The Potawatomi Community has called Wisconsin home for centuries. The Forest County Potawatomi Foundation was established in 1999 to help fight poverty, promote economic opportunity, strengthen communities and assist charitable organizations throughout the state of Wisconsin and beyond.
The tribe has established eight enterprises throughout the state of Wisconsin, including the Potawatomi Carter Casino Hotel in Wabeno, the Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee and the Forest County Potawatomi Foundation in Milwaukee.
Through its enterprises, the Forest County Potawatomi Community is the largest employer in Forest County, and is among the largest employers in Milwaukee County as well.
Revenue from these enterprises has allowed the Forest County Potawatomi to continue to invest in health and wellness, education, the environment and other ways to preserve the heritage of the Potawatomi culture.
“We’re pleased to give to community organizations and causes that support stronger financial futures, encourage personal development in higher education, offer relief to victims of natural disasters, provide housing to our nation’s veterans, supply creative and artistic outlets for disadvantaged youth and encourage programs that bring together different cultures to celebrate diversity,” said Harold Frank, chairman of the Forest County Potawatomi Community in the Foundation’s 2011 Annual Report.
To date, the Foundation has contributed more than $30 million to charitable causes.
According to the report, in 2011 alone, the foundation supported organizations in Ashland, Dane, Marathon, Shawano, Vilas, Washington and Waukesha Counties in addition to Milwaukee and Forest Counties and has also contributed funds to others states like Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon and Minnesota.
The majority of the foundation’s funding (30 percent) went to support health and human services organizations; while 15 percent went to support Native American initiatives. An additional 13 percent each went to support youth development and civic and community initiatives.