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19th Pokagon ‘Sovereignty Day’ Sept. 21

Published 10:26am Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi will be celebrating the tribe’s strength and spirit during the 19th anniversary of its federal re-affirmation with two days of celebratory events on Thursday and Saturday, Sept. 19 and 21.

Sept. 19

Potawatomi Heritage

and Education Day

Four hundred elementary and middle school students from schools in Dowagiac will learn more about the language and culture of this area’s original people during a visit to tribal land at Rodgers Lake.

9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sept. 21

Sovereignty Day


Day-long activities focus on culture and community.

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Rodgers Lake, Dowagiac

(Open to Pokagon citizens and staff only.)

After decades of struggle to restore their sovereignty, the Band was reaffirmed by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on Sept. 21, 1994.

Federal recognition, which means the U.S. government recognizes the sovereignty of a tribal nation and confirms the government-to-government relationship between the two nations, acknowledges the right of a tribe to govern itself as it had before European and American immigration.

As a sovereign Indian nation, the Pokagon Band exercises jurisdiction over its citizens and its tribal lands, maintains independent tribal courts and police department and regulates its natural resources.


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