BERRIEN SPRINGS — Jason Wesaw of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi will present a program on Leopold and Simon Pokagon at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Berrien County Historical Association's 1839 Courthouse Museum in Berrien Springs.Wesaw is the cultural associate of the Pokagon Band, and has devoted his life to the study and preservation of the Potawatomi culture. His program, "The True Story of Leopold and Simon Pokagon," examines the lives and contributions of two famed Potawatomi leaders in Southwest Michigan. Leopold Pokagon played an instrumental leadership role for his people during the federal government's Indian removal efforts of the 1830s. It was largely through his efforts that the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi won the right to stay in Michigan when most other bands were forced to move to the West.Simon Pokagon, Leopold's son, became a favorite of white Americans. He spoke at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and wrote several books, but his credibility with his own people suffered.Wesaw's presentation will focus on these two leaders and how their influence continues to the present time.The program is part of the association's ongoing "Thursdays at the Museum" lecture series for 2006. Admission is $1 per person, or free to association members.Those who want more information may call the association at 471-1202.
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