Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

November is Native American Heritage Month

Photo courtesy of Carla Storm

By Marisa Van Zile, Peer Support Specialist

National Native American Heritage Month began as Native American Awareness Week, authorized by Congress in 1976. In 1995, Native American Heritage Month became an annual proclamation encouraging Americans to use November to learn more about Native American culture.

The Sokaogon Chippewa Community Cultural Department promotes language revitalization through weekly language classes. Sokaogon Chippewa Community Members practice Manoomin harvesting, encouraging traditional dietary practices passed down from generations long ago and for the generations to come. Our Community is also a strong environmental steward for the lands and water, and is rich in natural resources and Native values.

Native American people are disproportionately impacted by violence, suicide, alcohol use, substance use and many other health disparities. The Sokaogon Chippewa Community Health Clinic celebrates Native American Heritage Month by supporting Native culture and seeking to improve Tribal health outcomes.

The Clinic hosts weekly Drumming and Wellbriety Talking Circles in collaboration with Community Members and Marisa Van Zile, Health Clinic Peer Support Specialist. Wellbriety supports the well-being of Native American people through culturally-based principles, values and teachings for healthy community development and servant leadership, and to support healing from alcohol, substance use, co-occurring disorders and intergenerational trauma.