Bozho nikan
(Hello friend),

I hope all of you have a pleasant and enjoyable holiday. It is the time of year where we all get busy. But it is also the time of year we normally get to see all of our family, which is probably the best part. I enjoy seeing mine and especially enjoy watching my grandkids.

This time of year also reminds of life when I was much younger growing up here in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma. Something I remember is that we often helped each other, especially our elders and neighbors. I am afraid we as a people have forgotten to do this. My father raised us this way for a reason. He did not particularly invest that much in sports, although we were quite active in them.

Helping each other is something that probably had an impact on the reason we were able to survive and flourish. I know winters in Oklahoma are not as severe as, say, Michigan. I acknowledge summers are not as severe here as maybe further south. However, we have extremes here that would challenge the heartiest of souls. I think our history of helping each other is why we did survive here. Some days when it is particularly hot or cold, I like to go out and sit by a tree and think about how our ancestors overcame these hardships.

What I am getting around to is to encourage you to go out and help others — it is much of who we are.

I also would like to comment on St. Gregory’s University’s recent announcement to suspend operations at its Shawnee and Tulsa, Oklahoma, campuses after its fall 2017 semester. By the time this article makes it to you, there could very well be other things known about the situation leading up to the suspension of operation. I just want to let everyone know I will and/or have done all I can to help. I am a graduate of the university. I appreciate the past we share with the school and hope we help them overcome this hurdle in their history.

Bami pi

Paul Schmidlkofer
Representative, District 12
1601 S. Gordon Cooper Dr.
Shawnee, OK 74801
Toll-free: 800-880-9880