Last spring, the CPN Department of Education partnered with the CPN Public Information Department and FireLake Designs to develop a Citizen Potawatomi graduation stole for the first class of graduates receiving the Tribal Development Scholarship at St. Gregory’s University.

After a picture of the SGU graduates wearing the stoles was featured in the Hownikan, we received several requests to purchase a stole to wear at a graduation celebrations. This interest sparked a project to meet that need.

Since last summer, the CPN Department of Education has worked with FireLake Designs on an effort to manufacture a large number of these stoles for purchase. Every step of the way, we have made a concerted effort to include tribal member and department participation. The stoles, which are constructed in black satin by CPN tribal member Theresa Talbot, showcase a woodland-style floral design created by tribal member and CPN Graphic Artist Trey DeLonais on one side and the tribal seal on the other. CPN tribal enterprise FireLake Designs embroiders each stole.

The first set of these stoles is under construction now in hopes of being ready for purchase for the spring 2017 graduation cycle. We plan to charge a slight markup for each stole so that the profit can be added to the tribal scholarship fund, which supports so many of our tribal members in their educational endeavors. In this way, the students who purchase and wear the stole pay it forward by passing along an opportunity to the next generation of students.

We are excited about this project and will be sharing more information on how to purchase stoles in the coming weeks. To stay in the loop, please follow the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Facebook page. In addition, we will share order information via email to the students who have received the tribal scholarship recently. Finally, if you would like to be placed on a list to receive information about the stoles as it becomes available, please email

If you would like to apply for scholarship or higher education counseling opportunities, please visit