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Service removal regulations, the first consisting of persons enrolled at the start of the journey, the second of the group actually delivered at their destination. There are none such for Shabeni's band.
29. In Kercheval's journal of events for his party's journey, in October, 1836, he noted that upon arriving at the Mississippi River he had learned that Wabansi and Shabeni's group were traveling west some distance behind him. On several successive days Kercheval halted his group and waited, anticipating that they would join up with him. Wabansi and Shabeni neve: did so. Instead, they went on their own way, relying on their own means. Shabeni's group halted in the Platte lands, while Wabansi went own to the Osage River tract, where he stayed briefly.
30. Later, in 1837, Shabeni's group, in company with the band of Perish LeClerc, traveled north to the newly agreed on "final" cestination, the reservation near Council Bluffs, where they settled is with the other Illinois-Wisconsin bands. In August, 1837, the new Chicago subagent, L. H. Sands, knew that the Shabeni band was located in the West, because at that time he dispatched their share of treaty annuities to the St. Louis Superintendency so that it could be distributed to them there. In the lowa lands, these relocated bands continued their standard practice of establishing their villages many miles from one another. The Shabeni band's village was probably located about thirty miles south of Council Bluffs, along the bands of Shabbonne Creek, near present Tabor, lowa.
31. The years speat on the lowa reservation were momentous for the coalition of Illinois-Wisconsin bands (sometimes called the United bands, or the Prairie Band as they were soon known). There the bands merged, to form a new, autonomous tribal polity. The merged hands continued their older practice of council-manager governance for some years. This tribal council, especially so in its dealings with American authorities, consisted of a small cadre of highly respected, capable, elder band chiefs. These band chiefs, in Potawatomi custom, were serving not only as representatives of their own bands, but as kiktoweninek ("speakers") for all Potawatomi on the lowa reservation. This council, representing the now merged Prairie Band tribal entity, functioned autonomously in governing the external affairs of this tribal people quite independent of and separate from any other Potawatomi groups located elsewhere. Until his death in 1841, Billy Caldwell continued to serve as their business manager.
32. Between 1837 and early 1846, annually, the Prairie band tribal council was involved in a regular flow of exchanges with American authorities. On the one hand, these consisted of either face-to-face conferences with their Indian agents, the St. Louis regional superintendents, military officers, and treaty commissioners dispatched to negotiate with them, as well as sundry other parties such as Catholic missionaries and Mormon leaders. On the other hand, they consisted of written petitions, memorials, appeals, and letters dispatched to various officials, often to the President. The substance of these communications, verbal or written, was of vital importance to these Potawatomt. In the main, it consisted of their efforts to persuade Americar authorities to abide strictly by and to implement the terms of the 1833 Chicago treaty, and of their responses to the efforts of American authorities to persuade them to cede their separate reservation and to give up their autonomous status, in exchange for a "national reservation" in Kansas, where Americans officials wished them to "rejoin" the other Potawatomi bands and form "one nation." This latter overture the Prairie band effectively and bitterly resisted, until they finally relented and agreed to the Treaty of 1846.
33. in this period, at least through year-end, 1845, perhaps into early 1846, Shabeni regularly was one of the leading chiefs reported as being active on the tribal council, participating in debates, placing his name on the memorials and petitions, and so on. Indeed on at least one occasion he acted as kiktowenine (speaker) for the tribal council, a position at other time assumed by elder chiefs Wabansi, Padegashuk, or Miamise. Moreover, Shabeni was one of the cadre of chiefs which hotly debated the three treaty commissioners dispatched to meet with them in the summer of 1845; and he was one of the select delegation the Prairie Band dispatched to Washington in late 1845, there to negotiate with the President and hammer out terms agreeable to themselves for ceding the lowa lands and resettling in Kansas Also in this period, Shabeni and family began their practice of alternating stays on the lowa reservation and on the Illinois band reservation. Consequently, he was not always present in lowa to participate in tribal council affairs, but neither was any other senior chief invariably present for such deliberations.
