Great Lakes Intertribal Council

The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center in Lac du Flambeau has announced a multi-tribal, multi-state effort to combat chronic disease and health disparities in American Indian communities.

Epidemiologist Isaiah Brokenleg says four Indian communities in Michigan got funded, including the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The effort began out of Minnesota and also affects Wisconsin tribes. The grant to fund the program comes from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

A federal grant will allow the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council to keep funding a disability jobs program for Native Americans.  The grant provides $1.3 million dollars a year for five years. 

Program Director Pat Lerch says the Vocational Rehabilitation for Native Americans program aims to help those with disabilities overcome obstacles and find work.

Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council has won more than four million dollars over the next five years for chronic disease prevention projects. 

The federal grant from the Center for Disease Control will fund consultations and trainings with 34 tribes in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan, plus four urban Indian Health centers.

Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council Epidemiologist Isaiah Brokenleg says the region’s tribes carry a heavy burden of chronic disease.

The Great Lakes Intertribal Council is calling on Governor Scott Walker to veto legislation regarding race-based mascots.  The bill makes it harder for a person to file a discrimination complaint against a school mascot.  It would require a petition of signatures and then proof of discrimination to get a mascot changed.

Michael Allen is director of the Great Lakes Intertribal Council.  He says the rule changes would encourage stereotyping of Native people.