Chairman – John “Rocky” Barrett

Headshot of CPN Tribal Chairman John "Rocky" Barrett

Bozho nikan (Hello friend),

Throughout the last three years, we have seen a steady increase in our Tribal membership across the United States. The Potawatomi diaspora brought about by colonization and forced relocations means our Citizen Potawatomi population stretches far and wide, including in all 50 states and 162 countries. While our headquarters are located near Shawnee, Oklahoma, Citizen Potawatomi build community wherever two or more gather.

Participation and Tribal connection are incredibly important to keeping our culture and society vibrant. One area where we lack participation — and one of the most important — is voting. We have a three-branch government, consisting of executive, judicial and legislative divisions. As a Tribe, we voted on accepting a new constitution in 2007 that established legislative districts across the U.S., ensuring each Tribal member, near or far from CPN headquarters, would be represented in government affairs.

Voting is the bedrock of our Tribal sovereignty, allowing us to decide what we want to do and who we want to lead us as a community. It is participation in the Nation at the most basic level, and our absentee ballot voting system makes the process easy from anywhere. We also hold in-person voting each summer at Family Reunion Festival. The last Saturday of June is Election Day, and there is always some issue for every Tribal member to be heard on, whether your legislative district seat is up for election or not.

Despite the Tribe’s best efforts, our voter turnout rate is low. In 2022, out of 29,129 voters, only 1,458 voted on the Tribal budget — that’s a participation rate of 19.98 percent. Only 136 individuals voted in the District 7 legislative race, one of the Tribe’s more populated districts.

This year, two Oklahoma legislative seats are on the ballot, Districts 10 and 11, as well as the Tribal budget and the reappointment of several Tribal Supreme Court justices. The latter two are on everyone’s ballot. The Hownikan asks candidates several questions in each edition in the few months leading up to Election Day. Read through your options and become acquainted with your choices so you will be informed in your decision. Each legislative seat is on the ballot every four years.

You will receive your ballot requests from the CPN Election Committee in the mail soon. Don’t wait; it takes less than two minutes to fill out the small application. If you’re coming to Oklahoma for Family Reunion Festival this year, voting will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Whether you enrolled last year or have been since you were born, make your voice heard and vote.

As always, it is an honor to serve as your Tribal Chairman.

Migwetch (Thank you),

John “Rocky” Barrett
Keweoge (He Leads Them Home)
Tribal Chairman

Vice-Chairman – Linda Capps

Headshot of CPN Tribal Vice-Chairman Linda Capps.

Bozho (Hello),

The Hownikan has a new look. I appreciate getting the type of paper that can be stored more easily. Like some of you, I save every Hownikan issue that is delivered to my home. When I begin to add the numbers of the volumes that I have accumulated, it is frightening. Let’s see… I have been in office as Vice-Chairman since June of 1990, and I was on the grievance committee since June of 1987. This coming June will make 36 years of collected Hownikans. The CPN Public Information Department did not actually produce 12 copies each year for some of the years prior to 2000; however, there were at least six to eight copies produced most of the years. In other words, I may not be able to count every copy that I have stored because I’m sure a few were lost in the shuffle, but I still have over 300 copies in boxes and on shelves — all either in my garage or in a bedroom.

The paper that our Hownikans have been printed on in the past easily fades after a few years. The new paper may fade eventually, but that process will take much longer. Please don’t misunderstand. The reason that we did not choose a different kind of paper in the past is that we did not have the money to do so. With a change to the Hownikan in pages and the continued search for better quality paper at the right price, the new production will come within our original budget for FY2023. The smooth finish Is more pleasing to both sight and touch. I applaud Kent Bush’s department that did the research in finding the paper at a price that is acceptable for the Hownikan budget. The planning has been flawless and in a timely manner since the idea for the change was first discussed.

The history of the Hownikan is an amazing story. The very first issue was a one-page information sheet, which was printed and mailed in 1971. In those days, an important topic was news about per capita payments from the 1960s Indian Claims Commission. Throughout the years, the discussion of “when, where, how much… and occasionally if” was finally answered for the membership in editions of the Hownikan. The Hownikan has been a staple during the years and has been greatly appreciated. In the 70s and 80s, it was basically the only means of communication from the Tribe for a large portion of our Tribal members outside of Oklahoma. With new technology and advanced social media, many Tribal members have other methods to contact headquarters, and for the Tribe to contact the members, but the Hownikan remains a favorite.

