Historical Timeline

First migration to Michigan’s lower peninsula. According to Potawatomi tradition, the Odawas, Ojibwas and Potawatomi were initially a single tribe, known as “three fires” or “three brothers,” due to their similar way of life.

War ensued when the Iroquois Confederacy, supplied with British firearms, began infringing upon Potawatomi hunting territory.

First known contact with the white civilization. Drawn by the curiosity of white skin and long beards, the Potawatomi, then living in the Michigan area, traveled to Wisconsin to meet the French explorer Jean Nicolet.


The Potawatomi were driven into the Wisconsin area by the Iroquois Confederacy, and there entered into trade relations with the French, becoming politically and economically dependent upon the French.


The Potawatomi allied with the French during the Seven Years War, who eventually lost the battle for control of the “New World.” In need of trade goods, the Potawatomi entered into an alliance with the British.

When the Revolutionary War began, the Potawatomi initially chose to stay neutral, but eventually sided with the English in a losing battle. The American colonies made the tribes pay dearly for siding with the British. The Potawatomi referred to the American colonies as “13 Fires.” The Potawatomi and other tribes aided in the victorious uprising at Fort Recovery, Ohio.


A coalition of Potawatomi, Delaware and Mingos defeated an American militia commanded by Col. William Crawford. In tribal legend, the Delaware were considered the “older brother” by the Potawatomi. Battle of Blue Licks, August 18, was the last major Potawatomi action in the Revolutionary War.


Preliminary treaty signed November 30, ending the Revolutionary War. The British maintained ties with the tribes in case the union between the states crumbled.


Several treaties, including the Treaty of Fort Wayne eroded the Potawatomi land base in Illinois and Indiana.

Potawatomi sided with the great Shawnee leader, Tecumseh, who advocated a “Red Confederacy” to defeat the oncoming white civilization. The tribes failed to resolve their differences and the “divide and conquer” concept prevailed.

As natural resources and the fur trade declined, the Potawatomi began to rely more heavily on the commodities and government of the white man.


Many new agencies were established at Green Bay, Prairie du Chien and Peoria.

Forts were built at Chicago, Green Bay, Prairie du Chien and Rhode Island. Tribal fragmentation and growing dependence upon annuities made the Potawatomi susceptible to the government’s aggressive land policies in the post-war period.

The 1829 Treaty of Prairie du Chien reserved two sections of land near Paw Paw Grove, Illinois for Potawatomi Chief Shab-eh-nay and his Band.

Prompted by humanitarian reasons, the U.S. government initiated a removal policy, depriving the Potawatomi of additional land through the treaty process. In 1830 the Indian Removal Act narrowly passed and was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson.

The Potawatomi relinquished the remainder of their initial 28 million-acre homeland in the Great Lakes area when the Treaty of Chicago was signed, except the reservation granted by the Treaty of Prairie du Chien, which was never included in the cession treaties. The tribe splintered, with some moving west, others fleeing to Canada, and some finding refuge in the nearby forest. Some tribes later returned to the area.

The Potawatomi settled in “The Platte Country” area of Missouri. The State of Missouri soon annexed the land after a successful lobbying effort.

The Potawatomi divided into two separate groups. One group went to the Council Bluffs area of the future state of Iowa; the other settled in future Linn County, Kansas. The tribe was divided over the acceptance of European culture and religion.

The Potawatomi resided in two separate areas until the settlers and politicians annexed the tribal land. In July 1846, a treaty reunited the two Potawatomi groups, however, they did not settle together. One tribe settled on the Kansas River and the other on the Big and Little Soldier Creeks in future Jackson County. Tribal land encompassed 576,000 acres.

In 1849, the reservation granted to Chief Shab-eh-nay in the Treaty of Prairie du Chien was illegally sold through public auction by the U.S. government. Since an act of Congress or a subsequent treaty is necessary to extinguish the Tribe’s right to that reservation, it continues to legally belong to the Prairie Band.

The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act opened tribal land to white settlement. Squatters occupied tribal land before treaties could be signed.

Past tribal land differences, based largely on religion, could not be resolved. A new treaty was concluded, leading to many members of the tribal band from Linn County receiving allotments and becoming U.S. citizens. Meanwhile, the Prairie Band retained the Reservation, choosing to follow their traditional, ancestral ways.

The 1861 treaty was revised to give those Potawatomi Nation members who received allotments the option of relocating to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) at a later date. Some of those who received allotments exercised that option in 1871. In 1872, Congress created a new tribal government, the Citizen Band Potawatomi, for those who relocated to Oklahoma. The Prairie Band of Potawatomi kept the Reservation established under the 1846 Treaty.

Despite tribal objections, passage of the Dawes Act forced additional allotments. The law made it easier for tribal members to sell their lands within the Reservation. While the Reservation boundaries stayed the same, the amount of land owned by members of the Prairie Band soon dwindled.


Despite having no U.S. citizenship, many tribal members fought in World War I. Leonard Tapsee lost his life in France, in 1918.

The Snyder Act or “Indian Citizenship Act” was approved on June 2, 1924, granting Native Americans born in the United States full U.S. citizenship. At the time many Native Americans were still denied voting rights by individual state or local laws.

The Great Depression begins. The tribe, like most of the country, improvised to survive.

Indian Reorganization Act. Opposed by those tribal members favoring a “Chief” concept of government. A business committee formed in the mid-1930s.

World War II begins. Many more tribal members serve honorably in the war. Over 250 Indians from the four reservations in Kansas enlisted. Laverne “Sas weh” Thomas died March 3, 1945, at Iwo Jima and George “Wamego” Wamego died in France.

