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WHAT IS THE POTAWATOMI LEADERSHIP PROGRAM?

DON'T HAVE A POTAWATOMI NAME?


As a Part of the Potawatomi Leadership Program, you'll get the opportunity to get yourself one!

 

PROGRAM DETAILS


Here you will find almost everything you need to know about the Potawatomi Leadership Program!

 
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Eligibility

How do I know if I'm eligible for this program?
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Program Details

Tell me more about what I would actually be doing.
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Travel Arrangements

I live practically across the country. How will I get there?
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Local Transportation

I'm going to be there all summer. How will I get around?

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Food

What will I do about food?
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Housing

Where exactly would I be staying?
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Healthcare

What if I lose a limb?
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Finance

Will I be paid?
HONORING NATIONS AWARD WINNING

A BRIEF HISTORY


A quick look at how this program came to be.

A discussion shared by the members of the 2003 Citizen Potawatomi Nation Business Committee sparked the idea for the Potawatomi Leadership Program. Though they expressed pride that the number of college scholarships provided for young tribal members had notably increased, they also recognized a cause for concern. Despite the growing population of tribal scholarship recipients, the leaders realized that few of the students had a strong grasp on their tribe's heritage, governance, or economic structures. In fact, encounters with several students had indicated that the majority knew little about the Tribe at all.

Considering the Tribe's prolonged history of removal, this lack of connection was not surprising. Following the Citizen Potawatomi Nation's removal from its original Great Lakes homeland in the 1830s and its purchase of a 900 square mile reservation in Oklahoma in the late 1800s, land runs and other pressures scattered tribal members throughout the United States and abroad. In modern times, roughly two-thirds of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation population resides outside of Oklahoma. This wide dispersal led to a literal disconnect for countless tribal members, many of whom had never traveled to Oklahoma and were physically separated from tribal headquarters by long distances. Furthermore, prior to the Citizen Potawatomi Nation's extensive constitutional reform passed in 2007, tribal members living outside of the former reservation in Oklahoma had no formal legislative representation and consequently enjoyed few opportunities to feel invested in their tribe. With these barriers to a tribal connection in place for such a long period of time, the young college students in 2003 were perhaps inevitably disengaged.

However, this issue posed a threat beyond a diminished sense of tribal identity. If the Tribe's young people lacked a foundational understanding of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, where would its future leaders come from? Only enrolled members of the Tribe are eligible for elected leadership. The Citizen Potawatomi Nation's current leaders, Chairman John "Rocky" Barrett and Vice-Chairman Linda Capps, have served in their positions since 1985 and 1989 respectively. As Chairman Barrett has said, "We can always hire specialists and the right technical staff. We can't hire leaders. Our leaders come from our youth, and it is our responsibility to prepare them." When tribal leaders begin to shift responsibility to younger generations, a passionate and knowledgeable leadership pool must be readily available. In 2003, the members of the Business Committee worried that the dearth of eligible potential leaders might impair the Citizen Potawatomi Nation's ability to govern successfully.

In response to the paucity of tribally-aware young people, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation established the Potawatomi Leadership Program in 2003 with the following mission: to educate, inform, and encourage qualified Potawatomi students and to develop within the tribal membership at large a more accurate perception of the tribe and its operations. Each summer since 2003, an average of seven students have traveled from as far as New Zealand to Shawnee, Oklahoma to learn about the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and develop as leaders.

IMPORTANT DATES

Application will be open on February 1st, 2018 at 8:00am, CST. The deadline to apply is April 2nd, 2018 at 5:00pm, CST. Students selected for participation in the Potawatomi Leadership Program will be notified by April 16th via email.

This year, the program will run from June 15th to July 28th.

 

Don't waste any time!

HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?


If you or your parents have any questions, please fill out the form below, or call.

Contact Information


 
 
Eligibility

 

You must meet all of the following eligibility criteria to be considered for the Potawatomi Leadership Program:

 

Program participants are selected without regard to race, color, religious creed, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. Although the only restrictions for applying are meeting the eligibility criteria listed above, please consider whether you are comfortable meeting program conditions with or without any special accommodations. The conditions of this program include but are not limited to the following:

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Details

 

Tribal members who are 18-20 years old are selected for the six-week program based on academic qualifications, a series of essays, and a letter of recommendation. Arriving before the annual Family Reunion Festival, students spend their workdays visiting tribal directors and hearing employees explain their role. Between departmental sessions, students tour tribal enterprises and attend board meetings. In the evenings and on weekends, students connect culturally by attending language classes, participating in tribal ceremonies, and learning traditional crafts. Additionally, students who have not yet received a Potawatomi name will have the opportunity to do so. By the end of the program, the students have gained a comprehensive knowledge of individual tribal components as well as how they fit into the larger puzzle of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

As potential leaders of the tribe, students not only learn how the Tribe operates but also undergo extensive leadership training. Students begin the summer by taking an assessment to discover their individual strengths, and recurring workshops help them understand how best to develop those skills. Weekly talking circles offer a space to process their experience and tackle complex issues such as the intricacies of cultural identity, the qualities of effective leadership, and the promotion of tribal engagement. Additionally, Citizen Potawatomi Nation government officials such as the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and legislators share their unique perspectives on tribal leadership with the students.

Besides attending scheduled events and sessions, Potawatomi Leadership Program participants will be expected to write three short papers. At the end of the program, students leave their own mark on the Tribe by applying this abstract knowledge to a practical project, for which they design a creative way to tangibly enhance, develop, or add to the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. In a final program presentation, students have the opportunity to share their final reflections and completed projects with tribal leadership. (Check out the final presentations here.)

Together, these components make up the Potawatomi Leadership Program. Students leave the program equipped with the knowledge and tools to remain engaged in the Tribe. For some, the experience will serve as preparation for future tribal governance, which strengthens the hope that the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s sound leadership will continue into future generations.

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Travel

 

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation covers the cost of round-trip travel for all program participants. Depending on where the student will be coming from, this will mean either airfare or mileage reimbursement.
Dennette Summerlin will work with the students to schedule all travel.

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Stipend

 

Participants receive a weekly scholarship of $60 as well as a $1,680 scholarship upon completion of the program.

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Local Transportation

 

When at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, local transportation will be provided. This includes all scheduled sessions and events. As a group, students may choose to seek other entertainment options such as the movies or bowling, and transportation to and from those activities will be provided when possible. However, students will not be able to bring their own vehicles to the program for any reason.

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Food

 

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation boasts a full-service grocery store near the students’ living quarters, FireLake Discount Foods. Groceries for all meals will be furnished at FireLake and covered by the Tribe. Students will shop as a group for these groceries. On most evenings, students will work together to plan and prepare meals for the entire group in the Sharp House kitchen. However, should students choose to eat out at restaurants – they will be responsible for these outside costs.

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Housing

 

During the six weeks, program participants stay together in “The Sharp House,” a spacious property owned by the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Students will share rooms and bathrooms based on gender.
The Sharp House boasts a number of amenities, which include two large-screen televisions, a pool table, and an outdoor pool.

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Healthcare

 

All accepted students will be required to create a medical file with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Clinic. As tribal members, the students can visit this clinic and
receive medical attention at no cost to them if any medical issues should arise during their stay.

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Professional Development
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