Pokagon Fund celebrates 10 years with library display

DOWAGIAC — Visitors to the Dowagiac District Library this month will be able to step into and learn more about the history of a local organization.

The Pokagon Fund has placed a display in the Dowagiac District Library in celebration of the organization’s 10th anniversary. The display showcases historical documents, honors former Pokagon Band elder and leader Henry White, who was instrumental in the creation of the fund, traces the steps leading to the creation of The Pokagon Fund and displays traditional Pokagon wedding garb.

“The display is kind of two in one,” said John Krsul, a representative with the Pokagon Fund, who personally placed the display in the Dowagiac District Library. “We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of [the Pokagon Fund], but also celebrating and showcasing Pokagon art.”

The Pokagon Fund is a nonprofit, private foundation supported by revenue from The Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Michigan, which uses funds to support Michiana communities in the areas of education, poverty reduction and community vitality, according to its website. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Pokagon Fund has granted more than $25 million in awards and scholarships. In Dowagiac, grantees have received more than $1 million dollars over the last 10 years from the Pokagon Fund. Among the several Dowagiac grantees to have received funds from the Pokagon Fund are ACTION Ministries and the Dowagiac Housing Commission.

The Dowagiac District Library will be the final location of the display, which has travelled to various libraries across the Michiana region. Krsul said it was fitting that Dowagiac will be the final location of the display, as the city is the home of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, which is instrumental to the funding of the Pokagon Fund.

“Really what we are celebrating, in addition to the 10th anniversary, is the generosity of the Pokagon Band,” Krsul said. “This was a totally voluntary gift to the communities that are in the area of the casino.”

To celebrate the Pokagon Band, the Pokagon Fund display has been featuring Pokagon art. At the Dowagiac District Library, that art is represented through hand-made traditional wedding clothes that were once worn by members of the Pokagon Band.

“The Pokagon Band has some marvelous artists, and art has always been a part of the culture,” Krsul said. “They have done magnificent work when it comes to baskets, pottery, painting, beading and, of course, the clothes that are worn.”

Krsul said he hopes those who see the display will learn more about the Pokagon Fund, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and what Pokagon Fund grantees have done in the community.

“This celebration is just meant to focus on the Pokagon Fund, but our grantees and the communities they serve,” he said.

Cass County

Van Buren/Cass District Health Department confirms COVID-19 associated death of a student in Van Buren County

Cass County

Cassopolis man gets probation for drunk driving

Cass County

South Bend man resentenced in 1997 Union murder case

Dowagiac

Army veteran talks his experience in Afghanistan

Business

Local farm markets ready for fall season

Business

Mason’s Pumpkins preparing for second-annual Harvest Festival

Dowagiac

DUS, teachers continue contract talks

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Area History Museum fundraiser raises $40,000

Giving

Wolverine Pipeline, area organizations partner to lend veteran a helping hand

Business

Cassopolis woman opens vintage, antique store downtown

Brandywine Education

Tickets on sale for Brandywine Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Education

New tech students race marbles to raise money for essential workers

Berrien County

MGCF awards $121,182 in grants to Berrien, Cass counties

Berrien County

Berrien County reports lower COVID-19 cases in schools following mask mandate

Berrien County

Berrien County amends transportation funding requests

Cassopolis

Dowagiac man found guilty of drunk driving

Cass County

Underground Railroad Society of Cass County wins Michigan Humanities Council 2021 Outstanding Humanities Organization Award

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Sept. 17-22

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township/Edwardsburg Police Log: Sept. 13-20

Business

Boutique yoga, wellness studio opens in Edwardsburg

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department hosts educational event in recognition of Infant Mortality Awareness Month

Business

Apple Festival Grande Parade is back, looking for participants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 995,910 cases, 20,700 deaths

Education

Parents protest masks at Niles Community Schools Board of Education meeting