Pokagon man who led tribe's recognition fight dies

Joseph R. Winchester, the former chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians from Michigan, died on Sunday from natural causes. He was 78.

Winchester led the tribe's fight to gain federal recognition. Since the 1930s, the Bureau of Indian Affairs refused to acknowledge any tribes in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Faced with the BIA's denials, Winchester turned to members of Congress. The effort was successful, with former President Bill Clinton signing the recognition bill into law at a ceremony at the White House that Winchester attended.

Get the Story:
Pokagon who led pivotal struggle dies (The South Bend Tribune 6/1)

Relevant Links:
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians -