By Justin Neely, Language Department Director
It’s been an active time in the language department. If you haven’t already checked out our two YouTube channels — one for kids and one geared toward adults — check them out. Also, we share a lot of content on our Potawatomi language Facebook page, cpn.news/langfb.
We just wrapped up another Popeye cartoon that is about 20 minutes long. We also are wrapping up a number of video books that have been really popular. Our staff is working hard on a new project to develop a series of books for Level 1 and Level 2 readers. We also now have some of our 7 Grandfathers posters available in Potawatomi Gifts: Wedasewen, Bravery; Edbesendowen, Humility; Debanawen, Love; Wdetanmowen, Respect; and we just finished Gwekwadzewen, Honesty. Order them online at cpn.news/posters.
We also just wrapped up our first semester of high school classes. This year, we are offering the language in Maud, Wanette, Shawnee and Tecumseh. We hope to partner with more districts in the coming months. We are able to offer the language anywhere in Oklahoma, and it counts toward a student’s high school graduation credit for language.
We are still going to be doing our annual winter storytelling event on Friday, Feb. 26. The stories will be pre-recorded and available on that date. We will put them on our YouTube channel and include links in our Facebook group as well as the Tribe’s website. We are planning on each staff member telling two stories and plan to have 10-12 stories. We will remove the stories once winter has passed. Traditionally, we only tell certain stories in the wintertime, preferably when there is snow on the ground. We believe that in the wintertime the spirits and the earth are asleep. The snow covering the earth is like a blanket.
Make sure to check out our many resources available. We have a video that describes some of the many tools available for learning the language such as our online dictionary, online self-paced classes, Quizlet, and Memrise program. Check out this promo video to see what’s available: cpn.news/langpromo.
We are going to be adding to and updating our 9,500-word online dictionary in the coming months. We will be adding additional videos and audio files. Our IT department, which created our dictionary, is going to be adding some cool features such as a game that will quiz you on various words, adding a fun element to the dictionary.
The IT department along with Tribal archives is finishing adding audio to the language kiosk on the Cultural Heritage Center’s floor, so now visitors will be able to hear the words when they tap on the kiosk.