Bozho nikanek
(Hello friends),

I awoke this morning to the sound of rain falling heavily outside my bedroom window. As a small-business owner and gentleman farmer in the heart of the nation’s breadbasket, I can’t describe how welcome the rain is in this neck of the woods. Water is the lifeblood of this region. While much of the country deals with bitter cold and record snow levels, the southern portion of the Golden State has experienced unseasonably warm and dry weather for most of the first half of the rainy season. While it makes being outdoors very pleasant, we need rain and 45-degree weather, not sunny and 72. Let’s hope and pray the second half of our rainy season is very wet!

Hello, San Diego!

District meetings are an effective way to build community, connect with family and friends, hear a little about what’s happening with our tribe and celebrate our heritage. I cordially invite you to our San Diego gathering March 10 at the Balboa Park Veterans Museum. Invitations are on their way. We gathered at this location a couple of years ago and had a great time. It is one of my favorite facilities, and the entire area is beautiful. Please mark your calendar, and I hope to see you there.

Honored families and lineage

While it’s still five months away, I want to list this year’s Family Reunion Festival honored families. I think this is important as we are all descendants of these original families that left the Kansas reservation for individual land allotments in Oklahoma. I still run across tribal members that don’t know which of these original families they are connected to. I’m not sure where the disconnect is, but I will be exploring this in the future. I think it’s important in keeping our heritage alive that we know where we come from.

If you don’t know or you are not sure, please email me, and I will do my best to help you trace your lineage back to your founding family. Sometimes there is more than one family. I’m Tescier, Darling, Greemore and Bourbonnais. I identify with Tescier because it’s the closest branch on my Potawatomi family tree. This year’s honored families are Anderson, Beaubien, Bertrand, Bourbonnais, Ogee, Pettifer, Toupin, Wano and Yott. Each year as part of Family Reunion Festival, we honor a group of our founding families by providing detailed information about these families at the Cultural Heritage Center.

I make it a point to look at each family’s history as part of the honoring process. Each honored family has a dedicated section of the Round House, with tables and chairs for members of those families to gather and visit throughout the festival.

We also honor each family with a dance at Grand Entry. This is always one of the highlights of Festival for me. I would encourage you to consider attending Family Reunion Festival this year, particularly if you are a member of any of this year’s honored families.

Clearer picture

While I’m on the subject of gatherings, this year, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Kansas hosts the Gathering of Potawatomi Nations. I have a pretty clear picture of my ancestry back to the move to Oklahoma. Before that, I don’t know much.

I’ve always wanted more information about my family’s history in Kansas. This year’s gathering will hopefully provide opportunities to uncover some of that history. I’m counting on being able to go and keeping my fingers crossed everything works out.

In closing, let me say thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving you these last eight years. It is just that, a privilege. I hope to continue serving our Nation as your District 6 Representative four more years.

Wisdom from the Word: “These were the men appointed from the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes. They were the heads of the clans of Israel.” Numbers 1:16

(Thank you)!

Rande K. Payne, Mnedo Gabo
Representative, District 6
31150 Road 180
Visalia, CA 93292-9585
559-999-3525 office
559-999-5411 cell