By Justin Neely, Director of the CPN Language Department

Bozho jayek
(Hello everyone),

It’s been real busy in the language department this month. We have started a new, nine-week online course at Shawnee Middle School for sixth graders. Every sixth grader at Shawnee Middle School is taking the course. We are also now teaching our high school course at Seminole High School. We are continuing to teach Potawatomi 1 and Potawatomi 2 at Shawnee and Wanette high schools. The course is available anywhere in Oklahoma and counts toward the world language credit required for graduation. If you’d be interested in having this course in your local school district, please reach out to me.

Our online course that was on Moodle is in the process of being moved to a new platform called Tovuti LMS. We hope to have Beginner 1 up in the next couple of months. In the meantime, don’t forget we have two YouTube channels. One is geared toward children and the other for adult learners. Find them at and Each channel has around 180 videos. We also have a couple of courses available at For some reason, it’s hard to find them from the app, but you can find them at One of the courses is called A day in your life and the other, Potawatomi Phrases.

We have been continuing to work on our children’s book series, which is due to be complete by December. We should have a number of books available at the beginning of 2022.

As I write this column, we are in week eight of our on-site beginner class. Those classes are being recorded and are available to watch either on our YouTube channel or in our Potawatomi Language Facebook group at If you haven’t made it to this 10-week class and live locally, we will try and do another some time after the first of the year. Also, we should be hosting our annual Winter Storytelling event around February. We hope to be able to do this in person, but if not, we will host it online.

We are constantly working on updating and adding to our online dictionary, which is available at We have over 9,600 words in the dictionary, and about 60 percent have sound files. We are constantly adding audio, video and additional words. It’s an ongoing process.

Bnakwi gises Kedwnen (October words)

  • Tkeyamget – It’s cool. (tuh-kay-yahm-get)
  • Wabgon – pumpkin (wahb-goe-n)
  • Zégkonyewen – Halloween costume (zag-cone-yay-win)
  • Jibe gishget – Halloween (jeebay-geesh-git)
  • Washkbek – candy (wash-kuh-buck)
  • Jibe – spirit/ghost
  • Babishagwnegwé – bat (bah-beesh-ahg-wuh-nug-way)
  • Mawdoshgen – rake (mau-doesh-gin)
  • Katkek – kettle (caht-kuck)
  • Méndowzet – witch (man-dow-zit)
  • Bnakwi – leaves falling (buh-knock-wee)
  • Mawdoshk’an – He/she rakes something. (VTI) (mau-doesh-kuh-an)
  • Datbek – leaf (dot-buck)
  • Datbegon/Datbekwen – leaves (dotbuh-goen/ dot-buck-win)