Conceived as a platform for language students at the CPN Child Development Center to demonstrate their knowledge in public, the first ever Potawatomi Bee was held at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center.
“We wanted to allow our students a platform to present their Potawatomi language skills to their parents and tribal members,” explained Potawatomi Language Instructor Randy Schlachtun. “Our students typically win awards at Native American language competitions, but many times only the parents who can get off work see the kids in action. Holding the Potawatomi Knowledge of Language Bee is our way of showing those who can’t make it to those competitions what we are teaching.”
Several students from the Child Development Center participated in the event, with nearly 100 parents, guardians, sibling and grandparents watching in the audience.
“For our first year, I was surprised at the turnout to be honest,” said Schlachtun. “Our students are really capable, but when we decided to put this together on a Thursday evening, there was no telling how many people would show up. But I think it reflects the participation of our parents in this community.”
In the 3-5 year old division, Daisy Neely took first place, while Aziza Ayodelle and Riley Jolley finished second and third.
The After School Group 1 heat was won by Joshua Peltier, with second place going to Sebastin Hudgins and Anderson Duffell finishing third.
In Group 2 of the After School heat, Fahwaz Ayodelle captured first place ahead of second and third place competitors Aniya Elix and Olivia San Pedro.