Bozho nikan
(Hello friend),

I know some of our members are still in the clutch of winter, but we have busted out into spring and summer here. By the time this goes to print, I am sure I will have had to mow my grass a time or two. The joys of living down south. To be honest, I am ready. Cabin fever had me ready to get started on yard projects.

Recently I saw a post by one of our Tribal members, Whitney Heer, on social media that I found rewarding. She graduated from the Naval Academy a couple of years ago, and I was lucky enough to attend. Whitney attended the Pre-Engineering Academy at Gordon Cooper Technology Center where I work, and I have followed her since then in her postings.

She had wanted to fly since she was a young girl, and she worked very hard to have this chance. Her note was to inform us that her orders had come through, and her first choice will be flying helicopters. I want to congratulate on all her hard work. She is a wonderful example of overcoming the obstacles in your path to achieving your goals.

Like her Potawatomi name Zebay (River), she overcomes all through determined effort to reach her destination. I wish you the best, Whitney, in your future, and thank you for your service to our country.

To all our other active duty service personnel and veterans, I thank you also.

I hope that everyone else has his or her plans in place to attend the Family Reunion Festival this summer. Those who have come in the past will tell you it is well worth your time. I encourage all to come, experience your heritage, and probably meet some family members you did not know you had.

Honored Families this year are Anderson, Beaubien, Bertrand, Bourbonnais, Ogee, Pettifer, Toupin, Wano and Yott. Each of these families will be honored with a dance, so check your ancestry, break out your regalia and celebrate with them.

As always, it is an honor to serve our Nation.

Bami pi

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