By Justin Neely, CPN Language Department Director
Bozho Jayek (Hello everyone),
We will be having a new Beginner Class every Wednesday for 8 weeks, starting March 15 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Cultural Heritage Center. If you would like to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
We recently received an Endangered Language Fund grant to host a summer master apprentice program. We will be able to bring two apprentices to the Tribe to spend one month working on the Potawatomi language for two months, 40 hours a week for a total of 320 hours of work with the language. The grant was originally set up as a three-year program. After successful completion of year one, we expect to receive additional funding for years two and three.
By the time this goes out, we will have completed our annual winter storytelling event. Once again, we are able to offer it live and also online to those who do not live locally. Based on initial RSVPs, this looks to be a well-attended event.
We also recently introduced our new introductory course on the Tovutti LMS platform. This course is set up as 20 chapters of learning videos, quizzes, voice dictation activities and other tools to increase the learners’ comprehension and retention of the language. It is free of cost and open to all. To sign up, go to learning.potawatomi.org. You will need to create an account and then log in. You will see the introductory course available. If you have any issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us in the Language Department.
The online dictionary at potawatomidictionary.com is currently close to 10,000 words with audio files now for 96% of the main words. We are now working on enhancing the dictionary with additional example sentences, images, videos and cultural information as well as adding audio for the example sentences and historic audio of speakers, many who are no longer with us.
We have a number of other tools available. To get ahold of us or access some of the other tools, go to potawatomiheritage.org and click on “language.”
If you haven’t checked out our two YouTube channels, definitely check them out. If you search “Justin Neely” and “Potawatomi language,” you should find them. One is more geared to adult learners, and the other is more geared to kids. We are adding new content on a weekly basis. Everything from songs, stories, classes, PowerPoint lessons, public domain cartoons, public domain full feature films, skits and even Native sign language can be found on the channels. There are over 300 videos on each site.
We also have a new staff member in the language department, Mr. Josey Wood. We are happy to have him on board with us and are proud of the progress he is making in learning the language and also the skills he brings to the job.
With the new year here, take some time to reconnect with your people and learn some of your language. The language is essential to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be Potawatomi.
Migwetch (Thank you),