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Potawatomi “Trail of Death” a Topic of High Interest – NativeNewsNetwork

"Yesterday, someone told me I should have ended this workshop on a high note. I thought about it. How could I? "asked Kelli Mosteller as she was conducting the "Trail of Death" workshop on Saturday afternoon at the Gathering of the Potawatomi Nations.

The Potawatomi Trail of Death was the journey of Potawatomi from Indiana to the prairies of Kansas. The 660 mile journey was the forced removal of 859 Potawatomi in 1838. It began in Twin Lakes, Indiana, near Plymouth, on September 4 and ended two months later on November 4.

Sadly, during these two months, over 40 Potawatomi died along the way. Those who died were mostly children and elders. Most of those who died did so as the result of typhoid fever. This is why the journey is known as the Trail of Death.

Facilitating the workshop four times during the course of the Gathering of the Potawatomi Nations, Mosteller, who is the director of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma, discovered that even among Potawatomi, the vast majority did not know about the Potawatomi Trail of Death.

Drawn by a Potawatomi during the Trail of Death in 1838This Illustration was Drawn by a Potawatomi during

the Trail of Death in 1838

“The first day I asked for a show of hands of how many people heard about the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Everyone’s hand went up. Then I asked about the Long Walk of the Navajo. Most hands went up. But, when I asked the first workshop of 50 people how many knew about the Potawatomi Trail of Death, only about 10 hands went up,”

recounted Mosteller.

While the 1838 removal was one of twelve of the Potawatomi from the Great Lakes region, it is the best known because of the stigma associated with the deaths.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: Potawatomi “Trail of Death” a Topic of High Interest – NativeNewsNetwork.

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