It has been a busy buys season for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Language Department. Our new online dictionary, at potawatomidictionary.com,
has been getting over 100 unique views daily. The dictionary is
downloadable in the Google App store. We are also working on developing
a PDF downloadable version.
We recently started a Potawatomi Youth Choir. We have currently
about 12 kids participating. They have been learning different Christmas
songs in the language. They have been working on Silver Bells,
Frosty the Snowman, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Let It Snow.
We shared some of the songs on our Potawatomi Language Facebook
group around Christmas. By the time this comes out, the kids will
have performed at the Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner, the Oklahoma
Indian Education Conference hosted at the Grand Casino Hotel &
Resort as well as Christmas caroling with our adult language class
at elders housing and Citizen Place North. As part of our caroling,
we also collected canned goods to be added to the Tribes annual
Christmas boxes for those less fortunate. Later in the year, we
are going to teach the kids different traditional songs and modern
hits in Potawatomi. If you are interested in getting your child
involved, its never too late. We also plan on taking them
to the Oklahoma Native American Language Fair at the University
of Oklahoma in April.
We just wrapped up a three month Potawatomi Beginner Class. We
had a great turnout, topping out at about 30 folks. We will try
and offer our next beginner class on-site at the Cultural Heritage
Center around March. This February, we will be hosting our annual
Winter Storytelling event where we share several stories that we
can only tell in the wintertime. We havent picked a date but
are leaning toward Feb. 24 or 25. Watch the CPN Facebook page and
event calendar at potawatomi.org/events
for the event announcement.
The children in the Child Development Center did an excellent job
with their Christmas program. The 3-year-olds sang Frosty the
Snowman, the 4-yearolds sang Silver Bells, the afterschool
participants sang Let it Snow, and for the first time, the
2-year-olds sang We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
Another exciting project we wrapped up was Rudolph the Red Nosed
Reindeer in Potawatomi. The movie is in public domain, so we
were able to put the entire 50 minute movie into Potawatomi. View
it on our Facebook page: cpn.news/langfb.
The language department also participated in the Angel Tree event
at First National Bank, singing several Christmas songs with Dewegen
Kwek, the Potawatomi ladies hand drum group.
Our mens drum group Sengo Zibiwes made
our first public performance, drumming the Flag Song and
Veterans Song to lead our veterans in for posting the
colors. This was a very historic and awesome moment. We have been
working hard on a number of songs and hope to be able to do some
at this upcoming Family Reunion Festival. If you are interested
in drumming, we have been working on Mondays and Wednesdays from
4 to 5 p.m. at the CHC.
The Shawnee Board of Education approved the offering of our Potawatomi
language high school course in the Shawnee school district. It is
currently available in Wanette and Tecumseh, and we have had interest
from Maud as well as the University of Oklahoma. If we can get it
offered at OU, it would give us a new collegiate partner since the
closing of St. Gregorys University. We currently have the
ability to offer the course anywhere in Oklahoma. It will count
toward a world language credit, which is needed for graduation.
So, if your child would like to see it offered in their high school,
let your school administration know its available, and there
is no cost to the district.
We have a number of projects we are currently working on, including
some books in Potawatomi and English, the transcription and analysis
of Joseph N. Bourassas medicinal journal as a cooperative
effort with Kaya DeerInWater, and then with the assistance for a
museum exhibit with the Tribal archive department and Blake Norton.
Our dictionary is growing daily in the number of audio files, example
sentences, cultural information, images, and words themselves. When
we first launched it, we had about 8,400 words. It has grown to
more than 9,000 and changes weekly.
I just want to acknowledge and say migwetch (thank you)
to my awesome staff who makes our many projects possible. Robert
Collins (Delonais family), Shelby Hobia (Curley family), Ragan Marsee
(Higbee family), and Michael Kelehar, our awesome part-time video
guy. Look for our upcoming Winter Storytelling event in February;
its always a good time had by all. Migwetch jayék