FULTON, MI – Potawatomi Nations will come together for the 29th Annual Gathering hosted by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) July 24-29, 2023, at the Pine Creek Indian Reservation in Fulton, MI.
The Annual Gathering of Potawatomi Nations, open to all Potawatomi people, provides an opportunity for tribal members to come together and celebrate their Potawatomi heritage. Each year, this event is hosted by one of the nine tribes of Potawatomi from throughout the Midwest and Canada: Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Forest County Potawatomi, Gun Lake Tribe, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Wasauksing First Nation, Hannahville Indian Community, Prairie Band of Potawatomi and Walpole Island First Nation.
Steeped in tradition, the annual event, expected to bring approximately 3,000 people to Southwest Michigan this year, was founded by the Wasauksing First Nation in 1994 to revitalize the Potawatomi culture, language and identity.
2023 marks the fourth time NHBP has hosted the Annual Gathering. NHBP previously hosted the gathering in 1998, 2005 and 2012. In 2005, NHBP had land-into-trust applications in process, and several new departments collaborated to host. In 2012, with land in trust and FireKeepers Casino Hotel, NHBP was even more developed than ever, and 2023 is sure to show greater growth.
Each year, the host community facilitates the annual gathering in its own unique way, highlighting its heritage. Participants draw on this common cultural knowledge to integrate the multiple meanings of being Potawatomi. The gathering is a time for the Potawatomi Nations to come together in fellowship to dance, sing, and learn from each other.
“NHBP is excited to host this year’s Potawatomi Gathering,” said NHBP Tribal Council Secretary and Tribal Member Nancy Smit, who also serves as the Chairperson for the Culture Committee. “This will be the fourth time we have hosted the event, and it’s not only humbling, but a true honor to look at how much our community has grown and evolved since we first hosted it in 1998. The NHBP Culture Committee has been working diligently to provide input and direction in ensuring we develop an agenda of activities rich with culture, connection, education and fun. We can’t wait to welcome and share our lands with our fellow Potawatomi families and friends.”
The 2023 Gathering will include a myriad of activities for all ages and interests, such as a language conference, cultural workshops, youth events, crafting classes, sporting events, an art show and more. A sunrise ceremony is held each morning, giving attendees from different Potawatomi communities an opportunity to meet and connect.
Rounding out the week is a traditional pow wow that will take place on Friday and Saturday evenings, where hundreds of tribal members assemble to celebrate. Every age group – from the very young to the elderly – will join together to share in songs, drumming and dancing, and the Miss Potawatomi and Skabawis contest winners will be announced.