AIHFS Oct-Dec 2015 Newsletter

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“Healing Journey”

October 2015 December 2015

Greetings from Ashley Tuomi, Executive Director... Łax̣ayam, Fall and Winter are my two favorite seasons and it is a very busy time for American Indian Health and Family Services. Hopefully many of you attended our annual pow wow/health fair (Native American Heritage Day at Nankin Mills). We were excited to

partner with the North American Indian Association (NAIA) again this year and to celebrate their important milestone. I also want to say a big

to everyone who participated in

our survey and focus groups to assist us in developing our plan for relocation. We wanted to make sure that we received input from all of our staff and community members so that we can create a plan that will address the needs of our community. As you may have seen we have been adding new providers to our clinic and are very

Aanii from

excited that we have a new Medical Director that you will get to read about later in this newsletter. We will also be adding a part time Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatrist. If you


haven’t had a chance to meet our new staff, schedule an appointment to see them today.

Inside this issue: Texting and Driving


Advisory Council


Women’s Circle


Healthy Start


Antibiotics and Kids


Dream Seekers


I hope to see all you at Winter Solstice this year or one of our many other events!

Ashley Tuomi Executive Director

White House Tribal Youth 7 Summit Sacred Bundle Suicide Prevention


Michigan Indian Olympics 9 Upcoming Events


Agency Wants & Needs


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Texting and Driving - A Short Route to Disaster by Daryl Boser Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade or so, you’ve at least heard of the uproar concerning texting while driving. This has become an incredibly hot topic for many different reasons. The bottom line is this, and if you take nothing else away from this article, remember this point – texting while driving is deadly, for both you and other drivers on the road. Don’t do it.

Why is texting while driving so dangerous? After all, you do many other things while driving, such as changing the radio station, having a conversation with your passengers and sometimes even eating and drinking. Let’s dig into the topic a bit more. Frightening Numbers According to the American Automobile Association, almost 50% of teen drivers admit to texting while behind the wheel. That’s an incredible number, and only those who openly admitted it. The US government puts the number of people injured during crashes because of texting while driving at over 500,000 just for 2008. Almost 6,000 people lost their lives that year because of texting behind the wheel as well. Those numbers are from several years ago – the incidences have only increased over time, despite an increase in awareness programs. What Does It Do? So, why is texting so dangerous? Actually, there are several reasons for this. The most important reason is that it distracts you from driving. No matter how experienced you are, you cannot afford to look away from the road long enough to type a text message. Second, it forces you to take at least one hand off the steering wheel. However, most teens who admit to texting while driving also admit to removing both hands from the wheel and using their knees to steer the vehicle. Can you imagine something more dangerous than attempting to drive a 2-ton vehicle at 55 MPH without looking, while using your knees? It certainly sounds like a recipe for disaster. Perhaps the most startling evidence that texting and driving is incredibly dangerous comes from a Car &

Driver test that compared reaction times of drivers texting and then the same drivers when drinking (at the legal limit). The test used two drivers, and both drivers performed worse while texting – significantly worse – in comparison to drinking behind the wheel. That means that not only is texting incredibly dangerous, but it’s actually more dangerous than drinking and driving Of course, that doesn’t mean that drinking and driving is safe – far from it. The Wrong Side of the Law Many teens and even older drivers take the lack of a national ban on texting while driving as permission to do so. However, you should understand that federal law is not what you need to worry about. Quite a few states have instituted laws that ban texting while driving, and even ban the use of mobile phones in the vehicle at all, unless you’re using a hands-free system. That means you can be pulled over and ticketed for just talking on your phone, much less for being caught trying to text while driving. What Can You Do? What can you do to help bolster safety on the road? The most important thing to do is to put the phone down and leave it down. If you don’t have a hands-free system, turn your phone off so that friends and family cannot call or text you while you’re driving. If you have a passenger in the car with you, turn over communications to him or her. Be aware, be alert, and be an advocate against texting and driving.


