(redirected from Potawatomis)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


(pŏt'əwŏt`əmē), Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
). They are closely related to the Ojibwa and Ottawa; their traditions state that all three were originally one people. The Potawatomi are of the Eastern Woodlands cultural area (see under Natives, North AmericanNatives, North American,
peoples who occupied North America before the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th cent. They have long been known as Indians because of the belief prevalent at the time of Columbus that the Americas were the outer reaches of the Indies (i.e.
..... Click the link for more information.

In the early 17th cent., when first encountered by the whites, the Potawatomi lived near the mouth of Green Bay in Wisconsin. By the end of the century, however, they had been driven (probably by the Sioux) S along Lake Michigan and were settled on both sides of the southern end of the lake. After the Illinois were conquered (c.1765), they advanced into NE Illinois, S Michigan, and later NW Indiana. They were friendly to the French and aided them against the English. The Potawatomi supported Pontiac's RebellionPontiac's Rebellion,
 Pontiac's Conspiracy,
or Pontiac's War,
1763–66, Native American uprising against the British just after the close of the French and Indian Wars, so called after one of its leaders, Pontiac.
..... Click the link for more information.
, fought against the United States in the battles headed by Little Turtle, took part in the battle of Fallen Timbers, and signed the Treaty of Greenville (1795). They sided with the British in the War of 1812. With the advancing frontier, the Potawatomi retreated westward to Iowa and Kansas, although a portion went to Walpole Island in Canada. From the reservation in Kansas where they had gathered, a large group moved (1868) to Oklahoma Indian Territory; this group, which held lands in severalty, became known as Citizen Potawatomi. They also have reservations in Michigan and Wisconsin. In 1990 there were close to 17,000 Potawatomi in the United States; another group has a reserve in Ontario. Their name is also spelled Potawatami, Pottawatami, and Pottawatomi.


See R. Landes, The Prairie Potawatomi (1970).

References in periodicals archive ?
Interestingly, the United Nation of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi were referenced in the treaty as the Potawatomi, with the treaty records stating that this was their "national character.
247 Documents Relating to the Negotiation of the Treaty of June 5 and 17, 1846, with the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indians, NAMP, roll 4:F310-11.
139 Documents Relating to the Negotiation of the Treaty of August 19, 1825, with the Sioux, Chippewa, Sauk and Fox, Menominee, Iowa, and Winnebago Indians and part of the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi of the Illinois Indians, NAMP, roll 1:F712, F724.
Along with Preston and Kevin, he was one of the three Potawatomi kids to play for Coach Pokagon.
In January 1860, Richard Pettit, United States judge for the First Kansas Territorial District, ruled that the sale of alcohol by Potawatomi mixed-blood A.
William Murphy to Superintendent of Indian Affairs, January 22, 1860, LROIA, Potawatomi Agency, RG 75, M 234, R 682, NA.
Yet in order to save his neck when he is caught spying on the Potawatomis, Boden capitalizes on his knowledge of Native Americans' fascination with alcohol, playing the "medicine man" leading the gullible Potawatomis to "whiskey springs.
These various depictions--the pathetic Old John, the sinister Magua, the comical Potawatomis, the schizoid Saucy Nick/Wyandotte--do not add up to any coherent stereotype of Native American drinking in Cooper's frontier romances.
Shortly after noon on Saturday at the 2004 Gathering of the Potawatomi Nation, hosted by the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, I left the language seminar coordinated by Justin Neely, a Citizen Potawatomi member and the Hannahville Indian School's new Potawatomi language teacher, and Don Perrot, a Prairie Band Potawatomi member.
The first elder with whom I talked, a member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, smiled at my query.
Wisconsin's Indian population includes seven tribes: Ho-Chunk or Winnebago, Menominee, Ojibwe or Chippewa, Oneida, Potawatomi, Stockbridge-Munsee, and a small group known as the Brothertown Indians.
Even some Milwaukee Indians raised questions about who would benefit from a high stakes bingo operation, and whether the Potawatomi tribe had any historic claim to land in the Milwaukee area.