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News Release

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi is pleased to announce that members of its Elders Council have been working on the creation and distribution of face masks to protect Pokagon Health Service employees, patients, Pokagon Elders, spouses, Pokagon Citizens and more from the potential spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The group is very pleased to announce that they are within 100 masks of reaching their goal of 1,400!

Commenting on the project, Elders Council Vice-Chair, Julie N. Dye said, “This was a heartwarming, community-building project that provided an essential mission for skilled, idle hands during self- isolation.”

Currently 14 local Pokagon Elder seamstresses have volunteered their time and skills to make masks. The following is a list of these hard-working and dedicated seamstresses.

  • Barbara Ann Warren
  • Candi Wesaw
  • Carla Getz-King
  • Cathy Ford
  • Deborah Williams
  • Elizabeth McBride
  • Judy Augusta
  • Julie Winchester-Farver
  • Kathryn Crouch
  • Lisa Downing
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  • Ruth Saldivar
  • Sandra Taylor
  • Roberta Watson
  • Margaret Rapp
Pictured: Elder Elizabeth McBride carrying out a labor of love.

The project has been supported by several key donors and supporters including:

  • Rhonda Wesaw-Keene and Julie Dye helped to organize and support the group
  • Majel DeMarsh has donated a lot of material
  • Ann Morsaw-Banghart has made and donated masks 
  • Julie Winchester-Farver; in addition to sewing masks, she has also been donating materials and supplies. Julie recently opened Quilted Oak Leaf on March 5, 20202. The shop is located on Glenwood Road in Dowagiac and is a destination Quilt Shop offering fabric, quilt notions, supplies and more. For questions about the creation of face masks by Pokagon Elders, please contact Julie Dye at (269) 462-1004. 

About The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ sovereignty was reaffirmed under legislation signed into law by President Clinton in September of 1994. The Pokagon Band is dedicated to providing community development initiatives such as housing, education, family services, medical care and cultural preservation for its more than 5,700 citizens. The Pokagon Band’s ten-county service area includes four counties in Southwestern Michigan and six in Northern Indiana. Its main administrative offices are located in Dowagiac, Mich., with a satellite office in South Bend, Ind. 

In 2007, it opened Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Mich., followed by Four Winds Hartford in 2011, Four Winds Dowagiac in 2013 and Four Winds South Bend in January 2018. The Pokagon Band operates a variety of businesses via Mno-Bmadsen, its non-gaming investment enterprise. 

More information is available at,, and

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