John “Rocky” Barrett
Tribal Chairman

Headshot of CPN Tribal Chairman John "Rocky" Barrett

Bouzho, Nicon (Hello, my friend),

We had a wonderful Family Reunion Festival this year, in spite of the 100-plus degree heat index. It was great to see old friends and a lot of new ones. I want to thank everyone here at Tribal headquarters who contributed to the event. The General Council held at FireLake Arena was well attended. The air conditioning was a welcome break in the late afternoon. Our congratulations and thanks go out to John Anderson, age 96, who was honored as our Wisest Citizen Potawatomi. Our Youngest Citizen Potawatomi was Lila Hughes, 3 months old, who attended with her mother, Alyssa Monroe. Alyssa was a past Youngest Citizen Potawatomi when she was an infant and attended General Council with her mother. That is a very heartwarming thing for us all to see — two consecutive generations of active citizenship in our Tribal Nation!

The Tribal elections returned Bobbi Bowden, David Barrett and Andy Walters to another four years in their offices in the Tribal Legislature. I am grateful for their service to our Tribe and congratulate them on their successful campaigns. For the most part, the election was as usual. Unfortunately, this year’s election again contained some shameful Facebook behavior, a problem our Tribe will have to address or we will not have qualified candidates running for office in the future for fear of being smeared online. It is a difficult problem because the Citizen Potawatomi Nation values free speech as a fundamental right. Ultimately, the issue of slanderous comments on the internet will have to be addressed by the Tribal Legislature. It should not be an issue first decided by the Tribal Courts. It should be a legal issue with new Tribal Code statutes framed to protect candidates and office holders from slanderous publications on the internet without the vagaries of a lawsuit, while protecting the Constitutional right of free speech. Such laws exist outside of Tribal law, but they are ponderous because of court precedent. Over my more than 40 years of holding Tribal elected office, I have been the target of a lot of rough talk. As social media has come to dominate the entire fabric of human interaction, at some point, we will have to accept some standards that limit online behavior to prevent libel and slander in our elections.

Several people came to me at the Festival and suggested changing the date of our General Council and Festival to a cooler time of year. We have talked about this for years but have always been stumped by the questions of how to consider holding a public event with children in school, holiday traditions and other months of adverse weather. If anyone wished to weigh in about such a change, the Tribal Legislature would like to hear about it.

The construction of the new casino and hotel across from Tribal Headquarters has begun. The site is being prepared for concrete now and the new structures will start going into the air by August. We will keep everyone informed with progress pictures in the Hownikan. All of our planned new projects — the casino, hotel, restaurant, ball fields and service station/convenience store — will be going on through this winter and next spring. We will be advertising for people in the new jobs that are created as early as this fall. If anyone of our Citizen Potawatomi wants a great new job or career, please consider these positions. Your Tribe is a great place to work. You can make your history a part of Tribal history!

It is an honor to be your Tribal Chairman, and I thank you from my heart.

Megwetch (Thank you),

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

Linda Capps

Headshot of CPN Tribal Vice-Chairman Linda Capps.

Bozho (Hello),

Summer months can be a difficult time for many children because it represents the end of regular meals and snacks served during the school year. School meals have been offered as far back as the 1890s for U.S. students. Some European countries were operating lunch and snack programs a hundred years before that time. Today, many students will be served by summer programs that provide free meals and snacks. Sadly, this is not the case with all students in the U.S. Some students attending remote country schools may not have access to summer food programs due to the lack of transportation. It is unfortunate for these children; however, many rural schools across the U.S. run busses to accommodate children, so they will have access to summer food programs.

The summer food programs in schools contribute to children’s healthy growth and development by providing them with nutritious meals and snacks over the summer months, a time when children can be more at risk for hunger and weight gain. As an example, Shawnee Public Schools provides a child nutrition program that serves sit-down, in-person meals during the month of June. All students 18 years of age and under are welcomed to participate at these meals for both lunch and snacks. Shawnee serves these meals at two schools in the area. After June, they have one location to distribute food to students.

