The Bodewéwadmik (Potawatomi) people were generally Great Lakes area inhabitants who chose to live near waterways. Being near water, the communities were able to use the water for fishing, harvesting and spiritual purposes. It has been our tradition to respect the Earth and strive to cultivate its resources carefully, while also providing a harvest for our families.
It is in the spirit of Native tradition to listen to Elders and respect their knowledge, while also celebrating the precious lives of the children who will become future leaders. The responsibility of motherhood and fatherhood are sacred and given by the Creator. NHBP culture continues to be shaped by these values.
Our culture includes traditional Dances, Drumming, songs, Medicines and teachings. Historically, Native families passed down teachings and ways of life orally, from generation to generation. NHBP still teaches in the ways of oral tradition, but also utilizes technology to preserve our culture.
Bodwé means to put something into a fire. Wadmi refers to the people. Bodéwadmi means “The people who maintain a fire,” also known as Fire Keepers.
NHBP is a Potawatomi Tribe, which is English for “Bodéwadmi.” The Three Fires Confederacy, or Alliance, promoted mutual interests between the Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi), Ojibwe (Chippewa) and Odawa (Ottawa) Tribes.
The Potawatomi Tribes were given the responsibility of being the Keepers of the Fire, the Chippewa are the Keepers of the Faith and the Ottawa people are the Keepers of the Trade. These responsibilities were given to the people by the Creator to ensure that no Tribe would be left to fend for themselves. The Tribes have always been able to rely on one another to make ends meet and join together to fight off other forces.
It is in the spirit of Native communities that every single piece of the logo relates back to Native culture. Every aspect of the logo was created with purpose and represents an aspect of NHBP’s history or culture. The Turtle artwork was created by Native artist Candi Wesaw, who is a Tribal Member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.
The NHBP mshiké (turtle) was created to represent the different clans and where they originate from. In the logo:
• The head of the mshiké is shaped like Michigan, where the NHBP people are from
• The seven circles represent the Seven Grandfather Teachings that Tribal Members strive to live by
• The mshiké also includes teal lines through the back which represent the “H” in Huron
• The circular back represents the Medicine Wheel and was made with many lines to signify the many different teachings of the Medicine Wheel
• The other rings are parts of the environment like the sun and flowers
• The triangles are a form of applique, which is a piece of Potawatomi culture