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April 2015 June 2015

Greetings from Ashley Tuomi, Executive Director... Ĺ axĚŁayam, As many of you may know AIHFS has been a ACA Marketplace Navigator Organization through the last two open enrollment periods. This year we have enrolled 383 people in health insurance through Healthy Michigan and the Marketplace. In addition to assisting individuals in our area, we have been travelling to assist other tribes with their enrollment needs. We have worked with Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan, and Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. Our enrollment staff recently got back from an enrollment event in

Aanii from

collaboration with Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of


Chippewa Indians located on Mackinac Island. It was quite an adventure for them, but shows the dedication that they have to ensuring that

Inside this issue: Protection Against Fires


Advisory Council




Healthy Start


Mindfulness Meditation


Access to Recovery


Sacred Bundle-Suicide Prevention


Upcoming Events


Agency Wants & Needs


MI Indian Tuition Waiver 9 Our Food Is Medicine


individuals get health care coverage.

Ashley Tuomi Executive Director

Chasity Dial (Lumbee) travelling to an enrollment event!

The AIHFS team wears red to commemorate National American Heart Awareness Month!


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Protection Against Fires by Scott Bowden You’ve had a long day. You’re hungry and decide to cook something to eat for yourself and/or loved ones. You forget to turn the gas off after cooking. Afterwards you go to your bed and begin to take that long-needed rest so you can tackle the day that lies ahead of you. Now imagine you’re sleeping—suddenly you’re awakened by a funny smell in the middle of the night. You go to check what’s causing the smell and you find out that the cause of the smell is the kitchen. It’s on fire! Simple instances like this and others can be prevented before it even reaches the point of an actual fire! First, never operate anything if tired, or under the influence materials! So in other words do not store a space heater in of any substance or alcohol. This will impair your judgment

and simple mistakes (such as leaving the gas on after cooking) can turn into huge problems. Keep in mind that fire cannot exist without OXYGEN, HEAT AND FUEL (GAS, PROPANE, ELECTRICITY, etc). If you keep this in mind whenever you’re dealing with appliances you are that much closer to preventing a fire from happening and ruining your

the kitchen by the sink. Preventive measures are always the best defense in protecting yourself against a fire. One of the best preventive measures is your smoke detector. Check your smoke detectors monthly. It can alert you or a loved one of a fire and potentially save your life!

home and other personal items. Most electrical items have tags on its cord with instructions on how

Having a fire extinguisher can help too! Fire extinguishers

to properly operate it and avoid fires.

range from $15-$40 and can be located at Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Lowe’s or mostly any home appliance store. Not all fire extinguishers are the same. Depending on the class of the fire extinguisher, it deals with the different types of

When you are finished using items that could potentially

fire. Class A fire extinguishers are for paper, wood and

start a fire it is important to remember that storing them or turning those items off is just as vital to keeping your house safe. After use, store items which may cause a fire (space heaters especially) in a safe place where those items are on

flat on a surface and away from other potential flammable

cardboard fires. Class B extinguishes gasoline, kerosene, grease and oil fires. Class C extinguishes electrical fires. We

recommend you purchase one with all three classes to be safe.

In case of an actual fire in which the fire extinguishers aren’t enough or it is too late, leave all personal belongings and evacuate immediately. Remember that nothing is more important than your life in a fire. These small tidbits should help make you more aware of preventive fire measures and how you and your family can use these measure to protect the place you call home.


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Community Advisory Council (CAC) by John Marcus November’s CAC meeting was an extension of October in a manner of speaking since we continued with the question “what does it mean to you to be a part of the community advisory council?” The difference being we video recorded those that attended. Watch for this in the future. December’s meeting had a presentation by Nina Eusani on safe sleep for infants and we also had a discussion of Big Drum protocols. The participants were given a survey as part of the big drum protocols discussion and the results were forwarded to the appropriate people so that this can move forward in a good way. In January we had an update from Christy Bieber on the Sacred Bundle program which is our suicide prevention project. We introduced Karen Marshall, who is our new Sacred Bundle Outreach and Training Coordinator. As part of her job she will be traveling around the state continuing to build our relationships with the Tribal Communities. This meeting we also kept everybody extra warm and toasty on their inside’s with homemade chili made by Christy with a tiny bit of help from myself. I am a great chopper and I make a good cup of coffee! Enjoy the spring when it gets here and I hope you get out often and early! John Marcus, ph 313-846-6030 x1403, email: jmarcus@aihfs.org


