The Potawatomi Nation encompassed lands along the Southeastern shoreline of Lake Michigan, from Detroit to Grand Rivers, and southward into Northern Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. Tribal Members were later forced to cede the remainder of their “reserved lands” contained within the “Notawasepe Reserve” and were relocated to lands west of the Mississippi River. During this removal, referred to as the Trail of Death, a group of Tribal Members escaped and returned to their native lands in Michigan. Now the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) Tribe resides on the Pine Creek Indian Reservation in Fulton, Michigan.
NHBP began seeking federal recognition before 1935, but the Bureau of Indian Affairs decided not to further extend services in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula in the 1940s. It wasn’t until the United States government re-established a federal recognition process in the 1970s that NHBP could apply to be federally recognized. After years of research and documentation, NHBP was federally recognized on December 19, 1995. This emotional, yet necessary, process has given NHBP the ability to continue to better the lives of NHBP Tribal Members and Community members around NHBP.