The Forest County Potawatomi Community belongs to an alliance known as the “Council of Three Fires” that was started long ago among three brothers who shared similar lands and backgrounds. Their decendants are of the Anishinabe (Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Ojibway) tribes and once lived mostly in the eastern part of North America.
Official Tribal Name: Forest County Potawatomi Community
Address: 5416 Everybody’s Rd., Crandon, WI 54520
Email: Contact Form
Official Website:Forest County Potawatomi
Recognition Status: Federally Recognized
Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning: Bode’wadmi– Firekeepers
Common Name: Potawatomi
Meaning of Common Name: Keeper of the Fire
Alternate names: Formerly the Forest County Potawatomi Community of Wisconsin
Alternate spellings / Misspellings: Potawatomie, Pottawatomie, Pattowatomie, Chipewa, Chipawa, Anishinaabe, Anishinababe, Anishinabeg, Ojibway, Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, Algonquin, More names for Ojibwe
Name in other languages:
Region: Northeast (Eastern Woodland)–>Ojibwa, Chippewa and Potawatomi
State(s) Today: Wisconsin
After various wars and migrations, the tribes moved to the Great Lakes Area.
Confederacy: Council of the Three Fires, Ojibwe
The Potawatomi, or Keeper of the Fire, belong to an alliance known as the “Three Fires.” The oldest brother, Chippewa (Ojibwa), was given the responsibility of Keeper of the Faith. The middle brother, Ottawa (Odawa), was the Keeper of the Trade, and the youngest brother, Potawatomi (Bode Wad Mi), was responsible for keeping the Sacred Fire; hence the name, “Keeper of the Fire.”
Reservations: Forest County Potawatomi Community and Off-Reservation Trust Land
Forest County Potawatomi Reservation is located on tribal lands near Crandon is Sugar Bush Hill. At 1,950 feet above sea level, Sugar Bush Hill is the second highest point in Wisconsin. From it, one can observe an incredible panoramic view of the surrounding forests and lakes.
Land Area: Approximately 12,000 acres
Time Zone: Central
Located on tribal lands near Crandon is Sugar Bush Hill. At 1,950 feet above sea level, Sugar Bush Hill is the second highest point in Wisconsin. From it, one can observe an incredible panoramic view of the surrounding forests and lakes.
Population at Contact:
Registered Population Today:
Currently, the Forest County Potawatomi Community consists of approximately 980 tribal members, of which about half reside on or near the reservation.
Tribal Enrollment Requirements:
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Language Classification: Algic => Algonquian => Central Algonquian => Ojibwa-Potawatomi => Potawatomi
Language Dialects: Potawatomi
Potawatomi is an Algonquian language closely related to the Ojibwayan dialect complex.
Number of fluent Speakers:
The Potawatomi language is critically endangered and nearly extinct. It has about 50 first-language speakers in several widely separated communities in the US and Canada. These include the Hannahville Indian Community (Upper Peninsula of Michigan), the Pokagon and Huron Bands (southern Michigan), the Forest County Band (northern Wisconsin), the Prairie Band (eastern Kansas), and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma. A few Potawatomi speakers also live among the Eastern Ojibwe in Ontario, particularly at the Walpole Island Reserve. The largest speech communities are in the Forest County and Prairie Bands, each with about 20 speakers, several conservatively fluent.
Bands, Gens, and Clans
The Potawatomi, or Keeper of the Fire, belong to an alliance known as the Three Fires Confederacy that was started long ago among three brothers who shared similar lands and backgrounds. Their decendants are of the Anishinabe (Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Ojibway) tribes and live mostly in the eastern part of North America.
After various wars and migrations, the tribes moved to the Great Lakes Area. The oldest brother, Chippewa (Ojibwa), was given the responsibility of Keeper of the Faith. The middle brother, Ottawa (Odawa), was the Keeper of the Trade, and the youngest brother, Potawatomi (Bode Wad Mi), was responsible for keeping the Sacred Fire; hence the name, “Keeper of the Fire.”
Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Chippewa-Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Hannaville Indian Community
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
La Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Lac de Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Saginaw Chippewa Indians
Sokaogon Chippewa Community
St. Croix Chippewa Indians
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
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The tribe is experiencing an unprecedented era of growth and prosperity due mainly to the Potawatomi Bingo /Northern Lights Casino which is located on Highway 32 just north of Carter, Wisconsin. Adjacent to it is the Indian Springs Lodge which is a 99-room hotel with whirlpool suites, conference rooms, a swimming pool and a spa.
Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:
Wedding Customs: A person is not allowed to marry someone within the same clan. Polygamy was rare.
Famous Ojibwe Chiefs and Leaders:
Jim Thorpe whose indian name was Wathohuck , meaning Bright Star (Sauk/Pottawatomi 1888–1953), athlete who won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics
In the News: