Tribal member studies CPN fish populations
September 23, 2020
Teaching forgiveness in the Middle East
September 25, 2020

This episode discusses how to combat habitual stress from the pandemic, the history of the Oklahoma land runs, and how to teach a dog commands in Potawatomi.


Overcoming coronavirus stress

Approximately six months since the pandemic’s onset in the United States, many people are experiencing exhaustion in this time of heightened tensions, including fears of uncertainty, added responsibilities or adjusting to more time alone. However, Citizen Potawatomi Nation Behavioral Health Department Psychologist Shannon Beach, Ph.D., finds thinking ahead helps replenish spirits.

“I think a lot of people, when they look at it and say, ‘This is a temporary norm,’ that gives hope. That’s just the look toward the future. That kind of idea that we can keep trudging through this, and eventually, we’ll come out on the other side. And I think if we all band together and wear our masks, then we’ll get there just that much quicker,” he said.

Beach always recommends counseling. Citizen Potawatomi Nation Behavioral Health Services is available at 405-214-5101. Reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text CONNECT to 741741, or online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.


Remembering the Land Run of 1891

In the late 1800s, the United States government hosted several land runs in present-day Oklahoma to settle what it deemed “unassigned lands” after dividing Native American treaty reservations into allotments and purchasing the supposed surplus. The government had forcibly relocated some Tribes only decades earlier, including Citizen Potawatomi Nation members. September 22nd is the 129th anniversary of the Land Run of 1891. It opened much of what is now Pottawatomie County to settlers, including lands of the Iowa, Shawnee, Sac & Fox and Citizen Potawatomi tribes. CPN Cultural Heritage Center Director Dr. Kelli Mosteller sat down with Hownikan Podcast to highlight the Native history of the land runs of Oklahoma that often remains undiscussed.

Kelli Mosteller, Ph.D.

“If you’ve ever seen the movie Far and Away, it’s just acre upon acre of rolling hills, and no one’s there, and that really was not the reality for most of the land runs. … They were having to checkerboard through these settlements of all of these tribal people who had been there for 20-plus years at that point,” Dr. Mosteller said.

For more information on the history of Citizen Potawatomi Nation land and tribal sovereignty, visit potawatomiheritage.com or visit the Cultural Heritage Center, open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Man’s best friend provides judgement-free language learning opportunities

Speaking with and teaching a dog commands in Potawatomi — such as gzhkeshnen (lay down), gashnen (stop) and bozho’a (shake) — offers fun ways to learn the language with simple phrases, especially for beginners. Higbee descendant Ragan Marsee began teaching her dog, Blue, Potawatomi commands at 9 or 10 months old.

Ragan Marsee’s dog, Blue

“I just knew that no one else was going to know what I was saying. And no one else was going to know what I was commanding her and that she would only listen to me, and she would look to me for the commands. And she’s still a kid. She’s only 14 in human years. So she’s still really rambunctious, and I’m still teaching her every day,” she said.

  1. Bozho’a (bOh-zhoh ‘ ah) – Shake hands.
  2. Gnech ashtek (gNeh-ch Ah-sht-uck) – Next hand.
  3. Jibtében (Jeeb-tUh-bin) – Sit down.
  4. Byan shodé (bE-yAhn shOw-duh) – Come here.
  5. Gzhkeshnen! (gShK-eh-zh-nin) – Lay down.
  6. Dokém (DO-k-uhm) – Be peaceful/calm down.
  7. Gashnen (gAh-shnin) – Stop.
  8. Cho (tCh-Oh) – No.
  9. Gdo-wigés (gDOH-Wee-gess) – Good job, you!
  10. Bgéji wisnewen (bGay-hjee wE-snuh-wen) – Snack (treat)

Find CPN Language Department resources at potawatomidictionary.com, cpn.news/language and on YouTube at cpn.news/youtube.


Learning Language

For this month’s Learning Language segment, Ragan now takes us around her family farm and shares some of the words and phrases she uses every day.

Learning Language September 2020
  • Gtegewgemek (gTeh-gOW-geh-muhk) — Farm
  • Bgeji wisnewen n-gishgé’ton (bGay-jee wEE-snUh-wEn nGhee-zh-gay’tOn) — I grow a little bit of food.
  • Nwi-bbamomgo (nWee-b,b-ah-mahm-goh) — I’ll ride around horseback.
  • Nwi-bbamse nki (nWee-b,b-ahm-say nKee) — I’ll walk all around my land.
  • Wawen (wah-win) — Eggs
  • Bidi (bEE-dEE) — Chicken
  • Nemosh (neh-mow-sh) — Dog
  • Mamakshi (mah-mahK-zhi) — Donkey
  • Nékdosha (nEk-dOh-sha) — Horse

For more information and opportunities with language, including self-paced classes, visit cpn.news/language. You can find an online dictionary at potawatomidictonary.com as well as videos on YouTube. There are also Potawatomi courses on the language-learning app Memrise.


Hownikan Podcast is produced and distributed by Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Public Information Department. Subscribe to Hownikan Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud and wherever you find your favorite shows. Find digital editions of the Tribal newspaper here.