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Wabaunsee [He Walks at Dawn]


Wabaunsee was a powerful and influential headman among the Potawatomi, Odawa and Ojibwe villages of Illinois and Indiana. With a reputation that preceded him, Wabaunsee was not only a noted veteran of the Osage War, Battle of Tippecanoe and War of 1812, but an esteemed religious leader within the ancient Midewiwin Medicine Lodge. Openly opposed to American expansion, yet understanding …

Wabshkebyek [Sage]


Sage and its smoke are used for purification. This medicine is for ceremonies to purify the environment and those in attendance.

Walters, Andrew


Potawatomi Family: Bourbonnais (Francois/Catish) Andrew Thomas Walters began work with the City of Oak Ridge North Police Department in Texas in 1988 and was promoted from investigator to lieutenant during his time. In 1999, the mayor asked him to become chief of police, a title he held for the next two decades. As chief, he acted as liaison with local, …

War of 1812


With the United States and Great Britain on the brink of a second war, tensions between Northwestern tribes and settlers reached an impasse. Angered by their defeat at Tippecanoe, Tecumseh, Main Poc and their Native confederacy increased assaults on settlers in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, forcing many to sell their homesteads and flee the Territory. All attempts by the U.S. …

Watseka [Daughter of the Evening Star]


Watseka, also known as Watchekee, was the daughter of respected warrior and leader Shabbone and Monashki. Watseka had a reputation for being intelligent and beautiful. Family records indicate she was born during a bright star. Potawatomi often used natural phenomenon to denote time rather than years. After the Potawatomi signed the 1833 Treaty of Chicago, she was among those who …

Wdodamewan [Clan System]


Protecting the Neshnabek from their destructive pasts, Mamogosnan [Creator] bestowed two gifts to the people. First was spiritual strength in the form of our ancient ceremonies, providing balance amid the spiritual and physical elements of life. Second was our traditional Wdodamewan [clan system], preserving and maintaining spiritual and social order among our people. Some of our oldest clans are the …

Wédasé [Warrior]


The rank of warrior among Potawatomi was one of great honor and responsibility. Those who were victorious in battle were given the title of Wédasé, meaning brave or strong hearted. Often, they became members of the village warrior society, defending and policing the community. A rite of passage, warrior training began at an early age. Young boys were taught by …

Wesselhoft, Paul


Paul Chrisstarlon Wesselhöft is a fifth-generation Oklahoman and descendant of Chief Abram Burnett, known for leading the Potawatomi through the turbulent 1860s. His Potawatomi name is Naganit, meaning, “Leader.” He has served as the legislator for District 9 since March 2007. An ordained Southern Baptist minister who spent nearly two decades as a U.S. Army Chaplain, Representative Paul Wesselhöft also …

Whistler, Bob


Bob Whistler has served as the legislator for District 3 since 2008, when the CPN constitution was ratified to include representation for the entire United States. His Potawatomi name is Bmashi, “He Soars.” Although born in Cushing, Oklahoma, the Bourassa descendant grew up in San Diego, California, from the age of 3. He graduated from Arkansas City High School in …

Wilmette, Antoine


Antoine Ouilmette [Wilmette] was a French-Canadian fur trader and early resident of Fort Dearborn [Chicago]. As an agent for the American Fur Company, Ouilmette move to the area in 1790 and worked for well-known trader John Kinzie. Here he married Archange Chevalier in 1796, daughter of Francois and Marianne-Chopa. The couple had eight children. Due to Archange’s Potawatomi heritage and …