Culture

The Citizen Potawatomi are Algonquian-speaking people who originally occupied the Great Lakes region of the United States. Originally, the Potawatomi were part of the Three Fires Council made up of the Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Odawa, collectively known as Anishnabek peoples. By the end of the 18th century, tribal villages were being displaced by white settlements, ultimately ushering in the American treaty era. Through a series of treaties, beginning in 1789, their tribal estate equating to more than eighty-nine million acres was gradually reduced in size. The federal government continued to reduce Potawatomi land holding by removing them to smaller reserves in Iowa, Missouri, and finally Kansas in 1846. In 1861, the Potawatomi in Kansas was officially divided by way of treaty. The treaty required its signers to surrender their tribal membership and adopt U.S. citizenship, in-turn creating the foundation for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. It was a decision that forever shaped the culture and lives of our people and subsequently led to their eventual migration to Indian Territory [Oklahoma].

Today, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation is 1 of 39 federally recognized Native American tribes with headquarters in the state of Oklahoma. The CPN is a thriving nation that is actively working to retain its culture while being a frontrunner in Native American business.

Below are links to more in-depth information regarding our history and culture.


CPN Cultural Heritage Center

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center exists to educate tribal members, the greater Native American community, and other visitors about the historical and contemporary aspects of the tribe.

Family Reunion Festival

The annual Family Reunion Festival of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation is a celebration of native culture for the Potawatomi. The festival occurs yearly during the final weekend of June and is open only to tribal members and their guests. The activities include Grand Entry, cultural classes, a dance contest and General Council.

Gathering of Nations

The Gathering of Potawatomi Nations is hosted each year by one of the nine bands of Potawatomi. The Gathering provides an opportunity for members of all bands to come together and celebrate their Potawatomi heritage.


Eagle Aviary

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Eagle Aviary houses eagles rescued from the wild that are injured and cannot be rehabilitated. The eagles will be taken care of for the remainder of their lives at this facility. The aviary allows CPN access to naturally molted feathers, which will be distributed to tribal members for cultural and religious purposes.  In addition, the facility gives the CPN the means to save the Creator’s great messenger as well as the opportunity to reconnect our people to the living eagle.

Trail of Death

In 1838, the Potawatomi Indians in the state of Indiana were forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands by order of the U.S. government. The 859 Potawatomi who started the journey travelled across Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and finally Kansas before finally arriving at their intended destination. The loss of life, 41 in total, resulted in the removal becoming known as the Potawatomi Trail of Death.


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