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Posted on: October 6, 2022

Dedication of Native American encampment set for Oct. 14 at Old Prairie Town

Group photo with Native American Encampment

TOPEKA, KAN. – A Native American encampment, the newest addition to Old Prairie Town, will be formally dedicated in a 10 a.m. ceremony on Oct. 14. The ceremony will include remarks by officials of the Prairie Band Potawatomi and Citizens Potawatomi Nation, and Shawnee County officials. Youths from the Prairie Band Boys & Girls Club will perform dances.

The Native American encampment includes a bark house, known as a wigwam, a medicine wheel, a prayer circle and a garden. Interpretive signage contains Native American history and information on the tribes that were relocated to this area from other parts of the United States during the Trail of Tears.

Mi-kes Potts of the Prairie Band Potawatomi led the design of the traditional bark house. He learned how to construct the shelter by listening to tribal elders. 

“Our traditions are important to us,” said Potts. “To understand them helps us know who we are.”

He adds, “This is a good way to let non-natives know about the way of the old life. Even a number of our tribal members don’t know the old ways and this will give them a good look into our traditional way of life.”

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Shawnee County Parks + Recreation includes nearly 60 miles of trails, 2,696 acres of parks and 320 annual days of sporting activities. In addition, the department offers recreation programs, educational programs and golf. A combination of tax dollars, user fees and private donations enables Shawnee County Parks and Recreation to offer parks, sporting and aquatic facilities with state-of-the art features, and beautiful, nationally recognized gardens.

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