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Minobinmaadziwin “A Good Life”



American Indian Health & Family Services January through March 2020 Newsletter

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Message From The CEO Welcome 2020! I hope everyone had a wonderful time at Solstice and enjoyed the Holiday Season. I hope you celebrated the start of 2020 in good spirits with family and friends. Taking a quick look back at 2019, there’s no doubt that it was filled with growth and change. Most came through new developments while a few came from less favorable circumstances. Nonetheless I am energized by the agency’s focus on opportunities and look forward to a prosperous new year. Here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2020. As always, thank you for your ongoing support. Warm Regards, Chasity Dial, CEO

In this edition...

From the Clinic:


Cervical Cancer


Organ Donation


Colorectal Cancer, HIV/AIDS


Lucky 13


I-LEAD Apprentice Program Highlights


New Faces at I-LEAD


Heroes Wanted!


Native Spotlight


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Welcome to your medical home! A medical home is a team approach to providing total health care. Your medical home team will include your health care provider, others who support you, and most importantly—you! In a medical home, you and your team will work together. As an active member of the team, you will have a chance to explain the things that are really important to you. Your medical home can:

     

Help you manage your health care Help answer your health questions Listen to your concerns

Work with other medical experts, if necessary Coordinate your care through additional services Encourage you to play an active part in your own health care

Together, you and your team can work on a plan that:

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Is personalized, or created just for you Coordinate your care with other health care providers to better manage your health Connects you with your health care team

Working with your team may improve the quality of your health care and shorten the time it takes to get that care.

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Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month! Cervical cancer month is important to us at AIHFS, as it is a largely preventable disease, yet Native women are disproportionately affected and diagnosed at later stages than white women. The medical clinic at American Indian Health and Family Services is able to help in the fight to end cervical cancer among Native Women through screening measures. It is a very slow-growing cancer, therefore, screening is only recommended every 3-5 years depending on your age and history. We offer routine and follow-up screenings through pap smears, which detect changes in cells in the cervix that could lead to cervical cancer. Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, is frequently the cause of these cell changes that lead to cancer, so we also perform HPV testing depending on your age and history. Primary prevention of cervical cancer is available through the HPV vaccine. It is recommended to have this vaccine as early as 9 years old up to age 26, and preferably before exposure to HPV. Regardless of gender, it is recommended children gets this vaccination as early as possible. HPV is very common, affecting nearly 80% of sexually active males and females, and often does not have any symptoms. Women should begin getting regular wellness checks every 3 to 5 years after age 21. Both of these services are offered at AIHFS. Schedule your Women’s Wellness Visit or appointment for vaccination today! By taking small steps today, it can affect your health in the future.

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February 14

National Donor Day

February 14th, 2020 is National Donor Day. This date is to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation. Outside of selecting the option on a driver’s license or state identification card, there are other ways to help. If one does not have one of these forms of ID, they can go to to register. Currently, there are over 100,000 people waiting on an organ donation in the US. Many organ donations are from deceased donors. However, a portion of the liver, a kidney, a pancreas, intestines or a lung can be donated by living donors. Additionally, there are other tissues, such as bone marrow or blood stem cells that can be donated by living donors. The umbilical cord from a birth can be donated for blood stem cells as well. Lastly, blood and platelet donation continue to be a vital contribution to many people in need. The Red Cross has locations where people can donate blood, platelets, or plasma. Many myths exist surrounding organ donation. Hospitals must take the same lifesaving procedures with organ donors as those who do not donate. Physicians and other health practitioners are legally required to do everything they can to save a life. People can still have an open casket at their funerals following organ donation. The remains of organ donors are treated with respect and dignity. There are no age requirements for organ donors and it does not matter if someone has a medical condition.

