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.
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.
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.
Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Chicago-based artist Andrea Carlson made a splash in 2021 when her piece “You are on Potawatomi Land” was installed along the RiverWalk in downtown Chicago.
To highlight some of the CHC’s archival holdings, the Hownikan is featuring photographs and family history of every founding Citizen Potawatomi family. The LeClair family history can be traced back to Wisconsin and Illinois, through war, forced removals, and kinship ties with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, to present-day Pottawatomie County. Read more at cpn.news/leclair.
Through their early years in Potawatomi ancestral homelands in the north, a forced migration to Kansas and many challenges creating a new legacy in southern Pottawatomie County, the Lareau family drew upon their strength and resolve to persevere.
The roots of the Lafromboise family extend to present-day Chicago, Illinois, a history preserved through family stories and documentation that are now held at the CPN Cultural Heritage Center.
The Colonial and Intertribal War series brings brief introductions to the conflicts between the Potawatomi, Nishnabe, and other tribal and colonial powers spanning 200 years between 1628 and 1830. Throughout that time, the Potawatomi participated in nine major conflicts prior to the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and forced removal by the U.S. government along the Trail of Death. The Beaver Wars began in 1628 and were the longest of those nine conflicts, lasting more than 70 years.