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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!