Pottawatomie County students are served at the Community Market and Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. The program, which runs from June 4 through August 4, is a federal nutrition program managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and distributed through the Oklahoma State Department of Education. This program teams up with the Oklahoma City-based Regional Food Bank, which prepares and packages food by volunteers in Hope’s Kitchen, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s production kitchen.

The USDA Summer Food Programs provide meals equally and without charge to all children aged 18 and younger, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma leads the fight against hunger in 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma. Founded in 1980, the Regional Food Bank is the state’s largest domestic hunger-relief 501(c)(3) nonprofit that distributes food through a network of community-based partner agencies and schools.

I am fortunate to have visited the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma on two separate occasions. It is a gigantic warehouse stocked with endless rows of boxes and packages of food. In addition, there is a massive garden filled with vegetables that grow well in Oklahoma’s soil. Those visiting the food bank go away amazed at the amount of food that is distributed by truck to organizations and schools throughout Oklahoma.

In addition to the USDA and Regional Food Bank, another organization that especially has been great in serving Native children in our area is Feed The Children, Inc. Since 1979, Feed the Children has been dedicated to helping children and families. With the support of donors and corporate partners, they deliver food and household essentials, offer nutrition training and clean water programs, provide school supplies, and assist in times of disaster. They believe in helping families and communities with immediate needs. Feed The Children is one of CPN’s partners and has aided in numerous ways throughout the years. Their mission is to not only to provide food and household goods for the needy, but to provide the tools needed to help those being served achieve a bright future.

I am so grateful to the organizations in our country that provide food to children in need. Thank you for letting me share this important message about summer food programs.

Migwetch (Thank you),

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

Alan Melot
District 1

Headshot of CPN District 1 Legislator Alan Melot.

Bozho (Hello) everyone,

This month’s article is a change of pace. We’ve had our Family Reunion Festival, and it was great to see everyone. I’m excited to continue to learn and be a better legislator for you. I’m looking forward to seeing some of you on the different stops of the Trail of Death Caravan in September. The Trail of Death Caravan is our meeting event for the fall of 2023, and I encourage you to get in touch with the Potawatomi Trail of Death Association President George Godfrey at either or 217-502-9340 for more details.

During my work as a therapist, I advocate for victims: victims of abuse and neglect of all sorts; ages, young and old. I’m a strong supporter of our House of Hope in Oklahoma, and I want to continually raise awareness of the disproportionate abuse and neglect that Native women suffer. What follows was written by a young woman I know of Sac & Fox descent who lives in our district — a resilient young woman who is on the long road of recovery:

From ages 14 to 16, I was a victim of abuse by the man who was supposed to be my father figure and spiritual guide. I suffered in silence, masking my pain with a smile. Some people sensed something was wrong, but they couldn’t fathom the secrets I held within.

I doubted the seriousness of the situation, convincing myself it was normal for a grown man to make inappropriate requests. It took a toll on me, leaving lasting effects that still suffocate and lash at my being.

When I finally spoke up to a trusted adult, I was forced to face my abuser in court. It was a harrowing experience filled with tears, anger and humiliation, but I couldn’t let my years of silence go to waste. My anger consumed me, robbing me of my identity. I had to rebuild myself through art, dance and other forms of expression.

His abuse not only silenced me but also stole my femininity, confidence and autonomy. I became terrified of revealing my body or looking attractive. For years, I pretended everything was perfect, but I grew tired of playing that role.

At almost 17, others in my family saved me. They taught me to reclaim my voice and to shout instead of whisper. I became my own person, no longer defined by others. However, this came with sacrifices — I lost best friends and parts of my family and had to leave my home state.

I refuse to be a victim again. I will fight for others who have suffered abuse. My artwork and videos reflect the pain I still carry, serving as reminders of my journey.

I have grown and survived many hardships in my 18 years. The justice system may not be fair, but survivors learn to live with that. I found empowerment in art and dance, discovering a justice within myself that the law couldn’t provide.

