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Malcolm High School is holding a fish fry fundraiser Wednesday, March 29, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Niigaanagiizhik Building. For $10 diners get fish, potato, salad and dessert! All proceeds go to Malcolm High School.

photoDear Tribal Members & Friends,

Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) is Michigan’s District 1 Congressional Representative, where the Sault Tribe’s seven county service area resides.

Bergman told Interlochen Public News Radio in a recent interview he supports the GOP health care bill that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act.

During a House Budget Committee meeting last week, Bergman voted “YES” to send the bill to the full House. The measure passed 19-17, with three Republicans voting against it.

The legislation will come up for a vote on the floor of the U.S. House this Thursday (March 23).

Sault Tribe is asking tribal members and friends to call Bergman today and ask him to vote “NO,” at least for now.

The new bill would take away our tribal health system’s ability to generate $6 million in third-party revenue. Those extra millions still leave us underfunded, and losing the income would really hurt our health care system. Further, any new health care bill must include the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

Calling Bergman’s Washington DC office, and all the Michigan Congressional delegation would really help. It would let all Michigan’s representatives to Congress that we don’t support the GOP bill in its current form.

It is equally important that our tribal members and friends in Michigan who live outside the service area also call. If you are not sure who congressional representative is, type in your zip code here to find out: www.house.gov/representatives/find.

Call Rep. Bergman at his Washington DC phone: 202-225-4735

Rep. Debbie Dingell: 202-225-4071
Rep. Fred Upton: 202-225-3761
Rep John Conyers Jr.: 202-225-5126
John Moolenaar: 202-225-3561
Justin Amash: 202-225-3831
Mike Bishop: 202-225-4872
Paul Mitchell: 202-225-2106
Sandy Levin: 888-810-3880
Tim Walberg: 202-225-6276
Bill Huizenga: 202-225-4401
Brenda Lawrence: 202-225-5802
Dan Kildee: 202-225-3611
David Trott: 202-225-6276

Here are some taking points you can use on the phone:

• As Representative Bergman’s constituent, I am asking him to vote “NO” on the upcoming health care bill vote and work to ensure the benefits of the exchange to Michigan are maintained and the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act is assured.

• Eight federally recognized tribes reside in the first Congressional District of Michigan. As currently enacted, the Affordable Care Act has been important in bringing health insurance to nearly one-half million American Indians.

• The federal government, through IHS, funds only 56 percent of our identified health needs in my tribe’s service area — Chippewa, Luce, Mackinac, Alger, Marquette, Schoolcraft and Delta counties. The ACA has enabled my tribe to add $6 million in third-party revenue to our $19.5 million budget, bringing our funding up to 73 percent of our health needs, which helps us tremendously.

• The State of Michigan is in a similar situation with having agreed to expand Medicaid in exchange for a subsidy in doing so. Reneging on this is not in the best interests of your constituents.

• I consider treaty rights and trust responsibility an important part of Congressman Bergman’s duty. The 1836 Treaty my people signed with the U.S. government is still in force. It obligates the federal government to provide us with health, education and social welfare now and into the future. This is not an entitlement or even reparations — it is a pre-paid treaty right where we gave over millions of acres of land so Michigan could become a state.

Remember, the vote is on Thursday, March 23, so please make your calls today and tomorrow.

Thanks very much, everyone, for your help today. Hopefully Rep. Bergman will reconsider his “NO” vote on Thursday.

Battle of the Badges hockey game set for Saturday, March 18, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Pullar Stadium, 435 East Portage Avenue in Sault Ste. Marie. Annual Guns vs. Hoses (Police vs. Fire) hockey game. Come out and support our local heroes who are continuing to support our community by donating funds raised to the Sault schools' food pantry. Chuck-a-puck, 50/50 raffle, buy a goal, and more. Kids may bring a helmet and skates for on-ice fun. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the city clerk's office or at the door.

Paper Tigers is being shown at LSSU Art Center on Tuesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. Called “Absolutely riveting, profoundly important” by the New York Times, the documentary Paper Tigers follows six students over the course of a school year at an alternative high school trying a new approach to discipline, based on understanding and treatment rather than judgment and suspension.

This showing, presented by Chippewa/Luce/Mackinac Department of Health and Human Services, is a community kick off for the Trauma Informed Community initiative. All are welcome and admission is free.

This fall, Chippewa/Luce/Mackinac DHHS became part of a Child Welfare BSC1 initiative, partnering with the Children’s Trauma Assessment Center (CTAC) to develop trauma-informed communities linking DHHS, schools, courts, mental health and other community partners to identify and address the needs of traumatized children and their families.