Indian Claims Commission formed, marking the beginning of Minnie Evans’ leadership.

Korean War. More tribal members participate. Called the “Forgotten War.” Vernon Mzhickteno lost his life in this war.

Minnie Evans intervened to prevent tribe from being eliminated.

Vietnam Conflict. A time of division within the country and the Potawatomi Reservation. Victor Hale and Martin Jim Jr. lost their lives. Their names appear on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Close to 58,202 men and women died between 1959 and 1975. Among these were 626 Kansans, 382 Indians and seven women.

Tribal constitution suspended by the Bureau of Indian Affairs due to the tribe’s interior political power struggle — an unpopular decision among tribal members.

Tribal constitution reinstated, due to a calming of tribal factionalism, resulting in new programs and housing. Thirty-six homes were built in phase one of the Housing and Urban Development program. Sixty more followed. O’Ketchoshawno Center built — a combination office, senior citizen center and gymnasium.

Tribe assumes control of a bingo operating venture, stabilizing financial operations for the next 10 years.


National Indian Gaming Act passed. The express purpose of the act was to provide a federal statutory basis for operation of gaming by Indian tribes on Indian lands, promoting economic development and strong tribal governments.

On June 23, Governor Finney approves compacts for the four Kansas Indian tribes, but is later overruled by a Kansas Supreme Court decision stating prior legislative approval is necessary.

First Potawatomi gathering in Canada, hosted by the Canadian Potawatomi. Cultural ideas, traditions and history were exchanged by all seven bands of Potawatomi.

Kansas state legislature approves tribal-state compact by a slim margin. Second Potawatomi gathering in Mayetta, Kansas. Hosted by the Prairie Band.

Third Potawatomi gathering in Wilson, Michigan. Hosted by the Hannaville Potawatomi. Tribe opens temporary casino on October 25.

May 14 ground-breaking for New Harrah’s Prairie Band Casino facility. Road Improvement Project initiated. Early Childhood Education Center dedicated. Language Preservation Grant approved by ANA. Fourth Potawatomi gathering in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Hosted by the Citizen Band of Potawatomi.

New Harrah’s Prairie Band Casino opens January 12. Road Improvement Project completed, ending years of sub-standard road conditions. Fifth Potawatomi gathering in Niles, Michigan. New Tribal Law Enforcement Center completed.

New Tribal Government Center completed. Work starts on new Senior Citizen Building. Sixth Potawatomi gathering in Dowagiac, Michigan. Hosted by the Pokagon Band of Michigan. PBP Nation Station gas station and convenience store completed. Second phase of Road Project starts. New housing planned for Reservation.


  • New Elder Center opens.
  • Potawatomi Gathering is held in Carter, Wisconsin.
  • Construction begins on 24 new homes.
  • Harrah’s Prairie Band Casino expands adding 250 slot machines.
  • Bingo Hall returns to its original location at 162 and Q Road.
  • Government Center lower level expanded to provide additional services.


  • Reservation Road Improvement Plan put into place.
  • Groundbreaking for new Boy’s and Girl’s Club building.
  • State of the art Fire station completed.
  • Ben-no-tteh Wigwam Early Childhood Center addition completed.
  • Potawatomi Gathering held in Canada.
  • New 5-year contract written with Harrah’s for management of Prairie Band Casino.
  • The Nation contributes $200,000 to the Royal Valley school district to support the education of youth.
  • Churches on the Reservation are renovated.
  • Phase one of the wastewater treatment plan is completed with a new treatment plant serving the Government Center.
  • 10,300 acres of land are purchased and returned to the Reservation.
  • The Nation contributes $50,000 to the Red Cross to help tornado victims in Hoisington, Kansas and $100,000 to support victims of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C.


  • Groundbreaking for the Boys and Girls Club expansion, late 2002.
  • The Nation and Harrah’s announce a $55-million expansion plan.
  • Prairie People’s Park is refurbished and the 2002 Gathering of Nations is held at the rejuvenated park. Harrah’s pays $500,000 toward the renovation of the park and to help fund the Gathering of Nations as part of the new contract.
  • The first phase of 12 homes was completed – and fully occupied.
  • Construction begins on two, eight-unit apartment buildings and six family duplexes.
  • A new program is launched assisting tribal members across the country with housing, down payments and renovation costs.
  • Maintenance and Land Management buildings are completed.
  • Fiber-optic cable is installed creating a high-speed data network for 17 tribal departments covering several miles of Reservation land.
  • The Nation provides a $32,000 gift to Jackson County to upgrade its 911 system. Individuals living on the Reservation are allowed a choice of emergency responders from the Nation or Jackson County.
  • The Nation sends Tribal Emergency Services firefighters to assist in fighting fires in the mountain states.
  • Time Magazine runs a news story heralding the Nation’s use of gaming revenues to improve conditions on the Reservation and in the surrounding community.


  • Nine replacement homes are built for seniors over 65 living in homes more than 50 years old.
  • New Sprint cellular tower is built providing service to the Reservation.
  • Construction continues on two, eight-unit apartment buildings and six family duplexes.
  • Plans are laid for 15 Senior Garden apartments, three manufactured homes (for transitional housing) and 12 manufactured homes for additional housing.
  • The second phase of construction on twelve four- and five-bedroom homes begins.
  • Seven additional miles of roads are paved.
  • Two water towers are constructed: a 300,000-gallon tower to serve the center of the Reservation with an 8″ water line and a 200,000-gallon tower to serve the casino expansion.
  • Ground is broken for the casino expansion.
  • A new wastewater treatment plant is started for the casino.
  • A new Food Distribution building is constructed next to the Land Development building.
  • Martin Luther King Association acknowledges the Nation for outstanding charitable efforts.
  • Long-distance learning program started with Haskell.
  • A bike and pedestrian trail is started to connect the housing clusters and the old ballpark. A $350,000 grant is received from the state of Kansas to assist in the completion of the trail.


