As Festival approaches, we have a lot of exciting learning opportunities at the Festival. We will have a number of classes during the event, with one specifically geared towards kids and another toward adults. We will also have the always popular Potawatomi Bingo where you can learn some language while having fun. We are also planning on bringing back the Potawatomi scavenger hunt. The questions will be in Potawatomi and you will have to read them and fill in the correct information.
It’s always busy during the summer months for the CPN Language Department. We will be working with this year’s Potawatomi Leadership Program attendees and finishing up our advanced, online language course.
Currently ‘Beginner I’ and ‘Intermediate’ are available online at language.potawatomi.org. These classes are self-paced and include videos, games, cultural teachings, a short prayer, some silly movie spoofs and quizzes and tests. Each course has 20 chapters of basic material in Potawatomi. We have had more than 500 hundred people take the online courses. There are people from all over the country, Canada and even a soldier in Afghanistan. It is exciting that we can make learning the language accessible to a person anywhere and anytime. The course can be done on a computer, iPod or even your phone.
We also have a children’s online course designed in a fun and interactive way. When you first go to the page you see a large town and then you click on one of the buildings and then have a choice between two different rooms. Once in a room you can click on different images in the room and find videos that will play learning videos, skits, songs, movies clips in Potawatomi and cultural teachings. The idea is for kids to explore and learn at the same time. The children’s page is located at www.potawatomi.org/lang/resources
We also have a series of 20 cultural teaching videos originally designed for our online course. They are done with puppets, Mesho (grandfather) and a Noseme (grandchild.) They interact to learn more about our traditional ways such as teachings of the medicine wheel, the Seven Grandfathers, why tobacco is important to Potawatomi people, the importance of the eagle, cosmology and much more.
Niben kedwnen (Summer words)
Niben – Summer *This translates literally to “a time of plenty.” (Nee bin)
Gshatemget – It is hot. (Guh shot dam get)
Cho gégo – Nothing (Cho gah go)
Nweshmo – I am resting. (Nuh wesh moe)
Byan shode – Come here (Bee yan show duh)
Jipteben nomek. – Sit for a little while. (Jeep tuh bin no muck)
Gégo zhechkekén. – Don’t do that. (Ga goh zhich kay can)
Ni je eschegeyen? What are you doing? (Nee juh es chu gay yin)