Up until now, the most positive changes to the Hownikan came when Jennifer Bell began working at CPN as the director of Public Information. She designed a whole new look for the paper and improved content to include more widespread information about CPN, Tribal members and the latest progress made by each. Mrs. Bell did an exceptional job for the 10 years that she remained on the job. Then late in 2022, Jennifer had a once-in-a-lifetime offer to take another position. Mr. Kent Bush was considered for Jennifer’s replacement. Kent was a person whom many of us had worked with through the Shawnee News-Star, where he was the former publisher. He has worked out well at CPN, and we are pleased to have the type of excellent leadership that we had with Jennifer Bell.

As usual, I cherish the opportunity to serve as your Vice-Chairman.

Migwetch (Thank you).

My best,

Linda Capps
Segenakwe (Black Bird Woman)
Work: 405-275-3121
Cell: 405-650-1238

District 1- Alan Melot

Headshot of CPN District 1 Legislator Alan Melot.

Bozho ginwa (Hello everyone),

Spring is coming soon, and I’m glad for it. These long winter days wear on my soul! I hope this finds you well and prospering.

I’m so proud of the deep talent and capabilities in District 1, and it’s a real privilege to share a message from Kaitlin Curtice this month. Kaitlin is an award-winning author, poet-storyteller and public speaker. An enrolled citizen of our Potawatomi Nation, she writes on the intersections of spirituality and identity and how that shifts throughout our lives. She also speaks on these topics to diverse audiences who are interested in truth-telling and healing. Kaitlin and I lived in the same town a just a few years ago and had no idea we were so close to each other! It’s amazing how we can be close to kinfolks and not know it, highlighting how important it is to get involved and get in touch when you can. Kaitlin recently shared this message with me:

“In March, I am releasing my third book, Living Resistance: An Indigenous Vision for Seeking Wholeness Every Day. Being Potawatomi really helped ground me as I wrote this book, including the cyclical framework I created called the four realms of resistance. Each realm, similar to the parts of the medicine wheel, represents a different season in our lives, a time to focus on ourselves (personal realm), our communities (communal realm), our ancestors and ourselves as ancestors in the making (ancestral realm), and our practices of lifelong resistance and prayer (integral realm). The main point of this book is to explore ways we can care for ourselves, one another and Mother Earth. I am so honored to share my stories and poetry with everyone and hope it encourages you all to continue seeking out the love and gifts of Creator in and around you.”

Photo of Kaitlin Curtice's new book, Living Resistance, and web address

Kaitlin went on to share this poem from the first section of her book:

“What is a poem? It is the quietest, softest part of you, held to an invisible microphone, held up to the light, held up beyond the hustle and bustle of the day and the groaning aches of the night. A poem is the anger that releases itself in your time of greatest need, when you are ready to fracture before you believe again, ready to break open and receive yourself to yourself. A poem is the whisper that tells everything, the secret that cannot be denied: You are exactly as you’ve always been — Beloved Word, Spoken Self, Relieved Ache, Tender Child. The poem is you. It always was.”

Kaitlin’s newest book, Living Resistance, is releasing on March 7 and can be found at her website,, and from online bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I encourage you to show your support and order yourself a copy or two!

I’ll be sharing more information next month about how you can participate in the upcoming Potawatomi Trail of Death Caravan, an event put together by the Potawatomi Trail of Death Association, following and commemorating the path our ancestors walked when they were forcibly removed from our homelands.

It’s an honor to be your Legislator, and as always, reach out if I can be of assistance!

Bama pi (Until later),

Alan Melot
Legislator, District 1
608 S. Sergeant
Joplin, MO 64801

District 2 – Eva Marie Carney

Headshot of CPN District 2 Legislator Eva Marie Carney.

Bozho (Hello),

Update on our District 2 meeting in Montgomery, Alabama

We had a terrific and meaningful afternoon together at The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice on Feb. 11. Fifteen of us gathered for a good lunch during which new friendships were forged. Two participants, Victoria Rees and Michelle Schmidt, met for the first time and discovered that Victoria’s grandfather, Tom De Lonais, was the little brother to Michelle’s great-grandmother, Sara De Lonais. I understand that, since the meeting, they have shared more information and photos, fueling that connection. I’ve agreed to create a separate email group for the folks who attended so they can continue visiting.