  • Gaming Commission Election was held with Jona Potts-Rupnicki and Calvin Evans winning positions.
  • Two per-capita ordinances were passed with the first increasing distributions to tribal members from 24 percent to 30 percent and taking that 6 percent from economic development.  The second ordinance increased per capita distributions from two to four times a year.
  • Tribal Council election held in July with Rey Kitchkumme winning as vice-chair, Ryan Dyer as treasurer, and Jackie Mitchell and Juanita Jessepe taking positions as members.
  • A special Tribal Council election held in October was won by Jim Potter for a two-year term.
  • A new water tower located near L and 158 Road was built that increased water storage to 300,000 gallons. New larger water lines were also installed to pump water to the east side of the Reservation.
  • We-Ta-Se American Legion Post #410 celebrates 15 years as a post and flag and honor guards participate in several 2004 Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commemoration events in Kansas.
  • Senate Bill #9 authorizing tribal police officers to enforce state laws against non-Indian offenders on the Reservation.
  • Groundbreaking ceremony for Prairie Village Garden apartments held May 28.
  • Harrah’s Prairie Band Casino gets expansion of three-story 190 room hotel, a Three Fires steakhouse restaurant, Prairie Village gift shop and a 12,000-foot convention/event center.
  • 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals grants judgment to the PBPN that invalidates the state’s motor fuel tax on fuel sold by the PBPN convenience store.
  • The Tribal Court conducts first jury trial ever in the Nation’s history on Sept. 21.
  • Boys & Girls Club expansion grand opening held Sept. 17.


  • Prairie Band acquires new tribally-owned ambulance.
  • James Wabaunsee wins Special Tribal Council election.
  • Bingo Hall renovation completed.
  • Native American Singers & Dancers take first in 2005 Battle of the Plains Competition.
  • PBP Family Health Center relocated to 510 Kansas Avenue, Holton, Kan.
  • Groundbreaking for new health center on 158 Road held.
  • Gary Mitchell and Joyce Guerrero elected to Gaming Commission. Tom Tuckwin appointed to Gaming Commission.
  • Milton LaClair, retired chairman of the Gaming Commission, wins National Gaming Commission (Bruce Longhorn) award.
  • PBPN wins court appeal on recognizing tribal tags from state of Kansas.
  • Distance Education Learning Lab building placed in K Road complex.
  • PBPN Road & Bridge and Jackson County hold ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dutch Creek bridge on K Road.
  • Road & Bridge pave six miles of road on Reservation.
  • Groundbreaking ceremony for community center held and fourteen additional homes under construction in Prairie Ridge.
  • Senior Citizen Prairie Village Garden 15-unit apartments and community center constructed.
  • PBPN purchases local propane businesses and opens tribal business enterprise as Mayetta Oil Company.
  • 2005 Huron Band Potawatomi Gathering held.
  • Potawatomi News receives Native American Journalists Association media award.
  • PBPN donates $50,000 to Katrina Relief Fund.
  • Economic Development begins wind energy feasibility study.
  • Language Department receives Administration for Native American (ANA) grant to provide Potawatomi language classes.
  • PBP argues motor vehicle tax case before U.S. Supreme Court and decision pushed back to lower court.
  • PBP Tribal Investigations Policies and Procedures developed.
  • Construction begins on casino interchange at Highway 75 and 150 Road.
  • Harrah’s announces it will withdraw from managing casino after 2008.
  • Buffalo Grill restaurant opens in casino.


  • Casino interchange at Hwy 75 and 150 Road opens.
  • Zach Pahmahmie resigns as tribal chairman.
  • Tracy Stanhoff appointed interim tribal chair.
  • Tom Tuckwin elected to Gaming Commission.
  • Transition from Harrah’s to Prairie Band Casino begins.
  • Community Building renovated and machinery shed constructed near Lands building.
  • PBPN contributes $100,000 to Boys & Girls Club endowment in honor of 100th year anniversary of Boys & Girls Clubs.
  • PBPN purchases 128-acre farm in Shabonna, Ill. to reclaim original homeland.
  • Tracy Stanhoff, James Potter,  and Warren Wahweotten, Jr. win Tribal Council election positions.
  • PBPN members participate as part of Team Kansas in Native American Indigenous Games held in Denver.
  • Fourteen families move into new homes in Prairie Ridge.
  • 2006 Potawatomi Gathering held by Pokagon Potawatomi.
  • New PBP Family Health Center opens and dental services offered.
  • Early Childhood Education Center receives national accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • Four new transitional homes constructed at 158 Rd and K Rd.


