The format of this third edition of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Tribe is a series of newspaper articles first printed in the Topeka Capital Journal in February to November of 1995 and other articles printed in News From Indian Country and The Potawatomi Traveling Times. The entire series, of course, wasn't written overnight. It was more like five years of research and countless nights of writing and revising.
When I was in my bachelor of arts program at Washburn University, I realized how little I knew about my tribal history and that was the beginning thought to this series. I was probably lucky that John Chambers of the Topeka Capital Journal decided to print this series and for that I owe him a life-long debt of gratitude. Without readers, too, the story is meaningless, so I want to thank each and everyone that read one or more of the articles. I'm also thankful for all the kind remarks and letters from friends and perfect strangers in the street and gas stations who said they read the articles and enjoyed them. One elderly lady said the articles took her back in time. This encouraged me to write more and made me realize all the research and writing was worthwhile.
For too long, the Potawatomi story was never known by many people in the area and sometimes not by the tribal people themselves. Now people will know what the tribe had to endure in their history as well as their contributions. My goal throughout this series was to remain objective, but to be honest, it was hard to do at times. I know history cannot be changed, that's for sure, but we still can learn from the mistakes and improve the future for all of our races.
For informational purposes, I'm one of 4,313 members of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Indian Tribe located on a 22,000 plus acres reservation in Northeast Kansas. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Washburn University in 1993 and a Master of Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis in History from Baker University in December of 1994. I'm a free lance writer and have given countless presentations on the history of the Potawatomi Tribe. My wife, Voncile and I have been married for over 25 years. We have two daughters, Joanna and Martie and four grandchildren, Tara, Nyeh, Cheyenne and "Hooty."
Clifford Knoxsah, the artist and illustrator for this work, is a Prairie Band Potawatomi/Choctaw/Kickapoo, and resides on the Potawatomi Reservation. Clifford has no formal art training. His subject matter is mostly based on his Native American cultural heritage. He has worked in oils, acrylic, tempera, but prefers colored pencil. Clifford feels he can achieve a greater visual effect with emphasis on detail using pencil. The couple on the cover were respected elders - Minnie LeClere and Nelson Potts - on the Potawatomi reservation. In future editions, Clifford will add other pictures to the cover.
16095 N Road
Mayetta, Kansas 66509- 9087