I want to be a voice for those who can’t speak yet and scream for those still afraid to whisper. I won’t hide myself anymore.

We are responsible for acting when and how and where we can to make the world a better place for those around us. Sometimes those actions are expensive. I’ve sacrificed many relationships in the process of advocating for victims. These actions allow me to feel confident that I have represented myself well with integrity and compassion and wisdom and love. In the end, when acting on your values is expensive, I hope you experience what I have, which is that it is worth it. I encourage you to fight for what you believe to be right, give a voice to the voiceless, and be what you needed when life was hard for you. Be able to say gwabmen (I see you) and mean it at a deep level.

Until next time we visit, keep me in your prayers as I keep you in mine.

Bama mine (Until later),

Alan Melot | Legislator, District 1 | | 608 S. Sergeant | Joplin, MO 64801 | 417-312-3307

Eva Marie Carney
District 2

Headshot of CPN District 2 Legislator Eva Marie Carney.

Bozho, nikanek (Hello, friends),

Regulatory gap: eagle feather permits

I asked Gayle Malone, formerly a District 2 resident who now is living in Ireland, to write up her recent, extremely frustrating experience with federal regulators when she sought a permit to take her eagle feather with her to her new home. Perhaps it will be read by someone who can fix the regulatory gap that denied her that permission:

In November 2022, knowing that I was going to be moving from Tennessee to Ireland, I asked Eva Marie Carney, my district representative, if she knew of any issues or impediments involved in taking my eagle feather with me. She indicated that there are indeed permits required to take eagle feathers out of the country and not risk having them confiscated. I completed the application request for the required permit. In addition to the usual information requested, I had to indicate when I expected to return (never) as well as provide documentation signed by our tribal leadership affirming that I am an enrolled member of the CPN and legally entitled to own the feathers.

Following the submission of all required paperwork, I received a letter in January 2023 denying me permission. The writer acknowledged that, as the laws required, my “specimens were legally acquired” and that “the export was not detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild,” but ruled that my request — because it proposed permanent removal of the feathers from the United States — did not meet the legal requirement that “no trip can be longer than 180 days.” The letter states: “[Y]our request is for the export of your items containing bald eagle feathers for purposes of a long-term or permanent household move outside the United States, with no intention of returning with the items to the United States within the 180-day period. Because there is currently no provision for permanently moving lawfully acquired bald eagles or golden eagles, or their parts, nests, or eggs to another country, we must deny your request.”

I was beyond disappointed. I wrote to Deb Haaland, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior. I wrote to my Congressional representatives. I contacted our tribal leadership as well as our CPN Eagle Aviary management. In these correspondences, I cited links to our Potawatomi teachings on the sanctity of the eagle and the cultural importance of eagle feathers.

Unfortunately, no one pointed me to a way around the cited laws. The denial letter permitted an appeal, so I appealed with the offer to refile/renew my permit request every 180 days. That appeal was denied, but — just days before I was to leave for Ireland — I received a 180-day permit. That permit, however, was usable only with the stamp and signature of an inspection officer, and the enclosed list of inspection offices and locations did not include one in Tennessee! So, the unhappy ending to this story is that I was not permitted to bring my feather with me.

To learn more about the Potawatomi teachings Gayle references and find links to the relevant laws and regulations governing eagles and eagle parts and feathers, visit the “Heritage” tab of my website, The information provided there is under password protection, so contact me if you don’t have the password. Information on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s eagle management policies and its National Eagle Repository is available at Please note that enrolled members of federally recognized tribes do not need a permit to travel domestically with federally protected birds, bird feathers or other bird parts.

Photograph of two bald eagles perched on a log at the CPN Eagle Aviary. A third bald eagle sits behind the log.
Photo I took at our Eagle Aviary, June 2018.

Potawatomi Gathering

I’m looking forward to our Gathering toward the end of July and hope to visit with many of you on the Pine Creek Reservation in Michigan! It’s an honor to serve as your representative.