  • PBP changes over casino from Harrah’s to Prairie Band Casino & Resort and holds grand opening festivities in July.
  • PBP win tribal tag case from Kansas.
  • Tracy Stanhoff resigns as tribal chair.
  • Special Tribal Council chair and per capita ordinance election held with Steve Ortiz elected chair and per capita ordinances pass.
  • BIA Secretarial Election held with voters approving passage of six constitutional amendment changes to PBP Constitution.
  • PBPN announces plans to build electronic bingo hall on Shabbona land and begin negotiations with DeKalb County, Ill. for intergovernmental agreement.
  • PBP Road & Bridge construct pedestrian/bike trail on Reservation.
  • Road & Bridge also complete asphalt overlay of 8-mile stretch of 158 Road and K Road with funding from BIA.
  • Joyce Guerrero resigns her position on the Gaming Commission.
  • Tribal Council visits members of Congress on Capitol Hill.
  • Elder Vestina Nonken receives Holton Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame award.
  • Elder Leroy Mzhickteno receives Order of Saint Maurice Medallion award for bravery in WW II.
  • 2007 Forest County Band Potawatomi Gathering held in Crandon, Wisconsin


  • Historical signing of intergovernmental agreement between PBPN and DeKalbCounty to build a 24-hour bingo facility on the 128 acres reservation land in Shabbona, Illinois.
  • Tamara McClammy and Calvin Evans elected to Gaming Commission.
  • Revenue Allocation Plan approved by membership.
  • The Nation reorganizes and reduces government operating budget in line with approved Revenue Allocation Plan.


  • Gary Mitchell and Larry Mzhickteno win Gaming Commission seats and Rencie Eteeyan and Ruth Vega-Harjo win Ethics Commission seats.
  • Prairie Band Casino & Resort renames and remodels buffet to Longhouse Buffet and renovates gaming floor.
  • In May construction begins on Firekeeper Golf Course with June press conference kick off featuring Notah Begay III whose firm designed the course.
  • Tribal Council attends Presidential Inauguration and travels to Shabbona (DeKalb), Illinois in February for community goodwill outreach tour.
  • Road & Bridge staff travel to Shabbona in spring to plant native grasses and build fish hatchery in summer.
  • PBPN hosts Potawatomi Gathering and holds annual pow-wow and Indian Day/Veterans pow-wow.
  • New Judicial Center building constructed and opened in December.


  • PBPN develop start-up businesses: Prairie Band Construction, Inc. and Prairie Band Health Services, Inc.
  • PBPN Code of Ethics written and approved by General Council.
  • Carl Matousek named Employee of the Year.
  • Potawatomi News changes format and launched online as part of
  • Twelve candidates file for Tribal Council/Gaming Commission Election. Steve Ortiz wins chair, Junior Wahweotten, Tribal Council member, and Rey Kitchkumme, Gaming Commissioner.
  • Run-off election for Secretary held between Dawn “Sogi” LeClere and Jim Potter; Potter wins.
  • Cecelia “Meeks” Jackson honored for contributions to language program.
  • PARR Recovery House closes.
  • Firekeeper Golf Course holds soft opening in fall for tribal members.
  • PBPN Education partners with Friends University for first on-site college degree courses and programs.
  • Potawatomi Fire Department celebrates 30 years with an open house.
  • Brennah Wahweotten selected 2010 Potawatomi princess and Sylvana Levier Jessepe 2009-2010 We-Ta-Se princess.
  • Jancita Warrington appointed to Tribal Council.
  • Chairman Ortiz becomes vice president for Oklahoma City Inter-Tribal Health Board and selected to Dept. of Health & Human Services Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee, Local Government Advisory Committee (EPA national committee), DOI Tribal Consultation Committee and attends second annual White House Tribal Nations Conference along with Jancita Warrington in Washington, D.C. Dec. 16.
  • New online link for tribal members only added to the website at


  • Little Soldier Singers, We-Ta-Se Color Guard, Chairman Steve Ortiz and Tribal Council participate in Kan. Gov. Sam Brownback’s Inauguration activities in January.
  • Prairie Band leaders and members participate in Kansas Day Sesquicentennial celebration in January.
  • Amber Walker chosen Employee of the Year in January.
  • Firekeeper Golf Course opens April 1 with grand opening featuring sports celebrities Bill Self, Roy Williams and Notah Begay on May 15.
  • Chairman Steve Ortiz named to Governor’s (Kansas) Economic Development Council.
  • Health Center gets electronic health records system.
  • PBPN Division of Planning & EPA begins residential waste disposal/curbside trash collection.
  • Chairman Steve Ortiz participates in National Tribal Health Reform Implementation Summit in Washington, D.C. in April.
  • Royal Valley Singers & Dancers win Battle of the Plains championship.
  • Brave Dance building constructed on 158 Road.
  • Cecelia “Meeks” (Miksekwe) Jackson, 88, last fluent speaker of the Potawatomi language in Kansas, passes away May 29.
  • Prairie Band Health Center receives accreditation from Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval.
  • PBPN member Charles Chaput becomes Archbishop of Philadelphia.
  • Prairie Band Casino & Resort takes five Best of Topeka awards.
  • PBPN Diabetes Prevention Program named flagship program in Indian Country.
  • PBPN elders and others travel to Potawatomi Gathering in Hannahville Indian Community, Michigan, in August.
  • Mittena Hale named 2011-12 Potawatomi princess at annual pow-wow in June. Amber Mahkuk named We-Ta-Se princess at 14th annual veterans pow-wow in September.
  • Jerry Tuckwin and wife Terry honored with Jim Thorpe Award in Albuquerque for volunteer work with Native American youth in sports.
  • Anna Boswell named Assistant General Manager of Tribal Operations in October.
  • PBPN participate in Tribal Kansas 150 Commemoration event at the Kansas Museum of History in November.
  • Steve Ortiz, tribal chairman, selected as one of twelve leaders for meeting with President Obama at 3rd Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference in December.
  • Burton Warrington (PBP) named President/CEO of Prairie Band LLC.
  • Noah Wahquahboshkuk appointed Tribal Council treasurer.
  • Firekeeper Golf Course ranked in top ten new courses in GolfWeek
  • Tribe participates in National Drug Take-Back Day with U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom and as a collection site.
  • Tribal Victims Program collaborates with other departments in launching Community Story Tree mosaic art project.
  • Four tribal youth attend National Intertribal Youth Leadership Summit sponsored by White House.
  • Expansions made on tribal police, commodities, and construction/maintenance buildings.
  • Don Don LeClere and Mary LeClere recognized for 20 plus years of service to the PBPN.


