Westward Migration of Anishinabe | Formation of The Council of Three Fires0796
The Council of Three Fires Splits into Separate Groups1500
First Recorded Encounter with Europeans1634
French and Iroquois Wars (aka “Beaver Wars” | Relocation1652
Potawatomi Migration Back to Michigan1687
Great Lakes Algonquin and French Drive Iroquois Back to New York | Potawatomi Migration Back to Michigan
Bands of Potawatomi Settle at Fort Pontchartrain on the Detroit River1712
The Potawatomi came to Detroit in approximately 1712-1714, temporarily settling between the Wyandot (Huron) and French forts.
Detroit Potawatomi Leave Village on Detroit River | Migration South and West1763
In October 1763, the Potawatomi in Detroit left their village on the Detroit River and spread their villages to the south and west, setting up various hunting camps.
1795 Treaty of Greenville | First Recognition as Sovereign Entity1795
Signed August 3rd, 1795, the Treaty of Greenville followed negotiations after the Native American loss at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. This defeat ended the ten-year-long Northwest Indian War and established the Greenville Treaty Line, which for many years became a boundary between territory that was acknowledged as remaining under the sovereign authority of various Native American tribes and had been ceded by tribes to the United States government that was open to European-American settlers.
1807 Treaty of Detroit | Southeast Michigan Ceded to US Government1807
The Huron Potawatomi are involved in the signing of the 1807 Treaty of Detroit in which 8 million acres are ceded to the government for roughly 1.2 cents per acre.
1821 Treaty of Chicago1821
Signed August 29, 1821, the first Treaty of Chicago resulted in much of the remaining Potawatomi land being ceded to the U.S. Federal Government. Similar to the 1807 Treaty of Detroit, the band of Huron Potawatomi were directly impacted by this treaty; most of Huron Potawatomi settled on a 16 Section tract of land reserved under the Treaty that was known as the “Nottawaseppi Reservation” located on the banks of the St. Joseph River in what is now St. Joseph County’s Mendon area.
1827 Treaty of St. Joseph1827
As part of the 1827 Treaty of St. Joseph, land in southwest Michigan were ceded to the U.S. Government and the Nottawaseppi Reservation was enlarged to 99 Sections.
The Indian Removal Act1830
While the Huron Potawatomi, and other Potawatomi, generally maintained peaceful relations with their new non-Indian neighbors, the increased pressure from settlers, many of whom illegally entered Indian lands, often resulted in violent conflict between settlers and the resident Indian tribes. The solution championed by Andrew Jackson and others in the U.S. Government became the nineteenth-century policy referred to as “Indian Removal,” by which Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi River would be encouraged to sign treaties giving up the remainder of their lands and be relocated to lands west of the Mississippi.
1833 Treaty of Chicago | 1838 Trail of Death1833
Unfortunately, the Nottawaseppi Reservation was a momentary home in Michigan. In the 1833 Treaty of Chicago, signed September 26, 1833, the Potawatomi (including the Nottawaseppi Huron Band) ceded the Nottawaseppi Reservation and other lands located in Michigan to the United States. The treaty required the Potawatomi to remove west to new reservations in the Kansas Territory. U.S. Government ordered an involuntary removal of nearly every band of Potawatomi to Kansas by 1838.
John Moguago Becomes Chief1839
“Young John” Moguago, son of “Old” Moguago and grandson of Mogoagon, emerged as the head chief of the band upon the death of Sau-au-quett.
On October 15th, 1840, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi forcibly began their long trek to a reservation in Kansas.
Return to the Nottawaseppi Prairie1842
In the spring of 1842, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi returned to the Nottawaseppi Prairie.
Purchase of Pine Creek Reservation (June 10, 1845)1845
Between 1845-1848, a number of NHBP members, estimated to number between 40 to 60 persons, pooled 120 acres of land was purchased with annuity money owed to the “Potawatomi of Huron” from the 1807 Treaty of Detroit with the U.S. Government and used this money to purchase 120 acres of land.
Methodist Missionary Activity | Impact on the Pine Creek Settlement1847
During the mid to later 1840’s, the Pine Creek settlement experienced the beginnings of Methodist missionary activity. The resulting founding of a church at Pine Creek would do much to shape the settlement for the next century.
Changes in Tribal Leadership | Phineas Pamptopee Becomes Chief1864
John Moguago died in 1863. He was buried on the reservation cemetery with his grave marked in the traditional manner by an oak tree (still standing as of 2018). The position of Chief was transferred to his uncle, “Old” Pamptopee and then a year later, in 1864, to Phineas Pamptopee.
Annuity Commutation | Establishment of East Indiantown1889
In 1889, the $400 annual annuity which the Huron Potawatomi had been collecting since 1845 under the treaty of 1807 was compounded for a lump sum. Individual tracts of land were purchased, resulting in the establishment of East Indiantown.
