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City Of Shawnee Gives Land Back To The Citizen Potawatomi Nation; Announces Joint Initiative To Promote Economic Development And Improve City Services

City of Shawnee

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation and City of Shawnee ended a decades long legal battle over land along the North Canadian River in Potawattamie County.

On Monday night, the city of Shawnee voted unanimously to detach land along the North Canadian River, ending a legal battle that stretched back to 1961. This basically gives the land back to the tribal nation.

Both the City of Shawnee and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation will now work on a venture known as "Shawnee Aligned" - something the two governments hope will bring economic development and better city services.

Rocky Barrett, Citizen Potawatomi Nation's chairman, says new leadership led to the decision to return the land that the tribal nation has had in trust since 1867. He also says it's good for the economy.

"And so it began to dawn on them that the rising tide lifts all boats, and that what we're doing is good for the city," said Barrett.

Citizen Potawatomi formally dismissed the case against the city Tuesday in Pottwatamie County District Court.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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