Mashkiiziibii News
June 20, 2018

The Mashkiiziibii community faced torrential rains and extraordinary challenges this past week.

Over the weekend, rain hit our region hard. With a foot of rain falling west of Drummond before Sunday evening, it was obvious to Chairman Mike Wiggins and Natural Resources director Naomi Tillison that the community was going to see flood conditions.

However, while flooding affected many areas of the community, it could have been much worse.

"As of Monday morning we were seeing Bad River at a flow rate of 20,000 CFS (cubic feet per second)," Naomi said. "To put that in perspective, in the flood of July 2016, we were seeing 40,000 CFS."

Through open communication and hard work by several departments, response to the rising waters was quick. Some roads were closed to prevent drivers from the dangers of flooding, but there isn't much obvious damage to the raodways.

"It looks like the infrastructure is holding up," Chairman Wiggins said. "But we'll need to wait for the waters to recede to really see."

Chairman Wiggins said it was a combined effort that allowed an efficient response this weekend.

"We had our different departments responding with flood emergency response meetings," Chairman Wiggins said. "We also partnered with Northland College and other neighboring Tribes showed their willingness to come forward and help. There are a lot of spokes that come off this wheel of response: Ambulance services and emergency response ability; evacuation services and high-risk Tribal Members, including kidney dialysis and oxygen needs; evacuation related to flood-plain homes and flooding; the logistical management of the roads department and wastewater crews that are trying to keep our infrastructure running; and the PR challenge of keeping our community informed."

Chairman Wiggins said it's a group effort to respond to weather events like this weekend, and not every key player gets recognition.

"When you look at the gamut of considerations, it is interesting, and I'd like people to know that there's a lot of work behind the scenes and departmental leaders and staff are really doing a great job. There are still scenarios and challenges ahead to try and coordinate more efficiently."

Naomi said it's been a group effort to stay informed and they've had help from outside the Tribe as well.

"We received support from U.S. Weather Service and the USGS (United States Geological Survey) too," Naomi said. "With their help, we were able to better know when the river is going to peak and what that means. We don't know all the answers, but it's been great that both agencies have been willing to work with us over the weekend and provide updates."

Once the waters recede, clean-up will start and departments will work to assess the extent of damage done during the flood.

"We were really spared this weekend," Chairman Wiggins said. "It could have been much worse, but we were lucky."

Chi Miigwech to all who dedicated their time and energy to dealing with the flood response!

This video shows some of the impact of the water, filmed on Monday.

For information on Ashland road conditions, visit the Ashland Area Chamber's website.

For information on area road conditions, visit 511WI.

Please scroll down for more news and upcoming events in Mashkiiziibii.
Don Nelis, Sr. Retires from Housing Authority

As Don Nelis, Sr., arrived at work last Thursday, the Housing Authority celebrated a milestone. Following almost 20 years of service to his job and the community, his co-workers gathered at lunch to celebrate his retirement.

"I'm 74 and I figured I better get of out here before I kick the bucket... and do a little fishing and hunt deer," Don, Sr. laughingly shared.

Don's co-workers spoke fondly of him, and laughter and jokes were heard throughout the lunch gathering.

"I've fixed this and I fixed that, and when I couldn't, I got help," Don, Sr., said.

Don Nelis, Jr., Don's son, said, "he's told us we're going to have a heck of time replacing him. It's going to take six guys!"

"I like hearing his stories of back in the day. It's good to hear those stories. He's a good guy. He's been here a long time, and we've nicknamed him 'Mr. Duct Tape,'" said Don's cousin Steve Nelis.

Quintin Rosin, a new employee with the Housing Authority, shared, "he has a good work ethic and is a good role model."

"Don, Sr. has been our Maintenance Mechanic extraordinaire. He's served the community, responding to emergencies at all hours of the day, including in the winter when he's helped families with furnace issues," said Robert Houle, Executive Director of the Bad River Housing Authority.

