Sunday, 14 February 2016

Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma

The Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma prides itself in its enriched seven hundred year history. Before the beginnings of the United States, they inherited areas along the North Platt River in Nebraska. As the U.S. government began interfering in the affairs of Native Americans, Congress labelled them as a "friendly tribe". The Pawnee were present in a lot of wars that enveloped the nation. Having fought in the Indian wars, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom, the Pawnee take a great sense of accomplishment in serving their country. In accordance, they host dance events to remember Memorial Day, Veterans Day and even Christmas Day; also hosting an event for the Pawnee Indian Veterans Day on the weekend closest to 4th July each year.

The flag is a dominant symbol in Pawnee culture. The eight arrowheads symbolise the eight wars they have battled through. A central figure on the flag is the wolf, to suggest cunning and courage, with a peace pipe standing for the peace of their people and a tomahawk for defense placed underneath in a cross formation. Throughout their website, there are stories of their involement in wars and speak highly of one story that discusses a battle which saw them outnumbered by double against armed soldiers but drove them away in order to preserve their land. This is a testament to their pride and sense of honour that runs through the heart of their community.

There are several job opportunities within the community and use their website to advertise these. There are departments for education, finance, law enforcement, and even a Pawnee Nation Court and Nation Government as to regulate the acts in their community by their standards. The offices also offer housing, education, health, social and employment aid and services to tribe members. An interesting point to notice is their advertisements for Stonewolf Casino and shows images of Native Americans working as waitresses and game hosts, evidencing further the Native American involvement in the casino industry to stimulate the Pawnee economy in this circumstance.

It is said that the Pawnee tribe claimed more than 60,000 members in the early 18th century and today has a reduced 3,200 enrolled members.

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