Language/Culture Coordinator
Ed has worked as the Cultural Coordinator since 2005. Ed's primary focus is teaching and preserving the Pottawatomi language although he does regular cultural workshops for the membership.

"As a member of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians I feel it is all of our duty to maintain our traditions, language and culture. Each one of us must do our part to preserve these things for future generations as they are at the core of what defines us as Anishnabek people."

Phone: (616) 681-8830 ext. 308
Fax: (616) 681-8836
Address: PO Box 218
Dorr, MI 49323


The language program is a three tribe collaborative effort funded by the Administration for Native Americans. "Ggitike’men Ode Zheshmowen" (we grow the language)focuses the efforts of the Inter-Tribal Language Consortium to take the “seeds” of language acquisition that were planted in the hearts of the people during the 200 Words to a Community and “grow” them into a beginning level of fluency. The Gun Lake, Pokagon and Huron Bands of Pottawatomi share a love for the Pottawatomi Language and will continue to work together to share our language with those who want to learn.

The Gun Lake languages classes are Monday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Luella Collins Community Center. Huron Pottawatomi have classes Tuesday nights 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at their community center. Pokagon have classes Thursday nights 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and rotate between their Tribal offices and the South Bend site.

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Click here for driving directions to:
Luella Collins Community Center
419 126th Ave
Shelbyville, MI 49344-9704


Frank Barker teaches classes for the Pokagon and Huron Potawatomi. Frank is a member of the Gun Lake Pottawatomi.

Ed Pigeon teaches classes with Kevin Finney for the Gun Lake Pottawatomi. Ed is a member of the Gun Lake Pottawatomi. Ed also serves as the Project Leader for the Language Consortium.

Kevin Finney teaches classes with Ed Pigeon for the Gun Lake Pottawatomi. Kevin founded Ancient Pathways Cultural Resource Group, an organization devoted to cultural education.

Language Specialists

Mon-ee Zapata is the Huron Band Language Specialist. Mon-ee is a Huron Band tribal member and has served as the Language Coordinator at Huron Band since 2004, responsible for arranging classes and activities at Huron Band, maintaining and disseminating language materials, and reporting on language project activities. She is a avid student of the language. Matt Morsaw is the Pokagon Band Language Specialist. Matt has been employed with the Band as the Language Coordinator since April 2006, arranging language classes and activities, maintaining and disseminating materials, and reporting on language project activities. Matt also provided entry-level language instruction for youth classes and for the Pokagon Band Tribal Council.

Language Material

Bode'wadmi Zheshmowen

Pottwatomi Language Workbook Vol. 1

Click here to download

Bode'wadmi Anwe'wen Poster

Pottawatomi Sounds

Click here to download

Bode'wadmi Deshemwen

The Way We Speak

Click here to download

Emphatic Pronouns Poster

Pottawatomi Language Workbook Vol. 1

Click here to download

Waskon Waskon

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Coming Soon...

Demonstratives Poster

This, That and That Over There

Click here to download

Dezhe'wiyak Poster

The Way We Do Things

Click here to download

Language Booklet

The 200 Word List (Other Useful Things)

Click here to download

Language Links


The Cultural Program was implemented by tribal council to bring various aspects of our culture back to the membership. This program is funded by tribal council with a portion of funds coming from the Annual Golf Outing as well as various fundraisers. Cultural Workshops are open to anyone who wants to learn about traditional Pottawatomi lifeways.

The Cultural Program has provided the following workshops within its first year of operation. Read the Tribal Tribune for more information on future workshops. If you have an idea for a workshop or there is something that you want to know more about, contact me at the administration office or by email.

Fire Making Workshop

The techniques for hand drill, bow drill, flint/steel and fire piston were examined and demonstrated. Each student made a fire and brought home a fire making kit that they made themselves.

Maple Sugar Workshop

This year will be our fourth annual Tribal sugarbush. Maple sap was gathered an boiled to maple syrup. This was then used at a pancake dinner for the entire tribal community. Students were taught a mix a traditional and modern sugaring techniques.

Snowsnake Workshop

Snowsnakes or "Zhoshke'nayabo" are spear like objects that are used in a traditional Anishnabek game that has seen resurgence in popularity within recent years. Snakes range in size, though all are polished smooth for maximum range. Many are weighted in the head.

A long track is made in the snow by dragginh a log through it and then building up the sides. Tracks are built atop frozen lakes as well. Competitors throw their snake underhand alond the track, the winner is the one who's snake travels the farthest.


Making cordage is the art of using natural fibers and twisting them into strings. Students were taught the finger rolling as well as leg rolling techniques. Ther were also taught how to identify and harvest dogbane and basswood, two of the most commonly used plants in cordage production.

Black Ash Baskets

This workshop was well attended and taught by Steve, Kitt and Stephanie Pigeon, master basket weavers from the Pigeon family. Students were given the opportunity to identify a black ash tree, pound the wood from the log and split and shave the growth rings to create the splints used in the weaving process. At this point they were given hands on instructions on weaving a basket of their own. Each student walked away with a basket that they made themselves, as well as a better understanding of all hte hard work that goes into creating these works of art.