Elder Council | Dowagiac, Michigan
There was a time when I dreamed of playing in a band. My friends and I even put one together, even though at the time I couldn’t play an instrument. But I taught myself the guitar, and it’s how I got my nickname Jude, from the Beatles. I think my strong will to learn something complicated came from the ethic of my parents. They were both Potawatomi and taught me the value of working through hard times and challenges. It’s why I also began studying our original language, Neshnabémowen. My family was large, and as Pokagon citizens, we had a very traditional upbringing. The art of basket weaving has been passed down for generations in my family. We would sell our baskets, using the opportunity to both earn money and to share our culture with others. I love talking to people outside of our Tribe about our culture.
I am Jude and I am Potawatomi.