  • Steve Ortiz, tribal chairman, elected co-chairman of Health & Human Services Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) in Washington, D.C.
  • Francis Jensen inducted into Holton/Jackson (Kansas) Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.
  • National Indian Gaming Commission approves reducing the PBPN Gaming Commission from five seats to three in February.
  • Tax Commission formed with amended PBPN Law and Order Codes.
  • E POK YATSOLKAGNEN Language Winter Stories Conference held Feb. 20-21.
  • Royal Valley Singers & Dancers win Battle of the Plains championship.
  • Six PBPN employees or tribal members graduate from Friends University/PBPN on-site college-degree program.
  • Annual PBP pow-wow draws over 500 dancers and 18 drum groups in June.
  • PBPN leaders help push through the state legislature the use of tribal identification cards for new voter registration process.
  • Golfweek National Pro Tour held at Firekeeper Golf Course.
  • Sixteen candidates file for Tribal Council/Ethics Commission Election-Hattie Mitchell wins treasurer, Joyce Guerrero wins Vice Chairman and Carrie O’Toole and Tom Wabnum win Council seats.
  • PBPN begins Child Support Services program.
  • Family Violence Prevention Program and Tribal Victims Assistance Program merge into Tribal Victims Services Program housed in Social Services Department.
  • PBPN host 63rd Annual Native American Church of North American Conference.
  • We-Ta-Se American Legion Color Guard places in two categories at 94th American Legion national color guard competition; We-Ta-Se host 15th Annual Veterans pow-wow in September.
  • PBPN programs and departments collaborate to provide community events like Rez-Lympics, Easter Egg-stravaganza; Big Bear Moon Sobriety Pow-wow, Walk a Mile in My Mocs, Splatters That Matter and Trunk or Treat that are well attended.
  • Elders and others attend Gathering hosted by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band in Fulton, Michigan.
  • Over 400 people attend Kateri Tekakwitha canonization at Our Lady of Snows Church on Oct. 21.
  • Sam Mitchell named Employee of the Year.
  • Prairie Band LLC invests in Terra Centre high-rise building in Sioux City, Iowa and launches new website.
  • Chairman Ortiz attends fourth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference in December.


  • Three Tribal Council members attend Inauguration activities for President Obama in Washington, D.C.
  • Rick Burns named 2013 Employee of the Year; Other selected quarterly employees for 2013 include Verna Simon, Brenda Catron, and Eddie Joe Mitchell.
  • Tribal leaders testify to make Native American Day at the Capitol permanently recognized in 2014.
  • Tribal Victim Services receives a national Professional Innovation award from the Office of Violence Against Women/U.S. Department of Justice for their Healing Through Arts program.
  • Language students win five awards at the Oklahoma Native Youth Language Fair in April.
  • Prairie Band Casino & Resort renovates Nation Station Convenience Store that includes a Subway Restaurant and refurbishes some hotel rooms to VIP suites.
  • Danessa “Nawnee” Littleaxe named Prairie Band Potawatomi princess at annual Potawatomi Pow-wow in June.
  • Gary Mitchell and Larry Mzhickteno win Gaming Commission seats.
  • We-Ta-Se 16th annual pow-wow held in September with Felicity Price crowned as princess.
  • Hattie Mitchell selected to National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Native American 40 under 40.
  • Mas Hale and Deb Matchie Wakole selected as honored elders for 2013.
  • Joyce Guerrero, vice-chairperson represents PBPN at White House Tribal Nations Conference.
  • PBPN Education begins partnership with Rasmussen College.
  • Big Bear Moon Pow-Wow held Dec. 31 at Bingo Hall.


  • Tribal member Venida Chenault selected President of Haskell Indian Nations University.
  • Roy Hale inducted into Jackson County/ Holton Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.
  • Brenda Catron named Employee of the Year.
  • Youth language students win trophies at Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair in Norman, Okla.
  • PBPN participate in Healthy Kansas Tribes 2020 Initiative with State of Kansas.
  • PBPN selected as one of 21 tribes for first implementation of Cobell Land Buy-Back Program.
  • Tribal Secretary James Potter killed in motorcycle/deer accident in June.
  • Sophia Suke named PBPN pow-wow princess.
  • Tribal Council help dedicate historical marker for Chief Shabbona near Shabbona, Illinois.
  • Tribal Council/Gaming/Ethics Commission Election for 2014 elects Warren Wahweotten Jr.(Tribal Council Member), Liana Onnen (Tribal Council Chairperson), Camilla Chouteau (Secretary) and Rey Kitchkumme (Gaming Commissioner #3) and no candidates file for Ethics Commission.
  • PBPN travels to Gun-Lake Match-e-be-nash-she-wish in Michigan for Gathering in August.
  • 17th Annual We-Ta-Se pow-wow held in Sept with Taryn Boswell selected princess.
  • Firekeeper Golf and Prairie Band Casino & Resort host Symetra Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour.
  • Grass-roots “Get Out the Native Vote” nets 114 new registered voters for national election.
  • Early Childhood Education Director Hope Adame wins Kansas, Regional, and National Headstart Administrator of the Year.
  • Tribal Council makes land application with BIA in Minnesota.
  • Don Don LeClere and Mary LeClere named Honored Elders for 2014 at the Firekeepers Elder Center.
  • Tribal Chairperson Liana Onnen attends sixth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C.