Kind regards and bama mine (until later),

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 Nikan (Hello friend),

District legislator challengers

This year, there were three Oklahoma legislative positions on the ballot for Tribal citizens living in Oklahoma to vote upon. I regularly drive up to Shawnee to attend our quarterly legislative meetings. Our meetings are open to the general citizens if they would like to attend. All three of the current legislators who were up for re-election have been at every meeting as would be expected. However, not one of the challengers has taken the time to come to even one of our meetings to understand what is going on and what is being discussed and voted upon.

When I was first elected as the District 3 representative, I was surprised at how complex the issues were, and it took me over a year just to recognize what the acronyms referenced when I received the resolutions for review before the legislative meeting. I came with a background in management and experience in a number of fields. For over 10 years, I was responsible for creation and justification and had to operationally stay within a $50 million budget for the airline city that I ran. I also served a three-year term as a city council member at-large in the city I live in and dealt with various city issues, ordinances, and budget review and preparation. Even with this variety of business and city government experience, there were times I found our legislative items a bit challenging to understand.

Next year, we will have two more Oklahoma district legislative positions open, and I hope to see any challengers attend our legislative sessions. If elected, how do they expect to clearly understand the resolutions and budget areas that they will be reviewing and voting upon?

If these candidates say that they had conflicts for not attending a meeting, that could be a reasonable explanation. But for them and future candidates in the eight districts outside Oklahoma, have they gone online and listened to the recorded version of the legislative meetings that are available on our Since they may be representing us in the future, we should be asking, what have they done to understand our nation’s budget and all of the resolution areas involved?

District 3 meeting

On Saturday, August 12, I will hold a meeting in Bryan, Texas, at The Brazos Center from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The address is 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan, TX. A light lunch will be served. Please RSVP by August 3, with the number in your party to or call 817-229-6271. A post card is being sent as a reminder this month.

Native American clothing style show

The Native Care facility of Dallas hosted a Native American Clothing Style Show in Arlington, Texas, in May. Clothing from a variety of Nations in the U.S. — including the Southwest, Plains, the Dakotas and one First Nation from Canada — was worn and displayed. It was an opportunity to see the regalia differences. The event included some artwork for sale. I have included a photo of the models along with the event organizers.

A group of people of a variety of ages wearing various colors and clothing styles pose for a photograph in a gymnasium.

Land acknowledgement

At the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) held in New Orleans the first of June, presentations were made by several representatives from at least two of the universities from Tarrant County in Texas. While they went over the wording used relative to recognizing that their land had been taken from various Native American nations, I was very happy to learn that a statement I had made about the land acknowledgement at one of the colleges was included to the 5,000 in attendance. I had said that in time, although there may be a plaque, the college should consider offering scholarships to any Native American students whose ancestors had occupied that land that was taken. This would help ensure that the apology remained current forever.
It is a pleasure and honor to serve my Nation’s District 3 citizens.

Nagech (Later),

Bob Whistler | Bmashi (He Soars) | | | 1516 Wimberly Ct. | Bedford, TX 76021 | 817-229-6271 |

Jon Boursaw
District 4

Headshot of CPN District 4 Legislator Jon Boursaw.

Bozho (Hello),

Health Services available to CPN members at Hunter Health in Wichita

At my request, the following information was provided by the Hunter Health Clinic:
The Hunter Health Clinic, located at 527 Grove St. in Wichita, Kansas, is a good option for CPN members who are unable to travel to Tribal healthcare facilities in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Hunter Health provides traditional, patient-centered care at minimal or no cost. Services, funded by Indian Health Services, include comprehensive medical and behavioral healthcare, preventative and basic dental services, and annual vision exams. Other services such as substance abuse treatment, immunizations, HIV testing and health education are also included. IHS-approved medications can be obtained through Hunter Health’s onsite pharmacy. To be eligible for the program, patients or their family members must be enrolled in a federally recognized American Indian tribe. For more information, visit

