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Illinois House adopts bill to support Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation land reclamation

 Portrait of Prairie Band Chairman Joseph Rupnick
Stomping Ground Strategies
Portrait of Prairie Band Chairman Joseph Rupnick

The Illinois House of Representatives recently adopted a resolution in support of Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s efforts to reclaim land in northern Illinois.

The Shab-eh-nay Reservation, which made part of present day southern DeKalb county, was illegally sold by the federal government back in 1849.

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Chairman Joseph Rupnick calls the passage of the recent legislation a milestone for the tribe. “This sends a strong and supportive message to Washington that the Illinois legislators understand the importance of righting this historical wrong,” said Rupnick.

Recently, Illinois state senators introduced their own version of a bill indicating support for the bands efforts to regain their illegally sold land.

Last year, legislation was introduced to congress to provide a $10 million settlement to the band relating to damages sustained over the stolen land. Currently, state senators have co-sponsored statewide.
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Juanpablo covers substandard housing and police-community relations for WNIJ Radio in Illinois. He’s been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez-Franco produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Before that, he was a production intern at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the rural America editorial intern at In These Times magazine. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois. He is a graduate of Knox College.