Each June, Citizen Potawatomi from across the world travel to the tribal headquarters in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma to celebrate their shared heritage and forge closer ties with friends and family. The 2017 Family Reunion Festival looks to be no different, with many new sights, upgraded facilities and familiar faces set to converge on the tribal home from June 23-25, 2017.
All attendees of Festival must register in person at FireLake Arena the day of their arrival to gain access to activities and events taking place on tribal grounds. Early registrations will take place Thursday, June 22, 2017 at FireLake Arena from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday at the
same location. Honored families for 2017 are Bourassa, Burnett, Melot, Navarre, Peltier, Wamego, Willmet and Vieux.
More information on these families can be found here, and any members of these families should check the morning hours of the schedule for Saturday, June 24 to find the time for their family’s group photo inside the powwow arena.
Five elections are on the ballot on the June 24 CPN Election Day. Incumbent John “Rocky” Barrett faces challenger Steve Castaneda for the tribe’s highest executive office. CPN Legislative districts 1 and 2 have no challengers, meaning only incumbent Roy Slavin of District 1 and Eva Marie Carney of District 2 will be on the ballot for their races respectively. In CPN District 3, incumbent Robert Whistler faces challenger Jahn Eric Humphreys, while CPN District 4 Legislator Jon Boursaw is being challenged by Theresa Adame. Also on the ballot is the annual tribal budget.
FireLake Golf Course will host a ribbon cutting for its re-opening on June 23, with plans for a 18-hole scramble to be held June 24. Tribal members are encouraged to visit the new clubhouse, which will be open for tours.
New interactive exhibits at the CPN Cultural Heritage Center will be on display for attendees at this year’s event. For those who have not been to the CHC since June 2016, you’re sure to find something new in the updated offerings at the tribal cultural center.
Registration and departures for tours of the CPN Eagle Aviary are done exclusively at the CPN Cultural Heritage Center. Museum displays, cultural exhibits and the Citizen Potawatomi Gift Shop are being prepared for the influx of Festival attendees keen on learning more about their shared heritage. The latter has supplies available for those last minute regalia needs, including several sewing machines and regalia making classes taking place before the Saturday night powwow. The gift shop also has ready-made regalia, including ribbon shirts for men and shawls and dresses for women. Regalia is an important part of one of Festival’s main attractions, Saturday night’s Grand Entry, where Potawatomi from across the Nation enter the powwow arena together as one tribe.
Government leaders, led by Tribal Chairman Barrett, Vice-Chairman Linda Capps and Secretary-Treasurer D. Wayne Trousdale enter behind the CPN Veterans’ Group Color Guard. The are followed by this year’s honored families.
Given the sacred nature of the powwow arena, it is vital that attendees wear appropriate dress; which includes slacks and ribbon shirts for men and shawls or dresses for women. Shorts and spaghetti strap tops are strongly discouraged.
Attendees should check their finalschedule distributed at registration upon arrival, as it is subject to change. For more information on Festival, http://cpn.news/festival2017.