Arrowhead Stadium Hosts Native American Celebration at the Chiefs vs New York Jets Matchup
By Tyler Jones, @TylerJonesLive
KANSAS CITY- In a time where the honor and respect of Native Americans is in question, the Kansas City Chiefs showed where they stand. The NFL (Chiefs) organization played host to a special celebration of Native American Heritage on Sunday, a part of Native American Heritage Month, as the 4-3 Chiefs would take on the New York Jets. The American Indian Center of the Great Plains (AICGP) would partner with the Chiefs to put on the celebration.
Tribes from around the nation were represented. The tribes included the Peoria, Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, Cheyenne-Arapaho, Northern Arapaho, Citizen Potawatomi, Delaware, Wyandotte, Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and the Chickasaw Nation.
On Sunday, many Native American tribes brought members of their tribes to showcase their people in front of over 76,000 fans in Kansas City. Jon Boursaw a District Executive of the Citizen Potawatomi Tribe said, “I feel appreciated by the Chiefs organization. This is great exposure for our tribe and the other Native American tribes. Kansas City back-up QB Tyler Bray is a member for our tribe and he gives our younger generation an athlete to lookup to.”
In attendance Sunday was longtime Chiefs fans from Overland Park, Kansas, Dee & Annette Ketchum of the Delaware Tribe. Dee went to college at the University of Kansas with Former Kansas City Chiefs Fullback Curtis McClinton. Dee, the Former Chief of the Delaware Tribe said, “We feel embraced. The Chiefs have done a great job bringing recognition to American Indian Heritage Month and our tribe.” Dee’s wife Annette, a member of the Delaware Tribe’s council said, “Sports teams bring honor to Native Americans. Any team can use Native American names. We do not oppose it at all.”
The Native American Tribes throughout the game performed many native traditions. The day began with a flag song, drum ceremony and blessing song by the Southern Cheyenne of Oklahoma and Arapaho Tribes. Throughout the game, the Native American groups continued to be honored. It was a moving day.
On the field, the Chiefs dominated with 24-10 win over the New York Jets. Kansas City’s next matchup will be November 9th at the Buffalo Bills, while Jets will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in New York on the same day.
For the rest of the month, the American Indian Center of the Great Plains (AICGP) will continue it’s observance of American Indian Heritage Month. Their mission is to create awareness and understanding of issues affecting Native people.