The Potawatomi Trail of Death began today in 1838. More than 850 Tribal members walked 660 miles from Indiana to Kansas. Written and visual records provide insight into this turbulent time and help present-day Potawatomi remember and honor their ancestors’ trials.
In this episode, we’ll hear about the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 and its effect on tribes, discuss the connection between cartography and Indigeneity, and learn the history of an artist who documented the Potawatomi Trail of Death in the late 1830s.
Because George Winter’s sketches and paintings serve as the only artistic record of any forced removal, CPN Cultural Heritage Center staff chose to use his pieces as key features within the Forced From Land and Culture: Removal gallery.
One Tribal member rose above Western European ideologies of women and leadership. Massaw, daughter of Potawatomi Chief Wassato and wife of a French-Canadian fur trader, held standings as a Tribal headman and prominent business owner.
Potawatomi headmen like Chief Ashkum (More and More) addressed crowds on behalf of the Potawatomi during Manifest Destiny, bringing to light the long-term, negative implications of losing the land and connection to the Great Lakes region.
Amidst an era of increased expansion by non-Native settlers into the United States’ western frontiers, a single piece of legislation codified federal policy on the topic of removing tribal people from their lands. On May 28, 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law. This legislation authorized the federal government to forcibly Read More »
An exceprt from the journal of Potawatomi chronicler George Winter regarding 19th century Potawatomi leader Kee-wau-nay (Prairie Chicken). “Kee-wau-nay was a war chief, one of the old patriarchs of the Pottawattamies of the Wabash. The village of Kee-wau-nay and the charming lake which was in close vicinity was named after the chief. “He was an Read More »
The resurgence in positive portrayals of Native American culture has come with unforeseen consequences in recent decades. A drive for purity – specifically in terms of defining what it means to be Indian – has become a prominent topic of discussion in places like Oklahoma, where so many tribal nations, cultures and peoples intermingled. Thanks Read More »
Kee-wau-nay was a war chief, one of the old patriarchs of the Pottawattamies of the Wabash. The village of Kee-wau-nay and the charming lake which was in close vicinity was named after the chief. He was an old man of consideration among his people…. He was familiar with the citizens of Logansport [Indiana] who respected Read More »
An excerpt from George Winter’s journal regarding Pash Po Ho. Winter was a participant and chronicler of the Potawatomi Trail of Death. “Pash Po Ho was an aboriginal gentleman-he was considered the best dressed Pottawattamie Indian in the nation, and was exceedingly graceful when mounted upon his handsomely equipped pony. “The heavy plated bit-handsome bridle-the Read More »