Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Chief Judge Melissa L. Pope speaks at the second annual March for MMIP (Missing and Murdered Indigenous People) in Grand Rapids, May 5, 2023 | Laina G. Stebbins
A national gathering of Potawatomi tribal council members in Battle Creek voted on July 27 to form a historic confederation of 12 Nations representing tens of thousands of members across North America.
The gathering, hosted by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP), saw seven out of 12 Tribal Councils voting in favor of the resolution to form a confederation and the five remainders being unable to vote at the meeting.
Articles of Confederation will be ratified at a later date, but a preamble has been established declaring intent to unite Potawatomi Nations.
“We, the Bodéwadmi Confederation of Tribal Nations, represent a diverse network of Potawatomi tribal nations and desire to work collectively toward furthering principles and policies that promote Tribal Sovereignty,” the preamble reads.
NHBP Tribal Council Chairperson Jamie Stuck said in a statement that the new Confederation will present new opportunities for advancing the goals of all Potawatomi Nations.
“This marks a historical moment,” Stuck said. “First-of-its-kind for the Potawatomi Nations, this Confederation will enable our Nations to have a stronger and much larger voice, with all of us collaborating to achieve the common goals not only for our People today but also for the next Seven Generations.”
The Nations of the Potawatomi stretch across the American midwest and parts of Canada to the north, but also extend as far south into Oklahoma and Texas. Match-E-Bash-She-Nash-E-Wish Tribal Council Member Ben Brenner expressed his support for the document’s ability to join the Nations in their efforts to preserve Potawatomi culture.
“This document and the new confederacy symbolize our commitment to the preservation and knowledge of our culture, language and ways,” Brenner said.
The planned Confederacy will include the Anishanabeg of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, Beausoleil First Nation, Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation, Forest County Potawatomi, Hannahville Indian Community, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Prairie Band Potawatomi Indian Nation, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish (Gun Lake Potawatomi), Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Walpole Island First Nation and Wasauksing First Nation.
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