To highlight some of the Cultural Heritage Center archive holdings, the Hownikan is featuring photographs and family history of every founding Citizen Potawatomi family. The Tescier family ancestors were front row witnesses to history and the birth of what would become Oklahoma. They lived through the Land Run, endured the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, and have served as elected officials of the CPN government and holders of cultural teachings over many generations.
The Young family was among the many Potawatomi who decided to become U.S. citizens and receive plots of allotted land in Indian Territory through the Treaty of 1867. They moved to Indian Territory in 1871 and settled in the community of Pleasant Prairie, which was established 5 miles northwest of present-day Wanette. Later, the Youngs would move to their allotment near Oberlin.
The Welds were among the families who made the difficult decision to leave Kansas to carve out a new life for themselves and future generations on the plains of Indian Territory in the late 1890s. Despite the hardships, the Weld children would persevere.
The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center began 2023 under new leadership. Blake Norton took over the position as director of the CHC and tribal historic preservation officer (THPO), and Keisha Wolf signed on as assistant director. They each spoke with the Hownikan about their roles and plans for the future of the CHC.
As the Family Reunion Festival returns, so do classes offered by the Cultural Heritage Center. Whether wanting to learn how to bead or get information about preserving family history, there’s something for everyone at the CHC classes.
Heritage Interview Clerk Christopher Lenggenhager hopes to see many Tribal members during Family Reunion Festival this year and aims to record interviews that serve as video time capsules for future generations. To schedule an interview, visit portal.potawatomi.org.
An important part of Family Reunion Festival, the honored families tradition recognizes the families that moved to Oklahoma following forced removal and eventually formed the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. The 2023 honored families are Johnson, Lafromboise, Lareau, LeClair, Melott, Rhodd, Tescier, Weld and Young.
This year, the Nation’s long-standing tradition of recognizing the families that moved to Oklahoma following forced removal and eventually formed the Citizen Potawatomi Nation returns to Family Reunion Festival. This year’s honored families are Johnson, Lafromboise, Lareau, LeClair, Melott, Rhodd, Tescier, Weld and Young.
To highlight some of the CPN archive holdings at the Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center, the Hownikan is featuring photographs and family history of every founding Citizen Potawatomi family. The Melott family was profoundly influential in the founding of present-day Wanette, Oklahoma.
With special care, family heirlooms may withstand regular use so the next generation can enjoy them as well. CPN Cultural Heritage Center experts share tips for caring for heirlooms.