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Bergeron, Francis Xavier


Francis Xavier Bergeron was a French-Canadian born near Quebec, Canada, and arrived around the Kankakee area in the late 1830s. After removal west of the Mississippi, a Potawatomi tribal member named Watchekee or Watseka often made trips back to Illinois. She and Francis met on one of these excursions and wed around 1840. They had four children: Jean Batiste, Catherine …

Bmodéwzewen [Footlocker]


31in W x 25in H x 19in D The camel back trunk was used as a footlocker by David P. Johnson when he attended Carlisle Indian Industrial School [Pennsylvania] from 1895-1899. The trunk is made of wood, metal and leather. Embossed on the latch is the patent date, July 9, 1872. Stenciled on the side of the trunk is, Indian …

Bourbonnais Cabin


The Bourbonnais Cabin is a culturally significant home located on Tribal land near the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center. Many see it as a physical connection to the past and cherish the experience to stand where their ancestors once stood. The Bourbonnais were one of the first families that moved from Kansas to Indian Territory, establishing Citizen Potawatomi in …

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, …

Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center


The Cultural Heritage Center houses the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s museum, archives, research center & library, Tribal Heritage Productions, veteran memorial, Tribal Language and Tribal Enrollment Departments. It was envisioned as a living history museum and cultural center, where tribal members, the Native American community and the public at large could learn about the culture and history of the Citizen Potawatomi …

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 …

Indian Territory Reservation


The provisions for Citizen Potawatomi’s move to the Indian Territory were stipulated in a treaty signed on February 27, 1867. Signatories and the officials from the Office of Indian Affairs agreed that a delegation of Citizen Potawatomi travel to the Indian Territory and select a tract of land, not exceeding 30 miles square. The treaty stipulated that they would buy …

Kishki [Cedar]


Cedar is used to bless, purify and protect. Potawatomi use cedar and its smoke in our ceremonies to defend from and combat evil spirits.

Land Runs


The Indian Territory land runs remain some of the most notable events in the state’s history. The six that took place between 1889 and 1895 helped pave the way to Oklahoma statehood in November of 1907. Many people associate them with a feeling of excitement in the air as pioneers and cowboys waited to claim their new property in uninhabited …