Following the 1833 Treaty of Chicago, the Potawatomis, once concentrated around southern Lake Michigan, increasingly dispersed into nine bands across four states, two countries, and a thousand miles. How is it, author Christopher Wetzel asks, that these scattered people, with different characteristics and traditions cultivated over two centuries, have reclaimed their common cultural heritage in recent years as the Potawatomi Nation? And why a “nation”—not a band or a tribe—in an age when nations seem increasingly impermanent? Gathering the Potawatomi Nation explores the recent invigoration of Potawatomi nationhood, looks at how marginalized communities adapt to social change, and reveals the critical role that culture plays in connecting the two.
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