Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: forest county potawatomi | wisconsin | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 5 January 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Forest County Potawatomi - Wisconsin
Nearly 1,000 members strong, the Forest County Potawatomi possess a 12,000-acre reservation in northern Wisconsin near the border with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Tribe was formed in 1913 and received Federal recognition in 1937.
As with nearly all contemporary Potawatomi across the country, the Forest County Potawatomi celebrate their ancestral role as the "Keepers of the Sacred Fire". Long ago the Ojibwe (Chippewa), the Ottawa and the Potawatomi were united. The Ojibwe were the "Keepers of the Faith", the Ottawa were the "Keepers of the Trade" and to the Potawatomi came the duty of maintaining the fire around which the Tribes would assemble.
© Donald Healy 2008
The flag of the Forest County Potawatomi emphasizes this traditional role. The flag is white. It bears the seal of the Tribe in the center. That seal is composed of a medicine wheel also called the circle of life. That wheel is subdivided into four quadrants, four being a sacred number to most Native peoples in North America. The upper left quadrant is black which represents the end of life and the direction, West. The upper right quadrant is white and stands for North and hibernation or dormancy. The lower left is red for South and rebirth or rejuvenation and lastly the lower right is yellow for the East and new life. These four colors are frequently associated with the four seasons and the four races of mankind as well.
Overlaying the circle of life is a gray outline image of a warrior tending a campfire - thus the "Keeper of the Sacred Fire". Hanging from the circle are three eagle feathers depicted in black and white.
Forming a semi-circle over the tribal seal ins the name "Forest County Potawatomi Nation" in black letters. Underlining the seal is the sobriquet "Keeper of the Fire" also in black.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 5 January 2008