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Seasonal storytelling event, expanded online learning options highlight new year

Submitted by Justin Neely

It’s always busy this time of year in Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Language Department. By the time you receive this issue, children in the Child Development Center will have performed “Run Rudolph Run” and “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” in Potawatomi for the annual Christmas program.

Growing interest

We just wrapped up a 10-week beginner Potawatomi language class, which had steady attendance. We also streamed the course live on Facebook. It was great to see folks joining the class from all over the country. We plan to start another beginner class early this year, so stay tuned.

Winter Storytelling event

We host our annual Winter Storytelling event 6-8 p.m. Feb. 21 at the CPN Cultural Heritage Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma. We will share stories that traditionally can only be told during winter. We will have food, and it is sure to be a good time, so mark your calendars for this event. We also plan to stream this session live on Facebook.

Online language learning

Recently we built a language course on Memrise. You can download an app to your phone or visit memrise.com. It has 11 levels and a leaderboard so you can compete with others if you have a competitive side. It also contains mostly phrases. It’s called “Potawatomi phrases” and has audio clips featuring different speakers.

Public education

We are also wrapping up our first semester in Wanette Public Schools. We look forward to the possibility of working with other school districts next year. If a district is interested, please contact us to get the process going.

Neely is Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s language director. For more information, email jneely@potawatomi.org, call 405-878-5830 or visit potawatomi.org/language.