COVID-19 Emergency Management Assistance for Wisconsin Tribes

Implementing strategic emergency practices to prevent COVID-19 on reservations in Wisconsin

Full Project Name:GLITC COVID-19 Emergency Management Assistance for Wisconsin TribesPrimary Community Organization:Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc.Award Amount:$500,000
Award Date
April2020
Project Duration:6 months

Project Description Narrative:


Novel viruses and diseases historically have devastated indigenous communities around the world, including here in North America and Wisconsin. Native Americans in Wisconsin continue to face health disparities compared to the general population, with a higher percentage of people in high-risk categories such as tribal elders and people with underlying health conditions. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 in tribal communities will require a coordinated effort between Wisconsin Tribes, government agencies, and other community organizations. Through this award, project partners will work collaboratively to focus on disease prevention efforts that will protect vulnerable populations and workers delivering essential community services.

Additional community partners:
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Forest County Potawatomi Community, Ho-Chunk Nation, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Nation, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Saint Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, Sokaogon Chippewa Community, and Stockbridge-Munsee Community

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


  • Engaged all 11 Wisconsin Tribal Nations in developing contracts and workplans to address each tribe’s priority needs in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic
     
  • Coordinated internal and external communication efforts to support Wisconsin tribal nations, hosting a Facebook live informational session and updating GLITC’s website with COVID-19 information and resources
     
  • Supported tribal nations in responding to their most pressing needs, including:
    • Launching COVID-19 infrmation and awareness strategies, reaching residents through email, social media, newspaper, newsletter, and direct mail outreach
    • Developing emergency response and continuity of operations plans, including development of appropriate emergency orders to initiate protection and prevention steps such as wearing of face masks
    • Purchasing persnal protective equipment, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and cleaning products for essential service employees, including youth service locations, homeless shelters, and day care centers, which allowed key services to continue
    • Continuing and expanding essential food and nutrition services, including providing access to food for those isolated or quarantined, establishing food delivery services, starting or expanding community gardens
    • Constructing living units to isolate and provide secure housing for the homeless or those infected during the pandemic
    • Continuing mental and behavioral wellbeing programming, obtaining technology to host virtual group and individual counseling sessions, distributing culturally appropriate care kits to clients
       
  • Produced a final impact and resources report, disseminating the report to tribal communication offices and local media

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