Community Highlights

by Jennifer Klemm-Dougherty

The Pokagon Band’s Behavior Health program will launch a circuit healing program in March. The goal of the program is to establish a better spiritual equilibrium between individuals and their universe. This translates into an improved physical and mental state.

Circuit healing encompasses a form of touch therapy and/or massage, auricular acupuncture, and breath and energy work through motivational interviewing and cognitive reframing counseling.

by Jennifer Klemm-Dougherty

In an effort to learn more about the businesses owned by Mno-Bmadsen, Chairman Warren recently visited Accu-Mold. Accu-Mold is a plastic engineering and tooling company located in Portage, Michigan. They have been in business for more than 40 years, and were acquired by Mno-Bmadsen, the economic development company charted by the Pokagon Band.

“Chairman Warren has a background in machining,” said Larry Gildea, president of Accu-Mold. “He enjoyed seeing the changes, equipment, and the level of technology that we have here.”

The New Year offered plenty of chances to learn more about Potawatomi cultural arts. Twenty-four people made pucker toe moccasins for the first time on January 3, thanks in part to the Language and Culture Department’s new facilities, which include a large workshop space.

“Everyone was able to start and finish their moccasins,” said Patty Jo Kublik, cultural activities coordinator. “They were doing it the old way with needles and real sinew.”

Overnight from January 3 to 4, 49 Pokagon, Nottawaseppi Huron, and Saginaw Chippewa youth took over Southwestern Michigan College’s Student Activities Center for the annual youth lock in event. The group began the evening with a dinner and listened to speakers, including Dr. Shawn West from Pokagon Behavioral Health and Tribal Police Sgt. Ben Graves, who spoke on suicide awareness and prevention. Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Marcus Winchester talked with the group about Pokagon Band history and language.

Black ash trees are an irreplaceable piece of the Potawatomi economy, culture, and way of life. They provide us with material to create baskets, spoons, bowls, and other beautiful and necessary items. They grow on many of our lands, but they are dying faster than they're producing.

The emerald ash borer, an invasive species, was transported to this area, and is now destroying black ash trees. These insects burrow into the tree and feed off of it, slowly killing the tree from the inside out.