Prairie Band Potawatomi take historic step toward reclaiming land
August 12, 2022
SHABBONA, Illinois — More than 150 years after being forced from their homelands in what is now north-central Illinois, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation has reason to celebrate.
A bill filed in the U.S. Congress last month would allow the tribe to acquire more than 1,100 acres of land near Shabbona State Park, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago, that was illegally auctioned off by the U.S. government in 1849.
“Today is a historic day – it marks the most progress we’ve had in our century-and-a-half pursuit to reclaim our land,” Potawatomi Chairman Joseph Rupnick said at a press conference Thursday, Aug. 11, to discuss the legislation.