This episode discusses the health and cultural importance of strawberries, and shines a light on the new Potawatomi Fire dance teams. We also talk with a Tribal member and leader who recently became director of CPN’s Workforce Development and Social Services Department.
Strawberry Moon signals heart health
Nishnabé referred to June as the Dé’men Gises (Strawberry Moon). It also signified the beginning of niben (summer), which translates to “the time of plenty.”
Potawatomi hold strawberries in high regard, and Bodéwadmimwen (Potawatomi language) expresses it. Dé’men translates to “heart berry.”
“(Strawberries) are filled with good nutrients and things like that. I think the more fruits and natural game and nuts and things that we can add to our diet, I think the better off we are to get away from some of that processed food,” said CPN Language Director Justin Neely.
Read more about the strawberries and the seasons at the Cultural Heritage Center’s online encyclopedia at cpn.news/encyclopedia.
New Fire dance teams bring the heat to Shawnee
Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s professional basketball team the Potawatomi Fire recently wrapped up their first season. There were several dance squads of all ages cheering them on the entire time – the Fire Girls, the Heat and the Sparklers. CPN Public Information Communications Coordinator Rachel Vishanoff interviewed dance team members, coaches and watching performances on the court throughout the season and sat down to talk with us about it all.
“When I heard that there would be Fire dance teams alongside this new basketball team, I knew that I had to check it out and see what it was all about. It’s been really great to watch so far,” Vishanoff said.
“Something that I think is really remarkable about the Fire dance teams is that there’s really opportunities for every age level and every experience level.”
Margaret Zientek named Workforce and Social Services director
With her attention always on the needs of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and its members, Margaret Zientek has already hit the ground running as the new Workforce and Social Services department director.
“It’s wide open as to how far we can expand employment, training and related programs. I’m really excited where that could lead us. Taking on something brand new means you learn something brand new,” she said.
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 lays out how to do a personal introduction in Bodéwadmimwen.
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.