Potawatomi Reservation – On February 16, 2016 a crowd of 120 Tribal and Community Members celebrateda successful event of the Rock Building Anniversary, adjacent to Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribal Government Center. The Building Project begins in the latter years of the 1930 and funded by the United States Government Program, Civil Public Work Administration (CPWA) and the actual completion date was February 16, 1941. The construction materials were from hand hewn rocks hauled from the Big Soldier Creek on the Reservation. The majority of the workers were Tribal Men from the PBPN community. Construction poster photos were presented for viewing at the Event. Records of the Rock Building Project are stored in “The Caves” in Lenexa, Kansas. Cost of the Project was $201,000.00. The Rock Building was previously renovated in the 1990’s by Reverend Vernon Potts, Tribal Member and his Church Members. Initially the 36 by 60 square foot Rock Building with basement was designated by the Tribe as a Community Center for Gatherings and social events, such as General Council Meetings, Funerals, Pow Wows, and Weddings. TheBuilding property site is located on the former Potawatomi Agency, before the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) moved to the new location, and name change to Horton Agency, Horton, Kansas providing Trust Services for the northeast Kansas Four Tribes.
The event featured Potawatomi Traditional Clothing, Tribal Member Photos, Tribal Military Photos, Nation’s Timeline Posters, and an array of bead work, moccasins, and Traditional dried foods in the newly acquired glass display cases. Roy Hale, Tribal Member and United States Army, Korean War Veteran provided the opening Prayer. Thomas Wabnum, Tribal Councilman was the Master of Ceremonies.
The highlight of the event was the Potawatomi Women and One Fellow Fashion Show. Live Native American Hand Drum Music was provided by Tribal Member, Adrian “Gubba” Hale. The Potawatomi Models were as follows: Julia Lewis, Lavera Bell, Marilyn Wakolee, Arlene Lingo, Roslyn Hale, Linda Hale, LaVeda Wahweotten, Frances Wabaunsee, Mary Mitchell, Tosha Wilson, Tyra Mitchell and Risten, Jr., Monty and Sug Little Axe, Mae Joslin and Jacob Wewenis, Cindy LeClere and Rambo Wewenis, Laverne Hale, and Wapi Hale. Food and refreshments were provided by the PBPN Diabetes Program and staff Melinda Williamson, Matthew Waits along with serversLinda Yazzie, Josette Berryhill and Tina Levier. Tribal Display Consultants were Mary LeClere and Jackie Mitchell. PBPN Maintenance Department staff who prepared the Rock Building for the event consisted of Charles Nez, Burton Jones, and Damon Wahquahboshkuk.
Special Guests in attendance were Jackson County Commissioners, Holton, Kansas. Participating Tribal Council Members were Liana Onnen, Chairwoman, Joyce Guerrero, Vice Chairperson, Camilla Chouteau, Secretary, Hattie Mitchell, Treasurer and Event Coordinator, and Thomas Wabnum, Member. Paula Hopkins was the designatedTribal Photographer and Pam Bowman, Executive Assistant processed the duplication of Tribal Photographs donated and volunteered by Tribal Members and their families.