Potawatomi join amicus brief supporting ICWA
March 14, 2019
Charles Lee
March 18, 2019

Language update — March 2019

By Justin Neely, CPN Language Department Director

There are a lot of exciting developments in the language department. We recently held a successful Winter Storytelling event Feb. 27.

We currently have an intern working in the language department, and he is working on a number of exciting projects.

We are translating around 130 different books into Potawatomi. All the books are considered either public domain books or Creative Commons books, which allows us to legally translate and distribute them.

Our children’s show, Mtek Wigwam, just wrapped up its fifth episode, and all are available on our children’s YouTube channel, cpn.news/childrenyoutube. There is an adult-focused YouTube channel at cpn.news/JN.

We are also working closely with our IT department to develop a searchable dictionary that will also have audio clips. Although we have had a Lexique Pro free dictionary available for quite some time, it has limitations. One was that it didn’t work with Mac computers. It also had to be downloaded. The one on the web also only had about 5,200 words in Potawatomi. The new one will hopefully include all 8,300 Potawatomi words in our current, working dictionary. We intend to do a soft open in March to get feedback and make upgrades. Then, we should have our most updated one available by Festival 2019. Our programmers — who have been working tirelessly on the dictionary — also tell me we should be able to have an app version available by the end of 2019.

This time of year is also when we ramp up for the University of Oklahoma’s annual Oklahoma Native Youth Language Fair. Our instructors have been working hard with the kids at the CPN Child Development Center, and we are hoping for some more trophies to add to our trophy case.

There are many resources to learn your language, including our online courses at language.potawatomi.org. Please take advantage of them, and please contact me if you ever have any questions at jneely@potawatomi.org, or call the language department at 405-878-5830.