  • PBPN Gaming Commission chairman Gary Mitchell passed away in January.
  • The late Jim Potter inducted into the Holton/Jackson County Hall of Fame.
  • Kansas Governor Sam Brownback visits PBPN Reservation in February.
  • Lorrie Melchior sworn in to Enrollment Committee.
  • Former Chairperson Steve Ortiz received the National Indian Gaming Association Chairman’s Leadership Award.
  • Prairie Band concludes Land Buy-Back Program with $5,145,493 in sales completed and the Nation acquiring 3,290 acres of land.
  • One Stop Convenience Store opens at US Hwy 75 and 190th Road.
  • The PBPN Education department partnered with Friends University to offer an on-site MBA program.
  • The PBPN Dental Clinic installed state-of-the-art digital imaging equipment and the Health Center began providing limited medical service to non-Native government employees and families.
  • The 2015 Potawatomi Gathering was held in Crandon, Wisconsin by the Forest County Potawatomi.
  • General Council votes for Casino expansion to include 200 additional slot machines and a Bingo Facility.
  • PBP Nation donated over $300,000 in charitable contributions to promote area organizations and events.
  • PBPN signs memorandum of understanding with the Veterans Administration to allow Native American veterans and their spouses to apply for a Native American Direct Loan on trust land.
  • PBPN Tribal member Arlene Wahwasuck recognized by Haskell Indian Nations University as Outstanding Alumni of the Year.
  • Aislyn Levier selected as 2015-16 PBPN Powwow Princess.
  • PBPN Tribal member Craig Treinen inducted into Kansas Music Hall of Fame.
  • Our Lady of the Snows Parish celebrated its 100 year anniversary on May 31.
  • Three are sworn in to Ethics Commission; Mamie Rupnicki – Chairperson, Rencie Eteeyan – Vice Chairperson and Kassie James – Secretary.
  • Dorothy Kiyukan is appointed to the Gaming Commission.
  • The PBPN Social Services department through the Tribal Victims Services program opens the TRACKS House.
  • Chairperson Liana Onnen is sworn in as the National Congress of American Indians Southern Plains Area Vice President.
  • The PBPN Language department launches Nïshnabemwėn iOS learning app.
  • The Honorable Elizabeth Kronk Warner is sworn in as District Court Judge and PBPN Tribal member Joshua Arce is sworn in as Public Defender for the Healing to Wellness Court.
  • PBPN Tribal members Richard Adame and Sara LaClair were recognized as the 2015 Honored Elders.


  • PBPN celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Rock Building.
  • Former Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Kevin Washburn initiated the review process for the land into trust application for Shabehnay.
  • The Nation successfully negotiated a Tobacco Tax Compact with the State of Kansas which was ratified unanimously by the Kansas Legislature in April.
  • Kansas Governor Sam Brownback proclaimed the second week of June as “Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Week.”
  • The Education Committee selected two new members; Adele Wahwassuck and Jason Hale.
  • Michelle Simon was sworn into the Enrollment Committee.
  • Frank Tecumseh was appointed to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Entertainment Corporation.
  • Peggy Houston and Tracy Stanhoff were selected for the Prairie Band, LLC Board of Directors.
  • The Nation implements Equine Assisted Therapy on the Reservation.
  • The 2016 Election initially had 27 tribal members run for four seats on the Tribal Council and eight tribal members run for four seats on the Ethics Commission.
  • The Ethics Commission election wins yielded Burton Warrington – Chairperson, Gilreath Aitkens – Commissioner #1, Blake Garrison – Commissioner #2 and Laura Rice – Commissioner #3.
  • The 2016 Tribal Council elections were determined through a run-off election with resulting wins by Zach Pahmahmie – Vice chairperson, Amanda Barbosa – Treasurer, Thomas Wabnum “Hoppy” – Tribal Council Person #2 and Carrie O’Toole – Tribal Council Person #3.
  • The Prairie Band Casino & Resort opens the new Bingo Facility.
  • Tribal member Dr. Venida Chenault is inducted into KU Women’s Hall of Fame.
  • The Citizen Potawatomi Nation hosted the annual Potawatomi Gathering.
  • The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation issued a letter of support and a resolution in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Nation also sent two convoys with donations to the Standing Rock camps.
  • The PBPN Social Services department through the Children and Family Services Program graduates the first class of seven participants in the Native Edition Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (TIPS-MAPP).
  • The PBPN Boys & Girls Club golf fundraiser event nets largest donation amount in 14 year history.
  • The PBPN We-Ta-Se Post 410 hosts birthday party for veteran Julia Kabance’s 106th birthday. Kabance is the oldest member of the PBP Nation.
  • The PBPN Tribal Police Department celebrated 18 years of service to the community.
  • Groundbreaking for Prairie Band Potawatomi Mental Health Facility.


  • Treasurer Amanda Barbosa Nioce resigns position. A special election is held and Wade Pahmahmie is elected Tribal Council Treasurer for remainder of term.
  • Tribal Council Member Carrie O’Toole resigns position. A special election is held and Juanita Jessepe is elected Tribal Council Member #3 for remainder of term.
  • Language Learning Center building is established.
  • Southwood Estates built – a 27 unit housing site.
  • Walpole Island hosted the annual Potawatomi Gathering.
  • The Gaming Commission election is decided through a runoff election, Dorothy Kiyukan is elected for Gaming Commissioner #1 and Edward “Joe” Mitchell, Jr. is elected for Gaming Commissioner #2.
  • The PBPN General Membership approves a $55M expansion at Prairie Band Casino & Resort. The expansion includes a new hotel tower, interior upgrades, renovation of the Buffalo Grill, expanded gaming floor, new administrative wing, a 500-space parking garage, along with upgrades to the 150th Road corridor.


