One Story is a grass roots community-based program designed to build awareness of contemporary Native American issues. One Story partners currently include The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Dowagiac District Library, Dowagiac Dogwood Fine Arts Festival Committee, Dowagiac Union Schools, and Southwestern Michigan College.

This year’s book selection is Ogimawkwe Mitigwaki (Queen of the Woods) by Simon Pokagon. Simon Pokagon was born in 1830 in the Pokagon Indian Village in Berrien County, Michigan. He was educated at Notre Dame University and Oberlin College. During his lifetime, he became spokesman for his tribe, a well-known speaker, and a respected writer. Queen of the Woods is a love story about Chief Pokagon and his wife, Lonidaw. The community is invited to participate in all of the events based on this novel during the One Story 2016 season. Complimentary copies of the book are available from any of the One Story partners.

2016 Calendar

    Creative Workshop :: Significance: Culture, Tradition, Location, Relationship
    Everyone has a story, and now is the perfect time to share yours in words, pictures, or a combination of both. The museum will host a workshop to begin crafting short stories, essays, poems, drawings, paintings, and more. Participants will not be required to complete their projects that evening but will be free to continue on their own, if they choose. The completed writings will be compiled into a community book, and the art canvases will be displayed with others to create a community “quilt.” Please come share your story!

    February 20 | 1:00 – 3:00 pm
    Dowagiac Area History Museum
    201 E Railroad St, Dowagiac, MI 49047


  • New Works of the Potawatomi : A Survey of Traditional + Contemporary Art Practices
    Begun in dialogue with Nooksack artist Louis Gong—of Eighth Generation and their related program, Inspired Natives Project—this exhibition is evolving like a conversation, organically growing and changing shape as new artists are approached and their artistic practices networked together. This jointly curated project will include a range of Native American artists (with both local and national profiles), bringing together a selection of works that complement and expand on the One Story program.

    The Art Gallery at Southwestern Michigan College is located in Room 108 of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac Campus. Gallery hours are Monday–Thursday 10 am–3 pm and by appointment. Art reception and the gallery are open to visitors at no cost.

    February 16 – March 17 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
    Southwestern Michigan College
    Lyon's Building Art Gallery
    58900 Cherry Grove Rd, Dowagiac, MI 49047

  • Opening Reception :: New Works A collaborative exhibition with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi
    A public reception will be held in the Art Gallery.

    February 25 | 12:30 pm
    Southwestern Michigan College
    Lyon's Building Art Gallery
    58900 Cherry Grove Rd, Dowagiac, MI 49047


  • Archaeology of the North American Fur Trade
    By Dr. Michael Nassaney, professor of Archeology at Western Michigan University and author of the recently published book, Archaeology of the North American Fur Trade. A book signing will follow the program. This program is the first in the museum’s Spring Lecture Series. Cost is free for museum members and $5 for non-members.

    March 2 | 6:30 pm
    Dowagiac Area History Museum
    201 E Railroad St, Dowagiac, MI 49047


  • Sugar Bush
    Come join the Pokagon Band as they celebrate the sugar bush (maple syrup) season. Participants can assist with sap collection, make maple syrup and maple candy, and receive traditional teachings. Everyone is welcome.

    Saturdays in March | 3:00 pm
    Pokagon Band Rodgers Lake Campus
    58620 Sink Road, Dowagiac, MI 49047

  • Leave No Trace: Wildlife Presentation
    Learn to practice the seven principles of leave no trace in any environment that you are visiting. By learning about practicing Leave No Trace (LNT) individuals become more fully aware of their impacts on the environment and what effects their actions may have in a natural environment. Leave only footprints, take only pictures. Join us to learn more about Leave No Trace.

    March 5 | 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
    Pokagon Band Community Center
    27043 Potawatomi Trail (off of Dailey Road), Dowagiac, MI 49047

    Author Presentation and Book Signing | Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians & the City of Chicago
    How were the Pokagons able to retain their identity and traditions while contributing significantly to the culture of Chicago? Dr. John Low will discuss his newly published book, Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago, which examines the ways some Pokagon Potawatomi tribal members have maintained a distinct Native identity, their rejection of assimilation into the mainstream, and their desire for inclusion in the larger contemporary society without forfeiting their “Indianness.”

    March 17 | 2:00 pm
    Southwestern Michigan College
    Dale A. Lyons’ Theatre (Room 108)
    58900 Cherry Grove Rd, Dowagiac, MI 49047

  • The 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition
    By Karen Nicholson, World’s Fairs historian and volunteer at Ruthmere Museum. The Columbian Exposition drew millions to Chicago’s White City in 1893 and today is one of the best remembered of the World’s Fairs. Local residents took the train to Chicago by the thousands and many area businesses had booths featured at the fair. Simon Pokagon of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi was a featured speaker at Chicago Day and handed out birch bark booklets. Nicholson’s program will explore the Exposition from a national and local perspective. Program is part of the Spring Lecture Series, free for members, $5 for non-members.

    April 6 | 6:30 pm
    Dowagiac Area History Museum
    201 E Railroad St, Dowagiac, MI 49047


  • Spring in to Your Local Library
    The Pokagon Band and Dowagiac District Library will host this storytelling event for families of children under 8. Join nDigiDreams from April 19– 22 for a workshop to create your very own digital story about parenting. Videos will be revealed at Spring Into Your Local Library on Saturday, April 23. Learn more at the Annual Citizens Meeting on March 19. Registration coming soon.

    April 23 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    Dowagiac District Library
    211 Commercial St, Dowagiac, MI 49047


  • Pokagon Band Historic Bus Tour
    Have you ever wondered about the history of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi in Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana? Now is your chance to go on a free, guided bus tour to learn about Potawatomi history in the local area. Two identical tours are available: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be available at the Community Center from 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. The number of participants is limited for this event based on available bus seating. Advance registration is required and will begin on April 4. Watch for more information coming soon.

    May 13 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
    Pokagon Band Community Center
    27043 Potawatomi Trail (off of Dailey Road), Dowagiac, MI 49047

    Epilogue Feast
    Just as the epilogue of a book brings the story to an end, so the Epilogue Feast concludes One Story 2016. Please come commemorate this One Story season by enjoying a Native American celebration including a traditional feast along with storytelling, dancing, singing, and drumming. Pokagon Language apprentices will join us to share their experience of learning Bodéwadmi, a language with only six fluent speakers in the entire world. This is an evening you won’t want to miss!

    May 19 | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
    Pokagon Band Community Center
    27043 Potawatomi Trail (off of Dailey Road), Dowagiac, MI 49047