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Potawatomi Nation to dedicate interpretive signs in Skyline Park

Interpretive signs at Skyline Park will be dedicated by Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation...
Interpretive signs at Skyline Park will be dedicated by Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation leadership on April 29.(WIBW/Sarah Motter)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 2:18 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation officials will dedicate interpretive signs in Skyline Park on April 29.

Shawnee County Parks and Recreation says Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation Officials will formally dedicate interpretive signs at the entrance of Skyline Park on April 29, at 3 p.m. It said Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett will be joined by Shawnee Co. Commissioner Kevin Cook and Shawnee Co. Parks and Rec. Director Tim Laurent. It said members of the Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation will also be in attendance.

According to Parks and Rec., a series of three signs tells the history of the Potawatomi, who were forced at gunpoint from their homes in Indiana to make a 660-mile trek called the “Trail of Death” in 1838. It said the signs explain how the Potawatomi came to live in northeast Kansas as part of a government relocation program. It said the signs include a section on Chief Abram Burnett who owned the property on which Skyline Park now resides. It said the signs were placed in the park in March of 2020, but the dedication was postponed due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

“We were here in the history and development of Topeka and Shawnee County,” said Jon Boursaw, a Potawatomi legislator who represents Kansas. “We wanted to tell our story.”

According to Boursaw, 753 tribal members live in Shawnee Co. and 2,900 live in Kansas. He said there are a total of nine tribes of Potawatomi peoples residing in multiple states, including Kansas, and two tribes residing in Canada. The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s reservation is located 15 minutes north of Topeka.

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