Tribal Action Plan and Other Ideas Discussed at Drug Meeting

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 | by Nicole Smith l LCO Communications Director |

On Wednesday, December 13, 2017 a second meeting was held at the Kinnamon School to address the drug epidemic on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation. Various tribal entities,Tribal Governing Board and the LCO Legal Department met to discuss the epidemic that is plaguing the community.

Vice-Chairman Jason Schlender gave updates on behalf of the Tribal Council. Schlender said that the legal department is diligently working on completing the bylaws and policies for the taskforce. Schlender also stated that there have only been four people that have sent in a letter of interest in regard to the newly appointed LCO Taskforce, and the Tribe would like seven people appointed.

"I feel that CCS is doing everything that we can as an entity of the tribe to help our tribal members," Marie Basty, CCS Director said. "Just in the past two weeks we have had ten new people who are struggling and we are doing everything we can to provide services."

Dan Cousins was invited to the meeting to share with the group information that he and his wife now also have a behavioral clinic in Hayward which opened about a year ago. This facility can be used as another resource for tribal members and their families to seek assistance.

"There's a lot of relatives that need help today, not next week or six months from now, but that need immediate help," Cousins said.

The Tribal Governing Board took action by issuing a resolution on November 13th declaring a state of emergency because of the abuse of methamphetamine, heroin, and illegal drugs and by initiating the creation of a community involved drug task force.

Seprieno Locario, SAMHSA T/TA Provider (substance abuse mental health service administration) joined the group by phone to explain the TAP Process (Tribal Action Plan Process). The Tribal TTA Center offers training and technical assistance on mental and substance use disorders, suicide prevention, and mental health promotion using the strategic cultural framework.

"A lot of our work supporting SAMHSA efforts has been about training and technical assistance around behavioral health and substance abuse prevention," Locario said. "We have a small sliver of statement of work in our contact with SAMHSA to help them disseminate information on the Tribal Law and Order Act."

The Tribal Action Plan Process provides the opportunity for Federally Recognized Tribes to take a proactive role in the fight against alcohol and substance abuse. The TAP is a strategy identified by the Tribal entity that is localized and specific to the community's strengths and resources as well as needs and challenges, and supports the principle of Tribal self-determination.

The TAP will provide a map for how the community will come together to share their history, culture, tradition, ideas, resources and their desires to improve the overall quality of health and wellness for the community residents. The development of the TAP should involve all members of the community (i.e., women, men, elders, and youth), local merchants, community organizations, religious and spiritual leaders, social service providers, educators, Tribal council, and reflect the cultural concepts of wellness and healing/service approaches that are particular to each specific Tribal community.

The group has planned on meeting at Kinnamon School on January 10th at 9:30 am, at that time the legal department will be presenting the bylaws and policies for the taskforce. If you would like to participate in the taskforce please send a letter of interest to Holly Trepanier at or call 715-634-8934.

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