Upcoming Events
  • Fitness Center Extends Hours
    Current Hours of Operation

    The Fitness Center hours of operation are 8:00 A.M. - 7:00 P.M. Monday-Thursday and 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Friday.  Closed on weekends.

  • Wills-Service Dates
    April 25th

    OCU has service dates seheduled for preparing Wills at their campus on April 25th. For more information please click here

  • College Applications
    Beginning April 1, 2014

    College applications for the fall 2014-spring 2015 semesters are now available. 

  • AoA Easter Activities
    April 16, 2014

    The AoA Program will have its Easter activites on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.  Please see the attached flyer for details. 

  • Elder Lawn Mowing Program
    April 1, 2014

    Applications for the Elder Lawn Mowing Program will be available on April 1, 2014.  Please click here for more information. 

  • Diabetes Education Sessions
    April 17, 24 and May 1 & 8, 2014

    Spring Diabetes Education Sessions 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Health Building.  Please click here for more information. 

  • Demographic Survey Deadline
    April 30, 2014

    The deadline to turn in the Demographic Surveys is April 30, 2014.  Tribal members, 18 and over, will recieve a $10 Walmart card for completing the survey. 

  • Annual General Council Meeting
    July 19, 2014

    Time and place to be announced at a later date.  Please make plans to attend.

  • Referendum Election
    July 19, 2014

    Details to be announced. Please make plans to vote in this tribal referendum election regarding absentee voting and blood quantum.  

  • Grade Incentive Award Deadline
    July 31, 2014

    Parents of children in grades 6th-12th may apply for the grade incentive award until July 31, 2014.  Please click here for more information.

Wichita Language
kiyáta:wʔa
eight
More Wichita Words
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Wichita Tribes Blog
  • Senior Cap & Gown/ACT Test Fees
    April 14, 2014 7:45 PM

    Don’t forget that the Tribe has a tribal funded assistance program for enrolled Wichita youth in the 12th grade that can assist with Senior Cap & Gown and ACT Test Fees. Please contact the Education Department with any questions at (405) 247-2425 ext. 106 or 112 or email to yolanda.walker@wichitatribe.com or louisa.riffel@wichitatribe.com.

  • Demographic Survey
    April 14, 2014 7:44 PM

    We have received several of the Demographic Surveys back from tribal members. Please make sure to send yours in if you have not done so. We keep accepting them until April 30, 2014. This information will be used for future grants and business ventures. Please see the February 2014 newsletter for more details. Enrolled tribal […]

  • Graduate Pictures for Newsletter
    April 14, 2014 7:42 PM

    If you have an enrolled child that will be graduating in May, you are welcome to submit their picture an a brief write up for the newsletter. The deadline for the April 30, 2014 newsletter is April 20, 2014 and May 20, 2014 for the May newsletter. Please email to newsletter@wichitatribe.com.

  • Wichita Tribe Blog Posts
    April 14, 2014 7:42 PM

    Originally posted on wichitatribeblog:
    If you know anyone who doesn’t use social media but would like access to the blog posts they can visit http://www.wichitatribe.com. We have added the blog posts to the right hand side of the website.

  • Wichita Referendum Election to Be held July 19, 2014
    April 14, 2014 7:41 PM

    Originally posted on wichitatribeblog:
    A referendum election will be held on Saturday, July 19, 2014. Details will be announced at a later date. The January 2014 newsletter will provide more information regarding tribal member input. Please click here for the documents from the Referendum Election held in July 2013. You may submit comments to newsletter@wichitatribe.com…

  • http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/tribal/9772-doi-approves-wichita-and-affliliated-tribes-hearth-agreement
    April 14, 2014 7:33 PM

    http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/tribal/9772-doi-approves-wichita-and-affliliated-tribes-hearth-agreement

  • Graduate Pictures for Tribal Newsletter
    April 10, 2014 8:34 PM

    Originally posted on wichitatribeblog:
    If you have an enrolled child that will be graduating in May, you are welcome to submit their picture an a brief write up for the newsletter. The deadline for the April 30, 2014 newsletter is April 20, 2014 and May 20, 2014 for the May newsletter. Please email to newsletter@wichitatribe.com.

  • Graduate Incentives
    April 10, 2014 8:34 PM

    Originally posted on wichitatribeblog:
    Graduating High School Seniors may apply for the $100 incentive for graduating. College graduates also receive incentives for graduating. The amount depends on whether the degree is a Associates, Bachelors, Masters or PHD &JD. Please contact Yolanda Walker @ (405) 247-2425 ext. 106 or Louise Riffel @ (405) 247-2425 ext. 112…

  • Weather Emergency Preparedness Seminar-April 29, 2014
    April 10, 2014 8:29 PM

  • Assistant Secretary Approves Leasing Regulations for Wichita and Affiliated Tribes
    April 10, 2014 1:40 PM

    Press Release from DOI Assistant Secretary Washburn Approves Four HEARTH Act Applications to Help Spur Economic Development in Tribal Communities Dry Creek Rancheria, Jamestown S’Klallam, Mohegan, and Wichita and Affiliated Tribes join eight others already cleared to process economic development leases without BIA approval WASHINGTON, D.C. — Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn […]

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