Leaders from the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) and City of Shawnee announced Tuesday the launch of Shawnee Aligned, a new initiative wherein the two governments will seek opportunities to collaborate for the betterment of the Shawnee community. As part of the announcement, Citizen Potawatomi Nation Tribal Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett and Shawnee Mayor Ed Bolt signed a cooperation agreement that will allow both entities to eliminate any duplication of efforts and collaborate on important community projects, such as water system improvements, fire and police protection, housing, transportation, economic development, improving public facilities and increasing the overall quality of life for residents.
The announcement comes one day after the Shawnee City Commission voted unanimously to formally detach lands south of the North Canadian River for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, ending current legal proceedings and formalizing the cooperative working relationship between the two governments.
“Developing a strong partnership with the City of Shawnee has long been a hope and a goal for us,” said Barrett. “As the largest employer in the region and a key economic partner, we understand that our greatest success comes when we cooperate. Shawnee Aligned is a huge step forward for the nation, the city and all of our neighbors.”
The Shawnee Aligned initiative marks a turning point for Tribal-City relations as they resolve to work collaboratively on efforts to improve the community. The cooperation agreement provides a high-level, mutual framework that will shape all future agreements, creating a path to improve the quality of life for all Shawnee residents. Primary in these goals is making the community more attractive for economic investment and positioning Shawnee for future growth.
“For many years, the conflict between the City of Shawnee and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation has prevented us from leveraging our joint potential,” said Bolt. “Shawnee Aligned represents a new era for our community – setting aside differences to collaborate on initiatives and projects that benefit the community, making Shawnee more attractive for economic investment and positioning us for growth.”
The announcement, held at the CPN Cultural Heritage Center, was attended by supporters of the initiative, including tribal leadership, business leaders, current and former elected officials, economic development professionals and other community leaders.
The full agreement is available at ShawneeAligned.com. The site will also host future announcements of collaborative efforts between the Tribe and City.