What is Peace Treaty? Historically, to some it has meant the pageant — the large-scale reenactment held every few years in the natural amphitheater just east of Medicine Lodge. To others, Peace Treaty is much more than the pageant. It encompasses all the activities centered around the celebration of the Native American heritage of the community of Medicine Lodge. To everyone, though, Peace Treaty is integral to the identity of Barber County. It’s in this regard that the Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Treaty Association has made some exciting changes regarding how we think of Peace Treaty as our yearly fall festival.
While it began as a chamber event, several years ago Indian Summer Days was given to the Peace Treaty Association to manage. Beginning in 2016, it became Peace Treaty’s Indian Summer Days and comprised several of Peace Treaty’s signature events, including Peace Treaty’s Powwow, Peace Treaty’s Kansas Championship Ranch Rodeo and Peace Treaty’s night show. While the association has been a steward of Indian Summer Days, that separate name was never a good fit for our identity and it presented challenges in marketing that were distractions from our primary purpose of promoting Peace Treaty.
We have ambitious plans to grow our yearly festival, and because these improvements all revolve around Peace Treaty activities the association has made the decision to discontinue referring to our festival as Peace Treaty’s Indian Summer Days in favor of simply Peace Treaty.
We’re already realizing benefits from the simplicity this change creates. The leadership for the rodeo and powwow are working more closely with the association than ever before. With all of our events under the same banner, we’re seeing efficiencies in sponsorships and marketing. Our sponsors can make one contribution to Peace Treaty and simultaneously support all our events instead of being approached by multiple committees individually, each asking for a separate donation. As we advertise Peace Treaty each year, we can simultaneously promote all our events instead of losing mindshare in the years when we’re instead promoting Indian Summer Days.
Change can be hard. We recognize there might be some short-term struggles as we adapt to the notion that Peace Treaty is our yearly festival and every few years it includes the pageant. But it’s not really a big change. With the exception of the pageant, all of Peace Treaty’s signature events — the powwow, rodeo and night show — happen every year. It’s just that now we don’t have to try to explain why they’re sometimes part of Indian Summer Days.
We hope you’ll help us spread the word. Like and share our content on Facebook and keep checking this website as we’ll be posting information about changes to this year’s schedule over the coming months. Tell your family and friends to save the date in September 2021 to come to the next pageant, but also tell them to join us for the 2020 Peace Treaty festival this coming September 24, 25 and 26.