Charles Curtis First Kaw Vice President #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth #NAHM #AmericanIndianandAlaskaNativeHeritageMonth
As a member of the Kay Nation Charles Curtis was the first American Indian to serve as the vice president of the United States. While some of his political work may have been detrimental to Native American sovereignty it was a monumental acheivment nonetheless.
Curtis grew up in North Topeka, Kansas, where he was born to a White father and a one-quarter Kaw Indian mother. He was the great-great grandson of White Plume, a Kaw chief known for offering to help the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804, according to the US Senate.
He spent much of his childhood living with his maternal grandparents on the Kaw reservation in Council Grove, Kansas. Curtis even spoke Kansa, the Siouan language of the Great Plains, before he learned English.
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