Published on May 20, 2014 by Amy
The Potawatomi, or Keeper of the Fire, belong to an alliance known as the “Three Fires” that was started long ago among three brothers who shared similar lands and backgrounds. All are of the Anishinabe and live in the eastern part of North America. After various wars and migrations, the tribes moved to the Great Lakes Area. The oldest brother, Chippewa (Ojibwa), was given the responsibility of Keeper of the Faith. The middle brother, Ottawa (Odawa), was the Keeper of the Trade, and the youngest brother, Potawatomi (Bode Wad Mi), was responsible for keeping the Sacred Fire; hence the name, “Keeper of the Fire.”
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The Forest County Potawatomi Reservation contains approximately 12,000 acres. Located on tribal lands near Crandon is Sugar Bush Hill. At 1,950 feet above sea level, Sugar Bush Hill is the second highest point in Wisconsin. From it, one can observe an incredible panoramic view of the surrounding forests and lakes.
Currently, the Potawatomi Tribe consists of approximately 980 tribal members, of which about half reside on or near the reservation. The tribe is experiencing an unprecedented era of growth and prosperity. the Potawatomi Bingo / Northern Lights Casino is located on Highway 32 just north of Carter, Wisconsin. Adjacent to it is the Indian Springs Lodge. This 99-room hotel features whirlpool suites, conference rooms, a swimming pool and a spa. Also located by the casino and lodge is the Potawatomi Convenience Store and Smoke Shop.
On U.S. Highway 8 four miles east of Crandon is the Fire-Up Smoke Shop, which carries not only tobacco products, but a large variety of fireworks and Native American arts and crafts. Also along Highway 8 is an historical marker identifying the “Northern Highlands,” a beautiful glacially carved region of lakes and streams swimming with fish, together with forests rich with wildlife.
The Potawatomi have also recently opened a new Health and Wellness Center on Highway 8 near Crandon, and new construction is under way for a historical museum and cultural center.