Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
DOWAGIAC, MICHIGAN With a theme of celebrating the strength and spirit of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi on the 18th anniversary of the Band's federal reaffirmation, tribal citizens are gathering this weekend in Dowagiac, Michigan.
It was 18 years ago on September 21, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the bill that reaffirmed the federal recognition of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.
“Pokagon sovereignty is the backbone of who we are as a people. While we culturally have many traditional responsibilities we have never given up our right to govern ourselves,”
said Matthew Wesaw, Chairman.
“Sovereignty isn't something that is given to you, it is an inherent right to govern and provide for the people who you are accountable to care for. Through history Pokagon leadership has never shied from this charge.”
Tonight the Pokagon Band is sponsoring a free concert at 6:00 pm at the Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center, located at 57072 Riverside Drive, Dowagiac, Michigan 49047. In concert will be nationally-renowned Native performers Gene Tagaban, Keith Secola and the Wild Band of Indians and Don Burnstick.
On Saturday, the Pokagon Band have a day-long Sovereignty Day celebration, beginning with a sunrise ceremony at 7:00 am. At 11:00 am, there will be a short celebration. Recognition Ceremony at 5:00 pm, which precedes a dinner. The activities conclude with fall ceremonies.
posted September 21, 2012 11:59 am edt