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Native Americans In the 2016 Summer Olympic Games

Updated on March 17, 2013
"Trail of Death:On September 15, 1838, about 860 Potawatomi Indians camped near here on the forced removal from Indiana to Kansas. They had to camp by a dirty stream. Two small children who died on the trek from Williamsport were buried at the camp."
"Trail of Death:On September 15, 1838, about 860 Potawatomi Indians camped near here on the forced removal from Indiana to Kansas. They had to camp by a dirty stream. Two small children who died on the trek from Williamsport were buried at the camp." | Source

Citizenship, Business, and Olympic Sports

When the Potawatomi people went to their federal reservation in America, they also voluntarily became American citizens, an action that most other tribes did not take. Most Native groups in the US were not citizens until 1924. Today, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation is a very successful Native American Nation in their business dealings. They own 12 large enterprises that include a chain of banks, grocery stores, resort-casinos, golf courses, and other entities that build the local economy. The tribal endeavors may be second in magnitude on to the Pequot in the East.

Beyond their business acumen, this Potawatomi group is home to an Olympian that participated in the 2012 London Summer Olympiad. She is Mary Killman, who is set to swim in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil with her synchronized swimming duet partner....... In 2012, the pair came in at 12th place in Killmans first-ever Olympics. In 2016, they are expected to place much higher and perhaps even to medal for the USA in the event. They both love swimming and have the energy and outgoing personalities to become more successful in their chosen event.

The Many CNP Businesses

  • FireLake Convenience Store
  • FireLake Designs - Near the discount foods store below. Logo apparel and more.
  • FireLake Discount Foods - Grocery
  • FireLake Casino
  • FireLake Express Grocery
  • FireLake Bowl - Bowling and supplies
  • FireLake Gifts - Made In America; Native American goods and American made wool products.
  • FireLake Golf Course - One of Top 10 Courses in the state; landscaped with native grasses and pecan trees.
  • FireLake Grand Casino
  • FireLake Grand Travel Plaza - Huge highway "rest stop" at I-40 exit 178.
  • FireLake Mini-Putt - Mini golf for everyone. Open year round, with overhead canopy shelter.
  • First National Bank - Open since 1983.
  • Kool Gold KGFF - Radio station 1450 AM. Rock and roll from the 60s through the 80s.
  • San Remos - Pizzeria, moved into the bowling lanes.

Anishinaabe means "First Peoples."
Anishinaabe means "First Peoples." | Source
  • The Potawatomi speak a language that belongs to the Algonquian group of languages and the various nine bands of the tribal organiation live in Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Ontario Province in Canada.
  • The CNP have a stick ball game much like lacrosse and have started lacrosse teams as well, like the Iroquois.
  • The CNP and the other bands have been part of the Three Fires Confederacy, also called the United Nations of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indians. In fact, the Potawatomi are known as The Keepers of the Fire.
  • Individual tribal nations of the Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi are thought to have developed after the larger Anishinaabe people's group traveled back westward form the eastern US to the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan near Mackinac Island and dispersed. Theyt ook with them a secret religion and medicine practice called Midewiwin, that is still practice today along with other faiths among the none bands of peoples.

Olympic rings on a pontoon between Albert Embankment and The Houses of Parliament in London, 2012.
Olympic rings on a pontoon between Albert Embankment and The Houses of Parliament in London, 2012. | Source

Synchronized Swimming Event at the Olympics

Vivacious athlete Mary Killman works with her swimming partner Mariya Koroleva consistently to strongly represent USA in World and Olympic events and other competitions. With the same initials, they could be called MK2.

Born in Ada, Oklahoma north of the reservation, Mary began training for Olympic class speed swimming events, but changed her focus to synchronized swimming and many are glad that she did at age 15. Mary and Mariya are a joy to watch, both in the water and beside the pool in photo shoots and interviews. Their energy is infectious and uplifting. Mary Killman adds to the tradition of great Native Olympians like Jim Thorpe and others. Just 21 in 2012, Mary will be competing in Brazil in 2016 and likely in 2020.

USA Synchro Team 2013

  • Megan Hansley - Stanford University
  • Mary Killman - Santa Clara Club
  • Mariya Koroleva - Stanford University
  • Michelle Moore - Stanford University
  • Olivia Morgan - Santa Clara
  • Leah Pinette - Santa Clara
  • Caitlin Stewart - Walnut Creek Club
  • Michelle Theriault - Ohio State University
  • Alison Williams
  • Morgan Fuller - Stanford University

Citizen Potawatomi Nation

A
Citizen Potawatomi Nation:
Citizen Potawatomi Nation, 1899 South Gordon Cooper Drive, Shawnee, OK 74801, USA

get directions

Citizen Potawatomi Nation's Family Reunion Festival

Instead of a traditional Pow Wow event, the CPN holds an annual Family Reunion Festival the last weekend of June and open to the public.Each yearly festival pays spedcial honors to a group of founding family surnames.

A similar event is The Gathering of Potawatomi Nations for tribal members, which rotates among the seven different bands of Potawatomi in the United States and two in Canada (nine total bands).

In addition, Firelake BBQ Cookoff is held each March near the discount foods store on the reserve -- Cash prizes for 2013 totaled $5,000.

Shawnee Is In Central Oklahoma

A
Shawnee, Oklahoma:
Shawnee, OK, USA

get directions

B
Ada OK:
Ada, OK, USA

get directions

Birthplace of Mary Killman, Olympic athlete.

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      And I think they were lucky to be given that option, because I think that many other groups were not. US history is a conundrum in this case, certainly.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I did not know that becoming American citizens was presented as an option at the time of forced movement. What a weird history we have!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks very much; I've always been fascinated by the many native groups we have!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for these valuable facts on the very worthy Potawatomi people. You're truly an educator, Patty.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      DiamondRN and cygnetbrown - I just read yesterday that a Potawatomi became a bishop in a diocese in the Eastern US. Very interesting achievements!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Cygnet Brown 

      5 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      I have enjoyed interesting article about the Potawatomi people. It is good to give credit where credit is due.

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      I had a frend Celeste whose brother was a Potawatomi chief. He worked as a clerk for the US Supreme Court.

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