~ The Founding of Pimiteoui ~


As she began to plan the event, Carole Lakota Eastin gathered a core of dedicated individuals, from the Central Illinois area, who were well-versed in Native American culture, and in their particular fields of expertise.  These individuals were involved from the beginning of the event, served during the formative years and made a significant contribution to the shape and form of the annual event.   The individuals who might be considered the founders of Return to Pimiteoui should include the following persons. 


Carole Lakota Eastin

 Hayna Sine

Eliida Lakota

 Mike and Linda Shinkle

Steve Colburn

Les Whisler

Steve Montez

Marty Aberle

Bill Dwyer

Lucy Nelson


Carole brought these individuals together, in meetings that took as their model, the traditional Native American Council. All ideas were brought up, discussed and given equal credence. This meant that there were very few actual votes taken on anything. The ideas were simply discussed until everyone agreed on the proper course of action. This is a perfect mode of operation to include the ideas of all, and it worked very well. One of the reasons it worked so well was that we all enjoyed each others company, and did not mind the extreme length of our weekly meetings. :)

The core group above was expanded to include an army of volunteers, each wing branching off from the basic duties performed by the above persons.  At Powwow time this was a beautiful sight to see, as all of these individuals came together to do their part to make the event a reality. It was one of the most dramatic expressions of teamwork that many of us had ever seen! The Return To Pimiteoui volunteer efforts have been recognized with a National Top Award for its excellence.

Below is a partial list (in no particular order) of the many organizers and volunteers who made the first, formative years so successful that the powwow is well established as an annual event.


John & June Haikey

Carole Lakota Eastin

Hayna & Betsy Sine

Steve Montez

Lucy Nelson

Dick Delong

Toni Frei

Steve Colburn

Bill Dwyer

Char Davis

Eliida Lakota

Les & Kathy Whisler

Marty Aberle

Carol Pearce

Patti Erwin

Jo Lakota

Don Serup

Gloria LaHood

Jim Helwig

Gwen Wilson

Roseshel Martin

Chris Nelson

George Maher

Vickie Barth

Jill Morgan

Susan Snow Willi

Joanne McCaskey

Gary Cashmer

Desiree Milestone

William Wind

Kevin Cashmer

Nancy Lemieux

Barbara Niles

Bob Griffith

Julie Barr

Dorothy Lakota