October begins with the Tribal youth program sponsoring “A Walk for Hope,” consisting of a 5k run and a one mile walk to help raise awareness for suicide prevention. We are expecting participation by more than 200 adults and children.

This event will be a collaboration between the CPN Health Services, the Indian Child Welfare Department, FireLake Designs, the CPN Health Services Behavioral Health Program, the CPN Child Development Center and the FireLodge
Tribal Youth Program. The run will begin at the P.L.A.C.E. Gymnasium and wind through the Father Murphy Elder Housing edition before finishing back at the gym. Vice-Chairman Linda Capps and Dr. Glenna Stumblingbear-Riddle are both set to speak on the importance of suicide prevention.

We at FireLodge are also proud to announce additions to the staff.

Coby Lehman will join the staff as our cultural activities coordinator and Michael Logan as the cultural activities program coordinator. Both young men bring a wealth of Native American knowledge and teaching, and we know that our students will continue to benefit from their mentorship.

Some of the activities they’ll lead the youth in include talking circles, Potawatomi cultural practices and teachings like the medicine wheel and physical activities like stick ball. They are set to end the month by teaching the youth about storytelling of tribal myths and legends. Our youth program participants will then in turn get to tell their own stories as part of learning the tradition. We’ll also be sending the youth to attend the ever popular Chickasaw Festival in Tishomingo.

We continue on with our physical activities and intramural competitions, including a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Navajo Kickball, mini-putt at FireLake Mini-Putt, an ultimate Frisbee tournament and badminton competitions.
The Tribal youth also participated in an anti-bullying poster contest and a breast cancer awareness poster contest.
In academics, we’re proud to report that as of September, each Tribal youth received their progress reports, and at the time of printing, we had a 99 percent no-fail rate.

That’s a good start to the school year, and keeps up with last year’s program results. If you would like to learn more about FireLodge Tribal Youth Program or the P.L.A.C.E., please contact me at dgreene@potawatomi.org.