34. For this reason, most likely, Chief Shabeni apparently did not participated in the final negotiation of the Treaty of June 5 and June 17, 1846 (9 Stat., 853), although he had been active in working out the preliminaries for same. He certainly did not place his mark on this agreement, signifying his approval of it Had he done so, he would have signed this treaty near the top of the list of chiefs and headmen, so reflecting his senior rank, in company with such other elder Prairie band chiefs as Miamise and Abtegizkek. Had he done so, the secretary recording his presence would have rendered his name as "Shah-benay." which is the spelling the same treaty commission secretary had been using since 1845. There is a name, third from last of the long list of chiefs and headmen signing this treaty which might be confused with that of Shabeni (or Shah-benay, as the secretary wrote it), but only if handled carelessly. This name the commission secretary rendered, in the hand written draft treaty, as "Sha-bon-niah," although due to a typographical error it appears on the printed treaty as "Shau-bon-ni-agh." This is not the name Shabeni. It is the name of a minor chief or headman whose village before removal had been on the Kankakee River. This person (AKA Chevalier) was apparently a Franco-Potawatomi, and the name itself is not of Potawatomi provenance. The spelling used by the treaty commission's secretary, "Sha-bon-niah," is an American's effort to render in English orthography the Potawatomi pronunciation of a French word, Chevalier (phonetically -- shvaïlje. Because the Potawatomi language has no /t/, /, or /v/ phonemes, speakers of this language pronounce Ws as /shbonije/, phonetically, which the secretary rendered as "Shaboniah"
35. There are various conceivable and plausible reasons that might explain why Shabeni apparently did not participate in the final negotiation of the 1846 treaty, and why he certainly did not sign it. In their report, the 1846 treaty commissioners emphasized that all the Prairie band chiefs and headmen who were present gave their consent and signed the treaty. If this is accurate, then Shabeni was not present for these negotiations. Exactly why he was not present, absent further documentation, is an unresolved question. What is known is that, about this time, either somewhat before or shortly after the 1846 negotiations (when he was about sixty-five years old), Shabeni in effect retired from political leadership in the Prairie Band tribal council, eventually returning to Illinois permanently to live out his remaining years. Although Shaben in his last years settled in Illinois with a several members of his family, the Shabeni band proper remained a constituent part of the Prairie Band in Iowa, until they resettled together in Kansas soon after the 1846 treaty was ratified.
36. Once the Prairie band moved onto the "national" reservation, they continued to express their separate political identity by deliberately isolating themselves geographically, minimizing contacts with the Mission bands from Indiana and Michigan. The latter, by-and-large, established their settlements south of the Kaw River. The Prairie Band placed their settlements in the northwest corner of this new reservation. In so doing, the Prairie Band were following an ancient practice, that of expressing political-cultural differences and their separate social identity as a distinct people spatially
37. Soon after their settlement on the Kansas reservation, the olde; band social organization which had characterized the Illinois-Wisconsin Potawatomi in earlier generations began breaking down. By the early 1860s and after, it is not possible for an ethnohistorian to discern separate and distinct bands. One reason for this was that the elder generation of influential band chiefs were now deceased or aged and incapacitated. But the central cause was that, confined as they were to a highly restricted land-base, there was no longer sufficient territory for them to establish widely separated band-villages. In any respect, the memberships of the several bands melded into one tribal population on this much smaller reservation, including the members of the Shabeni band.
38. Nevertheless, the Prairie Band tribal council continued functioning, and has done so to the present day. However, by the 1860s, rather than representing geographically isolated bands and villages, the chiefs and headmen represented segmentary kin groups, such as patrilineal clans and lineages or extended families, the memberships of which were, increasingly, intermixed geographically. Included among these were the descendants of the Shabeni band, for some time including most of Shabeni's lineal and collateral descendants. So, despite the 1846 treaty, the preamble of which represented an American conception of a "unified nation," the Prairie Band successfully sustained their separate existence.
39. For example, starting in 1853, for several years there was a concerted effort on the part of the United States to break up and to diminish or disestablish all the reservations in eastern Kansas, which had been awarded to the tribes relocated from the Great Lakes-Ohio valley region under the now obsolete removal policy. These were to be allotted in severalty to the members of the resettled tribes, with the members eventually to become citizens, and the "surplus lands" of the reservations placed on the market and sold. The Kansas Potawatomi, led by the Praine Band chiefs, refused to accept this and (as it happened temporarily) avoided the application of this policy to all Kansas Potawatomi. So, by the winter of 1854-1855, the "national reservation," including the Prairie Band Potawatomi area, was the only intact reservation remaining out of all those established for the resettled eastern tribes.
40. That changed six years later. Nevertheless, the separate political existence of the Prairie Band tribal entity was confirmed by the United States with the Treaty of November 15,1861 (12 Stat, 1121) By the terms of this treaty, the members the Mission bands (hereafter known as the Citizens band), accepted a share of the Kansas reservation, which share was allotted to them in severalty, with provisions for fee patenting these allotments, and American citizenship. As a consequence, the Citizens Band was detribalized, and was no longer to have government-to-government relations with the United States. Not so the Prairie Band Their tribal council refused to countenance such steps, insisted on remaining a tribal entity, and retained a pro rata share of the reservation, which provisions the 1861 treaty sanctioned, stipulating that their now much diminished reservation would be held in common, ie, in recognized Ind an title.
