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April 12, 2017

Language with Justin: April 2017

On February 22 the CPN Language Department hosted our fifth annual Winter Storytelling Event at the CPN Cultural Heritage Center. We had over 50 people in attendance. But what was truly unique is for the first time ever we streamed the storytelling event live on Facebook.

Traditionally we believe that in the winter time the spirits and the earth is asleep and these stories should only be told during this time of year, so the live feed has been removed on the first day of spring to honor this tradition. We had almost 2,000 views of our winter storytelling live feed. We had tribal members join in from Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, California, Florida, Washington D.C., Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Arizona, Oregon, throughout Oklahoma and even one from Canada. We really enjoy sharing these stories and were very pleased folks were able to join us from across the country and world.

As we move into April, our kids from the CPN Child Development Center will be competing in the annual Oklahoma Native Language Fair at the University of Oklahoma. The CDC students have managed to medal for the last several years so we are hopeful for another successful event.

We are always looking for ways to make the language accessible to tribal members throughout the country and world. We want to ensure that if you or your family wants the opportunity to learn Potawatomi they will have it. Currently we have two online courses available with a third to be introduced in August. To join the course go to language.potawatomi.org. Once there you will need to create a new account and then wait for us to confirm it. Then each time when you log in it will keep track of where you are in the course. It is designed with videos, short movie spoofs, cultural teachings and a wide variety of games, glossary and quizzes to help keep you engaged in the learning process.

This past fall, for the first time ever, we began offering beginner Potawatomi language classes I through a partnership with St. Gregory’s University with the first five students completing the course for college credit. The cool thing is now students are able to learn the language while furthering their own collegiate careers. 

Also available is an online childrens’ course available at www.potawatomi.org/lang/resources.

This course is designed with kids in mind, so it is not as rigid as the adult courses, but allows them to explore a series of images and to open even more rooms with images that are connected to different videos which play songs, stories and learning videos.

Also accessible is an online Lexique Pro Potawatomi dictionary which can be downloaded on your computer. It can also be printed out in a book format. The current one has about 5,000 words which can be searched in a variety of ways such as English, Potawatomi, categorical and from the endings of the words. We are currently working on updating this dictionary and have about 10,000 words in our new version which we hope to introduce sometime this fall.

As you can see, we have a lot going on in the language department but if you ever need any help or assistance with the language please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always available to help out if we can.

Migwetch. (Thank you.)