If you want to sign up to be an organ donor, contact Donate Life America. Donate Life America 701 East Byrd street, 16th Floor Richmond Virginia, VA 23219 Ph. 804-377-3580 Website:

The Red Cross is always looking for blood donations from healthy people. Save someone’s life today! American Red Cross National Headquarters 431 18th Street, NW Washington, DC 20006 Ph. 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) Website:

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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 2020 is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is preventable and one of the most treatable form of cancer if it is found early. Getting screened is the best way to prevent colorectal cancer. It is recommended that people begin getting screened between ages 45 and 50, depending on family history, high risk, or other determining factors. Discuss colorectal cancer screening with your physician if you are in that age range. Colonoscopies were the most common screening method for many years. Now most insurance plans cover Fecal Immunochemical Tests (FIT), which allows you to swab a sample on a card at home and send it out for testing. There are numerous other options for screening, depending on your personal history. Colonoscopies are considered the best screening method due to the complete exam and the ability to remove any polyps. However, they take one to three days to prepare for and involve a procedure that uses sedation. The FIT or other at home screenings are more convenient, but are not as sensitive as a colonoscopy. Any positives on other tests will require a full colonoscopy. The medical clinic at AIHFS is a great place to discuss your options for colorectal cancer screenings. Come in for a referral for a colonoscopy or a FIT kit to do the screen at home. Screenings are an essential medical procedure and can save your life.

March 19

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Members of the Native Community chose to observe NNHAAD on the day of the Spring Equinox because, for many, it represents a time of equality, balance, and new beginnings; a celebration of life for all people. Protect yourself and your partner. If you are sexually active and/or use injection drugs, tools are available to prevent HIV:

Use condoms the right way every time you have sex. Learn the right way to use a male condom or a female condom.

If you are HIV-negative but at high risk for HIV, take daily medicine to prevent HIV, called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Talk to your doctor about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) if you think you have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours and are not on PrEP.

Never share needles or other equipment to inject drugs (works).

Abstinence (not having sex) and not sharing needles or works are 100% effective ways to prevent HIV.

The following actions can also help lower your risk of getting HIV:

Limiting your number of sex partners.

Getting tested and treated for other sexually transmitted diseases.

Choosing activities with little to no risk, like oral sex.

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LUCKY 13 By Casey L. Brant The Indigenous Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment and Development (I-LEAD) ended it’s eight (8) week summer apprenticeship program on August 8, 2019. We had 13 Native youth participants in the program. Over the eight weeks these youth dove deep into their areas of interest while discovering new opportunities and skills they didn’t even know they had. Everyday offered a new learning experience and hands-on work experience with the program of their choice. The apprenticeship helped them grow and increase their workforce competency. A huge portion of the program focuses on leadership development. Apprentice Joelle, age 19, co-led a ribbonskirt/shirt workshop. Apprentice Adon, age 19, was hired as the Sacred Bundle program assistant—the same program in which he completed the apprenticeship. Great Job for stepping up and out, apprentices! It’s been challenging but a very rewarding experience watching these youth establish themselves. The I-LEAD team could not be more proud of the successful 2019 summer apprenticeship program. We wish our Lucky 13 a great 2019-2020 school year and hope that success will continue to follow your moccasins. Remember, I-LEAD will remain in your corner to continue making your dreams and aspirations come true.

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2019 Apprentice Program Highlights By Casey L. Brant

I-LEAD hosted over 10 educational and cultural workshops. Workshops are a great teaching tool to develop a specific skill and to connect with others. The apprentices did exactly that-- connected. Some workshops were back by popular demand, for instance, the Resume Workshop with I-LEAD’s Employment and Outreach Specialist, Jessica Boyd, and the Communicating with Confidence Workshop with business owner and college professor, Nichole Cullin. Our new Rattle-making Workshop with Sarah Quint (Mattaponi Tribe) shared her knowledge of rattle-making with the apprentices. Sarah discussed the differences between ceremony and social rattles as well as stories about keeping traditions alive with her children. Our Ribbon skirt/shirt Workshop was led by Madalene Big Bear (Potawatomi). This was very popular with the apprentices. Madalene shared her teachings and sewing skills with the apprentices. We asked some of the apprentices to share some of their favorite moments or stories and this is what some of them had to say: “The jokes, memes, and conversations shared throughout the UNITY conference left positive impressions and many belly laughs.” ~ Adon, age 19, Eastern Band Cherokee “I worked with the most fun, helpful and understanding people I’ve ever met—these are my people. I loved the work atmosphere.” ~ Violet Lavender-Schott, age14, Mohawk “In the I-LEAD program I learned how much a community can uplift and empower someone. I learned and experienced the most during Summit where I met Natives from across the country. I received an in-depth look at their culture. I appreciate the leadership experience of leading youth during the summer camp program. The meditation techniques learned at Summit changed my perspective and sparked a weekly interest in meditation.” ~ Dakota Jones, age 17, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi “I learned how to take organized notes and to get out of my comfort zone.” ~ Rachel Peeples, age 14, Oneida

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By Casey L. Brant John Peterson is the I-LEAD Program Assistant. John earned his B.S. degree in Political Science from Eastern Michigan University and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. John has experience working in Indigenous communities. While in the Americorps VISTA program, John lived in Albuquerque, NM where he worked in the field of supporting housing. John hopes to learn more about Indigenous cultures and strengthen his administrative skills. In his spare time he enjoys reading non-school books, hiking, listening to music and playing Dungeons and Dragons (DnD). John is planning a DnD game day in 2020. If you are looking for a fun new way to socialize, join us for a new adventure.