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Community Advisory Council (CAC) by John Marcus Hello, I hope everyone is ready for fall! It seems like a long time ago, but back in May for the CAC meeting we had Nickole Fox present on one of our newer grants. It is funding from the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center & the Bemidji Area Leaders Acting for Change. This grant aims at making environmental or community level changes in order to address the burden of chronic disease in the Native community. Everyone was given a lengthy survey to complete. The results of this survey will help determine what is needed in the community. In June we had representatives, Jill Roos and Sue Menente, from the environmental division of the department of human services. They shared info on what fish is safe to eat in this area and around the state of Michigan. They also informed us that Michigan is now a part of the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. Over the next 3 years, this program will develop an interactive public web portal to provide public access to health and environmental data for Michigan. In addition, that night we showed a draft of a video about the community advisory council. It is now finished and on YouTube. If you want to check it out, copy and paste the following url into your browser: v=q1A-vpEjjsM In July we asked the question, “What is needed in a new facility?” As an organization, AIHFS is looking to move to a new location. It has been growing for many years and our current space can no longer provide enough space for our events and services. The input from this meeting, as well as other meetings and online surveys, was used as part of a report being prepared by AIHFS intern, Luke Higgins, for Executive Director, Ashley Tuomi, and our board of directors. One thing that stood out from that meeting was that everyone really appreciates the beautiful murals in the social hall. We are most fortunate to have those in our gathering space. Have a great autumn, everyone! John Marcus, ph 313-846-6030 x1403, email:

Women’s Circle by Shelly Nimocks-Hinshaw WELCOME, ALL LADIES!!!! Are you tired of watching afternoon soaps ? Cleaning the house got you down? That pot of coffee not keeping you peppy during the day? Well hey, it’s time to break up the monotony of your week and come to AIHFS for Women’s Talking Circle. We meet every Wednesday from 12-2pm. A potluck lunch is provided with the assistance of our lovely ladies in attendance. Be among women who are caring, compassionate, and need a break, just like you. We have crafts to challenge your creative side. We do exercises to enhance your figure. We have Talking Circles to relieve the stress and find inner peace with your spirit sisters. So ladies, please join us and heal your spirit and mind.


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Maajtaag Mnobmaadzid Native Healthy Start Healthy Start/Family Spirit by Nina Eusani This summer, Healthy Start/Family Spirit had a lot to celebrate! We held our annual Baby Celebration in July, where we welcomed our newest babies and parents, as well as enjoyed spending time with parents and little ones we have known since the first years of our program. In August, we held a Breastfeeding Brunch in honor of National Breastfeeding Month and World Breastfeeding Week. We had a great time

making lactation cookies and smoothies, relaxing and trading breastfeeding stories and advice, and watching our healthy breastfed kids play. We plan to continue the tradition of celebrating breastfeeding, in August and every month. All four Healthy Start/Family Spirit team members are now Certified Lactation Counselors, so we are happy to help answer your questions or offer support any time!

September 18 November 20 December 18

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Parents’ Information: Antibiotics and Kids by Nina Eusani As we head into the fall and winter, it’s cold and flu season again. Sneezing, runny noses, coughing, sore throats. . . all of these are common for young children every fall. As parents, we hate to see our kids sick, and we lose lots of nights of sleep taking care of them. Sometimes, we go to the clinic only to be told there is nothing to do except go home, have our child rest, and give them lots of fluids. Some parents get frustrated and wonder, “Why won’t the doctor give me an antibiotic to make my child better?!” The reason is simple: antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, not viruses. Most of the common cold and flu-like symptoms kids have like sneezing, congestion, and coughing, are caused by viruses. In making the decision to not give your child unneeded medication, your health care provider is helping to prevent your child from experiencing unpleasant side effects like diarrhea. Also, they are helping to prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Many people have heard about these bacteria, like MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which can cause very serious infections that are very hard to treat. These bacteria have developed over time because antibiotics have been used too often, in situations where they were not needed; new ones are developing all the time and are beginning to pose a major problem for our health care system. So, how do doctors and other health care providers know if something is a virus and not a bacterial infection? Sometimes they can tell by the symptoms. In other cases, in certain types of infections, like strep throat, there are tests they can use to determine what your child is infected with. And, in many situations, like ear infections, the guidelines for doctors tell them to adopt a “wait and see” approach. If your child has an ear infection, but hasn’t had it for too long and doesn’t seem to be in too many pain, your provider will quite likely have you go home and see if it gets better on its own (most ear infections do). They will also advise you to do the most important thing: make your child comfortable. This may mean giving pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Advil). If your child has a cold, they may recommend saline drops for their nose. For most viruses, resting and drinking lots of liquids really are the best thing to help your child’s body fight the virus off. If you’re confused about why your provider did or didn’t write your child a prescription, ask questions! Occasionally, doctors will give children prescriptions they may not need. It’s always fine to ask “Does my child really need this antibiotic?” Sometimes the answer may be no, and it may be the best idea to go home and wait, and then follow up with your provider. Your Healthy Start/Family Spirit team is always here if you’d like help thinking about what questions to ask your doctor, or making sure you understand their answers. For more information about kids and antibiotics, see the link below, from the American Academy of Pediatrics website for parents:


