By Justin Neely, CPN Language Department Director
We just finished up our release of Santa Claus is Coming to Town, the old 1970s stop motion public domain cartoon. You can find it by going to YouTube and searching “Justin Neely” and “Potawatomi Language.” You will find two channels: one more geared to kids and one more geared to adult learners. One version is captioned in English for beginners, one is captioned in Potawatomi for more advanced learners, and one has no captions for kids or folks that just want to hear the language without being distracted by captions.
The Language Department was asked to participate in a Veterans Day event at Gordon Cooper Technology Center. We did the pledge of allegiance in Potawatomi and sang an honor song for the veterans in attendance. We also did talks at the Tecumseh Boys & Girls Club and Bethel Elementary for Native American Heritage Month.
We wrapped up a successful Beginner Class taught by Cole Rattan and Josey Wood. We are planning our next in person class for spring 2024. We also have scheduled our annual Winter Story Telling event for March 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cultural Heritage Center. For those who have never attended our Winter Story Telling event, we will tell a number of traditional Potawatomi stories (some in English, some in Potawatomi with translation) as well as some short story videos. A good time is had by all, and food and drinks will be served. For those of you who do not live locally, we also plan on Zooming the event. We will share the link in our Potawatomi Language Facebook group.
We are wrapping up our first semester of Potawatomi Language 1 and Potawatomi Language 2 offered in high schools across Oklahoma for graduation credit toward World Language. Instead of taking Spanish or French to meet your requirement, you are able to take Potawatomi. Currently, though it is available anywhere in Oklahoma, the following districts have offered Potawatomi language in the past: Shawnee, Tecumseh, Seminole, Maud and Wanette. We have also offered an eight-week middle school program in Shawnee. If your student goes to a school in Oklahoma and you would like to have your student take Potawatomi, reach out to your school district and also reach out to the Language Department so we can get it set up. It may require your district’s school board to approve it. There is no cost to the district; they simply have to supply a computer, internet access and a staff member to be with the student.
If you get onto the dictionary, you will notice we have been working quite a bit on adding images and example sentences with audio as well as other updates to the dictionary. If you have not checked out the dictionary, it is at potawatomidictionary.com.
Another new project we have been working on is a podcast. We have had several Tribal members ask about us doing a language podcast: something they can listen to during their commute to work or driving as part of their job. So, we are developing a skit/conversation-based podcast which we hope to have out by the first of the year. We will release five episodes in the initial release and then release one per week after that.
If you haven’t tried our online course, go to learning.potawatomi.org. We are also working on a children’s course and a second online course to complement the first 20-chapter course.
We have several Christmas tunes online as well.
Enenmego merry Krismes mine mno webponget.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.