  • March: Dorothy Kiyukan is removed from Prairie Band Potawatomi Gaming Commission Position #1.
  • 4.4.18: Tribal Council Member #3, Juanita Jessepe, relinquishes position due to health.
  • 4.26.18: Lisa Wamego appointed to Gaming Commission #1 position.
  • July: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation host site for 25th Annual Potawatomi Gathering.
  • July: Coleen Thomas sworn-in to Enrollment Review Committee.
  • 8.30.18: Swearing-in Ceremony held for newly elected Tribal Council, Joseph Rupnick -Chairman, Camilla Chouteau – Secretary, William Evans – Member #1, Raphael Wahwassuck – Member #3.
  • November: PBP Nation opens new Behavioral Health Facility.


  • January: Casino Board of Director appointments include Joseph “Chago” Hale, Jr., Hattie Mitchell, Jona Rupnicki, Frank Tecumseh, joining Corey Mzhickteno.
  • 4.22.19: Thomas Wabnum relinquishes his position as Tribal Council Member #2.
  • 5.22.19: Shirley Trull is appointed to Tribal Council Member #2 position.
  • Wasauksing First Nation hosts 26th Annual Potawatomi Gathering.
  • October: Jeanette Little Sun sworn-in to Enrollment Review Committee.


  • 3.16.20: The PBPN Tribal Council declared a state of emergency due to the public health emergency caused by the Pandemic COVID-19.
  • All Nation activities are suspended through April 30, 2020, except for essential operations.
  • 4.21.20: Prairie Band Health Center Medical Director Dr. Terry Harter passed away. Dr. Harter worked with the Prairie Band community beginning in 2000 and served as PBHC Medical Director starting in 2005 through 2020.
  • 4.22.20: Hannahville Indian Community cancels the 2020 Potawatomi Gathering out of concern for public safety due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hannahville will remain host for 2021.
  • 7.30.20: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council Treasurer Wade Pahmahmie and Ethics Commissioner #1 Jessica Burghart and Ethics Commissioner #3 Allison Pahmahmie are sworn into office.
  • 8.27.20: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council Vice-Chairman Zach Pahmahmie, Tribal Council Member #2 Ronald “Tony” Wahweotten, and Tribal Council Member #3 Raphael J. Wahwassuck are sworn into office.
  • 9.1.20: The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Police Department is established as a 911 dispatch center. The PBP TPD is the only 24/7 public safety answering point (PSAP) within the jurisdictional boundary of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.
  • 10.21.20: PBPN Native Vote Committee partners with the Jackson County Election office to host an advance voting station at Old Bingo Hall with 178 voters casting ballots in the 2020 Election.
  • 12.17.20: The Prairie Band Health Center begins COVID-19 vaccinations.


  • 1.5.21: PBPN re-files litigation against the U.S. Department of Treasury relating to the distribution of CARES Act funds to tribal governments, which was based on an Indian Housing Block Grant (“IHBG”) formula rather than enrollment numbers and underfunded the Nation by 80%.
  • 2.26.21: The Prairie Band Health Center reports vaccinating over 1,000 individuals with COVID-19 vaccines. The Health Center issues regular public updates on COVID-19 testing and vaccinations throughout the year.
  • 3.17.21: Hannahville Indian Community cancels 2021 Potawatomi Gathering out of concern for public safety due to the coronavirus pandemic and defers hosting, but ultimately remains host for 2022.
  • 3.26.21: The Prairie Band Health Center partners with the local Jackson County Health Department to host a Mass Vaccination Walk-in Clinic, open to any resident of Jackson County age 16 and over.
  • 3.29.21: Kansas Governor Laura Kelly visits the Prairie Band Health Center to recognize the Nation’s on-going contribution to COVID-19 vaccination efforts. This is the first time a Kansas Governor has visited the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation since Governor Finney’s Administration (1991-1995), approximately 26 years prior.
  • 4.23.21: Groundbreaking for Prairie Band Ag, LLC hemp operations on O road, kicking off PBPN’s entry into the industrial hemp market.
  • 4.23.21: Prairie Band Health Center surpasses 4,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses administered.
  • May 2021: The PBPN Planning and Environmental Protection Department begins a beekeeping program and installs three brood boxes at the Land Maintenance complex, across the road from the Nation’s orchard located on K Road.
  • 6.22.21: Eleven officers of the PBPN Tribal Police Department received the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Special Law Enforcement Commission (SLEC), which provides federal certification to enforce federal criminal statutes and federal hunting and fishing regulations in Indian Country, to act as a federal arresting authority, and to investigate federal crimes and testify in federal court.
  • 7.9.21: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Gaming Commissioner #2 Joe Mitchell, Ethics Commission Chairperson Angela Greemore-Wahweotten, Ethics Commission Vice-Chairperson Royetta Rodewald, and Ethics Commission Secretary Virginia LeClere are sworn into office.
  • 8.13.21: The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation becomes the first tribe to receive official approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the Nation’s Tribal Hemp Plan amendments under the Final Rule which took effect on March 22, 2021.
  • 8.26.21: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Gaming Commissioner #1 Joseph “Chago” Hale, Jr. is sworn into office following a run-off election.
  • 10.20.21: Groundbreaking for expansions of both the Prairie Band Potawatomi Health Center and the Prairie Band Food Distribution Program’s distribution center.


