Intertribal Council of Michigan: A great resource

The Intertribal Council of Michigan connects tribes throughout the state.

The Intertribal Council of Michigan is a well-known organization within tribal communities, but may not be a well-known resource to nonnative individuals wanting to learn more or those who offer programs to tribal audiences. The history of Intertribal Council of Michigan is vast and rich. The organization was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on April 16, 1968, by the Bay Mills Indian Community, Hannahville Indian Community, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

The agency was created out of financial necessity. The four tribes were so small in population that an organization combining the community numbers could generate more fundable programs for much needed delivery services to tribal members.

The website explains that “these four tribes along with the other Indian communities that existed at that time can tell you that life was not good for American Indians during this period. The communities suffered extreme poverty, high unemployment, poor housing conditions, poor health care and other basic services were not readily available for most Indian people.” The Intertribal Council was the frontier consortium that allowed a beginning to these four small tribes working for self-sufficiency and better services for their people.

The current mission of the Intertribal Council of Michigan is:

  1. To act as a forum for member tribes
  2. To advocate for member tribes in the development of programs and policies which will improve the economy, education and quality of life for Michigan’s Native Americans
  3. To provide technical assistance to member tribes, assisting in the development of tribal regulations, ordinances, and policies applicable to health and human services.

Intertribal Council of Michigan is now comprised of all twelve federally-recognized tribes in Michigan and is divided into several different divisions, including Maternal and Early Childhood Services Health Services, Behavioral Health Services, Environmental Services, Child and Family Assistance, Health Education and Chronic Disease and Administration.

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