41. A quarter century later, following passage in 1887 of the General Allotment (Dawes) Act, the United States undertook to implement this legislation by securing Prairie Band consent to the allotment in severalty of their reservation. The Prairie Banc's leaders fought a bitter, losing battle against this, preferring to continue their in-common tribal ownership of their remaining lands. In the end, the United States arbitrarily allotted the reservation without their consent, with no attention to local community or kinship ties and preferences. Thus the Prairie Potawatorni's membership was left scattered willy-nitly acress the reservation, with each family or individual holding title to a small, privately held patch of ground. Once their titles were converted to
fee simple, the process of land loss began. So, by 1962, the Prairie Band held only eighty acres in common, with but twenty-two percent (22%) of the original reservation lands (out of 121 square miles or 77,440 acres) still held in restricted fee titles or by multiple owners (ie., heirship tracts)
42. Politically speaking, the contemporary Prairie Band of Potawatorni, a federally recognized entity with a tribal government conducted under the terms of an Indian Reorganization Act Constitution and By-laws, is the direct, lineal successor to the coalition of northern Illinois-southern Wisconsin bands who negotiated the Treaty of 1829. That coalition of bands remained together following their several dislocations and treks, first to the Platte Purchase, thence to the lowa reservation, finally to the corner of the "national" reservation they elected to occupy in Kansas, finally on their own separate reservation which was established at their insistence by the Treaty of 1861, where they remain today. Over the years they were known by several different names, including: the United Bands of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi, the United Bands, the Prairie Indians of Caldwell's Band of Potawatomies, and, finally, simply the Prairie Band of Potawatomi. These are no more than successive synonyms for the same historic political entity
43. Throughout this period, until the Indian Reorganization Act was imposed on them in the mid-1960s, the Prairie band was governed by a tribal council of their own selection, according to their own preferences. Originally and for many years, this council consisted of the wkamek (chiefs) of the constituent bands, with the most senior and influential chiefs acting as an executive cadre in important dealings with the United States. For some years thereafter, after the band organization had fallen into disuse, the leadership of this tribal council represented clans and extended kin groups. By the early 1960s, the tribal council consisted of the key leaders of a set of unstable parties or factions, mostly kin group based. Since their IRA constitution was approved, their leaders have been elected by secret ballot, but for the most part they continue to represent extended kin groups. Throughout this political history, the politics of the Prairie Band have been kinship based, whether hand or clan or kindred.
44. Interestingly, while the contemporary Prairie Band's secular affairs are managed by a democratically elected tribal council which follows Robert's Rules of Order in its decision making, these Potawatomi have also preserved in a second institutional form their ancient, traditional political structure, but in a sacred arena. In their Dream Dance Religion (or Drum cult) there are six segments or religious sodalities, iterating the ancient clars or bands in ritualized form. Each of these six sodalities consists of a series of formal "offices," or ritual roles, including Chief, Speaker, Pipeman, Herald-Messenger, Chief of Warriors, Chief Woman, and so on. These are the traditional leadership roles of the early historic Potawatomi bands. Following a ritual calendar, every season, and at other times during the year, the Prairie Band adherents of this religion come together and reconstitute, in a sacred place, these ancient political institutions, there exhibiting their preferences for traditional values and ways.
45. One of these six ritual sodalities commemorates the memory of Chief Shabeni, being named for him. In the early 1960s, the Shabeni Drum was kept in the home of Pkukaokwe, Shabeni's great-grand-daughter, then reputed to be over one-hundred years of age. Pkuknokwe's husband, Frank Masha, was also a (collateral) descendent of Shabeni. This was the only one of the six sacred Drums named for one of the prominent wkama (or any lesser chief or headman) dating to the early nineteenth-century period of the Prairie band's Illinois-Wisconsin history. There was, for example, no Caldwell, or Ablegizhck, of Miamise, or Padegoshuk Drum, nor any other celebrating the memory of one of Shabent's contemporaries Thus, in a sacred arena, the contemporary Prairie Band Potawatomi preserve and honor the political identity and the institutional forms of the historic Shabeni band.
46. In many other respects -- in language preservation, food-preferences, traditional medicines, cosmology, values, etc. the Prairie Band is one of the two most culturally conservative of all the numerous Potawatomi communities in the United States and Canada, a close second only, perhaps, to the Fores: County Potawatomi of Wisconsin, a much smaller and far more isolated community.