Upcoming CPN Elders’ Potlucks

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

July 14 | Goulash | RSVP by the 5th
Aug. 11 | BBQ meat balls & cheesy potatoes | RSVP by the 8th

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

CPN member is a Winning Girls Fast Pitch Coach

Recently, the local Kansas sports news was filled with details of the State Division 3 Girls Fast Pitch Championship won by Wamego High School. The most amazing detail in the news was one pitcher, Peyton Hardenburger, pitched back-to-back no-hit games in one day to secure the championship. A contributing factor in this amazing feat is the training Peyton has received over the past few years from her coach, Phil Quinn. Phil is a CPN member and a descendant of Jude Bourassa. Peyton is only one of the hundreds Phil has coached in the past 30-plus years. He told me that several have received college scholarships. I asked him at what age his trainees typically start taking lessons. He replied that it is not uncommon for girls to start training at 8 years old. If you were to meet Phil, you would never guess his amazing life’s achievements. He has a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, was a high school coach for 14 years, has written a newspaper column, and has written several books on Family Violence and Child Abuse. Phil has been retired for several years and now lives in CPN housing in Rossville, Kansas, and serves part-time as the Senior Support Network transportation driver. Another interesting facet in Phil’s life is that his son, Jonathan, was an NFL quarterback (one year with the Chiefs) and is now a coach at a high school academy in Tennessee.

Updates on Uniontown Cemetery and Burnett’s Grave Site Projects

Uniontown Cemetery: On Saturday, June 3, a group of nine Tribal members and Dr. Schneider from the Kansas Geological Service met at the cemetery to remove the small rocks and chips that were left after the walls were removed. Afterwards, Dr. Schneider described to the group her plans to perform the last of the Ground Penetrating Radar Surveys of the site and the suspected mass grave site. During the cleanup, two arrowheads were found, one slightly larger than my thumbnail.

Several Tribal members of a variety of ages pose, seated and standing, outside in a grassy patch.
Clean Up Crew

Burnett’s Grave Site: The Tribe has contracted with a local landscape firm to perform a stump removal and leveling of the site. This work will be accomplished prior to the new fence being installed around the site and the site being covered with river rock.

It is an honor to serve as your legislator.

Megwetch (Thank you),

Jon Boursaw | Wetase Mkoh (Brave Bear) | | 2007 SW Gage Blvd. | Topeka, KS 66604 | 785-608-1982 | Office Hours: Tuesday 9-11 a.m. | Thursdays 3-5 p.m. | Other times as requested

Gene Lambert
District 5

Headshot of CPN District 5 Legislator Gene Lambert.

Bozho (Hello),

We have officially arrived past the halfway mark of 2023. It hits so quickly that an entire year passes, and you wonder what happened to the time. This is a subject I cover often as I just cannot believe how it flies, and I don’t want you to forget.

What I want to talk about today is procrastination, of which I am as guilty as anyone. I always think I have plenty of time. Maybe tomorrow?

I have goals and projects I want to complete in this lifetime.

You never know what the next day or hour will bring, so we need to be cognizant of the gift. No one gave a guarantee of how much time we have; let’s not throw it away with petty arguments, upsets and disagreements. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter anyway.

It isn’t about being right or wrong, winning or losing. It is about finding a common ground where you can agree, respect and build.

We are presently in a time where a lot of dissention hovers over religion, politics, ethics, etc. We each have a belief system that may differ from our neighbors, relatives and friends. Having varying life experiences, upbringing and educations sets up the cognitive nature of who we are. To deny that would be wrong, nor is it required.

Regardless of the situation, one can only see through their own eyes.

That being the case, start your conversations with something you can agree on. “It is a beautiful day,” might be a gentle way to start. (I exaggerate here to make a point.)

I have wonderful friends that are opposites in religion and politics. If you value their friendship, it might be a subject you agree to disagree, or simply choose to discuss the many other subjects you commonly share.

You don’t throw away a friend because they are different. If all your friends thought like you, there would be no opportunity to learn or grow.

