Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Please Join the Fight Against Addiction

To those who live, work and play in Oneida County,

If you’re concerned about the effects of opioids, fentanyl, heroin, and meth flowing into Oneida County and Wisconsin, we encourage you to support the proposed adolescent recovery and wellness center Thursday, December 28th at 4:00 pm at Woodruff Town Hall, where the county will hold a public hearing on the project.

We encourage all who see the devastation of addiction – parents and families, judges, law enforcement, educators, health and human services professionals, and others – to attend the meeting. If you cannot attend, please call and write Oneida County Supervisors, Oneida County Planning & Zoning Committee Members, and Oneida County Planning & Zoning Director Karl Jennrich.

Some of the loudest voices have been from some Town of Cassian residents who don’t want a facility in their backyard – even though the project plans follow Oneida County zoning ordinances – and even though we have been working with county officials who have indicated along the way that this project adheres to laws that govern development in Oneida County.


It’s shocking to most people when they find out there’s essentially zero residential recovery facilities for youth in the Northwoods. Early intervention with children is one way to reduce the growing need and costly nature of addiction recovery for adults in the Northwoods. This approach also works to stem the demand for addictive drugs, which cost taxpayers dearly in the form of law enforcement, emergency services, social services, incarceration and numerous other areas, including impact on travel and tourism. Essentially, invest in helping youth now or pay much more later.

We have not – and will not – approach the town for financial support for construction, infrastructure, operations, or maintenance. Zero financial support is being asked – or will be asked – of the Town of Cassian, where the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council has purchased property for the recovery center for kids ages 13-17.


Doing nothing to fight addiction will only continue to diminish the quality of life for all residents of Oneida County – including the Town of Cassian – and the Northwoods. The associated costs of not approving this youth facility are far too great.

This life-saving recovery center for youth will create jobs, infrastructure investment, and calls for plans to build workforce housing – by most accounts a net positive to the community – without asking the town or county for a dime to support construction, infrastructure, operations and maintenance.

People are much more than their drug addiction. Our approach – within a fully licensed and accredited facility served by licensed and credentialed doctors and healthcare professionals – treats the whole person to get to the root cause of their addiction. Connecting people to their culture is important to success. Blending cultural healing elements with modern medicine’s approach to recovery is what will be provided to youth at this center. Everyone can relate to the importance of the safe feeling you get when you are connected to your culture and where you come from.


Those fighting against this project are essentially fighting for the status quo and doing nothing to help greater Oneida County fight drug addiction and provide opportunity for kids. This is one step toward improving the future of Oneida County. We encourage you to respectfully make contact with Oneida County supervisors, as well as the zoning and planning department, to voice your support for this adolescent recovery and wellness center and its contribution to the fight against addiction.


Thank you for your consideration.

Bryan J. Bainbridge

Chief Executive Officer

Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council