March is National Nutrition Month, and it presents the opportunity to reconsider what constitutes a healthy diet and bodily well-being on a wider level. The Hownikan spoke with CPN’s Women, Infants and Children program about advice and resources for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers; a Tribal member who, as a chef, works to offer nutritious foods in a restaurant setting; and the CPN Title VI Program, which offers elders options while meeting new nutritional needs that come with age.
During her time as coordinator of CPN’s Title VI and senior care program, RN Tami Fleeman has become a leader in her field. She offers guidance to several organizations in an effort to improve elder care across Oklahoma and Indian Country.
The Citizen Potawatomi Nation serves Native American elders through numerous departments and programs, including Title VI, Workforce & Social Services and the CPN Housing Department.
Amongst many others who worked for the Nation before and after the landmark 1975 Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Tribal elder Beverly Hughes witnessed the changes firsthand. Elected Secretary-Treasurer in 1970, she served on the five-person Business Council, then the Tribe’s governing body.
According to a study published in 2016, American Indian and Alaska Native elders have higher Dementia incidence rates than their Latino, Pacific Islander, white and Asian American peers, with 22 cases for every 1,000 elders.
The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Community Building in Rossville, Kansas, fosters kinship through a wide variety of classes. Elders, in particular, gather at the center for companionship and fun. Tribal member Judy Boyles teaches a gourd decorating class on occasion and appreciates the outlet.
Tribal elder George Godfrey takes inspiration from CPN history and culture to write non-fiction books as well as fictional and historical fiction novels.