The area in Oklahoma that the Potawatomi now call home is entrenched with a history that has been forged from the early 1800s. Cabins, landmarks and churches can still be seen today that still stand from when CPN members first came to what was then known as Indian Territory. The Family Reunion Festival, taking place from June 27-29, is an opportunity for today’s Tribal members to reflect and experience the past while also embracing the future by visiting new and old venues alike.
The Grand Hotel was still under construction during last year’s Festival. Now complete and taking reservations, members should check out how “Grand” it is. While there, have a look around the Grand Casino, the West Health Clinic and the growing complex located just off Interstate 40, a few miles northwest of the CPN Tribal complex at Hardesty Road and S. Gordon Cooper Drive.
The CPN Eagle Aviary off of Hardesty Rd. will be booking tours for Festival attendees to get a first-hand look at rehabilitated bald eagles. To learn more about these opportunities, please visit the eagle aviary page.
The CPN gym, also known as the P.L.A.C.E. is just more than a year old and throughout the year gives Tribal youth from around the Shawnee-Tecumseh area a place to meet. It is also the home site of the FireLodge Tribal Youth program. During Festival, the gym will host the adult basketball tournaments, but Tribal members are encouraged to check it out to get out of the summer sun.
Next to the gym is the FireLake Wellness Center. Make sure to take some time out to participate in one of the wellness centers activities during the weekend long event like the 5K or diabetes screening.
FireLake Arena will play host to numerous activities including on-site Festival registrations and the Tribal Council meeting in the afternoon prior to Grand Entry on June 28.
Relics of the past, like the Bourbonnais Cabin, which is located just north of the Cultural Heritage Center, and Sacred Heart Catholic Church just 30 minutes southeast of Shawnee, near Konawa, Okla. are also open to tours.
For more information on any of these sites to help plan your stay during Festival, visit the Tribal website at www.potawatomi.org.