If we were all alike, it would be a pretty boring world to live in.

Let me suggest you write down the things you would like to accomplish and the time frame. Maybe even a list of those you are angry with and think of a way you could release. It takes two. What was your contribution to the disagreement? How could I have handled it differently? You take you everywhere you go, not them.

Decide what you want to experience in this life and create a “bucket list.”

Every week, month or year — depending on cost, time and interest — do something you have always wanted to do.

Keep a journal and/or pictures. Take the time to stop and look back occasionally. Don’t rush from one thing to another without realizing or having appreciation in-between. I know one person that stays so busy she has no idea what she did last week. This isn’t about busy. This is about enjoying the experience.

Appreciate the different cultures, ideas and thoughts of others. You will find yourself. It’s amazing!

Happy Fourth of July! Make it memorable.

Keep me posted on your new experiences. I can’t wait to hear about them.

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

Mark Johnson
District 7

Headshot of Mark Johnson, District 7 incumbent

Bozho nikanek (Hello friends),

Another June in Shawnee and another successful Family Reunion Festival. The 2023 Honored Families were the Johnson, Lafromboise, Lareau, Leclaire, Melott, Rhodd, Tescier, Weld and Young families. As we gathered to celebrate our shared heritage and love for our part of the world where our ancestors settled, it was great to see those familiar faces of old friends and to meet new ones. Things around the Nation never stand still very long. A lot of new construction and improvements have happened in the last year, including the construction of the long-awaited Tribal columbarium. Once completed, this sacred place will offer a resting spot for up to 400 Tribal members who choose to be cremated and wish to be interred in our Tribal Nation. If you didn’t attend this year, find the time in the future and join us in Shawnee over the last full weekend in June.

With Festival in the rearview mirror, the Potawatomi nations will come together for the 29th annual Potawatomi Gathering hosted by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi from July 24-29, 2023, at the Pine Creek Indian Reservation in Fulton, Michigan. Along with all our relations from the other Potawatomi nations, from the language conference to economic and cultural events, along with governmental meetings, it will be a great time to celebrate our heritage and gather as one.

Remember that scholarship applications for the fall semester are due by September 15 online at Enrolled CPN Tribal members who complete the application by the deadline and meet criteria will be eligible to receive up to $2,000 (full-time status) or $750 (part-time status) per semester. For further information, contact the CPN Department of Education by email at or give them a call at 405-695-6028 or toll-free at 1-800-880-9880.

Once again, I would like to say what an honor it is to serve you as your District 7 Legislator. 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 available to you. 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) | 559-351-0078 |

Dave Carney
District 8

Headshot of CPN District 8 Legislator Dave Carney.

Bozho, nikan (Hello, friend),

When this paper is published, the Family Reunion Festival for 2023 will be in the history books. Hopefully, the gathering was a fun and meaningful event for those who attended. It’s never too early to plan, so think about coming to the Nation in June 2024. If your family is one of the founding families being honored, it’s just a bit more special with gathering areas set aside in the round house for each family, a photoshoot, Cultural Heritage Center interviews and powwow dances to recognize the families. Next year, the Hardin, Darling, Higbee, Levier, Lewis, Nadeau, Pambogo, Negahnquet and Smith families will be honored. Some of these families have fewer members than say the Melots or Peltiers, so it is even more important to go and represent your family and honor your ancestors.

I am looking forward to the summer-time cookout August 5 in the Lacey/Olympia, Washington, area. We’ve had a few of these in the past, and they have been very successful in terms of having new members attend, having folks connect either for the first time or as friends made at previous District 8 events over the years, and giving folks information about the Tribe — both past and present. Look for information in your email, a postcard in the mail and/or the District 8 Facebook group.

The other event to put on your calendar is the Fall Feast — this year held in Seattle. This will be a mid-day meal with presentations, craft and art contest. The location will be the Duwamish long house, and the date to save is October 14. Please consider coming if you have not attended one of these before.

