The plaque on the award she received says a lot, but the recognition and significance of it being bestowed on Margaret Zientek is not lost on the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Assistant Director of Workforce & Social Services. In May she was presented with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Chiefs Award for her leadership and dedication to American Indian Communities through her work in the U.S. 477 Employment and Training Program.

“This was certainly unexpected,” said the longtime CPN Assistant Director of Workforce & Social Services. “We’ve always tried to be the best outlet to help our Indian people in the CPN jurisdiction, so being honored with this award by the BIA is a testament to the years of work our staff has put towards that goal.”

Zientek, a member of the Pecore family, has been with the CPN 477 Program – referred to as CPN Workforce & Social Services – since 1997 when she first came to the tribe in search of a job. The tribal program provides education and professional assistance to Native Americans in CPN’s service area.

When not helping coordinate the day-to-day programs, which run the gamut between adult workforce training and education initiatives to low income heating and cooling assistance, Zientek also represents the program when necessary at the federal level. She has spoken before Congress numerous times about the role of the 477 program in helping Native Americans in the tribe’s service area, and is a vocal advocate of its usefulness to Indian Nations that are largely reliant on smaller work force pools located in largely rural areas.

In addition to helping grow and secure funding for the tribal program, she has also been a driver in establishing the Citizen Potawatomi Leadership Program, or PLP, that for more than a decade has brought college age tribal members from across the U.S. to the tribal headquarters to learn about CPN culture and commercial enterprises.

To learn more about the services available through the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Workforce & Social Services Program, please visit