Early Release Weekly Newsletter
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Behold our Heritage, Share our Future
Bosh Keen Landing
Jean Songetay stands with a number of family members at the unveiling of Bosh Keen Landing. Bosh Keen is Jean’s Ojibwe name.
On October 17th, 2022, the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin (the “Tribe”) dedicated the river landing in Danbury, Wisconsin, to Jean Songetay. Jean is the eldest Tribal elder at 101 years old. Jean was born in Ogema, Minnesota in 1921. She was married to her husband Edwin Sr. for 49 years prior to his passing. Together they raised ten children in the Danbury community. As of April 2022, Jean had 21 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great grandchildren.
The Tribe wished to dedicate the river landing to Jean in recognition of her contributions to keeping Tribal traditions alive. Tribal Council extends its gratitude to Jean for the valuable gifts she has given the people over the years; ensuring the Ojibwe language is not lost, hosting cooking classes, and passing on the Tribal customs of bead working and making moccasins through community education classes.
Michael Decorah, St. Croix Intergovernmental Affairs, also presented Jean with a birthday plaque signed and sent by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. The plaque reading can be viewed here.
Chairman William Reynolds and Danbury Representative Rick Benjamin work to unveil the new river landing signage.
Tribal Government Job Openings
Paraeducator/NA Liaison (Spooner School)
Wellness to Healing Court Program Director
Full job descriptions are available by clicking on the job titles. Please contact Tiffany Iorns, [email protected] or ext. 5196, for additional information.
HHS Job Openings
BH Grants Manager/Case Manager
Full job descriptions are available by clicking on the job titles. Please contact Shaurette Reynolds, [email protected] or ext. 5133, for additional information.
Please spread the word to your friends and family members about our open positions!
Tom Orput is the new Aging and Disabilities Resource Specialist! Tom is a veteran with a background in education which will be so beneficial to the Aging Unit and Elder Care Programs. His office is in the Tribal Government Center. He can be reached at ext. 5261.
“I am very excited to serve as the St. Croix Tribal Health Clinic’s new Aging & Disability Resource Specialist! I am grateful for this meaningful and rewarding position – caring for the Tribal Elder’s social, emotional, and physical wellness.
My work with older adults and adults with disabilities has been both unique and diverse. I moved here from the San Francisco Bay Area last April where I performed similar work. My most recent position included working in a Veterans Hospital, which provided me with rich experiences leading and supporting caregivers for senior women and men who served in our armed forces. Prior to that assignment, I managed educational and wellness programs for older adults and adults with disabilities through adult school programs in Berkeley, Alameda and Newark, California. While our primary mission was educational, we were tasked with checking in with each senior, interviewing them to identify their unique needs and provide them with information about resources.
Through this work, I learned firsthand the challenges some of our elderly face coping with a disability and navigating healthcare, nutrition, mental health services, transportation, finances and family relationships. Oftentimes our seniors are forgotten or overlooked even though most people agree that our elderly community members, including the disabled or non-ambulatory, should be our priority. I also learned that many elders often struggle with technology and may not know how to find resources or advocate for themselves. It is my hope that our work here will help all Elder Tribal Members understand all of the resources and options available to make great choices that improve their quality of life.
I grew up in St. Paul where I gravitated to Northwestern Wisconsin during my formative years and learned first-hand about the beauty of the forests, lakes, and streams. When my elderly father became challenged with his unique emotional and physical needs, I knew it was time to return here and help care for him in his waning years. I guess it is a combination of both forces that brought me here.
I realize that with this change, I have a lot to learn. I look forward to working in concert with Tribal staff members and the County Aging & Disability Resource Centers staff. I welcome all feedback and advice. I believe that by working together, we can benefit all of our Tribal Elders to ensure that they have the knowledge of the resources they may need to improve their quality of life.”
October 27th in Turtle Lake from 12pm-2pm.
Attending elders will receive $50.00 in Turtle Bucks! Elders may bring ONE guest. Elders and guests working in Tribal Enterprises will be allowed the day off with pay. Please contact Lisa Reynolds at #715-349-2195 ext. 5116 or Leah Reynolds ext. 5169 for additional details.
Donation from Polk Burnett Electric Cooperatives Operation Round Up Program
The St. Croix Tribal Police Department received a grant award from the Polk Burnett Electric Cooperatives Operation Round Up Program. This program is funded by the members who round up their monthly billing statements to the next even dollar amount. Grant recipients are selected by co-op members and awards are distributed.
The St. Croix Tribal Police Department was awarded $1,000.00 to purchase new body cameras for the patrol officers.
“We would like to thank Polk Burnett Electric for accepting our application and helping us purchase needed equipment,” stated Police Chief Frank Taylor.
The new body cameras will allow the department to phase out some of the older ones.
2022 Annual Report to the Indian People
Per the annual requirements of IHS (Indian Health Services), the Health Clinic has produced and shared their 2022 Annual Report to the Indian People. The full report can be read here.
Broadband – Round Lake
The broadband project in Round Lake is complete! The infrastructure and service lines have been installed to every home and community building. This project was funded with $302,032 of grant dollars from the NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The project replaced obsolete copper line with fiber optic line. This will allow Round Lake residents access to the fastest internet speeds Lakeland Communications provides.
1) Move existing, current internet users to fiber;
2) Establish new accounts;
3) Enroll households into the Affordable Connectivity Program, a program which reduces the cost of fiber optic internet on Tribal lands by up to $75 per month, which could make the total, monthly internet bill as low as $5 per month*. This form is available online here or with Charity Rogers.
Lakeland Communications would like to extend its thanks to the Round Lake Community. The project was completed with zero issues and the company appreciated the work and assistance of Charity, Josh, and the rest of the crew and community.
*Eligibility requirements must be met.
If you would like an item featured in the weekly newsletter, please email Maggie Olson at [email protected].
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