Citizens and leaders from the tribe, along with national and regional dignitaries, gathered for a grand opening at the new Pokégenk Édawat Tribal Village in South Bend. Attendees were invited to walk through the finished housing units, now housing citizens.
Joining Tribal Council members and other Pokagon Band leadership were Administrator of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Eastern Woodlands Office of Native American Programs, Mark Butterfield, and Bryan Hewitt of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Also present were South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg along with other city and St. Joseph County officials.
The Village, located at 3115 Locust Road in South Bend, consists of a duplex containing two 2-bedroom homes, and a townhome building, which includes two 2-bedroom townhomes and two 3-bedroom townhomes. Eventually, the site could have 44 housing units, a community center and facilities for health services and tribal government programs.
“Two centuries ago there were several Potawatomi villages in this area of Indiana. In fact, we Potawatomi called South Bend Zenba Odanek,” said Chairman Warren. “But today marks the beginning of a new era for a South Bend Pokagon community. Today we celebrate tribal land and a tribal village in Indiana once again.”
Singers performed drum songs as part of the grand opening celebration, and veterans posted flags, prior to an invocation and remarks by invited guests. Attendees were then able to walk through the homes in the village.
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The Tribal Village sits on 167 acres, which will also house a Tribal Police Substation and Four Winds Casino South Bend opening in early 2018.