Bus Leaves for the Gathering

August 09, 2011 –

MAYETTA:  A bus load of approximately 50 Prairie Band Potawatomi elders left this morning for the 2011 Gathering being held in Hannahville Indian Community (Wilson, Mich.) Aug. 9-13.

The group is traveling to Welch, Minn. today and plans to stay at Treasure Island Resort & Casino tonight.  Tomorrow they are scheduled to arrive in Hannahville and will stay at the Island Resort Casino there.

Gathering activities kick off Wednesday with the lighting of the sacred fire followed by an All Potawatomi Tribal Council meeting and Economic Development conference.   A Language conference is also on tap to begin tomorrow.

Thursday through Saturday will be filled with events including a golf tournament, activities for youth including a teen dance for ages 13-17 and the Miss Potawatomi contest.  Additionally there will be tours of the Hannahville Indian community, sports activities, arts and crafts sessions, vendors and a pow-wow.

Travelers who are on the bus will leave Sunday morning for the Meskwaski Casino near Tama, Iowa and stay that night arriving home the next day.

LaVerne Hale, activities coordinator for the Fire Keepers Elder Center, is coordinating the trip details and Lance Wishkeno is the emergency services technician for the group.  Ron Jessepe and Frank Parker are also driving an extra vehicle with passengers that will follow the bus.  A few members of Road & Bridge and the Construction/Maintenance departments are also helping to drive items to the Gathering and assisted with today’s loading of the bus.

The Gathering, in its 17th year, brings together all nine of the Potawatomi Nations throughout the United States and Canada to celebrate their culture and communities and to meet and learn from each other.

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Passengers wave goodbye on the bus.

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T.J. Kitchkommie (white shirt) was one of the volunteers loading the bus today who helped Cheryl Walker with her things.

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Ron Jessepe and Frank Parker drove this van that followed the bus and carried tribal members  and their luggage.

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Chuck Jacobson, who works in the Construction/Maintenance department, waves goodbye to the group as they took off.  Crossroads Tours provided the bus that is being driven by Keith Groves from Olathe, Kan