Hownikan Podcast: May 2022

This episode focuses on Behavioral Health Awareness Month and the societal stigma of having behavioral health issues. We also meet the only Citizen Potawatomi Nation member serving in the Oklahoma legislature and hear about a study on tribal economic impact in Oklahoma.

Margaret Zientek named Workforce and Social Services director

With her attention always on the needs of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and its members, Margaret Zientek has already hit the ground running as the new Workforce and Social Services department director. She spoke with the Hownikan about her work with Workforce programs and advocacy at the federal level to improve them, as well as her involvement with the Potawatomi Leadership Program.

Meet foster care parents Brit and Amber Hembree

When it comes to caring for area foster children, one Shawnee, Oklahoma, family makes community the priority. Brit and Amber Hembree provide guidance and support for children in their greatest time of need as foster parents through Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s FireLodge Children and Family Services.

Family tradition helps Oklahoma wrestler find success

High school sophomore and Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal member Lane Gourley took his 33-8 season record to the Oklahoma state wrestling tournament on February 26, representing Little Axe High School in the 3A division. Lane took fourth place in his 220 lb. weight class.

Smith descendant named finalist for 2022 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

With almost two decades of experience, Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal member and Smith family descendant, Kortni Torralba was named one of 12 finalists for 2022 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. She brings a unique skill set and outlook to her position as a therapeutic educator at Moore Alternative School and Treatment.

Tribal member’s dedication to Indian Country honored by AARP

Each year, AARP awards Native American elders for their contributions to the improvement of their tribes and communities. Citizen Potawatomi Nation member and Emergency Management Department Director Tim Zientek was chosen in 2021 as one of 47 elders recognized for his “achievements, community service and impact,” according to the organization.

Passion for leadership

After watching several businesses start and fail during his two decades in information technology, Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal member Randy Haas realized their success depended much more on communication and leadership than skills and strategy. He began an Oklahoma City-based information technology company in 2018, Sharpstone Group, LLC. Haas then added Stonecutters Leadership as a communication branch that focuses on leadership training and team management.

Language Update: February 2022

CPN Language Department Director Justin Neely gives a language update for February 2022 which discusses course work at Shawnee Middle School and teaching at the CPN Child development center.

Photographer shows Indigenous subjects through new lens

After moving to New York City in 2017, professional photographer and artist Bo Apitz achieved a milestone. A shop in Manhattan displayed his work in October 2021, a first for Apitz. He used several photos of Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal members he took while he was a CPN employee between 2014 and 2017. The series featured lenticular prints, which use two photos to create an illusion of depth and flip between pictures as the viewer’s angle changes. Apitz’s subjects seem to dance or blink.

Tribal citizen tailors childbirth experience to each mother

Kristen Arambula Hernandez, a birth doula and Indigenous breastfeeding counselor in Norman, Oklahoma, emphasizes the importance of reclaiming Tribal knowledge and tradition surrounding birth, breastfeeding and raising children.