At the end of the luncheon, Robert presented Don, Sr. a certificate of appreciation for his years of service and commitment.

Don, Sr., is an Army Veteran, having served in the Vietnam War and is active in the local VFW. He recently lost his wife, and has his son Don, Jr., daughter Tammy, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Best wishes Don, and Chi Miigwech for your many years of service.
Housing Authority Expands Board

The Bad River Housing Authority Board recently updated their bylaws, and the suggested revisions were passed on June 12, 2018.

"The current Housing Authority Board consists of Tribal Council Members. The Board felt that it would better serve the Housing Authority and the community to have a Board that includes two current Council Members and five members who are Tribal Members and reside in the area to represent the community-at-large," Robert Houle, Executive Director of the Housing Authority, said.

"We now have a new set of Bylaws for the administration of the Tribal Housing Authority and under the federal government's HUD funding. We are soliciting to the Tribal Member community for the newly opened seats on the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners," Robert continued.

The positions are voluntary. The Housing Authority Board meets the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 pm at the Housing Authority building, 75860 Highway 2, Odanah. Meetings usually last two to three hours. A stipend is paid for Board Members who attend the meetings.

Board positions are staggered, and are one, two and three-year commitments. Training will be provided.

The Board is primarily responsible for policies and procedures of the Housing Authority and reviews housing applications and determines approvals. The day-to-day responsibilities of the Housing Authority Board reside with the Executive Director.

"We have more than 170 housing units in the community. When a home becomes available, we bring applications to the Board for their review and the Board makes the determination," Robert explained.

"The new Franks Field II subdivision just west of our offices is a project that we hope to move forward with soon. We are exploring renewable energy options to continue our commitment to the land and lower our utility costs," Robert continued.

"Income is a variable, but there are other variables as well. Our goal is to provide low-income, safe and affordable housing for the people in our community, starting with our Elders. We are also exploring options for the homeless. We encourage everyone and anyone seeking housing to apply."

For more information on the newly opened seats with the Housing Authority Board or information on housing options, please view the Housing Authority's website or call 715-292-8847.
LCO Community College Welcomes New President
By Nicole Smith, Communications Officer, LCO Tribe

The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College is pleased to announce that Dr. Russell Swagger has been named College President. Dr. Swagger assumed his duties effective June 18, 2018. 

This selection follows an eight month intensive search of a committee comprised of community members, faculty and staff. With the Board of Regents making the final selection. The selection follows the departure of former College President Dr. Diane Vertin, who resigned in November 2017. Barbara Lundberg, Vice-President of Academic Affairs & Institutional Effectiveness, has been serving as Interim-President during the search and selection process.
Dr. Swagger brings over 25 years of leadership experience in higher education. He earned his Ph.D. from Capella University, a Master's Degree from University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, a Bachelor of Science degree from Minot State University, and an Associate degree from United Tribes Technical College. 
Dr. Swagger has worked in various leadership roles at the United Tribes Technical College, including Dean of Student Services and later Vice President of Student and Campus Services. Dr. Swagger served in similar leadership roles at the Fond du Lac Community College before accepting the position at Lac Courte Oreilles.
"I am honored to accept the position as college president. I plan to invest myself in the college and into the communities the college serves. I bring a wealth of knowledge and I understand, first-hand, the importance of education for our tribal communities. The most important relationship for any college is with the students," Dr. Swagger said.
Dr. Swagger is enrolled with the St. Croix Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, growing up in the Turtle Lake community. He and his wife, Wanda, are foster parents, and currently have 12 children in their home. Mrs. Swagger is an enrolled member from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Dr. Swagger is excited to be back among the Ojibwe communities where he grew up. 

"This is a homecoming for me and my family and I look forward to immersing myself and my family with our Ojibwe culture and traditions," Dr. Swagger said.
Learning Journeys Trip - Application Deadline June 29th
Bad River Manoomin Celebration T-Shirts On Sale Now

Bad River Manoomin Celebration T-shirts are on sale now! These beautiful T-shirts are available at the Community Center for $20 each. Please email Nate Ante or call 715-292-3191 for information on sizes and ordering.