  • 1.27.22: Shirley Rice is sworn into the Election Board.
  • 3.24.22: Mary Wabnum Mitchell is sworn into the Election Board as an Alternate.
  • 5.12.22: The Ben-no-tteh Wigwam Powwow is held at Prairie Peoples Park, one of the Nation’s first in-person community events since 2020.
  • 6.20.22: U.S. Senator Roger Marshall visits the Reservation during the 2022 Powwow to inform Tribal Council that he had signed on as a cosponsor of Senate Bill 3242, legislation concerning Tribal interests in Illinois that was introduced by U.S. Senator Jerry Moran in November 2021.
  • 7.14.22: Warranty Deeds putting Dean (PT 229) and Jensen (PT 250) into U.S. Trust are signed, putting these properties in trust with the U.S. Government for the Nation.
  • 7.25.22: The 2022 Potawatomi Gathering is hosted by the Hannahville Indian Community after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 8.2.22: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council Chairman Joseph “Zeke” Rupnick, Tribal Council Member #1 William Evans, Gaming Commissioner #3 Rey Kitchkumme, Ethics Commission Chairperson Lianna Onnen, Ethics Commissioner #2 Shawna Wabaunsee, and Ethics Commissioner #3 Allison Pahmahmie are sworn into office.
  • 8.11.22: PBPN Tribal Council Members and U.S. Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) and Lauren Underwood (IL-14) hold a press conference in Shabbona, Illinois, to announce the filing of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Shab-eh-nay Band Reservation Settlement Act of 2022.
  • 8.20.22: Outgoing Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council Secretary Camilla Chouteau retires after a long career of serving the Nation.
  • 8.30.22: The PBPN smartphone app is publicly launched.
  • 8.31.22: The Kansas Public Transit Association (KPTA) recognizes Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation General Public Transportation and PBPN Transportation Coordinator Celeste Weber with the Innovation of the Year Award and the Willie M. Murry Award at the KPTA Annual Meeting.
  • 9.9.22: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council Secretary Lorrie Melchior is sworn into office following a run-off election.
  • 10.11.22: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council Chairman Joseph “Zeke” Rupnick and Tribal Council Member #3 Raphael Wahwassuck address the Kansas State Board of Education as members of the Kansas Advisory Council for Indigenous Education Working Group concerning the impact of Native American imagery used as school mascots.
  • 10.14.22: The bark house and Native American encampment in Ward-Meade Park in Topeka are formally dedicated in a recognition ceremony. The bark house construction was led by PBPN tribal member Mi-Kes Potts, with tribal members Mary LeClere and Lavera “Babe” Bell serving as consultants on the project.
  • 11.11.22: We-Ta-Se Color Guard participates in the Native Veterans Procession and the dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.


  • 02.09.2023: Saida Mahkuk is sworn in to the Enrollment Review Committee.
  • 04.03.2023: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation opens the Health Center expansion, including seven new dental stations, a remodeled area for the Diabetes Prevention Program, and additional office space and conference rooms.
  • 04.11.2023: Mick McDonald, Stephanie Jim, Georgia Smith, and Tosha Wilson are sworn in to the Enrollment Review Committee.
  • 05.09.2023: Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Sharice Davids (KS-03), Jake LaTurner (KS-02), and Tracey Mann (KS-01), along with Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Roger Marshall (R-KS), reintroduce the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Shab-eh-nay Band Reservation Settlement Act in Washington, D.C.
  • 07.11.2023: Illinois State Representative Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, files House Bill 4107 to return state-owned lands comprising the Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.
  • 07.24.2023–07.29.2023: The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi hosts the 2023 Potawatomi Gathering. During the Tribal Council Summit, the host tribe presented and proposed the Potawatomi Articles of Confederation; all bands present voted to support the initiative. A vote to endorse the Articles and develop the Potawatomi Confederacy was planned pending revisions of the document’s language.
  • 08.02.2023: Ethics Commission Vice Chairperson Royetta Rodewald and Ethics Commissioner #1 Jessica Burghart are sworn in to office.
  • 08.04.2023: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signs three bills into law that offer increased protections for Native and Indigenous Illinoisans: HB3413, the Human Remains Protection Act, complements the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and establishes procedures for encountering human remains or gravesites and returning remains to Native American Nations; SB1446 prohibits schools from banning students from wearing cultural regalia as graduation attire; and HB1633 mandates instruction on Native American history in Illinois public schools.
  • 11.08.2023: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council Chairman Joseph “Zeke” Rupnick discusses tribal sovereignty from a governance perspective with his presentation “Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Governance – Indian Self-Rule” at the University of Kansas (KU) as the first guest in KU’s Tribal Sovereignty Speaker Series.
  • 11.30.2023: Cecelia “Shobwas” Ceja is sworn in to the Election Board; Gea Aitkens and Leonard Allen are sworn in as new members of the Employee Disputes Tribunal.


  • 01.19.2024: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council Members participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Prairie Band Casino & Resort Sportsbook, the first tribal sportsbook in Kansas.
  • 02.22.2024: Illinois State Representative Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, files House Bill 4718 to return state-owned lands comprising the Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. The bill was previously filed as HB4107 in the 2023 legislative session.
  • 04.19.2024: In a historic decision, the U.S. Department of the Interior places portions of the Shab-eh-nay Reservation land into trust for Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, making it the only federally recognized Tribal Nation in Illinois.