Ashinique Soney-Wesaw is the I-LEAD Peer Mentor. Ashinique serves as a coach, encourager, guide, and role model. By providing information and resources she can help mentee’s meet their own expectations. Ashinique is Ojibwe/Potawatomi/ Odawa from Walpole Island First Nations. Ashinique attended the Univeristy of MichiganFlint. She loves dance, traveling, photography, and volunteering within her communities. She is a Jingle Dress dancer and a beader. Currently, Ashinique teaches Powwow Steps. It is one of the fitness classes offered here at American Indian Health and Family Services.

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HEROES WANTED By John Peterson When most people think of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), they think of the nerdy kids from Stranger Things who wore wizard hats and played in the basement. Recently, D&D has become widely popular. With shows like Critical Role bringing celebrities on to play, D&D has become culturally accepted compared to previous decades. Should you bother to play it? There is scholarly evidence and anecdotal support showing benefits from playing D&D. For example, a group of students who were part of the D&D club at a Texas school outperformed their district on the statewide standardized test. These students struggled with academics before they joined the club. To give an idea why it helped out the students, let’s break up aspects of the game. In D&D the game world is run by the dungeon master (DM). The DM creates the story and situations players have to face. Each player creates a character where they determine their class, ethical alignment, and backstory. Players have to play as the character created. For instance, a hermit druid who just grunts and uses gestures when they communicate-- the player also grunts and uses gestures to communicate. To make this work, the DM and players have to be creative because they make it up as they go along.

Another aspect of the game is teamwork. Players have to cooperate with each other to handle tough situations determined by the DM. Likewise, the DM has to work with players to make sure they’re enjoying the experience. Every decision a player makes impacts all the other players. Teamwork is vital in making the game fun and successful while learning how to work with one another. Lastly, D&D helps with STEM subjects. Math is constantly used. If a character wants to make certain actions they have to roll dice, add their ability modifiers and give the DM the total to determine if they succeeded or failed. Through dice rolls, people can improve basic math skills. The different sciences can be explored through magic and how it affects the environment. Using a fire bolt spell on a puddle of water to create steam could be used as a diversion for players to escape providing an example of water changing its phase of matter. Interested? Join us for an afternoon adventure! Heroes are needed!

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U.S. Representative, Deb Haaland Laguna Pueblo Haaland and fellow Democrat Sharice Davids of Kansas, a member of the Ho -Chunk Nation, became the first two Native American women to be elected to the United States Congress. She is a 35th generation New Mexican who is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, and also has Jemez Pueblo heritage. After running for New Mexico Lieutenant Governor in 2014, Haaland became the first Native American woman to be elected to lead a State Party. She used her experience reaching out to communities who are often forgotten during the electoral process during the two Obama presidential campaigns. During her time as State Party Chair, she traveled to Standing Rock to stand side-byside with the community to protect tribal sovereignty and advocate vital natural resources. More info:

Missed this newsletter in your mailbox or email inbox? To receive the newsletters, please email John Marcus to be added to the AIHFS email list. If you need a hard copy mailed to you, please call the front desk and give them your information to be added to the mailing list. 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.

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

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

To donate online:

Want to learn more about what’s going on at AIHFS? Follow us on the web!



AIHFS 4880 Lawndale Dearborn, MI 48210 Return Service Requested

Clinic Hours: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

8:30a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 8:30a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 11:00a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 8:30a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 8:30a.m. - 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 programs 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:

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AIHFS Newsletter - January thru March 2020  

This is the quarterly newsletter for American Indian Health & Family Services covering January through March of 2020.

AIHFS Newsletter - January thru March 2020  

This is the quarterly newsletter for American Indian Health & Family Services covering January through March of 2020.