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Dream Seekers Summer Adventures by Joe Reilly, LLMSW The Dream Seekers Summer Youth Program was

Thanks to Nickole Fox, Sandra Momper, and the

jam-packed with exciting adventures that helped our

Detroit Tigers, our summer youth group families

youth build self-esteem and a sense of belonging

were treated to a Tigers Game at Comerica Park in

while having fun, developing problem solving skills,

August and enjoyed seeing the Tigers win over the

and taking healthy risks. 25 youth participated in the

Royals. Chi Miigwech, Nickole, Sandy, and the Tigers


for that wonderful experience!





teambuilding games, eating healthy traditional foods, reading books from our summer library, writing in their journals, and smudging and praying together.

We look forward to continuing our Dream Seekers Youth Program during the school year and hope that our youth and families will return to keep our circle The group went on field trips each week including an

strong. Together we can ensure a safe, sober,

archery lesson in Patton Park, a high ropes challenge

successful, and fun school year for our youth.

course in Walled Lake, the Red Oaks wave pool and waterpark in Madison Heights, and a tour of the

If you know of any Native American youth ages 8-17

Michigan Football Stadium in Ann Arbor. In addition

who live in Detroit or the metro area and are

to these enriching experiences, our youth learned

interested in being part of the Dream Seekers Youth


Program, please call Martha or Joe for more




storytelling. They worked individually and in small groups each week to create their own digital stories themed




Grandparent Teachings and other chose.




information or to register at 313-846-6030.

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Dream Seekers Attend White House Tribal Youth Summit On July 9, two members of our Dream Seekers Youth Program attended the first ever White House Tribal Youth Summit in Washington DC. The youth joined over 1,000 Native American youth from across Indian Country to attend workshops and hear speakers from the White House, including First Lady Michelle Obama. It was an exciting and historic event and we are so proud of our youth for participating. Please read their corresponding reports about their experiences. Go to to view the speech given by the First Lady.

An Amazing Surprise

Our Native Pride

By Adon Vazquez

By Sierra Kincaid

On July 9th I had the opportunity to attend the very first White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington DC put on by the President. The gathering was an experience that I’ve never had. They were expecting around 800 native youth to come and ended up having around 1,500. On the day of the gathering, I was surprised because just about every youth was from a different tribe from a different state. I was able to see a few kids I knew from Mescalero, NM.

The White House Tribal Youth Gathering was one of the most exciting experiences ever. Hearing so many wonderful speakers, including the First Lady of the United States, was special because it showed just how many people have our backs.

Then, we had an amazing surprise when Michelle Obama came and spoke for us. After the whole gathering was done, Nike put on an N7 Reception and showcased all the shoes that they have made. A Tribe Called Red came and performed and Bunky Echohawk, a native artist, came and did a live painting. Over all, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to attend the gathering and I hope to be able to go again next year.

