Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions Honored

The Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions serving with the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council’s (GLITC) Americorps Senior Program were honored at an event on June 16th at the Menominee Casino.

Photos courtesy of M&M Digital Media Productions


Volunteers from Tribes across Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan attended the event. Elders were presented with a plaque, and Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary designee of the Wisconsin Department of Administration, recognized the accomplishments of each volunteer.

Eight Senior Companion volunteers from Mole Lake were honored, including:


Velma Landru, Jeannie Van Zile-Leider and Warren Van Zile were not at the event. Tina Van Zile recently joined the program, and will be honored at the 2023 event.

Music was provided by the Youth Drum group and Thunder Country, both from Menominee. The Menominee Veterans posted the flags, and the opening prayer was done by David Grignon, Menominee Tribal Spiritual Leader.

“The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council’s Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent programs invest in our Tribe’s most valuable resources – our Tribal Elders and Tribal youth. Our Elders hold the knowledge of seven generations past and assist in sharing the information for seven generations forward. This supports GLITC’s mission of enhancing the quality of life for all Native people. Our annual Volunteer Recognition event honors those Tribal Elders that commit their time to improving the lives of other Elders and Tribal youth in their communities,” said Bryan Bainbridge, CEO of GLITC.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone for your service in our community!



About GLITC’s Senior Companions and Foster Grandparents Programs:

Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council has a grant with the Americorps Seniors Program. Through this grant, GLITC recruits Tribal Elders to volunteer as either Senior Companion (SCP) volunteers or Foster Grandparent (FGP) volunteers.

Senior Companion volunteers focus on decreasing social isolation and increasing Elder independence by being companions to other Tribal Elders in their communities. Volunteers may visit with Elders, transport them to medical visits or grocery shopping, prepare light meals, or do light housekeeping acting as the Elder’s companion.

Foster Grandparents volunteer at schools, after school programs or Tribal centered youth programs to provide cultural mentoring to youth with a focus on building a strong Tribal infrastructure that preserves oral tradition and culture.

Volunteers are paid a stipend of $3.15 per hour, which is tax free and not viewed as income so it is not reportable for taxes or to any program they may be receiving benefits from such Food Share, housing, etc. Volunteers are reimbursed their mileage at the federal rate of $.58 per mile for any travel expenses.

GLITC provides an extensive orientation and holds monthly in-services. A Volunteer Recognition event is held annually at different Tribal locations each year. The 2023 event will be held at Legendary Waters in Red Cliff.

For more information, contact the GLITC programs staff at (800) 472-7207.