by Chantel Henry, REACH Coordinator

American Indian Health and Family Services is now a part of the REACH- Journey to Wellness initiative. In October 2014, The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc. was awarded three years of funding for REACH- Journey to Wellness by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a part of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) initiative. REACH- Journey to Wellness addresses issues that impact chronic disease rates for Native Americans in Michigan. These issues include, Commercial Tobacco use, diet and nutrition, exercise, and access to fresh fruits and vegetables. As a part of REACH we are revising our Commercial Tobacco Smoke Free policy and will continue to work with other agencies to assist with creation or revision of their policies. We are working on our worksite wellness programs by offering healthy snack choices in our staff store and weight loss challenges. We are striving to be the change we wish to offer! We also are a part of the Urban Roots Gardening classes. We hope to expand our community garden so we can expand the access to fresh fruits and vegetables for our community. Our ancestors harvested the foods they consumed, we are striving to carry on that tradition. As part of the exercise initiative, we offer exercise classes 5 days a week. Please check out our website calendar for the exercise schedule. Also as part of the exercise initiative, we are joining The American Heart Association’s Annual Heart Walk May 02, 2015 downtown Detroit. Please go to their website to join our team or donate. Honor our Ancestors and loved ones by walking in their memory.

Look for more great things to come from REACH- Journey to Wellness in the coming years as we get started and expand on the initiative for improved health for our community!


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Maajtaag Mnobmaadzid Native Healthy Start Healthy Start/Family Spirit is now an MIHP Provider! Since 2009, Healthy Start/Family Spirit has been providing education and support to Native women, infants, children, and caregivers in Metro Detroit – and now we are able to do even more! We are excited to announce that AIHFS is now a Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) provider through the state of Michigan. MIHP is a home visiting program for women and babies who have Medicaid, with the goal of ensuring a healthy pregnancy and infancy. There are many MIHP programs in Metro Detroit, but we are the only program focusing on the Native community. Every participant in the MIHP program receives prenatal and infant home visits from a nurse and social worker. MIHP participants are also able to work with a Licensed Dietician and Infant Mental Health Specialist, and can participate in all of the other Healthy Start/Family Spirit services, like breastfeeding help, childbirth classes, parenting classes, women’s groups, and playgroups. MIHP is open to all Medicaid-eligible women and infants. As always, the Healthy Start/ Family Spirit program is open to all pregnant women, children 0-5, and caregivers, regardless of income or insurance.

Image Credit to Rachel Dennis

For more information about the MIHP program, you can visit www.michigan.gov/mihp or call us at 313-846-6030 x1300. We’re here to help you have a healthy pregnancy and get your baby off to a healthy start in life!

Education Corner: Doulas by Chelsea


What is a Doula? Childbirth is an incredible occasion for mothers, families, and communities. If you choose to give birth in a hospital, typically doctors, nurses and midwives are responsible for the physical health and well-being of mom and baby. In addition to medical professionals, partners, family members and close friends provide love and companionship for a laboring woman. A doula is a person who is trained to provide mental, physical and emotional support and assistance to childbearing women and their families. Doulas are nonmedical professionals in the birthing room knowledgeable in childbirth, coping techniques and emotional support. Doulas offer help and advice on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning, and comforts the woman with touch, and other comforting gestures. Also doulas assist and advocate on behalf of women and her supporters to become informed about the course of labor and their options. Perhaps the most crucial role of the doula is providing continuous emotional support, connection and comfort as a woman brings a baby into the world. Research shows that when doulas attend births, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier, women are less likely to use pain medication and less cesareans and other medical interventions are utilized. This results in a higher satisfaction and better health outcomes for moms and babies. Multiple meetings before delivery ensure mom, doula and other support people are on the same page as to how best to support one another and the mother through her childbirth experience. After the delivery, the doula visits the family’s home to support women and new families in the transition to parenthood. Compensation for doula services ranges from free volunteers to self-employed professional doulas. A trained doula must complete an intensive three day training and can become certified internationally upon further education and experience. Would you like to become a doula? Advocate for moms and babies? Support your friends, family and community? Keep a lookout for agency updates about a doula training this spring!


