By Justin Neely, CPN Language Department Director

The Potawatomi Gathering and Language Conference is in the books. We saw over 640 people attend the two-day language conference. Our Tribe was nicely represented. We had five Citizen Potawatomi people talk/present at the conference. They were Kristy Philips, Lindsey Marean, Wkenodan Gétgadékwen, Robert Lewis and Justin Neely. It was awesome to be able to gather together again after almost three years since our last Language Conference. We were honored to have Jim Thunder with us and representatives from the various language programs. Wkenodan Gétgadékwen is a young man who is only 16 years old. We were very proud that he was asked to present at the language conference and also did the opening prayer for one of the three powwows during the gathering.

Those of us in the Language Department had the pleasure of getting to know this young man while he interned with us this summer. We also had two other awesome interns, Kateri Philips (the outgoing Miss Potawatomi) and Daisy Pelletier. We really enjoyed having each of them with us this summer. We also had a young traveling scholar and former PLP named Kabl Wiklerson spend significant time with us this summer working on the language. Needless to say, it has been a busy summer for the Language Department.

Stormy Rhodd and Ragan Marsee began teaching a new Beginner Potawatomi class on Wednesday, August 10, continuing for seven weeks. It will be at the Cultural Heritage Center from 5:30-7 p.m. CT. We are also streaming the class online.

We are still compiling our mailout for books. So, if you put your name down online, please be patient. We are going to mail out in bulk quantities of 200 to keep the costs down.

We are looking forward to a busy fall with high school online courses, more books and some collegiate courses starting up.