After lunch, we fanned out across the museum and memorial to understand, through compelling visual and data-rich exhibits, America’s history of racial injustice and its legacy. It definitely was a moving, challenging afternoon. I highly recommend a visit to these sites and believe all who participated will agree! You can learn more at I’ve included a photo of our group taken before we entered the museum.

Members of CPN District 2 stand in front of a mural on the wall of The Legacy Museum in Montgomery, AL.
District 2 meeting in Montgomery, AL
Gas stoves — consumer warning and need for follow up

I recently connected with a fellow Potawatomi who is concerned that the gas stove in the home she moved into is adversely affecting her health. I don’t know if you’ve been following the news/debate about this — if you Google “gas stoves and health,” you can read the wide-ranging views of researchers, consumer advocates, government officials and the gas lobby. The Washington Post just printed a great graphic illustrating steps you can take to protect your health if you have a gas stove about which you are concerned but aren’t able to replace with an electric model. See the illustration at

Loss of our matriarch

My dear aunt and godmother, Agnes Wood Barron, walked on Feb. 7, 2023, at the age of 96. She was so kind and welcoming to all her family members and nieces and nephews. Her daughters hosted a 95th birthday party for her last year. May her memory be a blessing. I extend condolences to all our family for this loss.

Please stay safe and well and reach out to me to visit or if I can be of help.

Eva Marie Carney
Ojindiskwe (Bluebird woman)
5877 Washington Blvd.
PO Box 5591
Arlington, VA 22205
Toll Free: 866-961-6988

Bob Whistler District 3

Headshot of CPN District 3 Legislator Bob Whistler.

Bozho ginwa (Hello everyone),

Electric service

In 1975, the Texas Legislature created the Public Utility Commission of Texas. At that time, the PUCT acted on the citizens’ behalf, and they negotiated the utility rates for the citizens of Texas. In 1999, the Texas Legislature decided to allow the citizens to search for rates for themselves based upon the thought that we citizens could get better rates due to more competition. That program is called Power to Choose. At the time, service went from a single source for electric service negotiated by the PUCT on our behalf to many dozen providers offering fairly competitive rates.

I have used that program up until three years ago. At that time, I found that the rates were just continuing to spiral upward, and there appeared to be very little real competition where you could get lower rates. There were still several counties in Texas that were so small that the Power to Choose electric providers didn’t offer service, and therefore, the state PUCT negotiated the rates that were about half of what I was able to find. At the time, the best rate I located under was around 8 cents per kilowatt (Kw).

As you may recall from some of my earlier articles, at one time I sold insurance, and I alerted you to the fact that for insurance, you need to find a broker rather than an agent.

So, I had the thought, “Are there any brokers rather than just electric firm providers?” I did determine that there are brokers, but they are not listed under the Power to Choose program. I contacted a broker, and they were able to come up with an electric rate of 6.032 cents per Kw versus the 8+ cents per Kw with Power to Choose.

My current electric policy will expire in three months. I went to Power to Choose to see what they are now offering in the zip code area I live in. The rates offered varied between 10.6 cents per Kw and 14.5 cents per Kw. One point that was very interesting was that most of the plans really had a set of several rates for you that were no doubt season oriented. Meaning if you used, say, only 800 kilowatts, the rate was 10.6 cents per Kw; then, if your usage was 1,500 kilowatts, the rate jumped to 11.8 cents per Kw. If usage is over 2,000 kilowatts, the rate would be 14.5 cents. I didn’t see any firm offering simply a flat, non-fluctuating rate.

I went back to my broker, and his firm was able to negotiate a fixed flat rate of 7.978 cents per Kw. Yes, my rate for electric will go up between $24 and $60 per month, depending upon my usage.

In closing, for those of you with all-electric homes in Texas, I urge you to search for a brokerage firm who is able to offer lower electric rates for you than what you can find on Power to Choose. I use True Energy, and their phone contact is 469-941-0532. I wish I had a similar message for those using natural gas for heat as no doubt those rates are increasing also.

I want to thank my constituents for electing me to represent District 3. I am your voice to staff, so if you have a question about benefits or services, please call or email me.

