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DOI places Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation's northern Illinois reservation land into trust

The U.S. Department of the Interior has placed portions of the historic Shab-eh-nay Reservation into trust for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, establishing it as the only federally recognized tribal nation in Illinois.

Following an inspection this morning, the Kansas-based tribe signed a deed transferring 130 acres of land in northern Illinois to the federal government, according to the tribe. The land-into-trust acquisition had been approved in late February, according to a public notice on March 7.

The transfer today comes some 175 years after the illegal auctioning of 1,280 acres of Prairie Band's reservation land in northern Illinois. Chief Shab-eh-nay, a pivotal figure in Prairie Band's history, had traveled from his home reservation in present-day DeKalb County to visit family in Kansas when the Illinois land was unlawfully sold. The tribe has spent nearly two centuries trying to reclaim the land.


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