June tours, workshops to focus on Sacred Red Rock before park closes ahead of move

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Four guided tours and interactive workshops this month will aim to educate participants about the Sacred Red Rock before it is returned to the Kaw Nation, and to foster ideas for the future of the park where it’s currently on display.

The 28-ton red Siouxan quartzite boulder has been at Robinson Park near Lawrence City Hall since it was taken from its natural location at the intersection of the Shunganunga Creek and Kansas River near Tecumseh about 94 years ago. It was then turned into a monument that honored the majority white people who settled in the area. 

The project to return the prayer rock, Iⁿ‘zhúje‘waxóbe, to its rightful owners is an ongoing grant-funded effort. The Lawrence City Commission formally apologized to the Kaw people and pledged its unconditional return in March 2021.

The roughly 90-minute workshops with project leaders will start at 2 p.m. on Sundays, June 4, 11, 18 and 25 at the park, 4 W. Sixth St. The park is on the north side of Sixth Street between the southern ends of the bridges to and from North Lawrence.

Participants will get a project activity guide to work on “as we experience the stone and the park from multiple points of view including – geological, historical, cultural, and personal reflection,” according to a news release from event organizers.

“These will be the last scheduled opportunities to visit the park before it is closed in July as preparation the move of Iⁿ‘zhúje‘waxóbe in late August,” according to the release.

Organizers encourage those who attend to bring water, and a snack if they’d like. There are benches to sit on, but participants can also bring a chair or stool.

“Be careful getting to the park as there is busy traffic,” organizers caution.

Learn more about the project at sacredredrock.com. Those who have questions and comments can reach out to contact@sacredredrock.com.

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