Kansas Delaware Tribe of Indians

2016 Annual Tribal Meeting Summary

Wyandotte County Historical Museum
Bonner Springs, Kansas
Saturday, June 4, 2016

The 2016 Kansas Delaware tribal meeting was held at the Wyandotte County Historical Museum. The museum provides the tribe with a large meeting area complete with tables, chairs, internet access, a digital projector, screen and kitchen facility. We thank the museum staff for their continued support and hospitality.

Prior to the start of the meeting, coffee, juice and pastries were provided for members as they met and chatted with old friends and family. Tribal registration was handled this year by Bob and Bev Deister.

Smudging and Introductions

This year’s meeting began with a smudging ceremony and a prayer for members and guests conducted by Kenny Vernoy. He explained the reasons for smudging and the use of sage, sweetgrass and various sacred herbs by Native Americans.

Chief Kameran Zeigler called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m., and attendees introduced themselves and their families.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report

Secretary Linda Graff read the minutes from the tribe’s 2015 meeting. Sharon Schmidt gave a treasurer’s report with totals for the general fund, scholarship fund, dues collected and expenses for the year.

Oklahoma Delaware

Carolyn Rowe, our tribal liaison with the Oklahoma Delaware, gave a report concerning her ongoing interaction with the tribe. Carolyn, her husband Steve Rowe, and Jim Grinter attend council meetings and other activities in in the Bartlesville area on a continuing basis to stay in contact with the Oklahoma tribe. Carolyn reported that Chief Brooks of the Oklahoma Delaware is still hoping to bring the Kansas Delaware into their tribe. He stated that the Oklahoma tribe is working on changes to their constitution which will lower the number required for a quorum. The quorum count is never met at meetings and hampers the tribe’s ability to do business. Chief Brooks said that a referendum vote may occur at the general council meeting in November that would allow Kansas and Idaho Delawares to apply for membership in the Oklahoma tribe.

Revue of Last Year’s Meeting

Linda Graff and Becky Taylor gave a powerpoint presentation of the 2015 Kansas Delaware meeting. The slide shows are always entertaining, and everyone enjoyed watching highlights from last year’s meeting.

Cultural Presentation

Joshua Falleaf, Dean of the College of Humanities at the Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, gave an overview of plans for the property in Lawrence being developed by the Delaware Tribe of Indians from Oklahoma. He discussed a grant for establishing a cultural center in Lawrence for research and study of Delaware history and culture. He also talked about heritage seeds that will be planted and crops harvested.

A special feature of Joshua Falleaf’s presentation was an in-depth discussion and demonstration of the traditional Delaware Stomp Dance. Everyone enjoyed Joshua’s light-hearted and amusing approach to teaching Stomp Dance protocol to the many novices in attendance. Keena Ziegler donned her new set of shakers and provided a good rhythm for the dancing with coaching and encouragement from Joshua. Soon everyone was on their feet, participating and trying to learn how to respond to the head dancer’s songs. As the old saying goes: a good time was had by all!

Original Delaware Land Today

Anne Heaton gave a presentation that she compiled from National Geographic cartographers’ information regarding the New York area during the time of the original Delaware occupation contrasted with present-day New York. It was interesting and sobering to see the changes in our ancestors’ homeland over the past several centuries.


Sharon Schmidt reported that currently only one tribal member, Devin Graff, has applied for a $250 annual scholarship from the tribe. Ron Ziegler, who is in charge of our scholarships, will review the application and contact treasurer Sharon Schmidt for disbursement of funds.

Membership and Fundraising

The Kansas Delaware Tribe has stopped collecting yearly dues and will now issue permanent membership cards with a processing fee for the cost of the card, research, postage, etc.

A number of fund raising ideas were discussed including: a booth at the Delaware Pow Wow in Oklahoma which would offer Lenape t-shirts, jewelry, beading, dream catchers and other art; development of a tribal flag and pennants for sale; an online store offering Lenape art and crafts; and a golf tournament in Wyandotte County.


Our Facebook and website pages continue to receive much traffic, and help Kansas Delaware across the nation and overseas stay in touch. Jim Grinter adds photos and coverage of the tribe’s annual meetings, news, pow wows and other events attended by tribal members. Please email Jim at jimgrinter@gmail.com with any photos and information of interest to be added to our websites.

Delaware Confederation

Council member Jim Grinter talked about a discussion that he is having with Idaho Delaware Andrew Gildersleeve regarding creation of an online registry and confederation of all Delaware across the nation. It’s an ambitious project that is in the initial stages of investigation and consideration. The goal is certainly worthwhile: uniting a noble people of common heritage and blood that have been scattered across this continent over the past several centuries.

Wyandotte Museum Donation

In appreciation of the ongoing support of the tribe by the Wyandotte County Historical Museum and staff, a donation of $150 was made to the facility.

Winter Count

Chief Kameran Zeigler reported that her uncle Pinkston Zeigler died May 7, 2016, at the age of 79 years. He had lived in Mendenmines, Missouri.

Bob Deister stated that Kansas Delaware Claudia Bourne Alonzo died June 29, 2015. She was from Cripple Creek, Colorado.

A memorial tribute for them will be added to our tribal website. Please contact Jim Grinter with any information and photos of members whom we have lost.

Tribal Historian

The Kansas Delaware tribal council voted to appoint Steve Rowe to the position of tribal historian. Initial responsibility for Steve will be tracing the descendants of the remaining 1867 Delaware who chose to stay in Kansas rather than be removed to Indian territory in Oklahoma.

Steve Rowe is the husband of tribal council member and liaison Carolyn Rowe. Steve has for several years been instrumental in researching Kansas Delaware genealogy and history. His hard work and dedication to the tribe is appreciated by all.

Tribal Council

The Kansas Delaware tribal council, leadership and responsibilities for the upcoming year were established as follows:

Linda Graff, Chief
Carolyn Rowe, Second Chief, Rolls/Membership
Kameran Zeigler, Secretary
Sharon Schmidt, Treasurer
Jim Grinter, Technology/Art
Bob Deister, Culture/Ceremony
Anne Heaton, Education/Historian
Sherry Kirby, Education/Historian
Terry Kirby, Fundraising/Business
Ken Vernoy, Culture/Ceremony
Ron Zeigler, Scholarship

Tribal Council Online Conferencing

Council member Kenneth Vernoy suggested that the Kansas Delaware Tribal Council could be more effective if meetings were held more often than once a year. The council decided to hold quarterly online conferences beginning in September to discuss ongoing business. The date and time for the conference will be set after researching the various formats that are available.

2017 Meeting Date

The next annual meeting of the Kansas Delaware Indian Tribe is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning, June 3rd, 2017, at the Wyandotte County Historical Museum, Bonner Springs, Kansas. This date allows members to travel to Oklahoma for the Delaware Pow Wow which is held on Memorial Day weekend at the Fall Leaf grounds near Copan, Okla., and then attend the Kansas Delaware meeting the following weekend.

The 2016 Kansas Delaware annual meeting was adjourned at approximately 3:15 p.m.

Photos from the 2016 meeting will be posted on the Kansas Delaware facebook page.