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Supporting Your Wellness Journey: Mindfulness Meditation at AIHFS by Joe Reilly, LLMSW In our fast-paced urban life it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. Stress is a significant contributor to many chronic illnesses that plague our community. Current psychological studies verify the importance of what our traditional Native American cultural teachings and ceremonies have always instructed; that taking opportunities to slow down and reconnect with our spiritual nature as part of a community can decrease stress and increase our happiness and well-being. 1

connectedness into our daily lives, increasing our well-being and the wellness of those we love. Many research studies have shown numerous benefits of mindfulness practice that include stress reduction, increased resilience to stressors, and the improvement of mood disorders.2 Mindfulness is utilized in several mental health treatment methods, including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and has many benefits to offer clients and health providers alike.

Meditation is a practice that has been part of many cultures for centuries and can help support mental, emotional, and spiritual health for people of all backgrounds. Mindfulness is a self-regulation meditation technique of becoming fully present in the moment by focusing your attention on one simple task, such as

Mindfulness meditation can not only help relieve stress, it can support us in practicing the 7 Grandparent Teachings of Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth. “The elders tell us about the importance of our quiet time. The quiet is the door to the Great Spirit. It is easier to find this door of wisdom when we are in the forest or sitting on a rock in the mountain. Go to the mountain alone and listen and learn. Each morning, develop the habit of quiet time. Find the sacred spot in your mind. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Light some sage. If you catch your mind straying, bring it back to the stillness. Many ideas, knowledge, and insight are contacted by being still.” I have been a practitioner of mindfulness for over ten years and continue to experience many positive benefits from daily meditation. I am happy to share this practice with our urban Native American community at AIHFS and hope that others will also find it supportive of their wellness journey.

breathing or walking. You could think of it as the opposite of multi-tasking! Have you ever felt fully present and aware while smudging, visiting a sacred fire, participating in a sweat lodge, or while sharing in a talking circle? If so, then you already have some experience in practicing mindfulness. When we practice mindfulness we begin to bring this spiritual awareness and

Please join us on Tuesdays from 12:30-1pm in the Social Hall at AIHFS for a 20-minute guided sitting meditation followed by a brief opportunity for sharing. No experience is necessary and all are welcome! Contact Joe for more info at 313-846-6030, ext. 1203 or jreilly@aihfs.org

“I had been taught to seek the Great Mystery in silence, in the deep forest or on the height of the mountain.” ~ Dr. Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), Santee Sioux 1

Pothier, Bob and Virginia, The Happiness Journey, Hapacus, 2012, www.hapacus.com


Farb, N.A.S., Segal, Z.V., Mayberg, H., Bean, J., McKeon, D., Fatima, Z., Anderson, A.K., “Attending to the Present: Mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference,” SCAN, 2, Pp. 313-322, 2007.

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Join the Anishnaabek Healing Circle by Nadia Matta, LLMSW The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan Anishnaabek Healing Circle Program, Access to Recovery, is a culturally-based program supported by the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Anishnaabek Healing Circle is comprised of community members and professionals working to support healing from inter-generational trauma and substance abuse by providing traditional healing and other culturally-informed services. Prevention and treatment are based on the Anishnaabek teachings of Honesty, Love, Respect, Bravery, Truth, Humility and Wisdom. Access to Recovery (ATR) provides vouchers to allow individuals to access treatment for substance abuse and sustained recovery. If you are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, ATR can help you access and pay for services to help break the cycle of addiction and live a life of wellness.

Participation in ATR has been shown to decrease alcohol and drug use, decrease depression and anxiety, and decrease violent behavior (data taken from intake and six month follow-up surveys) through the following services:  Outreach • Cultural and Spiritual Healing • Screening and Assessment • Peer Recovery Mentoring • Care Coordination • Co-Occurring Treatment • Community and Individual Readiness • Transitional Housing • Residential and Outpatient Treatment • Transportation The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan was recently awarded a grant for Access to Recovery IV. Clients previously enrolled in ATR III will need to enroll in ATR IV. Please contact AIHFS to complete enrollment. We are now welcoming new and current clients to join the ATR IV Healing Circle.

