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Pokagon Band Installs Copper Rocks At Four Winds Casino South Bend

December 4th, 2017

To view before and after images of the copper rocks, click here.

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Four Winds Casinos® are pleased to announce the installation of two large copper rocks at Four Winds South Bend®. The rocks, one installed at the entrance of Copper Rock Steakhouse, the other inside the restaurant’s dining room, are two of many objects at the new property culturally significant to the history of the Pokagon Band.

“The Potawatomi consider copper a sacred healing metal,” said John P. Warren, Chairman of the Pokagon Band. “And the Pokagon are descendants of the Copper Culture people, an ancient Indigenous cultural tradition and lifeway of early inhabitants of northern Michigan and Wisconsin. Stories tell that copper was created from a lightning strike to Mother Earth, and ancestors fashioned copper found in this Great Lakes region into tools, adornments, and weapons. Modern Pokagons value copper still, especially as vessels for life-giving water in ceremonies.”

The newly installed rocks, known as float copper, were found in the area of Michigan’s Northern
Peninsula called Copper Country. It is located across several counties with the largest section, the Keweenaw Peninsula, extending into Lake Superior. Copper mines were prevalent in the region from as early as the mid-1800s on through the 1960s. For a long time, it was considered to be the world’s biggest producer of copper.

Arriving at Four Winds South Bend after a nine-hour journey, the larger of the two rocks was installed at the entrance of the Copper Rock Steakhouse, one of five restaurants in the new facility. Weighing nearly 7,000 pounds, it stands more than ten feet high and is five feet wide. The smaller rock was placed in the main dining room of Copper Rock Steakhouse. Roughly 3,500 pounds, this specimen is roughly four feet tall and three feet wide.

Each rock underwent extensive preparations prior to their delivery and installation at Four Winds South Bend. A geologist in northern Michigan oversaw the detailed finish work.

“These two huge float copper specimens were cleaned and prepped for polishing to highlight the raw native copper surface,” said Ken Flood, mineral dealer and owner of Keweenaw Gem in Houghton, Michigan. “The process took about four and a half weeks.” Copper rocks of this size are rare, Flood added. “Most of the big nuggets like these are gone. It’s nice to have these stay in the Midwest.”

Ten years ago, when the original Copper Rock Steakhouse opened at Four Winds New Buffalo®, Flood led the preservation of the copper rocks at that location. 

Four Winds Casino South Bend, when it opens in early 2018, will have 175,000 square feet and include 1,800 games, four restaurants, a coffee shop, three bars, a player’s lounge, a retail outlet, and approximately 4,500 parking spaces including an enclosed parking structure. The  entertainment complex will employ approximately 1,200 people.

For images of the float copper rocks installed at Four Winds South Bend, click here.

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 approximately 5,000 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 and Four Winds Dowagiac in 2013. Four Winds South Bend will open in early 2018. It owns and operates a variety of business via Mno-Bmadsen, the tribe’s non-gaming investment enterprise. More information is available at, and

About Four Winds Casinos
Four Winds New Buffalo, located at 11111 Wilson Road in New Buffalo, Mich., Four Winds Hartford, located at 68600 Red Arrow Highway in Hartford, Mich., Four Winds Dowagiac, located at 58700 M-51 South in Dowagiac, Mich., and Four Winds South Bend, located at 3000 Prairie Road in South Bend, Ind., are owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. Four Winds New Buffalo offers 130,000 square feet of gaming with more than 2,600 slot machines, 50 table games, five restaurants, entertainment bars, retail venues, a pool, and a 415-room hotel, making it the premier gaming resort in the Midwest. Four Winds Hartford features more than 550 slot machines, nine table games, a 74-seat restaurant, and a 15-seat bar. Four Winds Dowagiac features 400 slot machines, seven table games and one restaurant. Four Winds South Bend has 55,000 square feet of gaming space, 1,800 Class II games, four restaurants, a coffee shop, three bars, a player’s lounge and a retail outlet. Please play responsibly. You must be 21 years of age to gamble. For more information on Four Winds Casinos, please call 1-(866)-4WINDS1 (866-494-6371) or visit Additionally, be sure to like Four Winds
Casinos on Facebook at and follow on Twitter at

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Melinda Pierce, Big Idea Company, 574- 257-4332,
Jill Klinedinst, Big Idea Company, 574-257-4332,

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