District II Receives Updates on Education, Circle of Health


The District II community meeting on August 29 featured a new service to Band members: a clothing exchange. Community members were asked to bring gently used clothing to share with those in need. The initial donations filled two tables at the East Lake Community Center.

District II Representative Marvin Bruneau welcomed attendees, thanked Tom Benjamin for catering the dinner, and introduced guests for the evening: Commissioner of Education Rick St. Germaine and Benefits Coordinator Donita Odden from the Circle of Health Program.

Rick said he had met with Minisinaakwaang staff and parents recently and was also working with McGregor public schools to improve services to American Indian students.

Donita shared that her position serving District II and III Band members had been vacant, so Intake Specialist Amber Kalk and District I Benefits Coordinator Jamie Rancour had been working hard to cover all districts. Now that Donita is on board, she will be in District II every Thursday and is making communication with Band members a priority.

She told Elders and those with family members on Medicare to be on the lookout for new Medicare cards and benefit verification letters that will be mailed out beginning in November. Copies of the letters and cards should be submitted to Cir- cle of Health to ensure continued service.

Donita's office is at the Lodge in Hinckley. To contact Donita call 320-384-4603 or email donita.odden@hhs. millelacsband-nsn.gov. (In District I, contact Amber Kalk at 320-532-7740 or amber.kalk@hhs.millelacsband-nsn.gov or Jamie Rancour at 320-532-4781 or jamie.rancour@hhs. millelacsband-nsn.gov.)

Morningstar GoodSky also provided updates at the meeting. She asked Band members to call the front desk (218-768- 3311) to sign up for Vikings tickets, and she announced that the powwow committee is sponsoring an art contest for students from 5 to 17 years of age. The winner will receive $100, and their artwork will be used for the 2019 powwow poster.

Photo: Amanda Anderson and Tabatha Boyd helped with the clothing exchange at the District II community meeting August 29.