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Potawatomi Tribe

From the Chippewa term 'potawatomink', which means, 'people of the place of the fire.' Members of the Oklahoma group are Citizen Band of Potawatomi.

The tribe first lived on the upper shores of Lake Huron, but by 1700 they had moved south into what is now Illinois and Indiana. When the Illinois tribes had been largely annihilated 75 years later, the Potawatomi took over most of the land. In 1833 and 1837, they ceded most of their land to the U.S. By 1840, they had moved west of the Mississippi River and splintered into various bands. Those who settled in Iowa became the Prairie Band, and those in Kansas, the Potawatomi of the Woods. When the government tried to establish a reservation uniting the Potawatomi, Ottawa and Chippewa in Kansas, the Pawnee declared war--but in a bloody battle, were defeated.

White settlement pressured the tribe to sell their lands in Kansas. Most became U.S. citizens by treaty (thus becoming the Citizen Band of Potawatomi) and soon sold their Kansas land to buy a new reservation in Indian Territory. Though the same 30 square mile tract had also been assigned to the Absentee-Shawnee, the two tribes coexisted there amicably. With the Potawatomi agreement (1890), the tribe received an allotment of land for each member and sold the rest of the land. The surplus was opened to settlement by a run in 1891.

From the time they began locating in Indian Territory (1870-71), many families prospered in stock raising and farming. One of the most talented and best known American Indian artists, Woodrow Crumbo, was a member. One of his murals is at the Department of the Interior Building at Washington.

Sacred Heart mission, the "cradle of Oklahoma Catholicism" at Konawa.


Potawatomi Tribe Archivist
Position open

Gene Phillips -State Archivist

Linda Simpson - Archivist-Indian Nations/Indian Territory 

Help the Potawatomi Tribe Archives grow, kindly submit your data.

If you have any cemetery records, bible records, deeds, applications for citizenship in the  Potawatomi Tribe, land patents, probate records, allotment records, etc, that pertain to the Potawatomi Tribe, please send them to me as an attachment in an e-mail to Interim File Manager. Please be sure to identify that it is for the  Potawatomi Tribe. It also needs to be a plain text file, no HTML and no images. This ensures that everybody will be able to read it, no matter what kind of web browser. Here is a help file.

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Constitution of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation-Nov 2002-Linda Simpson


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 2001-2009  Linda Simpson

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  Last Updated: 29 Aug 2009