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Our Mission

The Elder Service Division is designed to provide tribal elders with the best possible programming to meet their needs, promote healthy living opportunities and improve their daily lives. These programs provide high quality in-home, access and community-based services for tribal elders assuring maximum health and independence. 

These services are comprised of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation to get elders to their doctor appointments; Ramp Installations to assist elders with mobility issues; and services provided through the Elder Health Fund to help elders pay for dentures, eyeglasses and other needed items.

Meal Programs

Congregate meals are served at meal sites throughout the tribal service area. Daily meal programs operate in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Hessel and Manistique. Three sites provide home delivered meals (Meals-on-Wheels) to homebound elders and their caregivers.

• Sault Ste. Marie - Nokomis/Mishomis Building, 2076 Shunk Rd., 906‑635‑4971
Meals served Monday–Thursday 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Delivery to homebound elders. 

• St. Ignace - St. Ignace Senior Complex, 3017 Mackinac Trail, 906‑643‑6484
Meals served Monday–Thursday 12 p.m.
Delivery to homebound elders. 

• Hessel – Hessel Tribal Center, 3355 N. 3 Mile Rd., 906‑484‑2710
Meals served Monday–Thursday 12 p.m.
Delivery to homebound elders. 

• Manistique - Manistique Tribal Center, 5698W US HWY 2, 906‑341‑9564
Meals served Monday, Wednesday and Friday 12 p.m.
No home delivery.

In-Home Services

This program provides services that give frail and homebound elders the ability to stay in their homes, maintain a good quality of life and age in place. In-Home Care Services consist mainly of personal care, homemaking and respite care. Personal Care assists elders with activities of daily living while homemaking provides light housekeeping, shopping and errands. Respite care provides companionship, supervision and assistance for mentally or physically disabled and frail elderly persons to allow caregivers to receive a needed break from caregiving duties. These services help elders with light household tasks to maintain a safe and clean living environment for older individuals with functional limitations.


The Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Program provides rides to medical appointments. This program is to assist elders who, for a variety of factors, have difficulty using conventional means of transportation to reach medical health care services. There are many varieties of appointments from routine medical care to chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer patients and scheduled dialysis for those requiring ongoing care. Rides are provided to tribal health clinics, hospitals, medical buildings in a number of areas including Petoskey and Gaylord, Mich. 

Elder Health Fund

This fund provides payment on various services for duly enrolled tribal elders age 60 and over living in the United States and as certified by the Tribal Registrar. The fund provides assistance with partial payment for dentures, eye glasses and other items as deemed "medically necessary" by a physician and compliant with Medicare standards. Elders must receive services from a Sault Tribe Health Center for certain items and insurances must always be billed first. Elder Services processes many applications annually. The income guideline is 150 percent of the Federal Registry Poverty Guidelines and is updated annually. If you have any questions, please contact the Elder Service Division at 906‑635‑4971 or toll free 888‑711‑7356.

Elder Health Fund Application


• This NEW program for Sault Tribe Elders is designed to establish key relationships with tribal elders and families in their homes. The Elder Outreach Worker coordinates programs and services to help tribal elders maintain a good quality of life and age in place.

• Outreach Workers travel to tribal elders’ homes to assess and identify elders and family needs and finding resources to meet those needs.

• They also organize and promote elder involvement in aging programs.

• They will assist in the coordination of home care services and provide assistance to tribal elders in completing applications for tribal service programs and assist in the coordination of meals-on-wheels services, transportation, and any other service needs of tribal elders.

• Areas of assistance may include physical, mental, psychological and/or social as it relates to aging.

• There are 4 full-time Elder Outreach Workers covering the 7 county service area stationed in each end of the Upper Peninsula.

Elder Sub-Committees

Elder Services also has 10 elder sub-committees made up of area elders who provide a forum for elders in their respective areas to meet and discuss needs and concerns of tribal elders. The sub-committees also provide recommendations to the tribe’s Board of Directors regarding elderly programs. Elders meet monthly in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Hessel, Newberry, Naubinway, Munising, Marquette, Manistique and Escanaba.


Elder Services also assists with annual events for elders throughout the tribe’s service area. The tribe provides holiday dinners and picnics along with organization to attend casino shows and events. Conferences are also attended by elders with the Michigan Indian Elders Association.

For more information about Elder Services, call 906‑635‑4971 or toll free 888‑711‑7356.

© 2024 - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY