This episode is all about COVID-19. Tribal members around the world tell us how their lives have been affected and changed. We’ll also talk to CPN’s lead doctor heading the Tribe’s efforts against COVID-19.

Dr. Adam Vascellaro, D.O.

Dr. Vascellaro and CPN’s response to COVID-19

Recently, Dr. Adam Vascellaro, D.O. sat down with Hownikan Podcast via Zoom. Vascellaro is a family physician and chief medical officer of CPN Health Services. We discussed what CPN Health Services’ response to COVID-19 has looked like over the past couple of months and into the future.

“Oh, we have been way ahead of the curve,” Vascellaro said. “I personally was concerned about this January or February, and have been monitoring it myself. And then Bill Gates wrote an article in the New England Journal (of Medicine) on, I believe, February 28, and that’s really when we went into action and formed a COVID-19 team/task force and just making plans.”

Visit for up-to-date information regarding CPN businesses, health care and more.

Ashley Poutre (Photo provided)

Virus causes upheaval in Citizen Potawatomi lives

We asked Citizen Potawatomi members to reach out and tell us their stories and experiences regarding the global pandemic, and you all answered from across the country! A few were also kind enough to record themselves at the beginning of May, talking about their day-to-day lives in the last few months, working in healthcare, starting new jobs and shining a light on an often forgotten sector of the travel industry.

“I am expecting this to have a huge ripple effect on the travel and tourism industry for the next two years. My plan is to save as much as I can so that I can cover my expenses in the event that the timing of all these factors do not match up. Other than that, I am trying to focus on staying positive, keeping myself physically active as well as creative.” – Ashley Poutre, front desk supervisor of a nonprofit international youth hostel in Sacramento, California.

Read more stories from Tribal members everywhere at

COVID-19 changes French way of life for Tribal member

In 2018, France was the No. 1 international tourism destination in the world, according to the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations. The government put Paris on lockdown on March 17, and in mid-May, France had the ninth-highest number of cases worldwide. Tribal member Melissa Brown has lived in downtown Paris for two and a half years, a stone’s throw away from the Seine River.

Melissa Brown with her husband Assan and their daughter (Photo provided)

“Usually people walk along the river, the Seine. People are constantly just walking around and sitting at cafes or going to restaurants. … It’s like we’re in this city that’s meant to be enjoyed around the river and the parks, and we’re not allowed to do those basic things,” said Brown.

Read more stories from Tribal members around the world in the Hownikan or in the “News” section of

Learning Language

It’s time for Learning Language, when CPN Language Department Director Justin Neely teaches vocabulary, songs, stories and more. This lesson covers helpful phrases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning Language May 2020
  • Gégo zam nibwekén beshoch! Don’t stand too close!
  • Ngo’en I gdon. Cover your mouth.
  • Ngo’en I gdon epich jachamyen. Cover your mouth when you sneeze.
  • Zam manek bmadzejek ibe. There are too many people over there.
  • Gzibinenjen! Wash your hands!
  • Gshatgen! Stay home! (Telling one person)
  • Gshatgek! You all stay home! (Telling more than one person)
  • Gégo dagneshikén. Don’t touch me.
  • Gégo dagnakén o kekyat. Don’t touch that elder.
  • Nasena ezhechkeyen. Be careful what you are doing.
  • Nasena gishpen Gde-zhya odanek. Be careful if you are going to town.
  • Ni pi je ezhyayen? Where are you going?
  • Cho nde-zhyasi ngoji. I am not going anywhere.
  • Wisnedawewgemgok nde-zhyamen. We are going to the grocery store.
  • Gme gishek gda-bgedna o séma mine madmoyen. Every day you should put down some tobacco and pray.

For more information and opportunities with language, including self-paced classes, visit You can find an online dictionary at as well as videos on YouTube. There are also Potawatomi courses on the language learning app Memrise.

Hownikan Podcast is produced and distributed by Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Public Information Department. Subscribe to Hownikan Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud and wherever you find your favorite shows. Find digital editions of the Tribal newspaper here.