The Planning Department works behind the scenes with Tribal Administration to plan programs and projects to meet needs identified by tribal members through different surveys, assessments, and tribal action plans. Tribal needs are our top priority. To make these plans become reality, grants are written and when awarded are put into action. The department waits sometimes up to six months to hear about the results of grant submissions. Program planning has recently focused in part on how to best address needs related to the Red Cliff State of Emergency declared in 2018 due to the drug crisis and its affects on Red Cliff community members. These programs relate directly to the AODA Tribal Action Plan developed in 2019.

Traditionally, the end of September is when new grant announcement awards are released and there is good news! This year Red Cliff has received several significant grant awards to help Red Cliff build a stronger community. The grants received will also increase collaboration between tribal departments.

Office for Victims of Crime – Wisconsin Department of Justice
Funded: Victims of Crime Act Project
These funds will help round out services provided by the Family Violence Prevention department. It will provide funding for staff and ensure their ability to respond to the emotional, psychological, and/or physical needs of crime victims. It will provide cellphone access to FVP staff 24/7 using technology to boost signals on the reservation. Fast responses by staff will help reduce the amount of trauma experienced by increasing safety and emotional support. Referrals and funds for mental health counseling will be provided for trauma informed care, including those that are based in Anishinaabe traditions leading them on a healing path for the future. Other services will provide for the basic needs of crime victims with food, clothing, shelter and court advocacy. Amount of Award: $375,568 per year for up to 5 years ($1,877,840); Project Lead: Stephanie Defoe-Haskins

Office for Victims of Crime         US DOJ, OJP
Project: Law Enforcement-Based Victim Specialist Program
This project will add a full-time Victim Specialist to the RCPD with qualifications as a licensed Social Worker. They will provide the leadership and skills needed to coordinate services between Law Enforcement and other victim serving programs. They will act as a pivotal resource responding quickly to the emotional, psychological, and/or physical needs of crime victims. This will fill a gap found not only in Red Cliff but in police departments across the country. The Victim Specialist will provide culturally sensitive and trauma informed case management to victims of crime; will produce and distribute materials for victims that clearly explain their rights, processes, and services available; develop victim of crime policies, procedures, and updated legal codes, implementing these throughout tribal operations; with OVC Technical Assistance, a core curriculum police training will be instituted to enhance victim response measures used by law enforcement. Amount of Award: $431,726 over 3 years; Project Lead: Kyle Cadotte.

Administration for Native Americans-Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS)
Funded: Developing a Tribal Sovereign Food Enterprise
This award will be used to fund the management positions and operations of the newly opening Fish and Food Processing Facility in Red Cliff. Funding wll also support various equipment for operations such as a commercial fish smoker and blast chiller, a retail front system, support for a fish compost operation at the Red Cliff Farm, and significant marketing services for this newly opening business. Amount of award: $1,093,420 over three years. Project Lead: Chad Abel

In addition, three CTAS or Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation proposals submitted in March were awarded last week.
CTAS PA #3 Justice Systems and Alcohol and Substance Abuse – Bureau of Justice
Funded: The Red Cliff Healing to Wellness Court Project
A Healing to Wellness Court brings together substance use disorder treatment, child welfare services, mental health, an Anishinaabe cultural consultant, and, social services in a non-adversarial court system. This wholistic Court approach will develop a team to provide supportive, intensive judicial monitoring and interventions to treat parental substance use disorders and other risk factors. The outcome for this project will be higher rates of participation and longer stays in substance use disorder treatment, family reunification, and less time for children in foster care. Amount: $516,825 over three years; Project Lead: Associate Judge, Gwen Topping.

CTAS PA #4 Tribal Justice System Infrastructure Program – Bureau of Justice
Funded: The Red Cliff Courthouse Project
The Tribal Courthouse Project will provide funds to renovate and add an addition to the existing courthouse facility. The need for these facility improvements was determined by a 2017 Tribal Court Assessment. Amount of Award: $1 m. over three years; Project Lead: Nicole Boyd

CTAS PA #7 Tribal Victim Services Program – Office for Victims of Crime
Funded: The Red Cliff Victims of Crime Counseling Project
With this award Red Cliff will expand mental health services by adding one full-time Tribal Mental Health Counselor who will prioritize the needs of victims of crime. A referral system will be developed to help victims receive immediate crisis support. Amount of Award: $440,345 over three years; Project Lead: Nicole Gurnoe.
While tribal members may not always see what is happening “behind the scenes”, the Red Cliff Planning Department staff takes your comments and concerns seriously. Red Cliff residents can look forward to seeing these new services being implemented over the coming months and years helping to make Red Cliff a stronger more resilient Anishinaabe community.