Prenatal Education - Today

Teachings on the first, second and third trimesters will be held today at the Bad River Health & Wellness Center in the Maple Room from 1:30 to 4:00 pm.

An Asema ceremony will lead us with teachings to follow.

Presenters include:
  • Penny Charette - Healthy Start CHW, DOULA, Indigenous Midwife, Bad River Health & Wellness
  • Jennifer Ludack - Maternal Child Nurse RN, CLC, Bad River Health & Wellness
  • Savita Jones - Licensed Midwife, LM, CPM, Ashland Birth Center
  • Dana Churness - Licensed Midwife, LM, CLC, Ashland Birth Center

Breastfeeding support and education will be included.

This event is free and open to all women that would like to learn about fetal development. If you're a mother with a baby under a year old, this includes an invitation to you and your baby.

Snacks and raffles will be provided to those attending. If you have any questions, please call Penny at 715-682-7133, extension 4353.

Summer Feeding Began This Week

Summer Feeding began this past Monday. Free meals are available for children from birth to 18 years old at these locations:
  • Breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 8:30 am at the Community Center in Odanah.
  • Lunch will be served from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Community Center and the Birch Hill Community House.
  • Snacks will be served from 2:30 to 3:00 pm at the Mashkiiziibii Boys & Girls Club and at the Community House.
Summer School Transportation

Summer School students who live in the Bad River area are eligible to take advantage of free transportation provided by Bad River Transportation.

This will be available now thru June 29th, and again from July 9th thru July 20th.

Pickup is at 7:30 am at the Community Center. The bus will leave LSE 11:50 am, and go to the Moccasin Trail Bus stop. Students may take 1:05 pm bus to Birch Hill, and students living in New Odanah will be dropped off at home.

Students will then be able to take advantage of the lunch program in Odanah. If you have additional questions about the route or times, please contact Lloyd Hartwell at 715-685-9461, ext 1315.
Tribal Council Meetings

All Regular Tribal Council Meetings are held at
the Bad River Convention Center at 4:30 pm.

July 11, 2018
August 1, 2018
September 5, 2018
October 3, 2018
November 7, 2018
December 5, 2018

All Special Tribal Council Meetings are held at
the Bad River Convention Center at 4:30 pm.

 July 17, 2018
 August 21, 2018
 September 18, 2018
 October 16, 2018
 November 20, 2018
 December 18, 2018
Youth Media Camp Opportunity
Email Zatrina Vollmar to bring this program to your community!
Powwow Committee Meeting - Every Thursday
Refer a Friend Internet Promotion
Madeline Island Jingle Dress Dancer

Niibin Pipe Ceremony and Feast - Tomorrow

Free Financial Workshop - June 25th

Bad River Health Fair - June 27th

Practice Your Ojibwemowin
Boozhoo Niijii!

Are you interested in practicing your Ojibwemowin?

Come join us for a couple of language opportunities at the Language Tables at Head Start from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on the following dates -
  • June 27th
  • July 18th
  • July 25th
  • August 5th
  • August 29th
Please bring a dish to share.
Red Cliff Band Powwow - July 6th thru July 8th
LDF Bear River Powwow - July 13th thru July 15th
Healing Circle Run - July 14th thru July 20th

Bingo Committee Fundraiser - July 19th

LCO Honor the Earth Pow Wow - July 20th thru July 22nd

Menominee Contest Powwow - August 3rd thru August 5th
American Legion Post 25 Golf Tournament - August 11th

Manoomin Celebration - August 24th thru August 26th

Indigenous Arts and Science Class - Begins July 16th

Share Your News

Share your good news with the community! The e-newsletter will be sent every other Wednesday.

Email us your information and story ideas, and please include your contact information so that we can follow up with you.

Please include a photo if possible.

Chi Miigwech!

Carri Chapman & Kim Swisher
Communications Team

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