Throughout Potawatomi history, women have contributed to Nishnabé communities in innumerable ways. Some prominent female leaders since the 1800s include Massaw, Watseka, Mary Ann Benache, Joyce Abel, Beverly Hughes and more.
Since time immemorial, Potawatomi have come together to build community through traditional games such as zhoshke’nayabo (snow snake), gwzege’wen (bowl and dice) and mamkeznéwen (moccasin). The Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center plans to release these games spring 2021 on a free, online format.
Feb. 8, 2021, marks 134 years since President Grover Cleveland signed The Dawes General Allotment Act. This policy divided tribal land into individual holdings, and it included provisions for opening the leftover plots to non-Native settlement.
The Bergeron Potawatomi family roots begin along the Kankakee River in Bourbonnais Grove, Illinois, with Watchekee, the daughter of Potawatomi/Odawa Chief Shabonna and Monashki.
Dr. Kelli Mosteller, Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center director, oversees the Nation’s efforts to uphold NAGPRA by working with Native communities across the United States to ensure the accountability of museums and other institutions.
The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center regularly honors and recognizes Tribal servicemen and women. The Veterans Spotlight case currently highlights Darling family descendant Denny Hopkins who served the United States as a U.S. Navy quartermaster.
The first Oklahoma land run took place on April 22, 1889, and established present-day Oklahoma City and Guthrie in one day. The Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s historical ties are with the Land Runs of 1891, which took place on Sept. 22, 23 and 28.
Many Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal members seek to learn more about their Native American heritage and family trees, and numerous on and offline resources exist to aid in the process.
After founding and ministering at several churches in Oklahoma and Kansas, Charles LeClair felt called back to the military. He became the first Native American Southern Baptist chaplain in the Army and attended Fort Hamilton chaplain school in New York.
More than 850 Potawatomi made the journey, and 42 perished, mostly children and elderly. Written and visual records help chronicle this trying time in the Tribe’s history, and utilizing these resources help Tribal members and others acknowledge the tenacity and resilient spirit of the Potawatomi people.