The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Eagle Aviary offers a permanent home to birds of prey rescued from the wild that have been injured and cannot be rehabilitated and released. In Potawatomi culture, eagles are a sacred animal that fly so high they deliver prayers to the Creator. While only a handful of Native American aviaries
exist in the U.S., this facility is the first of its kind to incorporate culturally significant elements into the facility design.
Aviary staff pride themselves on practicing sound husbandry to provide these birds permanent homes in an environment created with enrichment intended to
replicate a portion of their wild habitat. They specialize in educating community members about eagles and other raptors, providing naturally molted feathers to
tribal members and giving these birds their best lives.
The museum exhibits at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center serve to educate, promote and preserve the history of CPN. After a devastating flood in 2014, construction continues on the museum floor in order to finish 11 new exhibits that depict early Potawatomi culture and lifeways. The museum also brings to light the complicated narrative of the treaty and removal eras, features CPN veterans, and highlights the history of the Citizen Potawatomi in Kansas and Indian Territory. The gallery is expected to be complete by January 2018.
The Citizen Potawatomi Gift Shop offers Native-made and Native-themed gifts for tribal members and those interested in Native American culture and lifeways. You can find original works as well as limited prints by Native American artists, along with handmade jewelry and supplies for artisans working on their own projects. The storefront is located inside the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma. We have an expanded variety of jewelry, art, and other Native merchandise not offered in our online store.
The story of Potawatomi and other Neshnabe peoples stretches back to times that precede written histories, beginning on the East Coast of what is now North America. By the time Europeans arrived, a great migration was complete and the tribes were living around the Great Lakes, with a social structure that included a strong communal lifestyle and seasonal lifeways. The people were bound together through ties of kinship, custom and mutual necessity. Several removals devastated the Potawatomi people after Europeans moved to present-day America, but a resilient group, the Citizen Potawatomi refused to give up hope.
Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center has several divisions, including 2D archives, 3D collections, digital video and a non-lending library. These collections are created and maintained through the combined efforts of tribal administration, Cultural Resources staff and the tribal membership. Curating the diverse collections associated with Citizen Potawatomi, Bodéwadmi and Neshnabék heritage, the divisions are designed and staffed to meet the rigors of both institutional and academic worlds and currently serves as a model for interested tribes in the development of their own research facilities.
The Potawatomi language is a common thread through the culture and history of the Bodewadmi. The CPN Language Department’s mission is to create resources so people can use and speak the language without fear. CPN’s language resources include a Potawatomi dictionary, self-paced online courses and various events that are held annually for community members. The courses include Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Intermediate and Children’s courses for tribal members who want to learn the language and use it for college credit through St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma.