Centuries ago, the Potawatomi people numbered more than 10,000 and occupied and controlled almost 30 million acres in the Great Lakes region. In the 16th Century, the Potawatomi migrated south and settled along the shores of Lake Michigan where they lived close to the Ottawa and Chippewa tribes.
Tribal Statistics There are roughly 1,400 FC Potawatomi tribal members. The Potawatomi Reservation, located primarily in Forest County, totals 12,000 acres.
The Potawatomi Indians were farming people. Potawatomi women planted and harvested corn, beans, squash, and tobacco, as well as gathering wild rice and berries. The men hunted deer, elk, and wild birds and caught fish. The Potawatomis also tapped trees for maple syrup as Michigan people do today.
The largest American Indian population in Wisconsin, the Menominee, was pressured to sell away 11,600 square miles of land along the lower Fox River.9 The Treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1825 was significant in the history of American Indians in Wisconsin, after European settlement.
Potowatami indians today are divided into seven distinct bands in the United States and three bands in Canada. They are a Woodland Indian tribe.
Under Indian Removal, they eventually ceded many of their lands, and most of the Potawatomi relocated to Nebraska, Kansas, and Indian Territory, now in Oklahoma. Some bands survived in the Great Lakes region and today are federally recognized as tribes.
Shabonee, also spelled Shabbona, (born c. 1775, near Maumee River [Ohio, U.S.]—died July 17, 1859, Morris, Ill., U.S.), Potawatomi Indian chief, hero of a Paul Revere-style ride through northern Illinois in 1832, the purpose of which was to warn white settlers of an imminent Indian raid during the Black Hawk War.
Today, the Forest County Potawatomi Community is thriving with an enrolled membership of about 1,400. Nearly half of the Tribe lives on the reservation, comprised of four communities in the southern section of Forest County, Wisconsin.
In the early twenty-first century religion in the Potawatomi communities embraces Christianity, the Dream Dance, and the Native American Church.
Potawatomi villages usually also included a sweat lodge, meat-drying huts, and a ballfield. The Indian Service has now built frame houses for most of the Potowatomi people, but some Forest Potawatomi still live in their wigwams, which they make from poles and cat-tail mats, covered by birch bark rolls.
In 1851, Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act which created Native American Indian reservations. Today, reservations can be found in 25 states. The state with the most reservations is California with 121 reservations. Some reservations such as the Navajo reservation span more than one state.
Origin of Kenosha, Wisconsin In Chippewa, “Kinoje,” a pike or pickerel. In 1837, a meeting of the inhabitants of the place was called, and the name of Southport was adopted, the place being the southermost part of the lake in Wis. In 1850 the name was changed to Kenosha, the Indian name for pike.
A: Wisconsin’s name evolved from “Meskonsing,” an English spelling of the French version of the Miami Indian name for the Wisconsin River, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society. “We can finally be confident that our state’s name means ‘ river running through a red place. ‘ ”
Definition of Potawatomi 1a: an Indian people of the lower peninsula of Michigan and adjoining states. b: a member of such people. 2: the Algonquian language of the Potawatomi people.
Potawatomi, Algonquian-speaking tribe of North American Indians who were living in what is now northeastern Wisconsin, U.S., when first observed by Europeans in the 17th century.