Population at Pine Creek Reservation Increases Exponentially1900
Creation of the Taggart Roll1904
This Taggart Roll is considered the “base roll” for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi’s present Tribal membership; present members must show that they descend from persons listed on the Taggart Roll.
Decline of East Indiantown | Rise of New Indiantown1914
During the years between 1904 and World War I, many of the families who had bought land in the East Indiantown area sold the property. The settlement again became primarily focused on the original Pine Creek 120 acres and a new town, about two miles from the old settlement.
Stephen Pamptopee Becomes Chief1914
Phineas Pamptopee, who had been chief for 50 years, died in 1914. The selected chief for the next ten years was his youngest son, Stephen Pamptopee.
Samuel Mandoka Becomes Chief1924
The strong influential role of Samuel Mandoka within the Pine Creek settlement began during the lifetime of Steven Pamptopee. At Steven’s death in 1926, Samuel was not formally designated to the “office” as chief but was essentially appointed by consensus of the residents of the Pine Creek Reservation because of his good education and outgoing personality.
Great Depression Begins | Many Residents Move Away from Pine Creek Reservation1929
The comparative prosperity of the settlement in the later nineteenth century fell victim to the general agricultural decline of the post-World-War-I era, and was exacerbated by the Great Depression.
Leadership by Committee1934
Albert Mackety and Levi Pamp provided the key political leadership of Pine Creek for the next 40 years.
Indian Reorganization Act Signed | NHBP Denied Federal Recognition1934
The Indian Reorganization Act (“IRA”, “Wheeler-Howard Act”), signed June 18, 1934, was intended to encourage tribes to assume more control of their own governance and help change the aforementioned “fundamental impracticabilities [sic] of law,” which was resulting in so many problems in Indian Country.
This act was signaled by the press as an “Indian New Deal” program; it provided tribal participants assurances that their land would be held forever in Federal trust and that eligible tribes could develop their economies. Albert Mackety, Levi Pamp, and another NHBP member, Austin Mandoka, who was Chairman of the Athens Indian Committee, learned of the IRA and believed the legislation could benefit the community.
World War II | Population of Indiantown Doubles1945
During World War II, some NHBP members joined the armed services, while others took jobs in urban industries. Several men worked in factories in Battle Creek or Detroit during these years; women also took industrial jobs.
Pattern of Work Off the Pine Creek Reservation Grows1951
After World War II, the pattern of work off the reservation continued to grow. For many Huron Potawatomi, this period marked the first participation in the urban labor market. By the end of the War, factory employment and other urban jobs had largely replaced the earlier dependence on seasonal farm work and subsistence farming.
Number of Tribal Members Living on Pine Creek Dwindles1961
A 1961 newspaper article concerning the reservation at Athens, Michigan, stated that the numbers and area were dwindling. The residents were described as living a life that was a mixture of the old and new.
Formation of Huron Potawatomi, Inc. | Development of Political Organization1970
The decade of the 1970’s proved to be a pivotal period in the development of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi’s political organization.
Second Attempt at Federal Reaffirmation | Difficulties with BIA Begin1972
In the spring of 1972, the NHBP decided to make their first concerted effort since 1934 at seeking federal acknowledgment. This effort continued for several years with little progress despite considerable effort.
Continued Difficulties in the Quest for Federal Reaffirmation1987
Between 1980 and 1986, one major focus of HPI’s efforts was the preparation of the Federal acknowledgment petition for consideration under a new administrative process established under regulations adopted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Those regulations required tribes, whose government-to-government relations with the United States had been improperly terminated to submit documentation that confirmed that their tribe had continued to exist as a distinct government from treaty times to the present.
Federal Reaffirmation Achieved | A Major Turning Point in Tribal History1995
On December 19, 1995, the United States government restored “federal recognition” to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi. Federal reaffirmation was a defining point in the NHBP history and the Pine Creek Reservation. It acknowledged a unique and interconnected group of people, allowing access to needed government programs unavailable to non-recognized tribes. This access stimulated a period of home and infrastructure construction. Today the reservation is bustling with activity and is becoming a showcase community.
Improvements to the Pine Creek Reservation | Government Services Expand | New Land Purchased1999
The NHBP has accomplished a great deal since federal reaffirmation in 1995. The Pine Creek Reservation has become a secure homeland that is quickly developing into a first-class Tribal community with a beautiful Government Center, Department of Public Works, Community & Health Center, energy-efficient homes, and Justice Center. Education, health, housing, and environmental programs continually strive to improve the Tribe’s quality of life. Despite these recent developments, the Reservation still retains its rural flavor, with unspoiled forests, fields, and Pine Creek as a backdrop.
FireKeepers Casino Opens2009
After more than 10 years of planning, strategy, and vision, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi opened the doors to FireKeepers Casino on August 5, 2009.
Waséyabek Development Company Formed2011
Waséyabek Development Company, LLC (WDC) is a 100% Tribally-owned holding company formed by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi to manage non-gaming economic diversification activities.