During today’s episode, we are hearing from a Tribal member who recently received a seat on a White House environmental council, take a trip through the community garden and revisit the opening of the CPN Eagle Aviary.

Higbee descendant serves on new White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council

Citizen Potawatomi Nation member Kyle Whyte, Ph.D., dedicates his career as an academic to environmental justice, both as a professor and advocate. In early March, the Council for Environmental Quality invited him to join the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, a 26-person group designed to represent people from across the United States to provide plans and ideas on fighting climate change alongside environmental justice.

Kyle Whyte, Ph.D., serves the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, University of Michigan School of Environment and Sustainability, College of Menominee Nation and Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition as an expert on environmental justice.

“I really want to see an energy transition where tribes, where people of color, where other underserved communities emerge as leaders in the new energy system — as providers of energy, as people that are in the highest levels of decision making about what our energy system should look like and the values that it aspires to,” Whyte said.

Find Kyle Whyte’s University of Michigan faculty profile and publications at cpn.news/whyte.

A visit to the CPN Community Garden

In Oklahoma, this spring brought plenty of rain and mild temperatures. It was cooler than usual, and the plants in CPN’s Community Garden loved it. Community Garden Assistant Kaya DeerInWater provided some tips for gardening in the springtime.

Community Garden Assistant Kaya DeerInWater harvests vegetables in spring 2021.

“Gardening takes a lot of planning and forethought if you want to do well and succeed. And the intention in gardening is a lot for me. Like what is your intention? What is your purpose? What are your goals for your garden?” DeerInWater explained.

The CPN Community Garden is one of many projects from the CPN Cultural Heritage Center. Follow the CHC on Facebook at @CPNCulturalHeritage or visit it online at potwatomiheritage.com.

Looking back at the opening of the CPN Eagle Aviary

We’re looking back again at The Native American Speaks, a former radio show from Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Public Information Department and KGFF. It ran from 2006 to 2013 with host Michael Dodson, previous Public Information Department Director. In this clip, Dodson interviews CPN Eagle Aviary staff, Jennifer Randell and Bree Dunham. This clip is from July 2012 a week after the aviary opened. Next month marks the 9th anniversary.

When temperatures rise, eagles at the aviary enjoy spending time in the enclosure’s water features.

“Sometimes we don’t choose our path. It chooses us,” Randell said.

“To think about being able to come spend time with those birds and get a better understanding of them and why we revere them the way that we do, it was something that just had to be done,” Dunham agreed.

Since this aired, the aviary has improved significantly with a better environment for its residents. Jennifer and Bree are caring for more birds now and have released two back into the wild with telemetry devices, Wadase and Mko Kno. Follow the aviary online at cpn.news/aviary and on Facebook @CPNeagleaviary.

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.