Distribution- Upcoming Cooking Demos
    August 31, 2015 1:11 PM

  • After School Program Enrollment Begins Today
    August 31, 2015 1:11 PM

  • OILS Wills Clinic to be held in October
    August 31, 2015 1:06 PM

  • Strategic Planning Meeting to Address Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in Our Community
    August 28, 2015 3:22 PM

    VICTIMS OF CRIME ACT (VOCA) AND DOMESTIC FAMILY VIOLENCE (DFV) PROGRAMS   Strategic Planning to Address Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in “OUR” Community Friday, October 2, 2015 Wichita Tribal Complex, Community Center 8:30                        Registration 9:00–9:15               Welcome, […]

  • Support Group- Domestic Family Violence
    August 28, 2015 3:20 PM

  • Western Oklahoma Tribes Diabetes Summit 2015
    August 28, 2015 3:12 PM

    Watchetaker Hall, Comanche Complex 8:00 to 3:30pm “Healthy Generations: Renewing Traditional Sacred Lifestyles” Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Days of Darkness: 1820-1934

"Generation after generation the corn was to be used. And if the time should come that they planted corn and something else than corn came up, it would be a sign that the end of the world was at hand." - Tawakoni Jim in The Mythology of the Wichita, 1904

Although European settlements introduced new types of goods to the Wichitas, they also brought highly contagious diseases. At the same time, hostilities increased as eastern tribes were removed to Indian Territory. As such turmoil cast a lengthening shadow over the land, the Wichitas lost many people. In 1820, the once populous Wichitas, Wacos, Tawakonis, Taovayas, and Kichais were estimated at no more than 1400 persons. Truly the "days of darkness" had begun.

This trend continued even with the signing of the first American-Wichita treaty at Camp Holmes in 1835. There can be no doubt about the sincerity of the Wichitas who persuaded their Comanche allies to attend and sign this agreement which recognized their right to their traditional homeland. This treaty also contains the first official usage of the name "Wichita" for the Wichita, Waco, and Tawakoni people.

After the Texas Republic was established in 1836, the Wichitas were forced to defend their lands against the intrusions of white settlers. Not until 1855, after Texas joined the United States, was a reservation for the Wichitas established on the Brazos River. However, continued hostilities from neighboring settlers led to the Wichita removal from Texas to lands on the Washita River. There they joined their northern relatives in what is now west-central Oklahoma.

Although a reservation and agency were established, the Wichita people were not able to remain in this land. In 1863, they were forced by Confederate troops to leave their reservation and flee north to Kansas. While in Kansas from 1863 to 1867, the Wichitas had no land to farm and few friends to help them in their time of trouble. Many people starved. Others suffered from smallpox and cholera epidemics that swept through their villages. Only 822 people returned to Indian Territory in 1867.

Traditional Wichita religion encompassed a belief in the supernatural powers of elements of the earth and the sky. Animals often appeared to men in dreams or revelations to become lifelong guardian spirits.

Once settled on the reservation, some became members of the churches established by Christian missionaries. Others turned to the peyote religion, later chartered as the Native American Church, which combined elements of traditional and Christian beliefs. Many Wichitas took up the Ghost Dance religion of the 1890's. They believed in the prophecy of Wovoka, a Paiute from Walker Lake, Nevada. According to Wovoka, people would be reunited with their dead friends and relatives in a land of plentiful game where there would be neither sickness nor death.

Government agents worked to destroy the Ghost Dance religion as well as other elements of Wichita culture. Children were placed in boarding schools where they were forbidden to speak their own language. Even the reservation established in 1872 was not to remain theirs. Led by Tawakoni Jim, the Wichita resisted the breaking up of their assigned lands. However, in 1900 their reservation was divided into allotments of 160 acres per person with the remainder declared "surplus lands" and opened to settlement. Allotment brought about the final destruction of the Wichitas' grass house villages and their communal way of life.

Next: A New Beginning