A language of United States

Alternate Names
Nishnabek, Pottawotomi

No known L1 speakers (2011 Potawatomi Language Institute), but emerging L2 speakers. The last fluent speaker, Cecelia Miksekwe Jackson, died in 2011 (2011 Topeka Capital-Journal). Ethnic population: 25,000 (1997 L. Buszard-Welcher). Total users in all countries: none known.


Kansas; Michigan: southwest and north; Wisconsin: north; Oklahoma: central.

Language Status

9 (Reawakening). Language of registered tribe: Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Forest County Potawatomi Community, Hannahville Indian Community, Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (Michigan and Indiana), Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.


Polysynthetic language; fairly free word order.

Language Use

Shifting to English [eng]. Ceremonial and religious activities.

Language Development
Taught in tribal Head Start and K-12 schools in most communities as wells as in adult language programs. Grammar. Bible portions: 1844. The Prairie Band Potawatomi Language and Cultural Department is instrumental in the revitalization of the Potawatomi language and culture. Agency: Citizen Potawatomi Cultural Center.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

85% have varying degrees of language retention.

Also spoken in:

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