I finally saw the Straits of Mackinac in Northern Michigan
Visions of long ago danced upon the waters
The Three Fires separated at this sacred place
My people the Potawatomi went down into Michigan
Where my ancestors lived for generations
Time and Life itself broke us off into the nine bands of Potawatomi we have today.
The Forest County Potawatomi went into Wisconsin
The Walpole Island Band and the Wasauksing Band went up into Canada
The Gun Lake, Pokagon, and the Huron Bands stayed in Southern Michigan
The Hannahville Band made their home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
The Prairie Band were forced down to Kansas
The Citizen Band Potawatomi were forced even further South into Oklahoma.
Like Grandmother Earth
The Potawatomi have endured
Down through the generations
Despite Stolen Lands
Despite the deep wounds of living in two worlds
And the near loss of our language
For the past 12 years our bands have met once a year
Though some of us have gone down the Native American Church Road
And some of us have gone down the Christian Road
And still others of us have stayed on the traditional Potawatomi Road
We still come together at our annual Potawatomi Gathering...
Like we did centuries ago
Our bands come together as one nation
To celebrate our culture
Share our language
To honor our elders
To crown a new Potawatomi Princess
And hear many gifted Potawatomi speakers:
Speak in the language our Creator wants to hear!