This episode explores Potawatomi spring traditions, visits the Potato Dance World Championship and shines a light on Epilepsy Awareness Day.
Mnokme (spring) months named for bountiful changes
Potawatomi recognize mnokme, or spring, as a time of plenty when the snow began to melt after the harsh winter around the Great Lakes. After sub-freezing temperatures forced communities into smaller groups to survive, they returned to communal life. Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center Director Dr. Kelli Mosteller talked to us about the season’s moons and what they mean to the Nishnabe people.
“Ceremonially and spiritually, I think it’s really important to finally be able to come back … together to carry out these ceremonies — to, with intention, come together and be grateful for the things that you have,” said Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center Director Dr. Kelli Mosteller.
Epilepsy Awareness Day provides seizure education, prevention and safety
March 26, 2022, is Epilepsy Awareness Day, and more than 51,000 Indigenous people live with the disorder in the United States, according to the Epilepsy Foundation of America. Epilepsy affects more than 3.4 million Americans, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it the fourth most common neurological disorder.
Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services Primary Care Physician Dr. Patrick Kennedye treats and guides patients as part of their team of doctors. He also assists the inpatient psychiatric hospital at INTEGRIS Mental Health Spencer in Spencer, Oklahoma.
“Epilepsy is oftentimes triggered in these states where you have low energy because the parts that are restricting and inhibiting those problems are no longer working, which then allows unregulated electrical activity through the brain,” he said.
With advancements in treatment and the understanding of the brain, doctors have more resources at their disposal than ever before to help epileptic patients live full, unrestricted lives. Learn more about epilepsy from The Epilepsy Foundation at epilepsy.com. Check out Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services at cpn.news/health.
FireLake Discount Foods donates to inaugural Potato Dance World Championship
The First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City hosted the first-ever Potato Dance World Championship on Feb. 12, 2021. FAM Director of Learning and Community Engagement Adrienne Lalli Hills (Wyandotte) said the museum wanted to bring Native humor to the forefront for Valentine’s Day.
“We’re using it as a humorous way to introduce Native people who might not be as culturally connected to their tribes and non-Native people who may have never been to one of our social dances or social gatherings. … And so I figured, why not? Let’s have it at First Americans Museum,” she said.
Lalli Hills requested a donation of potatoes from Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s FireLake Discount Foods for the event. FDF Director Richard Driskell called it one of the most unusual appeals throughout his more than two decades with the Tribe.
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 explains the Noek Principles of Neshnabe Mno bmadzewen, or the seven principles of a good Nishnabe life.
For more information and opportunities with language, including self-paced classes, visit cpn.news/language. You can find an online dictionary at potawatomidictonary.com 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.