47. There is a story, told by a Citizens Band Potawatomi to anthropologist Alanson Skinner in 1923, to the effect that those Potawatorni who had sided with the dissident Sauk leader, Black Hawk, had denounced Shabeni because he had betrayed Black Hawk's plans and led his people into American ambushes. There is no historical evidence in support of any part of this derogatory legend, and much that contradicts it. In the first place, none of the Potawatomi are known to have "sided" with Black Hawk during his incursions, which precipitated the "Black Hawk War" Instead, the Potawatomi either entirely avoided these Sauk, or they sided actively with Americans, as did Shabeni and numerous others. Moreover, during this period Shabeni had no direct contact with Black Hawk and his "British band," so he could not have led them into ambushes or betrayed their plans, assuming that Black Hawk had a plan of some sort. Again, this legend is counterfactual, little more than malicious gossip.
48. There is no other Potawatomi community, band, tribe, nation, or group in the United States or Canada which can legitimately claim to be the political successor to the historic Shabeni band of northern Illinois, other than the Prairie band.
49. It is true that a good many of Shabeni's own lineal and collateral descendants live in other places, are not enrolled members of the Prairie Band, and may be errolled in (or are presently seeking enrollment in) some other Potawatomi band, as well other tribes such as the Kansas Kickapoo. Shabeni had several wives, who bore him numerous children. Six to eight generations later, these descendants have multiplied considerably. Some of these disaffiliated themselves with the Prairie Band by migrating elsewhere in search of better economic opportunities. Some narried spouses in other tribes, where their children were enrolled, losing their legal Potawatomi identity. If any portion of these descendants assemble temporarily, they would constitute what anthropologists call an "ancestor based kindred," rather like a collection of persons who might claim descent from Thomas Jefferson, but who otherwise have little to do with one another. This would constitute a special or single-purpose secondary group or voluntary association, not a band or community of any sort, which are face-to-face groups characterized by intensive, regular interaction for many, varied purposes. In any respect, such persons are merely some, not all of Shabeni's descendants Of greater importance, the Treaty of 1829 did not establish the Shabeni band's reservation as his private property, which could thereby have been passed on to his progeny. This was established as a collectively owned reservation, with the title held by a political unit, the Shabeni band, which long since has been merged politically into the Prairie Band of Kansas. Further, in 1833, when the United States Senate was presented with a draft treaty containing a proposal to convert the band's collective title to a conveyable or heritable fee simple title in Shabeni's name, the Senate flatly rejected this, leaving the collectively held band title to this reservation intact.
Mr. HAYWORTH. Well, Mr. Vice Chairman, we very much appreciate both your written testimony, your oral testimony here today and your generous offer to answer our questions. We are sure that there will be questions that will be forthcoming.
I just would make a note that Ms. Hale's affidavit, per your request, will be included in our record today without objection, and we appreciate the opportunity to have that as part of your testimony and point of view as well.
[The affidavit of Ms. Hale follows:]
AFFIDAVIT OF ELIZABETH HALE
I, Elizabeth Hale, am a current member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe. I
have been a member since my birth on March 11, 1905.
2. I am very knowledgeable of the Prairie Band Potawatomi's history, culture, and traditions. Our people today, like our ancestors before us, strive to conserve our old traditions and ancestral culture. Each generation passes to the next our history, traditions, and culture through our strong oral tradition. We teach our children at a young age our tribe's history, and to respect and practice the ways of our ancestors. Our traditions play an important role in our lives, and define who we are as a people.
3. Our tribe has existed for over 150 years. Our history says that the Prairie Band came from Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1847 and settled in the northern part of the Potawatomi reservation. Different bands from elsewhere settled on the southern part. A treaty in 1861 recognized that the northen part of the Kansas reservation belonged to the Prairie Band Potawatomi and reserved this land separately for us. Today, we still reside on this reservation. Our tribal council has also existed for over 150 years. It is how we have governed ourselves since we were at Council Bluffs.
4. Chief Shab-eh-nay and the members of his Band have been preserved in the Prairie Band Potawatomi's oral history for as long as our tribe has been in Kansas. The Prairie Band people have always recognized their descendence from the Shab-eh-nay Band.
5. As a child I was taught that my grandfather was Shab-eh-nay's grandson. I am Shab-eh-nay's great-great granddaughter. And I was also taught since a child that our
tribe's reservation in Illinois was stolen from Chief Shab-eh-nay by the government and settlers in the 1840's.
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.