Nagech (Later),

Bob Whistler
Bmashi (He Soars)
1516 Wimberly Ct.
Bedford, TX 76021

Jon Boursaw District 4

Headshot of CPN District 4 Legislator Jon Boursaw.

Bozho (Hello),

Number of students attending Kansas schools with CPN scholarships increases

The number of students attending Kansas universities, colleges and junior colleges with CPN scholarships continues to increase. Tesia Zientek, the Director of the CPN Department of Education, recently provided me with the number of students who attended Kansas schools in the Fall of 2022 with assistance of the CPN scholarship program. I am pleased to report that the total number of CPN scholarships in Kansas schools is now 540.

The following is a breakdown showing the number of students at each of the schools in Kansas receiving CPN scholarships:

Kansas State University: 122
Sterling College: 2
University of Kansas: 121
Tabor College: 2
Ft. Hays State University: 74
Garden City Community College: 15
Wichita State University: 53
Johnson County Community College: 15
Emporia State University: 34
Coffeyville Community College: 10
Washburn University: 29
Butler Community College: 9
Pittsburg State University: 15
Washburn Institute of Technology: 6
Haskell Indian Nations University: 7
Highland Community College: 4
Baker University: 4
Pratt Community College: 4
Benedictine College: 2
Seward County Community College: 3
McPherson College: 2
Hutchinson Community College: 1

For more information about the CPN scholarship program, contact the CPN Department of Education by email at, by phone at 405-695-6028 or 1-800-880-9880 or at

Upcoming CPN Elders’ Potlucks

The dates for the next two Elder Potlucks held in CPN Community Center in Rossville at noon are:

March 10th, Corned Beef and Cabbage. RSVP by the 7th.

April 14th, Italian, with garlic bread. RSVP by the 11th.

Come join us and bring your favorite side dish or dessert. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Tracy or Brenda at 785-584-6171.

8th Grade student researches Potawatomi Trail of Death

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by a middle-school student who was in the process of designing and creating an exhibit that tells the story and significance of the Potawatomi Trail of Death. Her exhibit will be entered in the Junior Division of the Kansas District 3 National History Day competition that is held annually at Washburn University in Topeka. The student, Madison Arnold, is in the 8th grade at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic School in Topeka. After hearing the topic of her exhibit, I was amazed to learn that Madison is not Native American. This then generated the question as to how she knew about the Potawatomi Trail of Death. She responded that during her 7th grade Kansas History studies, she learned about Indian Removal and the impact it had on various tribes, and one of the tribes she learned about was the Potawatomi and the Trail of Death. She went on to say that even though they and other tribes were devastated by their forced removal, she was struck by the Potawatomi’s strength and how they persevered through adversity.

Madison told me that participants in the competition get to choose their project’s topic, but it must relate to that year’s theme; this year’s theme is Frontiers in History. Throughout the year, she has been researching, analyzing primary and secondary sources, conducting interviews, and designing and creating an exhibit that tells the story and significance of the Potawatomi Trail of Death.

The title of Madison’s exhibit is People of the Place of the Fire: The Trail of Death and ‘Permanent’ Indian Frontier. The exhibit focuses on events leading up to the Potawatomi’s removal, the Trail of Death, short and long-term impacts, and legacy. She hopes her project helps people to have a better understanding of Native American history, the truth of what westward expansion really cost, and that the Potawatomi have a rich culture that should be celebrated and respected.

Needless to say, I am very impressed with the time, effort and particularly the sincere interest that Madison has put forth in this project. I think we should all express our thanks and appreciation to Madison for her willingness to exhibit such an important part of our history.

Megwetch (Thank you),

Jon Boursaw
Wetase Mkoh (Brave Bear)
2007 SW Gage Blvd.
Topeka, KS 66604
Office Hours: Tuesday 9-11a.m.
Thursdays 3-5p.m.
Other times as requested

Gene Lambert District 5

Headshot of CPN District 5 Legislator Gene Lambert.

Bozho (Hello),

Leaving February behind and moving forward to the month of March is not without acknowledging an abundance of historical events.

We can relate back to the March of years past and recognize it as the official timing in 1987 when the contributions of women in the United States of America was officially identified and celebrated as International Women’s Day, March 8.

The idea of International Women’s Day is phenomenal, including all women of all cultures.

