The DoPiKa Project

The DoPiKa Project

Celebrating the Native origins of Topeka and Shawnee County, Kansas
Our Origins

Did anybody own this land?  

Of course they did!

Learn about the Native origins of Topeka, North Topeka, and the 6 tribes who ceded land to create Shawnee County.

The DoPiKa Project 

the Six Tribes who ceded land which became shawnee county

Six tribes - the Kaw Nation, Delaware Tribe, Osage Nation, Wyandotte Nation, Shawnee Tribe, and Citizen Band Potawatomi all signed over land to the US government and moved.


The DoPiKa Project

Isaiah walker, the native Founding Father of Topeka

Those men who built a little cabin and founded Topeka didn’t just find some land and make a town ….. they had to buy the land because somebody else owned it…. A Wyandotte Indian named Isaiah Walker, and it was his Indian ‘float.’


The DoPiKa Project

The three sisters of North Topeka

The Pappan brothers may get all of the credit, but North Topeka was built upon land owned by their wives … the three Gonville Sisters, whose Kaw reserves became NOTO and more.


The DoPiKa Project

So, what does the name Topeka really mean?

There are just as many stories as there are wall lizards in Topeka about this subject, but we will give you the scoop right here.    READ MORE

Activities, events & special days

Art shows, history exhibits, public art, and more!  This section will update continuously throughout 2023.

Isaiah walker, native founding father day

July 1, 2023

The DoPiKa Project kickoff!

See Mayor Padilla’s recognition here.

Land acknowledgement - three sisters art exhibit

August - September, 2023


Activities and details forthcoming.

Call for Art here.

Do pi ka: a land acknowledgement

Alice C. Sabatini Gallery, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library

Sept 8 - Nov 26, 2023

This exhibit acknowledges and honors the original inhabitants of Shawnee County.  Many tribes have cultivated the land, built homes, named the flora and fauna, and were forcibly moved to, and away from, what we now call home.  Often the history of Topeka and Shawnee County leaves out the many Nations that have called this land home.
Do Pi Ka: A Land Acknowledgement will explore art and culture of the Indigenous people and artists who made, and continue to make, Topeka and Shawnee County their home today.

Be a part of preserving a legacy