Gathering the Potawatomi Nation
Revitalization and Identity
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
212 Pages | 6 x 9 | 16 b&w illus., 4 maps, 2 tables, 2 graphs
Wetzel’s perspective on recent developments in the struggle for indigenous sovereignty goes far beyond current political, legal, and economic explanations. Focusing on the specific mechanisms through which the Potawatomi Nation has been reimagined, “national brokers,” he finds, are keys to the process, traveling between the bands, sharing information, and encouraging tribal members to work together as a nation. Language revitalization programs are critical because they promote the exchange of specific cultural knowledge, affirm the value of collective enterprise, and remind people of their place in a larger national community. At the annual Gathering of the Potawatomi Nation, participants draw on this common cultural knowledge to integrate the multiple meanings of being Potawatomi. Fittingly, the Potawatomis themselves have the last word in this book: members respond directly to Wetzel’s study, providing readers with a unique opportunity to witness the conversations that shape the ever-evolving Potawatomi Nation.
Combining social and cultural history with firsthand observations, Gathering the Potawatomi Nation advances both scholarly and popular dialogues about Native nationhood.
Published through the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
“Christopher Wetzel’s insightful look at Potawatomi community resurgence underscores the cultural regeneration of Indigenous nationhood in everyday life. This important and timely contribution to the fields of Indigenous studies, political science, and sociology effectively demonstrates how Potawatomis are actively rebuilding relationships across communities and transcending colonial divisions.”—Jeff Corntassel, coauthor of Forced Federalism: Contemporary Challenges to Indigenous Nationhood