The part I loved the most about the entire experience was seeing so many other natives around my age. I know the Anishinaabe culture well, and I haven’t had much exposure to any other native cultures. All of the beautiful regalia from across the country was a wonderful yet very small picture of all of the awesome tribes and people. The age group, roughly 14-24, was very easy to relate to because no matter where we were from, our native pride was a common denominator for us all. We face similar problems and live in similar worlds. I am convinced that the summit was one of the best things I could have done with my summer. I am more than grateful for the opportunity to attend.

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Manidookewigashkibjigan Sacred Bundle Program by Debbie Tauiliili, Amelia C. Mueller-Williams, and Sandy Momper Back in March, the Sacred Bundle evaluation team held focus groups with both the Community and Youth Advisory Councils. Here are some of the results. “The Suicide Prevention program here at American Indian Health is hands down the best one I know. They can teach anybody how to prevent suicide no matter how they learn or how young or old they are. They really make you feel like you're family over here. You don't feel like you're alone. That's part of suicide prevention too — togetherness and belonging.” - Dream Seekers Youth

Contact Karen Marshall to get involved with upcoming trainings and screening events. | 313-846-6030

A special thank you to the GM Foundation for their $5,000 donation.

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Michigan Indian Olympics by Shelly Nimocks-Hinshaw July 17th 2015 played host to a misty, steamy day. A busload of brave, enthusiastic athletes descended upon Shepard High School in Shepard, MI. AIHFS, IHS, SEMII, and NAIA made up the DETROIT URBAN INDIAN team. We represented our agencies in neon orange shirts made by Chantel Henry of AIHFS. We were the bright sunshine when there wasn’t any sun and the talk of the Olympics. Everyone loved our colors. We weren’t just fashionable, we did pretty well in rockin’ the medals too. When we weren’t participating in the events, we were assisting in running the events. I’m also proud to say we came in 5 th place for the tribe to tribe walking challenge and we received an extra $1,000 award for having the highest average per walker. Our youth strutted their stuff in a flash mob and a run, earning themselves group participation awards. The day was long but we persevered and made it through the day. I’m proud to have participated in an AWESOME event!

Here is the rundown on our winners and their categories:

100 Meter Run (16-18 division) 1st place – Tamarion Johnson 100 Meter Run (25-32 division) 1st place – Darius Watkins

100 Meter Run (25-32 division) 1st place – Darcy Wyatt 100 Meter Run (33-40 division) 1st place – Rachel Bennett

1600 Meter Run (33-40 division) 3rd place – Jeremy Royer

1600 Meter Run (33-40 division) 1st place – Rachel Bennett

400 Meter Run (16-18 division) 1st place – Tamarion Johnson 400 Meter Run (25-32 division) 1st place – Darius Watkins

400 Meter Run (33-40 division) 1st place – Rachel Bennett

50 Meter Run (5-6 division) 1st place – Maxwell Dominquez 50 Meter Run (5-6 division) 3rd place – Brayden Bennett Archery (19-24 division) 1st place – Luis Gago Archery (19-24 division) 3rd place – Luke Higgins Bean Bag Toss (3-4 division) 3rd place – Michael Coleman Obstacle Course (5-6 division) 1st place – James Harris Running Long Jump (5-6 division) 2nd place – Sonny Schneider Running Long Jump (5-6 division) 3rd place – David Hess Running Long Jump (16-18 division) 1st place – Tamarion Johnson Running Long Jump (25-32 division) 2nd place – Darius Watkins Softball Throw (16-18 division) 2nd place – Tamarion Johnson


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Upcoming Community Events Dream Seekers Youth Group Fall Kickoff & Family Night Monday, October 12th 5-7pm @ AIHFS All youth ages 8-17 and their families are invited to a fun evening with food and games. Help us start the school year in a good way! Call Martha or Joe for more info, 313-846-6030.

Agency Needs & Wants Support AIHFS by helping with the following: Donations for office supplies (pens, notebooks, etc.), projector, commercial kitchen stove/oven, 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!




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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:

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

This Issue’s Native Quote: “Walk tall as the trees, live strong as the mountains, be gentle as the spring winds, keep the warmth of the summer sun in your heart, and the great spirit will always be with you.” – Ojibwe proverb 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:

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: