Week Six

A wide shot of the dance arena at the Sac and Fox Powwow.
Week Five
July 15, 2022
Hownikan Podcast producer and Hownikan writer Paige Willett interviews with PLP students during a drum making class.
Interview with a former PLP
July 21, 2022

July 15, 2022 – Friday

Grand Casino and Hotel

We had department sessions for all of the departments within the Grand Casino and Hotel and were given a tour. 

Afterwards, we ate at The Flame, a Brazilian Steakhouse, and ate way too much food. The rest of the evening we were free to swim, walk around, and hang out in our hotel rooms. 

July 18, 2022 – Monday

We took photos in our regalia that was made by Margaret. Along with group pictures, we each got portraits in our regalia, and headshots in business attire by Public Information’s photographer Garett. 

Hide and Seek in the Sharp House!

July 19, 2022 – Tuesday

Sorting Feathers

In Uniform

We each got to shadow two departments that we were interested in learning about. They showed us the ins and outs of their departments, and we got to do some cool things.

July 20, 2022 – Wednesday

Our last department session was for Tribal Court. We heard from Judge Lujan about how he incorporates our Potawatomi values into the courtroom and watched some cases in action. 

Naming Ceremonies

Seven out of eleven PLP students chose to receive their Potawatomi names. In Potawatomi culture, when a person receives their name, the Creator is able to see their face. If a person is given their Potawatomi name, they can then become a namer. To ask someone to name you, traditionally you will give them a bundle of tobacco, or sema. If they accept, they have the responsibility of finding the name that the Creator has chosen for you. We had one large ceremony where the namers described each person’s characteristics that guided them to choose a name. Each person asked two sponsors to guide them in their journey as well. It was really special to watch this happen, and be able to see how perfectly each person’s name matches who they are as a person.

“Liberty asked me to name her by giving me some sema. I was really honored and touched that she wanted me to name her. I started asking her a lot of questions about her personality and getting a better understanding of her. I noticed that she had a butterfly tattoo and I started researching about butterflies. I talked to Robert about this and about how she was a part of the Thunder Clan. We researched names based on this and found a name that fit and that would serve nice for her name. I did a lot of thinking and meditating on it, and making sure this was the right name. I chose the name Byejsekwe, which means Comes-Flying. 

I was a little nervous for the ceremony, because it was my first and I was worried about what she would think about the name. I was so happy and excited that I started bawling, and she loved her name. Saying her name in the four directions with everyone was really special.” – Chloe Williams

July 21, 2022 – Thursday

Harvesting Sage

Sage is one of our four sacred medicines along with tobacco, sweetgrass, and cedar. To harvest sage we set down sema (tobacco) and did not take the first or last plant we saw. We cut them off at the stem, making sure not to completely pull out the roots. After we collected our sage, we wrapped bundles in twine and hung them up to dry.

July 22, 2021 – Friday

This is our last day in the program. We spent the morning presenting our final projects to Tribal leadership. We worked together with partners to create a project based on a need the Tribe has or an addition to an already existing department that we thought would be beneficial. We worked on these projects throughout the course of the program with the goal of leaving the program with a lasting impact on the Tribe, who has provided us with so much during our time here. It is bittersweet to leave Shawnee. We are all going to miss the memories we made and are grateful for the personal and cultural growth this program has brought us.

Migwetch for reading our blog!

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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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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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