July is going to be a very busy month at the PLACE. Students who are participating in the GET Native Program will be attending several classes which teach them how to relate to early, modern and traditional Native American ways. Instructions will include on fire use and safety along with traditional native teachings on the cycle of life. Other topics will include Native American authors and heroes; sovereignty and tribal membership; the importance of the sun, moon and stars; the myths and truths about owls; and tribal tradition and honor.

Tribal youth will be visiting the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University for college preparation. While at the universities the youth will have the opportunity to talk with students from the Native American clubs.

Another important program the tribal youth take part in is GET Fit. This July we will be hosting the “Wacky Jim Thorpe Games,” which include hoola hoop relays, tug of war and egg volleyball. Navajo Kickball, an all-star native basketball camp, a Native American leg wrestling tournament and a day of fishing are also on the schedule.

Tribal member Kaylee Keith Morrison is preparing to teach a week-long dance and cheer class. Students will also have the opportunity to go bowling and swimming.

This month, as part of GET Well, the tribal youth start the CART program, which is a collaboration between the tribal youth department and the University of Oklahoma Terrorism and Disaster Center. CART stands for Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit and is a theory-based and evidence-informed community intervention program designed to build community resilience during disasters and other adversities.

We are preparing to teach the youth about the importance of wearing sunglasses and protecting skin from the sun for UV Safety Awareness Month. 

The tribal youth will observe the following July holidays: National Junk Food Day, National Chocolate Milk Day and National Hot Dog Day with a cookout and hotdog eating contest. Tribal youth are excited to do community service by working at the Gathering of Potawatomi Nations at the end of July.

If your child is interested in learning more about Native American culture or could benefit from our FireLodge Youth Program, please contact me at dgreene@potawatomi.org.