Together we can use the resilience and strength of our community and our ancestors to live a life of balance and wellness.

Looking Ahead Youth Summer Program! Do you know any youth that would enjoy spending their summer days with the Dream Seekers?! The Dream Seekers Summer Youth Program will begin this July 2015! The program is open to all Native American youth ages 8-17. Call Martha or Shiloh to register: 313-846-6030


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Manidookewigashkibjigan Sacred Bundle Program by Christy Beiber

We are Welcoming the Spring The Spring is that Eastern Direction where we celebrate New Life. It is that part of our medicine wheel that we are taking care of our Spirit, using Sema [tobacco] to help us, give us strength and lift our prayers up. Nurturing our spirit helps us stay mentally well, so do those things that keep your spirit well. Remember that we follow our medicine wheel teachings because everything is connected and everything we do to promote mental wellbeing are #HealingHelpers. Maybe this year you are embarking on a new journey, learning new things. Maybe you will be participating in some healing ceremonies for spiritual growth. This April we will be casting away hurts and forgiving ourselves and others with our Bear Bundles that many of us have carried through the Winter. Be on the lookout for those events and join us in that process if you can. Maybe you are spending more time with loved ones, playing sports, dancing, or laughing. If you haven’t already check out our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SacredBundleHealingHelpers Use the hashtag #HealingHelpers to share with us and your peers those things that promote mental wellness in your life. Just as the season represents, The Sacred Bundle Program is continuing in a new way as well! We are very excited to say that we will get to continue the program by providing Screenings and Outreach at events , trainings, and providing mental health services. We will also be expanding programming to reach the tribal communities in the lower and upper peninsula! If you have any questions about our suicide prevention programming feel free to contact Christy Bieber [cbieber@aihfs.org | 313-846-6030]

Call, Text, or Chat


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Upcoming Community Events

Agency Needs & Wants Support AIHFS by helping with the following: Donations to repair the agency elevator, office supplies (pens, notebooks, etc.), projector, commercial kitchen stove/oven, adult size coats, winter boots or gift cards for people to buy their own, hygiene items, youth incentives (sports ball, socks, electronics, etc.), infant car seats and Booster seats, push toys for toddlers, sand/water table for healthy start program playgroups, toddler-sized tables and chairs, child friendly rug for playgroup story time, and traditional medicines to share with community members.

Chi-Miigwetch (Many Thanks) for your support!

Want to learn more about what’s going on at AIHFS? Follow us on the web! facebook.com/aihfs




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Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver What is the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver?

by Hannah McLaughlin

How do I know if I am eligible?

The state of Michigan will waive tuition costs for

To take advantage of the tuition waiver there are a Native Americans attending public community colleges few statements that you must be able to answer YES or universities within the state. This includes tuition for to: part time students, full time students, summer

courses, and students enrolled in graduate courses.

Are you or do you plan on enrolling in a Michigan public college or university?

Also remember that students of all ages can take 

advantage of this opportunity!

Do you have ¼ or more Native American blood-quantum? You must be certified by

Why was it established?

your Tribal Enrollment Department.

The Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver was developed out of the Washington Treaty of 1836. As part of this treaty

federally recognized tribe? You must be

Ottawa and Chippewa Indians ceded parts of Western

certified by your Tribal Enrollment

and Northern Michigan to the federal government in


exchange for funding for education, provided in their own language. Today this treaty continues in the form of the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver.

Are you an enrolled member of a US

Have you been a legal resident of the state of Michigan for at least 12 months in a row?

This process can be confusing at times, but there are several places you can go for assistance with the application process: Contact in the Dep. Of Civil Rights: Melissa Claramunt 231-439-5247 claramuntm@michigan.gov

If you can answer yes to these questions, then you could qualify! Make sure to apply before the start of the school year, as you will not be reimbursed for tuition costs you pay before receiving the tuition waiver.

You can also contact the staff at AIHFS with any questions or concerns, we are here to assist you in any way we can!

