In November the Tribal youth will celebrate Native American Heritage Month by starting an Indigenous fitness program. In hopes of helping our youth get in better shape and stay that way, this 30-day program is a physical challenge including squats, bridges, lunges, sit ups, wall sits and planks. The goal is to start small and go higher each day, with the youth keeping their own statistics and marking progress.

Their personal investment in the program will hopefully set a good precedent for them to continue exercising and staying fit after the program officially ends.

In other, less demanding physical exertions, our intramural sports for November will be the lacrosse, four-square tournaments and a spades tournament. The youth also will be recognizing Native American Heritage Month in November by studying several tribes, beginning with the Potawatomi’s original neighbors in the Great Lakes region and the following up closer to home with a focus on southeastern tribes, many of whom are our neighbors here in Oklahoma.

Our “Get Native” programs for the month were a Native American Art contest, a Native American Essay contest with a theme of “Who am I?” and drum making and drumming demonstrations.

We will also be beginning a Native American social dance program that will ultimately see the youth form a dance group that practices regularly and one day, performs at events. Staff from the CPN Diabetes Initiative will be visiting the youth ahead of the holiday feast season to perform a healthy cooking demonstration, while the health professionals from the CPN Healthy Heart program spoke to the youth about how to choose the healthiest food options.

To finish up the month along gastrointestinal lines, the Tribal youth program will host its annual community Thanksgiving Dinner, with plans to feed more than 200 youth and adults who will attend.

All the while, our academic support specialists continue to oversee our after-school tutoring program, which also keeps track of our students’ academic progress.

If you would like to learn more about FireLodge Tribal Youth Program or the P.L.A.C.E., please contact me at