December has come in like a bear, a baby bear. With the cold weather arriving here, its indoor season at the PLACE.

The Get Native Program started and we are beginning the 10-week Next Generation Program. This is a youth leadership program will build leadership skills applicable to school, family and community.

In December the youth will learn the foundations for a balanced life. The instructions will include developing the power of positive thinking, Native youth wellness and teach about the warrior shield. The youth will learn how to properly recognize and honor their ancestors and themselves. Part of this instruction will be to convey that – and many of our older readers will know this – is that life is a journey. 

Our cultural heritage staff will also teach traditional values of Native youth. After this the youth will make a “My Values” poster to put down on paper their thoughts and ideas to reflect on them later.

While looking forward, we’ll also reflect on the past by teaching the youth about the about the impact of historical trauma on the lives of Native American people, its effects on attempts to build a successful life and ways to heal from its impact.

Our December program of events will also involve an IQ test, developing self-respect and self-confidence and using conflict resolution techniques. Amanda Champan from the CPN House of Hope will be leading these activities in a 4-week program.

The Get Smart Program will involve those FireLodge participants interested in post-secondary education opportunities the chance to visit several of our state’s colleges. We’ll also continue to offer ACT pre-tests and working with students in the after school homework program.

In the Get Fit Program, we’re beginning a new fitness program that will run until February, and we’ll also be taking trips to Warren Theater in Moore, the Bricktown Snow Slide and Freddie’s Frozen Custard.