Families gather to celebrate survival, culture, and wellness

By Micky Magnuson-Martin, Tribal Council member

Every year Tribal Council participates in at least one multiday retreat focusing on long-term goal setting and strategic planning. At every retreat, discussion naturally occurs relating to our shared history, trauma all our families experienced, and the effects historical traumas have on Pokagon citizens today. To address historical trauma, Tribal Council made a commitment to host regular events that allow the Pokagon community to learn, discuss, explore, and heal together.

This spring, Celebrating Our Survival, held at Southwest Michigan College, allowed the Pokagon community the opportunity to talk about historical trauma and encourage wellness activities. Celebrating Our Survival was organized as a family gathering and mini-conference with keynote addresses and Potawatomi guest presenters scheduled throughout the day. History, language, and culture took center stage as one hundred Pokagon citizens participated in a variety of fun learning opportunities. The fact that our ancestors were able to survive violent extermination and assimilation efforts is proof that the Pokagon community is made up of strong resilient people. Another family gathering is currently in the works scheduled for October 2017. Tribal Council looks forward to seeing more Pokagon citizens this fall.