Posted on May 5, 2022

Indigenous Advocates Criticize Proposed Roeland Park Historic Markers

Sydnie Holzfaster, Fox 4, May 3, 2022

Indigenous residents and advocates are calling a proposal to place historic markers throughout Roeland Park a misrepresentation of history.


Robert Hicks Jr., chair of the Indigenous Community Center in Lawrence said the Shawnee Tribe was not consulted on the project and the proposed signs do not accurately depict the treatment of Indigenous children at the mission schools.

“The Shawnee Indian Mission School, a labor school, participated in assimilation practices and cultural genocide. The proposal is a perfect example of whitewashing Indigenous history,” Hicks said.

According to city documents, the committee recommends the sign dedicated to the Shawnee Methodist Indian Mission boundary be placed on the traffic island at the intersection of  Nall Avenue, Roeland Drive and 55th Street. {snip}


Monique Mercurio is the vice chair of the Indigenous Community Center and a member of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation.

“By approving these signs, you are perpetuating the mental and emotional abuse of native people. You are continuing to manipulate [the] history of the Indigenous people,” Mercurio said. “Your attempts to gaslight the descendants of the people of this land will not be tolerated.”

Miel Castagna-Herrera said she feels the language for the proposed signs only highlight the contributions of white founders and ignores the experiences and contributions of native people and minorities.