Kee-Boon-Mein-Kaa literally means "I have quit picking huckleberries."
Every Labor Day Weekend, we gathered and celebrated the good harvest, our families and friends, and our Potawatomi way of life. We do this through song, dance, food and prayers. Though the pow wow began in 1985, our people have gathered to celebrate these things since the beginning of time.
Pokegnek pene ga edawat zhode, mine wi gage-edawat zhode |
The Pokagons have always lived here. And will always live here.
Potawatomi people have called the land in the lower Great Lakes area home for hundreds of years. Around the turn of the nineteenth century when American immigrants first came to southwestern Michigan, they would have found the Potawatomi leader Leopold Pokagon and his villagers living in what is now Bertrand Township, Michigan.
The descendants of this group, about 4,500 tribal citizens today, are the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi. The Pokagon homeland is identified now as the six counties of LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, Starke, Marshall and Kosciusko in northern Indiana and the four counties of Berrien, Cass, Van Buren and Allegan in southwest Michigan.
As Indiana's only federally-recognized tribe, and one of twelve federally-recognized tribes in Michigan, the Pokagon Band today maintains its sovereign right to self rule, and its government-to-government relationships with Indiana, Michigan and the United States government. As a sovereign Indian nation, the Pokagon Band exercises jurisdiction over its citizens and its tribal lands, maintains an independent tribal court and police department, and regulates its natural resources. An eleven-member Tribal Council, which is elected to staggered, three-year terms by Band citizens, governs the Pokagon Band. This modern tribal government places a premium on the service it provides to citizens. As they have for generations, the Pokagon people can rely on their community for support with nourishment, shelter, learning, and physical and mental healing and wellness.
The Band aims to respectfully promote and protect its culture, dignity, education, health and welfare and self-sufficiency of our Elders, our youth, our families and our future generations, while preserving Mother Earth. The Pokagon Band strives to give its people a better quality of life, and to be economically independent from federal and state governments, allowing the Band to exercise its sovereignty. Click here to go to the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi website.