(Hello my friend),
The end of the year is approaching and with that comes many opportunities to gather as a family. In November we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving. With that in mind, I want to encourage each of you to take time to reflect on your family and tribal history.
Some history from my family was documented by my uncle Kenneth Peltier, who also happens to be a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Before he passed, he wrote the book My Diary of Memories, which tells many stories of special memories of his lifetime. Each family should document their memories and stories so they can be shared by future generations.
Uncle Kenneth was also a star athlete at Shawnee High School and later played semipro football. During his time in the Navy, he served on the U.S.S. Franklin, which was bombed by the Japanese and became the most heavily damaged U.S. carrier to survive the war. Hundreds of his shipmates were killed that day. When he left the Navy, he came home to work at Tinker Air Force Base, and that’s when he began serving the tribe. He was a member of the grievance committee and elected secretary/treasurer.
His photo and photos of many Potawatomi veterans can be seen in the Cultural Heritage Center’s Long Room. The Veteran’s Wall of Honor displays photographs of Potawatomi men and women who served our country. If you are a veteran, please submit your information so that you can be honored and remembered for years to come. Your service to the United States and Citizen Potawatomi Nation is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Your history is tribal history. When you’re gathered with your families this month, take time to talk to each other. Have someone record notes and bring pictures so you can share your family history and document it. The tribe would like to have this information as well.
In tribal business, we are moving forward with our next HEARTH Act business. We expect to open a new medical lab in Tecumseh by the end of the year. This business will be operated by tribal member Steven Weddle and will help us provide better diagnostic services at CPN clinics. We are very interested in tribal members moving their businesses here under the HEARTH Act. If you think this might be a possibility for you, please contact us.
We first signed our HEARTH Act business regulations four years ago this month. We’ve had limited success in implementing these because of the nearly constant challenges from state officials regarding sales tax. We still don’t have word from our 10th Circuit appeal in March, but we remain hopeful the judge will uphold the lower courts’ decision.
As always, thank you for the honor of serving as your Tribal Chairman.
John “Rocky” Barrett
(He Leads Them Home)