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Allotment


Allotment was a process by which reservation lands held in common by a tribal community were split up and allotted to individual tribal members. The purpose of allotment, as with the 1861 treaty signed by the Potawatomi and the Dawes Act of 1887, was to undermine the legitimacy of tribal governments and open Native land to white settlement. This was …

Bruno Family


Like many French-Canadian settlers with ties to the Potawatomi, the Brunos were once successful fur traders and trappers. Anthony Bruneau was the son of a French settler and an unknown Blackfoot woman from around Browning, Montana. Anthony was born in Canada, and family records indicate the Potawatomi may have adopted him. Anthony married a woman named Julia, and they had …

Burnett Family


The Burnett family has a long, rich history with the Potawatomi people. French fur trader William Burnett settled on the St. Joseph River near Niles, Michigan, after the Revolutionary War. He established two successful trading posts and eventually married Kaukima, daughter of revered Potawatomi leader Nanaquiba and sister to Topinabee. Kaukima and William had seven children: James, Abraham, John, Isaac, …

Darling Family


The Darling family’s Potawatomi ties began with the marriage of Elizabeth Ouilmette and Lucius (Louis) Ripley Darling. Darling was of Scottish and Irish descent and operated a ferry. He married Elizabeth on July 15, 1936. She was the daughter of Antoine, known as one of the first residents of Chicago, and Archange Chevalier Ouilmette. Archange’s mother, Chopa, was the daughter …

Doctrine of Discovery


The 1493 Doctrine of Discovery guided the colonization of the Americas and became part of U.S. law, history, and Euro-American dominant culture. This doctrine is a set of papals from the late 1400’s put out by the Pope. They are the legal basis for the theft of lands in the non-European world by colonizing European powers and legal justification for …

HEARTH Act


In 2013, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn joined Citizen Potawatomi Nation Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett to formally approve Tribal leasing regulations meant to spur investment and commercial development on the Nation’s trust lands in central Oklahoma. The regulations gave CPN the authority to decide how it wants to do business …

Indian Child Welfare Act


Having endured the boarding school years, where children were taken far from their families and placed in schools designed to strip them of their culture, the continuation of Native child adoption by non-Indian families proved one of the direst issues facing tribal communities by the 1970’s. For generations, Indian families lost their children to federal agents, who, at their discretion, …

Indian Gaming & Regulatory Act [IGRA]


The Indian Gaming & Regulatory Act was a law passed by Congress attempting to mitigate the growing frustration states had with their inability to tax and regulate sovereign Indian nations’ gaming operations. Beginning in the 1960’s and 1970’s, tribal communities across the United States began operating bingo houses to raise money for their communities. As states also attempted to channel …

Indian Removal Act


In the years after the defeat of the British and their Indian allies in the War of 1812, the nature of the U.S. government’s Indian policy and the goal of treaty-making became increasingly hostile toward Native Americans, opening the door for the removals of the 1830s. The federal government was no longer interested in negotiating treaties that just arranged for …

Indian Reorganization Act


The Indian Reorganization Act (IRA), known also as the Wheeler-Howard Act for the two United States Senators sponsoring the bill, was the first major effort from the U.S. federal government to allow tribes to govern their own affairs. The IRA provided tribal nations with resources to create a written constitution, halted the allotment process, and authorized funds for use by …