Then I asked myself, “Why don’t men have their day? Only fair, right?” Well come to find out through Google, they do. I am amazed — it was news to me, and maybe you didn’t know either. International Men’s Day is Nov. 19, a day celebrating contributions to society from men and boys. It is recognized in most states. I always wondered how there could possibly be one and not the other in gender recognition.

On March 3, 1913, one day before Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated, 5,000 women marched and were physically attacked in Washington, D.C., an event now known as the Woman Suffrage Procession.

Secretary of War Henry Stemson ordered soldiers from Ft. Myer to keep peace and order. I don’t think you would want to upset 5,000 women once they have made up their minds and have a goal.

On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his first inaugural address, trying to settle a concerned and fearful country to a state of confidence. This is also where the saying, “We have nothing to fear except fear itself,” comes from.

The speech reminds us of where we are today and defines our assured success through our present politics. At the same time, during the Great Depression we have all read about, President Roosevelt appointed the first woman cabinet secretary, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins.

March 22, 1972, was the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment. It was successful through Congress and the Senate but failed to ratify. The concerns at the time were questions of the ability to serve equally in the military, combat duty, etc.

March 10, 1862, was the beginning of the currency we know today. The money was released for the first time in $5, $10 and $20 bills. Prior to the dollar bill, notes were written and backed by gold and silver as was the paper in its infancy.

Now, a March 2, 1793, story I found most interesting to me, and perhaps you, is the story of American soldier Sam Houston who lived from 1793 to 1863. Sam ran away and joined the Cherokee Nation, and they accepted him as their own.

He later served as a representative for the state of Tennessee after which he fought in the Battle of San Jacinto, then served as governor and senator for the new state of Texas. He was later removed due to his failure and unwillingness to confirm or support on the side of the confederates.

Taking the time to look at history for the month of March was quite a learning experience for me. The reality of the heroes and stories of past that brought us to where we are today makes life even more celebratory.

The pendulum swings right and left, and with each new beginning, there is chaos. The rollercoaster ride is always worth it when you let your feet touch ground and it is all said and done.

While we celebrate March, let’s not forget a major day, today, yesterday and probably always you have that special clover day, March 17.

Wear your green and remember the Irish, the battles they too endured in developing this much-loved country of ours.

Stay in touch and let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Love you all,

Gene Lambert (Eunice Imogene Lambert)
Butterfly Woman
270 E Hunt Highway Ste 229
San Tan Valley, AZ 85143
Cell: 480-228-6569
Office: 480-668-0509

Rande K. Payne District 6

Headshot of CPN District 6 Legislator Rande Payne.

Bozho Nikanek (Hello friends),

I hope this month’s column finds you and your families well. Hopefully, those of us in California didn’t experience too much damage as a result of recent rain events. I’m happy about the rain and snow but sad that our state continues to ignore the need for more water storage.

But California’s water crisis isn’t what I want to talk about. I want to talk about California’s criminal justice reform crisis. And while it mostly affects us Potawatomi living in California, I urge my constituents in Nevada, Utah and Hawaii to pay attention to what’s happening in California. I’m guessing that even though you may not live in California, you most likely have family that does. And at a minimum, constituents outside of California may want to ask themselves, “Why does crime in California seem to be out of control?” It seems logical that law-abiding citizens everywhere would want to feel safe wherever they live, right? I believe that all politics are local and that all elections have consequences.

No matter where you live in the United States, you’ve most likely heard about the gang-related murder of six people in Goshen, California, two of which were a 16-year-old mother and her 10-month-old baby. The two suspects in custody charged with their murder are validated Nuestra Familia gang members. Some of the victims were validated rival Mexican Mafia gang members. These horrific murders took place less than 10 miles from my home and less than 3 miles from my place of business. Both suspects in the case have numerous prior felony convictions and both had at least two convictions involving firearms.

Just 30 miles north of me, a Selma police officer responding to a disturbance call was gunned down by a 23-year-old gang member. Under old California law, the suspect would still have been in jail but was instead released into society as a result of criminal justice reform.

