Learn about the culture and history of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation by visiting their Cultural Heritage Center. It is located in Oklahoma but they have an extensive website. You can take a complete virtual tour of their museum.
Learn about Miami history and culture by visiting this website – Aacimotaatiiyankwi. One blog on this site tells the history of General Harmar’s Defeat in 1790. This was a battle between the U.S Army and the Myaami men. Part of the battle was fought along the Trail, and Myaamia women and children used the trail as they fled to villages on the Elkhart River.
Learn about Elkhart County’s history by visiting the Elkhart County Historical Museum located in Bristol. They have exhibits on the Potawatomi and Miami people who lived in this area before the settlers came.
Trail of Death
Chief Menominee and his tribe of Potawatomi wanted to stay in their homeland in north central Indiana and live in peace with the settlers. They refused to sign a treaty giving up their land. In 1838, the tribe was forced out at gunpoint and relocated to eastern Kansas. It was a very difficult journey on foot and many died along the way. This is called the Trail of Death. Learn more about this history on the Potawatomi Trail of Death website.
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary offers a pilgrimage course every few years that follows the Trail of Death. This course explores the spiritual, ecological, and socio-political dimensions of decolonization as a process of inner and outer transformation. Students learn about the ongoing impacts of settler colonialism under the Doctrine of [Christian] Discovery in what is now the U.S. and will consider reparative responses in light of Jesus’ call to Jubilee justice.
The United States government negotiated treaties with the Indigenous People who had lived for centuries in what is now called northern Indiana. Many times there was deception in the processes and unfortunately the agreements in the signed treaties were not kept. Treaties were either broken or ignored as settlers filled the landscape. The following treaties are for the areas through which the Potawatomi-Miami Trail passes.
- Cession 16 – August 3, 1795 – Treaty with the Wyandotte, Delaware, Shawnee, Ottawa, Chippewa, Potawatomi,Miami, Eel River, Wea, Kickapoo, Piankishaw, and Kaskaskia
- Cession 117 – August 29, 1821 – Treaty with the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi
- Cession 132 – October 16, 1826 – Treaty with the Potawatomi
- Cession 133 – October 16, 1826 – Treaty with the Potawatomi
- Cession 146 – August 25, 1828 – Treaty with the Potawatomi
- Cession 180 – October 26, 1832 – Treaty with the Potawatomi