It’s no longer a secret that the Prairie Band Potawatomi would like to build a bingo parlor on their “new” acreage in Shabbona. I want to help ensure that DeKalb County Online’s analyses of the Shabbona land claim and the Prairie Band’s Kansas gaming operation aren’t secrets to anyone, either. Publisher/Editor Mac McIntyre has done an outstanding job on this four-part series.
Imagine the emotions that must have been in the mind of the old Indian chief, Shabbona, as he measured the statement of the settler living on his land.
“This is not your land you big dumb Indian! Take your family and get out of here!”
Perhaps he envisioned the lifeless body of Tecumseh, who had enlisted Shabbona’s help in trying to build a united confederacy of the Indian nations. Maybe he saw the cold stares on the faces of the British soldiers as they stood back and watched the slaughter of their Indian “allies” at the hands of the American armies. It’s possible that he saw the faces of some of his own people, who once were full of admiration for Shabbona, but were now filled with mistrust because they believed he betrayed them. Surely he saw the faces of his son, Pypeogee, and his nephew, Pyps, who were murdered in retribution for Shabbona’s actions in opposing Black Hawk’s war effort and for alerting settlers of impending danger.
The emotions led to tears as Shabbona responded with his true character as is often revealed in times of such a crisis.
“Why do you call me a big dumb Indian? I do not call you a big dumb white man. Up there,” he said, “we are all alike. All alike!”
See what I mean? You can’t beat Mac for providing a great read as well as a historical context for today’s events. Also, DCO Managing Partner Gracie Mott captured some great photos during their visit to the Prairie Band Reservation in Mayetta, Kansas. Do not miss these gems.