, 2022-12-15 11:36:31,
By Online native news staff
Two defendants publicly apologized Saturday, December 10, for stealing a panel from an outdoor Native American art installation on the University of Kansas campus last year.
The piece, “Native Hosts,” Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne, Arapaho), consisted of five metal panels that include the names of the Kaw, Potawatomi, Ioway, Ne Me Ha Ha Ki, and Kickapoo tribes. The theft came just weeks after four panels from the installation were vandalized in an unrelated incident by two defendants in September 2021. Within a day, KUPD recovered and returned the panel to the university’s Spencer Museum of Art.
John Wichlenski and Samuel McKnight, both 23, faced charges of theft worth at least $1,500 but less than $25,000, a Level 9 felony. The defendants agreed to diversions, and as part of their diversion agreements, both participated in a restorative justice circle facilitated by Building Peace that included representatives from the Spencer Museum and the KU First Nations Student Association (FNSA)
Before the presentation, the director of the Spencer Art Museum, Saralyn Reece Hardy, spoke about the “native hosts”, highlighting its thought-provoking design, using the names of the tribes that once occupied Kansas before being displaced.
Lori Hasselman, American Indian Student Success Coordinator…
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