Re-Member visits SCIT and Tribal Council
Joseph V. Sowmick - November 23, 2015
In an effort to provide bonus coverage, Team Observer joined the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council and the SCIT Public Relations Department in Council Chambers to welcome the Re-Member organization and their first visit to the Isabella Indian Reservation.
SCIT Public Relations Director introduced Re-Member Founder Keith Titus from Alpena, Michigan and Re-Member Director Ted Skantze from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Cloutier informed Council that Re-Member is an effort that started some 17 years ago bringing assistance and relief to so many deserving impoverished Native communities. “These are the type of people who have inspired leaderships from long ago up to today to make a difference and bring hope to those in Indian Country who desperately need it,” Cloutier said. “The meeting with Council was well received and renewed their commitment to helping others wherever possible. It is nice during the holiday season to be reminded of the good work we and others have done while considering what more we can do”.
Ellen Harrington-Kane was a part of the 50th anniversary conference of the Michigan Department for Civil Rights when she first came to the Tribe. She has visited numerous times since to foster SCIT/Easter Seals collaborative efforts and attended a Grandmother Moon ceremony. She currently serves as the Board President of the 501-C 3 non-profit Re-Member organization. “Touring the reservation and the facilities that the Tribe has invested in shows the deep respect for Elders that continues and the importance of families and family values. This wonderful introduction to Native American culture and spirit then led me to mission work through Re-Member on Pine Ridge Reservation with the Oglala Lakota,” Harrington-Kane said. “I feel privileged to work alongside my Native brothers and sisters and appreciate how the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe reaches out to help heal relationships and to bring some new hope and help to the people at Pine Ridge.”
Behavioral Health Administrator David Garcia mentioned the Re-Member visitors very impressed with the number of mental health and substance abuse services that are currently available to Tribal members. “During our brief discussion and tour of facilities, he pointed out that despite the Pine Ridge Reservation having 10 times the number of Tribal members, they have to struggle to maintain programs similar to ours. Ted liked how Behavioral Health has reached out and collaborated with Law Enforcement, the Tribal Court and the Nimkee Clinic,” Garcia said. “Our ability to incorporate the spiritual component of the Helping Healers and ceremonies such as the O’des Wahn Ning (sweat lodge) shows our commitment to meeting all the needs of the Tribal community.
Re-Member visitors also toured the Seventh Generation Program, Nimkee Memorial Wellness Center and the Andahwod Continuing Care and Elder Services. To learn more about Re-Member, please access their website at www.re-member.org or view their recent SCIT Media video at http://www.sagchip.org/video.aspx?id=iRfwIrBeK7Y#.VlXlKXarQdU. A full story will be featured in the January 2016 issue of the Tribal Observer.