Some 175 years after the U.S. government stole land from the chief of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Illinois may soon return it to the tribe. Nothing ever changed the 1829 treaty that Chief Shab-eh-nay signed with the U.S. government to preserve for him a reservation in northern Illinois: not subsequent accords nor the 1830 Indian Removal Act, which forced all indigenous people to move west of the Mississippi. But around 1848, the U.S. sold the land to white settlers while Shab-eh-nay and other members of his tribe were visiting family in Kansas. To right the wrong, Illinois would transfer a 1,500-acre state park west of Chicago, which was named after Shab-eh-nay, to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. The state would continue providing maintenance; the tribe says it wants to keep the park as it is. Although this land transfer wouldn’t restore to the tribe all of its original lands, it is a good solution, says state Representative Will Guzzardi who sponsored the resolution to transfer the park.

Read Full Story