Community Highlights

By Arianna Morseau

This summer, the Pokagon Band Department of Education opened up a new enrichment opportunity for native children. This enrichment opportunity was a learning experience for K-12 graders called Dreamcatchers. It was to help students with their tribal history. They focused on culture and tribal identity in a fun and welcoming way that children found entertaining and that parents found unique. The students went on field trips and toured the surrounding communities, which made them take notice about our tribe’s sovereign nation.

Shaun West is one of the Band’s behavioral health counselors, and his area of expertise just moved down an age group.

Infant Mental Health (IMH) is a developing area of mental health, which centers on children still in the womb to age 5. The purpose of IMH is to ensure a healthy, or secure, attachment between a baby and his or her primary caregiver.

The Pokagon Band presented a donation of $77,500 to Memorial Children’s Hospital August 6.The donation, which is from proceeds of the 2014 Four Winds Invitational and the 5K Run and Fitness Walk, will be used to purchase Giraffe Warmers for the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Giraffe Warmers are used to support the development of newborns by providing a temperature-controlled and protective environment.

Over seventy Pokagon community members young and old participated in the 2014 Michigan Indian Family Olympics at Central Michigan University July 18. Thanks to a great showing from athletes in events ranging from the 100 meter run to archery to the sponge relay, the Pokagon team captured third place with 199 points. First place went to event organizers and hosts Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe with 725 points, and the Gun Lake Tribe grabbed second with 234 points.

Two busloads of nearly one hundred Pokagon elders and spouses trekked to New York City June 25 and enjoyed five days in and around the Big Apple. The group stayed in the Times Square neighborhood and experienced several excellent restaurants nearby, including a dinner cruise on New York Harbor.

Some of the highlights included going to Battery Park and ferrying over to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty and tour the National Museum of the American Indian. They also visited the 9/11 Memorial and saw Mamma Mia on Broadway.