The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi played host to the 2023 Potawatomi Gathering, with events scheduled at the Pine Creek Reservation and at the FireKeepers Casino near Fulton, Michigan, from July 24-29.
Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal members who attended took part in workshops, a Language Conference, contests and more.
Among those representing CPN in contests were Lauren Kelly and Craig Anderson.
Kelly, a Bourbonnais and Bruno descendant, placed second for her acrylic painting in the 2023 Art Gala. The painting, titled She Says The Cold Will Clear My Mind, also won a merit award at the Paseo Arts Association’s spring show in Oklahoma City.
“This piece depicts a teaching given to me by a really, really good-hearted auntie. She said that winter — whether the literal season of winter or a winter of the mind — calls us to rest, review our stories, and let go what needs to go,” Kelly said. “I’m not always thrilled when the cold comes, but I try to keep that teaching in mind. I’ve learned that mno bmadzewen (a good life) means respecting life’s ebbing as much as its flowing, and that’s what this painting is about.”
Kelly said it was her first year to attend Gathering, and placing in the art competition was a surprise to her.
“I’m humbled and grateful to see that this piece touched people’s hearts strongly enough to receive this recognition. I’m a big fan of David Martin’s work, so it just tickled me pink to see our names listed together,” she added. “Coming in second place to him is an immense honor.”
See more about Kelly and her art at laurenkelly.art.
Anderson, a member of the Anderson family who lives in Lucas, Texas, took second place in Men’s Senior Woodland Dancing at the powwow Saturday night, July 29. He said the style is traditional but somewhat up tempo, which he said could be a challenge for others like him who are in the 50 and up age group.
“You get to meet people and talk to people, and that’s the fun part of it,” he said. “But the dancing part of it is more fun than one old man should be allowed to have.”
Other CPN tribal members placing in the competitions included Kay Lynn Mattena, receiving second place in mixed media art, and Kent Mattena, placing second in photography.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi in Dowagiac, Michigan, will host the 2024 Potawatomi Gathering.