This episode discusses the effects of Medicaid expansion on Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services, visits a crafting class at CPN’s Cultural Heritage Center and provides tips and tricks for credit scores for National Credit Education Month.

CPN Health Services well-prepared for state Medicaid expansion

On June 30, 2020, Oklahoma voters approved the Oklahoma Medicaid Expansion Initiative becoming the 37th state to make state health care coverage available to those at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty line – approximately 200,000 adults between 19 and 64.

Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services has seen the total number of patients enrolled in Medicaid per month increase from 300 — prior to coverage taking effect on July 1, 2021 — to 1,200 in 2022. The numbers continue to grow.

Communications coordination Mary Leaver discusses the very close statewide vote for Medicaid expansion and some of the program’s common misconceptions with CPNHS Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Consultant Yvonne Myers, who has more than four decades of experience in public health.

“If you are Native, you might not live in an area where there are Tribal facilities readily available; if you enroll in Medicaid, you can go see a local non-Tribal provider and not have to travel as far. So access to care has been enhanced through a broader provider network. Patients are still, of course, welcome to visit any of our IHS or Tribal facilities, but it just enhanced access to care for our patients,” said Yvonne Myers, ACA/Medicaid Consultant for CPN Health Services.

Find more information about Medicaid Expansion from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and apply for benefits at Visit Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services online at

Cultural Heritage Center cultural classes teach art skills, build community

Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center offers cultural and art classes several times a month as a service to the greater surrounding Indigenous community. Led by Cultural Activities Coordinator and artist Leslie Deer, participants typically learn how to bead a piece of jewelry or create a piece of regalia.

Participants of the art and cultural classes held by Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center walk away with a new skill and rewarding project.

“If you go to the store and buy it, it’s really not special to me,” said participant Charles Scott. “If you make it, then it’s special. I’ve met people down here who’ve made me stuff. My ribbon shirt, for example, that was made for me. So the more you come down and the more we do this culture stuff, the more other people come down and use it.”

The classes offer many basic skills that apply to larger or more complex pieces for the future. They are free and open to everyone, and the CHC provides most of the materials. Registration is required, and class sizes are limited. Find a calendar of classes and sign up at

CPCDC staff help clients raise credit scores, meet goals

March is National Credit Education Month. The Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation guides CPN Tribal members and employees at no cost as they build their credit, helping them to reduce interest rates, qualify for home loans and accomplish their financial goals.

Felecia Freeman

“In high school, I didn’t learn anything about financial literacy,” said CPCDC Commercial Loan Officer and Certified Credit Counselor Felecia Freema. “This makes it difficult for people to know what they should be doing to build credit. Many people have had bad experiences — got burned, made decisions that weren’t advantageous — and stepped away thinking they couldn’t fix past financial mistakes. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. You can rebuild your credit fairly easy with a credit builder loan that the CDC has.”

The CPCDC offers tribal members and CPN employees the chance to take control of their finances. Find out more about the department and its offerings at or Facebook @cpncdfi.

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 tells the story of how the porcupine got his quills.

Learning Language – February 2022

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.