There will be meeting and presentation to address the issue of dealing with opioid abuse on March 24 at 9 a.m. in the Horizon’s Conference Room at Bay Mills Resort & Casino. Representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Agency and FBI will be on hand to provide information and answer questions.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin as well as powerful pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, fentanyl and many others. Drug overdose deaths involving prescription opioid pain relievers have increased dramatically since 1999. Concerted federal and state efforts have been made to curb this epidemic.

All community members are welcome and encouraged to attend this event. The meeting will begin with a brief presentation of material and then the screening of the documentary Chasing the Dragon. The 45-minute film, whose title refers to the never-ending pursuit of the original or ultimate high, features stark first-person accounts told by individuals who have abused opioids or whose children have abused opioids, with tragic consequences. A question and answer session will follow the film.

Oil Spill in the Great Lakes? How safe are the pipelines?

Dr. Ed Timm will speak on Line 5 Thursday, March 16, at LSSU’s Crawford 204 at 5:30 p.m.

Two aging pipelines owned by Enbridge Energy run across the Straits of Mackinac on Lake Michigan bottomlands, transporting 23 million gallons of oil daily. A University of Michigan study called it “the worst possible place” in the Great Lakes for an oil spill.

A presentation by Dr. Ed Timm, PhD will be held Thursday, March 16, starting at 5:30 p.m. in Crawford Hall 207 on Lake Superior State University’s campus.

“Using Enbridge’s own data I calculated that the non Straits sections of line 5 have, on the average, lost 45 percent of their wall thickness do to internal and external corrosion.” — Dr. Ed Timm

Dr. Timm, a retired chemical engineer from Dow Chemical, will discuss the design and condition of the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline which runs the entire length of Michigan. Carrying oil from Canada and North Dakota, Line 5 traverses at least 45 Michigan waterways before it crosses the St. Clair River to a refinery in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

The public is encouraged to attend and free pizza will be provided.

Sponsored by The Three Lakes Group of the Sierra Club.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — A regular meeting of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will be held at the Manistique Tribal Center starting at 6 p.m. on March 14. The meeting will be preceded by “Matters Raised by the Membership” from 4 to 6 p.m.

Resolutions on the agenda: Under Budget: Budget Doc 001, Continuing Funding Authority, Environmental-GLRI Capacity, Education-Child Care Center and Tribal Attorney; Trust Land Lease-Wallace, IMLS Basic Library Grant, Tribes for Hope Partnership, Am. Ch. 71: Criminal Offenses and Authority of Chairperson.

Under new business, the board will consider Disenrollment/Relinquishment, Committee Requests, Additional Games, Committee Structure and Board Concerns.

March 14 Meeting Resolutions.pdf

Sault Tribe is receiving many calls from tribal elders needing information for their tax returns. For the convenience of our elders, below is the requested information:

2016 taxable/nontaxable elders checks for 2016
Taxable amount - $351
Non-taxable amount - $201

2017 taxable/nontaxable elders checks for 2017
Taxable amount - none
Non-taxable amount - $520

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors has changed its March meeting schedule. 

Only one meeting will be held this month, on Tuesday, March 14, in Manistique, at the Manistique Tribal Center starting at 6 p.m. The meeting will be preceded by “Matters Raised by the Membership” from 4 to 6 p.m. A notice with proposed resolutions will be released on March 9.

VA to host Veteran Town Halls in Brimley, Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace

Veterans and their families are invited to veteran town halls in Brimley, Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace, Wednesday and Thursday, March 8-9, 2017. The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center will be hosting these town halls on:
March 8, 2 p.m. - Brimley, Bay Mills Resort and Casino Horizon Conference Center.
March 8, 6 p.m. - Sault Ste. Marie, American Legion Post 3
March 9, 10 a.m. - St. Ignace, VFW Post 5144

The town halls are open to all Veterans and their families and friends.

Leaders from the VA medical center, Escanaba Vet Center, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and area Veteran Service Officers will be on hand to provide a presentation on VA benefits and services, discuss updates to the Veterans Choice Program and other initiatives to increase access to VA healthcare, and listen to Veterans’ comments and concerns.

In the last four years the VA medical center has conducted 35 Veteran Town Halls throughout the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. Any questions can be directed to VA Public Affairs Officer Brad Nelson at 800-215-8262, ext. 32001.

© 2017 - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY