By Justin Neely, CPN Language Department Director
On Nmebne gises nswe (March 3rd) we had our annual Bbon yatsokewen mawjeshnowen — Winter Story Telling gathering. Manek bmadzejek gi byék. Lots of people came. Gnebech shwatsomtene shech nish ezhi yatsokewgemek. Maybe 82 over there at the Cultural Heritage Center. Mine gé megwa tasomkekosek. And more on the computer. Neyewabtek anake nyanomtene megwa bmadzejek. 40 or 50 more people. Bodéwadmimwen makchewijek mine ngot widoktadwen bmadzet egi yatsokewat mdatso shech ngot bkan yatsokagnen. The Potawatomi language staff and one community member told 12 different stories. Gi Weptamget madmowen mine ngot ngemwen gi sengo zibiwes ngemjek. It started with a prayer and song by the Squirrel Creek drummers. Ggshketomen déwégeyak gme ngot gishgok mine gme-nyew gishgok zhi yatsokewgemgok nso dbegnék. We try and drum on Mondays and Thursdays there at the Cultural Heritage Center at 3 p.m. Mine nkenomage bodéwadmimwen kenomagewen ngot dbegnék gme-ngot gishgok mine gme-neyew gishgok zhi yatsokewgemgok ngot dbegnék. Nde-mzenaksegemen node kenomagewnen mine etoyak mbwaka myewek izhi YouTube zhenkadek. I also teach a Potawatomi language class at 1 p.m. every Monday and Thursday at the Cultural Heritage Center, which we also put on the internet and YouTube.
Zisbaktoge gises, April, is the time that we traditionally did maple syruping. Maple syrup was our main way of seasoning our dishes. The process of making sugar or making maple syrup is a long process. It requires tapping a tree and then gathering the sap and then boiling it down. The whole process might take two or threes days to complete. You first need the right kind of conditions for the sap to run. Usually, it needs to be very cold for a long period of time, then an abrupt warm up. These pictures are of our relatives in Forest County doing maple syruping back in 2008.