These are just a couple of the higher profile crimes that have happened here in my area. There are instances almost daily of repeat offenders committing more crimes and usually more serious or violent in nature. Then the question everyone asks when a repeat offender’s criminal record is revealed after killing someone is, “Why was this person out on the street?” My answer to the question is criminal justice reform.
So far, the only response from Sacramento is more gun legislation. Perhaps even worse is our big city district attorneys who continue to push for even more criminal justice reform with total disregard for the safety of law-abiding citizens. The most recent is the proposed requirement for legal gun owners to have to buy gun insurance to compensate anyone or their family in the event they are hurt or killed by a legal gun owner. Yes, if only the guy who killed the police officer would have had gun insurance everything would be so much better for the slain officer’s family! And I’m 100 percent sure the gang member who killed the police officer was a legal gun owner, right? Ironically, the gang member that was murdered by a rival gang member might still be alive if he had been in jail where he belonged. I guess catch and release didn’t work out so well for him after all. All the while, our political leaders keep telling us that we have a “gun” violence problem in our state. I don’t see it that way. I see soft-on-crime policies that cultivate a culture of repeat offenders with escalating severities of crime. In fairness to our politicians, California voters approved criminal justice reform policies such as Prop 36, Prop 47 and Prop 57. More on that next month. I see entire communities living in fear as a result.

You might ask why I would choose to talk about this problem here. It’s because I have family that I love and care deeply about who live in this state. I go to church with friends who share the same concerns. I have customers at my restaurant tell me they have family members leaving California because they’re afraid. And I represent members of my Tribe that live in this state. I’m fearful that many of you are as concerned about the future of our state as I am. It can be a helpless feeling.

Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on their Super Bowl victory! I’m happy for Creed Humphrey and proud of his performance in helping take the Chiefs to victory!

Lastly, I want to acknowledge the passing of Jim Thunder. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim at a Potawatomi language conference. Jim possessed a deep love for our language and was fully committed to helping with its preservation. He will be greatly missed.

I hate to leave it there, but I’ve already gone over my space limit. I hope you like the new magazine format. I’m so proud of our newspaper team and the quality of the work they produce. Truly a blessing to our Tribe.

Wisdom from the Word: Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” Exodus 24:3

Migwetch, bama pi, (Thank you, until later),

Rande K. Payne
Mnedo Gabo
31150 Road 180
Visalia, CA 93292-9585
(559) 999-5411

Mark Johnson District 7

Headshot of Mark Johnson, District 7 incumbent

Bozho nikanek (Hello friends),

The 2023 Potawatomi Leadership Program application period is now open and closes on April 1. Every summer, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation welcomes eight to 10 Tribal members between the ages of 18 and 20 to learn about the Tribe’s government, economic development and culture as part of the program. I would like to encourage our eligible District 7 members to apply for this program to help shape and build the future leaders of our Tribe. If chosen for this very worthwhile program, you will spend six weeks of your summer in Shawnee, which includes the Family Reunion Festival. To apply, visit

Plans are currently underway for the Family Reunion Festival to be held in Shawnee again this year from June 23 to 25. The 2023 Honored Families will be Johnson, Lafromboise, Lareau, Leclaire, Melott, Rhodd, Tescier, Weld and Young. It is never too soon to secure rooms and travel for your trip to Shawnee. Some of the highlights of Festival are always the hand games on Friday night and Grand Entry on Saturday evening, where we honor our families and heritage. The arena has a dress code. Women should keep their legs and shoulders covered by wearing ankle-length skirts and a shirt that conceals the shoulders as well as carry a shawl, and men should wear slacks and a ribbon shirt. Everyone should wear moccasins or close-toed shoes and move clockwise around the arena. It would be great to start working on a set of regalia to wear during Grand Entry. More information can be found on the Tribal website at

Once again, I would like to say what an honor it is to serve you as your District 7 representative. As always, give me a call, and I will be happy to work with you on any questions you may have or provide you with additional information you may need to access Tribal benefits you are eligible for. Please also take the time to give me a call or send me an email with your contact information so that I can keep you informed of the happenings within the Nation and district.

Migwetch (Thank you),

Mark Johnson
Wisk Mtek (Strong as a Tree)

Dave Carney District 8

Headshot of CPN District 8 Legislator Dave Carney.

Bozho, nikan (Hello, friend),

One topic that comes up in both my daily job as a real estate broker and in my legislative role for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation is the HUD 184 Loan, also known as the “Indian Home Loan.” I sometimes wonder if home buyers want to finance a home with this loan because it is cool and not everyone can qualify, or if the decision is based on the loan being the right option for them. Also, over time, it seems like the loan program has matured and become more available through various lenders. You can find a list of HUD approved lenders that offer the loan in your state at

The Section 184 loan is designed for American Indian and Alaska Native families. The United States Congress established this program in 1992 to grow homeownership and increase accessibility to home loans in Native American communities. An individual borrower must be a member of a federally recognized tribe. Hawaiian Natives can access basically the same loan, under the 184a program.

