Native Americans In the 2016 Summer Olympic Games Essay

Citizenship, Business, and Olympic Sports

When the Potawatomi people went to their federal reservation in America, they also voluntarily became American citizens, an action that most other tribes did not take. Most Native groups in the US were not citizens until 1924. Today, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation is a very successful Native American Nation in their business dealings. They own 12 large enterprises that include a chain of banks, grocery stores, resort-casinos, golf courses, and other entities that build the local economy. The tribal endeavors may be second in magnitude on to the Pequot in the East.

Beyond their business acumen, this Potawatomi group is home to an Olympian that participated in the 2012 London Summer Olympiad. She is Mary Killman, who is set to swim in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil with her synchronized swimming duet partner……. In 2012, the pair came in at 12th place in Killmans first-ever Olympics. In 2016, they are expected to place much higher and perhaps even to medal for the USA in the event. They both love swimming and have the energy and outgoing personalities to become more successful in their chosen event.

The Many CNP Businesses

  • FireLake Convenience Store
  • FireLake Designs – Near the discount foods store below. Logo apparel and more.
  • FireLake Discount Foods – Grocery
  • FireLake Casino
  • FireLake Express Grocery
  • FireLake Bowl – Bowling and supplies
  • FireLake Gifts – Made In America; Native American goods and American made wool products.
  • FireLake Golf Course – One of Top 10 Courses in the state; landscaped with native grasses and pecan trees.
  • FireLake Grand Casino
  • FireLake Grand Travel Plaza – Huge highway “rest stop” at I-40 exit 178.
  • FireLake Mini-Putt – Mini golf for everyone. Open year round, with overhead canopy shelter.
  • First National Bank – Open since 1983.
  • Kool Gold KGFF – Radio station 1450 AM. Rock and roll from the 60s through the 80s.
  • San Remos – Pizzeria, moved into the bowling lanes.

Museum and Cultural Center

  • CPN Cultural Heritage Center | Home
    Cultural Heritage Center – Citizen Potawatomi Nation
  • The Potawatomi speak a language that belongs to the Algonquian group of languages and the various nine bands of the tribal organiation live in Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Ontario Province in Canada.
  • The CNP have a stick ball game much like lacrosse and have started lacrosse teams as well, like the Iroquois.
  • The CNP and the other bands have been part of the Three Fires Confederacy, also called the United Nations of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indians. In fact, the Potawatomi are known as The Keepers of the Fire.
  • Individual tribal nations of the Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi are thought to have developed after the larger Anishinaabe people’s group traveled back westward form the eastern US to the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan near Mackinac Island and dispersed. Theyt ook with them a secret religion and medicine practice called Midewiwin, that is still practice today along with other faiths among the none bands of peoples.

Synchronized Swimming Event at the Olympics

Vivacious athlete Mary Killman works with her swimming partner Mariya Koroleva consistently to strongly represent USA in World and Olympic events and other competitions. With the same initials, they could be called MK2.

Born in Ada, Oklahoma north of the reservation, Mary began training for Olympic class speed swimming events, but changed her focus to synchronized swimming and many are glad that she did at age 15. Mary and Mariya are a joy to watch, both in the water and beside the pool in photo shoots and interviews. Their energy is infectious and uplifting. Mary Killman adds to the tradition of great Native Olympians like Jim Thorpe and others. Just 21 in 2012, Mary will be competing in Brazil in 2016 and likely in 2020.

  • Mary Killman
  • Mary Killman (marykillman) on Twitter
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USA Synchro Team 2013

  • Megan Hansley – Stanford University
  • Mary Killman – Santa Clara Club
  • Mariya Koroleva – Stanford University
  • Michelle Moore – Stanford University
  • Olivia Morgan – Santa Clara
  • Leah Pinette – Santa Clara
  • Caitlin Stewart – Walnut Creek Club
  • Michelle Theriault – Ohio State University
  • Alison Williams
  • Morgan Fuller – Stanford University

Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Family Reunion Festival

Instead of a traditional Pow Wow event, the CPN holds an annual Family Reunion Festival the last weekend of June and open to the public.Each yearly festival pays spedcial honors to a group of founding family surnames.

A similar event is The Gathering of Potawatomi Nations for tribal members, which rotates among the seven different bands of Potawatomi in the United States and two in Canada (nine total bands).

In addition, Firelake BBQ Cookoff is held each March near the discount foods store on the reserve — Cash prizes for 2013 totaled $5,000.

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