Steven Wassaykeesic Receives Eric Stonechild Award
On December 16th at the First Nations Recovery Center Christmas party Steven Wassaykeesic, an Ojibwe from the Mishkeegogamang First Nation Reserve in Ontario, was honored for his accomplishments with the Eric Stonechild Award. Growing up in an alcoholic family Wassaykeesic at an early age started sniffing inhalants, became addicted to alcohol and drugs. His life spiraled downward with binges, incarceration, gang life and violence.
In 2009 Wassaykeesic came to Minneapolis and attended the Metro Hope Recovery program and now resides at the On Eagles Wings Apartments owned and operated by Overcomers Outreach Ministries Inc. Wassaykeesic continues his sobriety and soon will attend the Minneapolis Community and Technical College while pursuing his degree in addiction counseling.
In honor of the late Eric Stonechild, The First Nations Recovery Center presents the annual $500 special achievement award to individuals who overcame their addictions and homelessness to better serve their community.
Red Lake Hospital holds grand opening
(by Michael Meuers) Red Lake Hospital celebrated a Grand Opening on Dec. 15, 2010. The hospital, run by Indian Health Service (IHS) and Red Lake Comprehensive Health, has added an 18,500-square-foot addition to the facility, which brings the complex size up to 93,500 square feet.
The new edition to the hospital houses dental, optometry, community health nursing, behavioral health and medical records. In the dental area, the number of dentists has doubled with eleven 11 operatories (dental offices), plus a service at Ponemah two days per week. There are now eye exam services and a nice selection of contemporary frames for glasses. The new medical records area has twice as much space. Behavior health will have open access appointments three days per week in the afternoon. The Community Health Nursing Program provides skilled nursing services, community health education, diabetes prevention, fitness centers, health maintenance services, and more.
SMSC wins National Award for Philanthropy
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) was honored with a Jefferson Award for philanthropy at the Celebrate Twin Cities awards reception on December 1, 2010, at the St. Paul Hotel. SMSC Vice-Chairman Glynn A. Crooks accepted the award on behalf of the Community. From the 12 regional winners selected over the past year, the SMSC was chosen as the overall national winner for 2010 from this region. They will be honored at the national awards ceremony in Washington D.C. this June.
Over the past 13 years, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has donated more than $192.7 million to charitable organizations, Indian Tribes, and Native American organizations. The SMSC has also made more than $389 million in loans to other tribes for economic development projects.
According to the Business Journal, “In 1972 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard founded the Jefferson Awards for Public Service to establish a ‘Nobel Prize’ for public community service.