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In the early 1830’s Peter and Hannah Marksman, a Methodist missionary family founded the Hannahville Indian Mission. A small number of displaced Indians settled in Hannahville during the implementation of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 under the presidency of Andrew Jackson. The Relocation Act moved Indians east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river. Many of these were descendants of the Potawatomi Nation and belonged to the Algonquin family language stock, the largest in North America. The Potawatomi means “Keepers of the Fire”. The Potawatomi Indians are one of the three tribes making up the Three Fires Confederacy or as it is commonly referred to today as the Three Fires Society. The Three Fires Society consists of the Ojibway, the Ottawa and the Potawatomi tribes. The Ojibway are given the honor or keeping the “Original Teachings” alive and passing these teachings down through upcoming generations. The Ottawas are responsible for the “Provisions and Security” of all the tribes attending gatherings. Making sure that everyone has enough to eat and ensuring the attendees that their meeting place is secure from invasion and disruption is their major responsibility. The Potawatomi Indians are responsible for keeping the “Sacred Fire” alive, as it is the symbol of light and must be kept alive.
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