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Fritzes Speak of Native American Heritage


Talk to your parents about your heritage. This was the message that was stressed by Mrs. Jenn Fritz as she spoke to the 4th grade students at Pierce Elementary on January 5.


As part of their Nebraska History studies, fourth graders had studied seven major Native American tribes that once lived in Nebraska. Mrs. Fritz was invited to speak to the 4th graders about her own Native American heritage. Mrs. Fritz and her three sons are members of the Kaw (also known as Kansa or Kanza) Indian tribe. The Kaw tribe once inhabited most of what is now present-day Kansas, and lived in a very similar way to the Ponca and Omaha tribes in Nebraska.


Among the interesting information that was presented by Mrs. Fritz was that the word “Kaw” means “People of the South Wind”, and that the state of Kansas gets its name from this famous tribe. On top of the State Capitol in Topeka, Kansas, is the sculpture of a Kaw Indian pointing his drawn bow at the North Star. In addition, Mrs. Fritz shared a video clipping of a Kaw pow-wow and a poem and story which were spoken in the Kaw language.


Mrs. Fritz also told the students about Charles Curtis, a famous Kaw member, who served as Vice-President of the United States under President Herbert Hoover from 1929 – 1933.


This is the fifth year Mrs. Fritz has spoken to the students. The 4th graders were very appreciative of the knowledge shared by Mrs. Fritz and her son, Kaiden, who assisted with the presentation about the Kaw tribe.


Kaiden showed the class a diorama he created in 4-H last year which depicted the lifestyle the Kaw tribe. The diorama was chosen to go to the Nebraska State Fair, where it went on to receive 1st place. Kaiden read a report he had written about his diorama and how important his heritage is to him.



The Kaw nation headquarters is located in Kaw City, Oklahoma. If you are interested in learning more about the Kaw tribe, use the following links to find additional information:









Pierce Public Schools 201 N. Sunset St. Pierce, NE  68767

402.329.6217 Fax: 402.329.4678

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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