Intertribal Council of Michigan: A great resource

The Intertribal Council of Michigan connects Tribes throughout the state.

The Intertribal Council of Michigan, Inc (I.T.C.) is a well-known organization within Tribal communities, but may not be known resource to nonnative individuals wanting to learn more or offering programming with tribes. The history of Intertribal Council of Michigan is vast and rich. The organization was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization on April 16, 1968 by the Bay Mills Indian Community, Hannahville Indian Community, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. Created out of financial necessity due to the small population size of the four tribes, an organization that combined all the numbers could generate more fundable program delivery to tribal members was needed.

Specific challenges facing American Indian communities during that time included extreme poverty, high unemployment, poor housing conditions, poor healthcare and a lack of basic services were not available for most Indian people. The Inter-Tribal Council was the frontier consortium that spearheaded the four tribes working for self-sufficiency to provide better services for their people.

The current mission of the Intertribal Council of Michigan is:

  1. To act as a forum for member tribes,
  2. To advocate for member tribes in the development of programs and policies which will improve the economy, education and quality of life for Michigan’s Native Americans; and
  3. To provide technical assistance to member tribes, assisting in the development of tribal regulations, ordinances, and policies applicable to health and human services.

Intertribal Council of Michigan, Inc is comprised of eleven of the twelve federally-recognized tribes in Michigan and is divided into several different divisions, including Maternal and Early Childhood Services Health Services, Behavioral Health Services, Environmental Services, Child and Family Assistance, Health Education and Chronic Disease and Administration.

The Michigan State University Extension Government and Public Policy team offers training for Michigan Tribes for improved effectiveness in several areas, including various public policy issues and effects of government programs, regulation, incentives, strategies and more with Tribal Nations. By working together with local elected and appointed officials, and interested citizens, MSU Extension is able to provide education on critical local and state issues.

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