With Section 184 financing, borrowers can get into a home with a smaller down payment and flexible payment options. It can be used, both on and off Native lands, for new construction, rehabilitation, the purchase of an existing home or a refinanced loan. However, the loans are not available in every state. I’ve included an availability map with this column.

Map of the United States showing eligibility for Section 184 loans.

Another available housing program for us as members of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation is the Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance program.

This is a one-time-only grant for Native Americans with priority given to CPN tribal members. All CPN citizens living in the U.S. may apply. The maximum grant is $2,125. Mobile homes are not eligible. Please note this point about no mobile homes. I stress this point because I’ve had folks really angry at me for this being an “only stick built program.” It’s good to know that upfront. Another point worth noting is that felons cannot occupy the home.

Non-CPN citizens can also apply if they are Native; however, there are more restrictions. For more information, visit This is also a resource for information should you be thinking about relocating back home to our reservation land. There are rental and lease to own options that may be worth exploring.

As always, it is my pleasure to serve you as your legislator,

Dave Carney
Kagashgi (Raven)
520 Lilly Road, Building 1
Olympia, WA 98506

David Barrett District 10

Headshot of CPN District 10 Legislator David Barrett.

Bozho (Hello),

My article is going to be about the early steps of trying to prevent ever using fentanyl. First, what are opioids? Why do we have them?

Opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Some opioids are made from the plant directly, and others, like fentanyl, are made by scientists in labs using the same chemical structure (semi-synthetic).

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S. However, most recent cases of fentanyl-related overdoses are linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive and more dangerous.

The illegally used fentanyl most often associated with recent overdoses is made in labs. This synthetic fentanyl is sold illegally as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, put in eye droppers and nasal sprays, or made into pills that look like other prescription opioids. This is especially risky when people taking drugs don’t realize they might contain fentanyl as a cheap but dangerous additive. They might be taking stronger opioids than their bodies are used to and can be more likely to overdose.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the avalanche of overdose deaths is largely driven by the spread of illicit fentanyl. Researchers found a staggering 110,236 people died in a single 12-month period, a stunning new record set in December 2022. In 2021, 107,622 lives were lost in the U.S. due to drug overdoses and drug poisonings. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 45.

Opioids, particularly diverted prescription drugs, enter the community through the medicine cabinet, theft and robbery of local pharmacies and through fraudulent prescriptions. Heroin, fentanyl and fake prescription drugs are also sold by drug trafficking organizations and street gangs already operating in a community.

dditionally, many opioids can be purchased via the internet, including social media sites such as Facebook, Google and Craigslist as well as a myriad of sites on the dark web. They are then shipped discreetly via commercial parcel delivery carriers such as the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, DHL or UPS.

David Trone (D-MD., 6th District) told The Epoch Times, “99 percent of the fentanyl is coming from precursor drugs from China, and then it’s manufactured by two cartels, the Jalisco and Sinaloa Cartels, and they’re the ones that are bringing it across the border.”

Just two milligrams of the synthetic opioid — equivalent to 10-15 grains of table salt — is considered a lethal dose. The Epoch Times also reported that the Chinese city of Wuhan is known as the fentanyl capital of the world and that the outbreak of coronavirus caused disruption of the production and supply in Wuhan, which set off a chain reaction that caused street drug prices to skyrocket across the United States.
Countless local, tribal and regional efforts, tailored to the specific needs of a community, are underway and supported by national and international efforts. In September 2021, the DEA launched the One Pill Can Kill enforcement effort and public awareness campaign (

Please have a meaningful conservation with your family. Reject the notion that it can’t happen to you or your family. Talk aloud about the threat opioid abuse brings to your family. Commit to asking the tough questions. You can use the DEA resource “What every Parent and Caregiver Needs to Know about Fake Pills.”

Drugs may contain deadly levels of fentanyl, and you wouldn’t be able to see it, taste it or smell it. It is nearly impossible to tell if drugs have been laced with fentanyl unless you test your drugs with fentanyl test strips.