This summer, while we celebrate graduating students, I think we should acknowledge the Nation’s contribution to their success through the CPN scholarship program. In that vein, I’d like to recognize Tesia Zientek, our former CPN Department of Education Director who has recently moved on to a new career opportunity. She did an excellent job of modernizing the process for scholarship applicants and is passionate about educating our people. Migwetch (thank you) to Tesia, and I know she will stay connected to the Nation and will continue to share her gifts.

I try to stay connected with many members throughout the district, and many people call asking for unique assistance. Sometimes the Nation has a program that can help, and sometimes not, but I never mind brainstorming with folks.

It’s also nice to hear about accomplishments of members. Recently, I received this press release (edited):

Saturday evening, May 6, 2023, the stage at Bartlett High School Auditorium in Anchorage was packed with friends and family members as women from across Alaska competed for the title of Mrs. Alaska America AND the Miss Alaska For America.

Our new Miss Alaska for America is VERONICA CORTEZ from Anchorage. Veronica is a graduating senior from Dimond High School and is Spa Consultant at Planet Beach. She plans to ignite women to tap into their inner confidence and push them forward toward their goals. She aspires to create a collaboration of women that can help their community for their cause.

Veronica will be on her way to the Miss Alaska For America Pageant at the annual National Competition in August in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, she will be making personal appearances throughout Alaska during her year’s reign.

A young person wearing a peach one-shoulder gown covered in coral sequined flowers stands on a marley stage. She wears a tiara in her dark curly hair, and a sash that reads "Miss Alaska."

Congratulations, Veronica!

As always, it is my honor to serve as your legislator,

Dave Carney | Kagashgi (Raven) | | 520 Lilly Road, Building 1 | Olympia, WA 98506 | 360-259-4027

Paul Wesselhöft
District 9

Headshot of CPN District 9 Legislator Paul Wesselhoft.

Bozho, nikan (Hello, friend),

The Creator’s Game

Lacrosse was called The Creator’s Game by Native Americans. As early as 1100 A.D., Native Americans played lacrosse, which they also called the “stick game.” Jesuit missionary priests in the 17th century recorded the game being played in Canada.

Lacrosse was played by up to a thousand men and lasted from sunup to sundown. The game was considered a ceremonial ritual symbolizing warfare and to give thanks to the Creator. It was a spiritual experience bringing honor to the tribes and their Creator.

Today lacrosse is played in virtually every state, and there are over 825,000 men and women playing The Creator’s Game.

Migwetch (Thank you),

Paul Wesselhöft | Naganit (Leader) | |

Andrew Walters
District 11

Headshot of CPN District 11 Legislator Andrew Walters.

Bozho (Hello),

There are times when you find yourself in an odd situation. For me, this is one of them. We write these about a month and a half out, so I have little idea at this point as to whether I will be re-elected as your District 11 Representative or not…or whether this will even be posted in the Hownikan. So in a leap of faith, here we go. I can honestly say that if you read this… I’m back for another four years. If you don’t…well…I’m locked in my bedroom, crying, lamenting, and reading Revelations. Just kidding!!!!

If you do read this, Igwien. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to represent you in our Tribal Government. I promise to work toward better things in the next four years and to address issues involving our members with vigor and focus. As Rodney Dangerfield used to say…“It ain’t easy bein’ me.” I have to balance my heart with the practicalities of Tribal Government. I want so much to see this Tribe prosper and grow. I want to have each of you in Oklahoma contact me and tell me your heart involving this Tribe, this Family to which we all belong. As I’ve said before, I don’t have all the answers…heck…I don’t even know all the questions. But I’m willing to work, communicate and revitalize this Tribe. The coming years are hiding great challenges and great opportunities. Working together, we can grab ahold of them and give ‘em our best ride. Some will throw us, but every once in a while, we can hold on for 8 and get the prize.

We are the keeper of the Fire, the Keepers of Life. We will prosper and grow together.

Bama pi (Until later),

Andrew Walters | |