Congratulations, Employees of the Month! November 2014 - Turome Chandler January2015– Chloe Beard


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Our Food Is Medicine

by Shiloh Maples, LLMSW

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” — Ann Wigmore

Changing our diet can be one of the most challenging lifestyle changes we make, especially in a time when unhealthy junk food is so cheap and convenient. But making healthy adjustments to our diet can also be one of the most rewarding gifts we can give to ourselves— providing us with more energy, improving our health, and our overall quality of life. Our ancestors knew this— that eating the right foods can help give our families, communities, and ourselves a good life. Eating seasonally is one way to get healthy fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily diet without breaking your grocery budget. Just a final bit of food for thought: are you going to pay the farmer now or the doctor later? The choice is up to you. Top 4 Reasons To Buy & Eat Seasonally

1. Health Benefits Seasonal foods are picked at the peak of freshness and offer higher nutritional content than out of season unripe fruits and vegetables. When you eat with the seasons you can enjoy a rainbow of colorful and diverse foods in your diet as well as providing your body with a wide variety of important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that you need to maintain vibrant health. 2. Sustainable Benefits Organic seasonal foods are grown in a sustainable manner by farmers who really care about protecting our planet. By not using toxic chemicals, poisonous pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified seeds, these farmers provide us with healthier foods along with protecting both our planet and the farm workers health. 3. Environmental Benefits Eating with the seasons and purchasing local foods helps to protect our planet because it reduces the number of miles your food has to travel before it reaches your plate. This helps cut back on the amount of fuel used which reduces pollution. 4. Economic Benefits When you buy organic, seasonal, locally grown foods you help provide financial support to the farmers in your area which helps to grow your local economy. Seasonal foods are priced much more economically than out of season foods which will save you money on your grocery bills. http://eatlocalgrown.com/


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How to Support AIHFS! Only with your support can AIHFS continue to try to meet the physical, spiritual, emotional and mental well being needs of Native American families and other underserved populations in Southeastern Michigan. Additionally, as a 501(c)(3), your generous support is tax-deductable.

Won~t you make a donation today to help us get closer to meeting these needs? To donate by check or money order, please send payable to:

To donate online: www.aihfs.org/donate.html

American Indian Health & Family Services P.O. Box 810, Dearborn, MI 48121-0810

This Issue’s Native Quote: Ensa awesiinh minwaa gitigaadanawan ayaanwag mashkiikii. Oaadodanawan mashkiikii zaam obeshwajiawan. Naadamowag minwaa obiizhawan mino bimaadiziwin. Each creature has a medicine, so there are many medicines. Because they are so close to the Creator, they are able to communicate that medicine. Then they bring help and health. -Wallace Black Elk, Lakota

Missed this newsletter in your mailbox? Fill this out and be added back on our mailing list! To receive the newsletters, please complete the following form and submit to any AIHFS staff member or mail to: 4880 Lawndale, Detroit, MI 48210. If you change your address, please let us know. We want to keep you updated on all the events at American Indian Health and Family Services.


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American Indian Health & Family Services, Inc P.O. Box 810 Dearborn, MI 48121 Return Service Requested

Clinic Hours: Monday 8:30 - 5:30 p.m. Tuesday 8:30 - 5:30 p.m. Wednesday 11:30 - 8:30 p.m. Thursday 8:30 - 5:30 p.m. Friday 8:30 - 5:30 p.m. Clinic: 313-846-6030

Seeking Board Members! The AIHFS Board of Directors is looking for new members! If you have a passion for the Native Community, Wellness program and services, Accounting, Finance, Development or Fundraising, please consider applying! In order to be considered please submit letter of intent and resume to: American Indian Health and Family Services, ATTN: Nickole Fox PO Box 810, Dearborn, MI 48121 and/or email: nfox@aihfs.org

Here at American Indian Health we offer great care & services for your health care needs. If there is anything we can be more helpful with, please let us know!

Services Provided at AIHFS Medical Services Women's Care Maternal Health Diabetes Health & Education Substance Abuse Counseling Behavioral Health Counseling Dream Seekers Youth Program Tobacco Cessation Native Healthy Start Insurance Enrollments

Health Education & Outreach Immunizations & Flu Shots HIV/AIDS Testing & Referrals Sweat Lodge Community Garden Cooking Classes Annual Events Fitness Classes Visit us at: www.aihfs.org

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AIHFS April - June 2015 newsletter  

This is our agency quarterly newsletter that covers April through June 2015.

AIHFS April - June 2015 newsletter  

This is our agency quarterly newsletter that covers April through June 2015.