Recognizing the signs of opioid overdose can save a life. Here are some things to look for: small, constricted pinpoint pupils; falling asleep or losing consciousness; slow, weak, or no breathing; choking or gurgling sounds; limp body; cold and/or clammy skin; and discolored skin (especially in lips and nails).

What to do if you think someone is overdosing: Call 911 immediately; administer Naloxone, if available; try to keep the person awake and breathing; lay the person on their side to prevent choking; and stay with the person until emergency assistance arrives.

Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose and saves lives. It is available in all 50 states and can be purchased from a local pharmacy without a prescription in most states.

The above facts and materials are from a collaboration from different sources among them are U.S. Department of Justice (, CDC (, and National Institute on Drug Abuse ( and The Epoch Times (

These are some of the things that skim the surface on the poisoning of all people regardless of who they are. I will give myself a D- on trying to research this and fold it into a column. It’s here. What are we going to do about this problem? Don’t let peer pressure tell you, “Ah, just try it one time.” Well, it may be just one time! Because you might be DEAD. THINK, THINK about what you are putting into your bodies. You only have one!

It goes without saying that it is both a pleasure and honor to serve you and our great Nation.

Thank a veteran, first responder or a person in blue.

Migwetch (Thank you),

David Barrett
Mnedobe (Sits with the Spirits)
1601 S. Gordon Cooper Dr.
Shawnee, OK 74801

Andrew Walters District 11

Headshot of CPN District 11 Legislator Andrew Walters.

Bozho (Hello),

We write these articles for the Hownikan about a month before they’re published. Every month, we write about something that is pertinent, or hopefully will be, 30 to 45 days in the future. That’s tough to do, particularly since the crystal ball I bought on Amazon is still in China being repaired. This month though, I don’t have that problem. When y’all get this edition, we should be getting pretty close to elections. Yep, it’s that time again. Seems like not long ago we went through one that was pretty bad. A lot of name-calling and anger came out. False allegations and sky-high promises flew like crows in a cornfield. Folks, who were not even members of our Tribe, weighed in on Facebook and other social media, giving their 2-cent opinions hoping to influence our election, defame our leaders and tell us our future. It would seem that we’re not alone in that trend. Have you noticed that in elections, in general, no one talks about what they honestly can do? No… that would be too hard, too committal. Rather, folks turn the table and denigrate their “opponent.” “Opponent” …like it’s a schoolyard fistfight. Making promises you can’t keep. Making promises and proposals that appeal to the voter simply for the sake of getting the vote and appealing to the vocal minority in an effort to silence the majority, obfuscate the issues… that’s the way to “win.” With all the venom and vitriol flowing, no wonder we can’t get people in office that’s worth a dang. Who in their right mind would want to run for an office when, first thing out of the box, they have to run a gauntlet of criticism and accusations? We seem to have forgotten the difference between leadership and cheerleading.

I have found and admit we have some issues in the Tribe. Those issues need to be addressed and changes made. Our Constitution needs some amending. The way bills are presented for Legislation needs to be changed. Our Legal Code needs revisions and updates. Folks need to contact their representative Legislators and let their thoughts be heard. Solutions need to be discussed, not just gossiped about by a minority who perceives something as a problem and then complains about it interminably amongst themselves. The true issue, the most key to our future, is participation. We can legislate anything — language, arts, education, reforms — but without participation, it’s meaningless. If the majority doesn’t participate, then the minority will set the course of our destiny, recalibrate our collective cultural compass and define who we are as a people.

It was decided in our last couple of elections to put and keep good honest people in office that have a proven track record and the experience to run this outfit versus folks that just wanted to profit or play. In the last two elections, the Tribe got it right. Voters looked past the hype and voted their conscience in an educated, thoughtful way. They participated in their citizenship right/responsibility to the Tribe. It is my fervent hope, my deepest prayer, that in this election and our future elections, we have candidates and incumbents that truly want the best for our Tribe. I pray they have good hearts and motives. I urge them to have the fortitude to stand up and let their voice be heard. I expect honor, integrity and cooperation from those running for office. I want candidates who love this Tribe, its people and respect traditions. I want caring people who put the Tribe’s, not just the individual’s, welfare first. I’m thinking y’all feel the same.

Migwetch (Thank you),

Andrew Walters