In this episode, we’ll meet CPN’s new District 11 legislator, Andy Walters, and hear from a graduate student about his most recent project ground mapping Potawatomi presence in the Great Lakes region. We’ll also visit this summer’s FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival.

Former police officer, world traveler serves CPN Legislative District 11

Bourbonnais family descendant Andrew Walters took office as Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s District 11 legislator in February 2021. Since then, he has attended all legislative meetings and submitted columns to the Tribe’s newspaper each month, often telling life stories of his career and travels.

District 11 Legislator Andrew Walters enjoy exploring every corner of the earth, from hiking in Red Rock Canyon in Utah to sailing in the Virgin Islands. (Photo provided)

“I wanted to do something (for the Tribe) that I felt I had experience in and something that I could contribute for. And being a legislator is what we moved up here for. And so when I got to do it, I jumped on it with both feet,” Walters said.

Email District 11 Legislator Andrew Walters at Read more about him at

Graduate student maps Potawatomi’s effect on Indiana wetlands

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation originated from the Great Lakes region, living and subsisting on the marshlands where fish and mnomen, or wild rice, thrive. One Tribal member has been working to document rice beds in Indiana.

Slavin family descendant Elan Pochedley spent the last year mapping and creating an interactive historical display of wild rice’s habitat and the Potawatomi’s effect on the area’s waters as part of his dissertation. He attends the University of Minnesota, working towards his doctorate in sociocultural anthropology.

University of Minnesota graduate student Elan Pochedley spends time on field research for his dissertation.

“The Potawatomi were active ecological agents in northern Indiana, and they were working towards the health of our non-human relatives and the health of our environments and the health of our waters, which makes complete sense because you care about those things that you’re dependent on and responsible for,” Pochedley said.

Visit Restorative Cartography of the Theakiki Region: Mapping Potawatomi Presences in Indiana at

Citizen Potawatomi Nation throws fourth annual FireLake Fireflight Balloon Fest

Citizen Potawatomi Nation hosted the fourth annual FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival in mid-August. This year’s event included commercial and tethered rides, and a balloon glow Saturday night as well as giant inflatables, a carnival, a splash pad, vendors, food trucks and live music with more than 20,000 people in attendance.

Media preview flight for FireLake FireFlight Balloon Festival, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021.

“I like the community coming together, and I love that the Tribe is able to put on such a beautiful event for the community,” said event organizer and CPN employee Kelley Francen.

Find information on the 2022 FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival, visit Follow the event on Facebook and Instagram.

Learning Language

It’s time for Learning Language, when the CPN Language Department joins us to teach vocabulary, songs, stories and more. In this segment, department director Justin Neely teaches some words helpful in describing the summertime.

Learning Language – August 2021

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.