Community Highlights

Pokagon Band is developing a plan to expand the tribe's agricultural program, and has partnered with Michigan State University for ideas and assistance. Today government manager Jason M. Wesaw and Becky Richards, compliance officer, met with MSU trustee Dianne Byrum, John Norder, director of Native American Institute, and agriculture faculty members John Whims, William Knudson and Molly Woods, in Lansing to hammer out more details.

Tribal Police Officers Trent DeGroff and Kevin Slater were recognized at the Council meeting Saturday, March 14 with certificates, a bear claw choker, and a carving of an eagle feather on cedar for their quick thinking and professionalism in saving a life.

In the early morning hours of February 2, Officers DeGroff and Slater responded to a call in the City of Watervliet. The dispatch told the officers that an eight year-old girl was in full arrest. The officers arrived within moments of the call to find the child’s father performing CPR.

This March, a group of students from Denmark visited the Dowagiac campuses for a cultural exchange with our tribe.

These students were in a Denmark program that is similar to the U.S. foster care system. Coming here and learning about our culture was an accomplishment for them all.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) completed its draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) March 12 for the tribe’s application that 165 acres of its land in South Bend, Indiana be taken into trust. The Band is seeking trust land to develop a tribal village--similar to the one in Dowagiac--to support its citizens in Northern Indiana. This village could include affordable housing, government and administrative offices, a community center, and health services.

by Jennifer Klemm-Dougherty

During the sixth White House Tribal Nations Conference, President Obama announced that members of his Cabinet would visit Indian Country to hear directly from native youth on how to improve the lives and opportunities for the next generation. This year, Obama Administration Cabinet Secretaries will hold listening sessions with native youth across the country.