April 08, 2009 –
MAYETTA: The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN) is hosting a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Consultation with the Region 7 Native American Tribal Nations today and tomorrow at the Prairie Band Casino & Resort.
Today’s meeting opened with the posting of colors by We-Ta-Se Color Guard, a prayer by Gary Mitchell, drum songs by Little Soldier Singers and taps played by Ben Joslin,We-Ta-Se. Following the ceremony, introductory remarks were given by John Babb, HHS Acting Regional 7 Director, and Steve Ortiz, PBPN chairperson.
Tribal representatives from the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, Northern Ponca Tribe in Nebraska, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Sac & Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas, Sac & Fox Nation of Mississippi of Oklahoma, and Santee Sioux Nation are participating in group discussions about Indian health issues and attending grant writing and technical assistance workshops.
National and regional directors from Indian Health and Human Services agencies are leading the meetings. Today’s presenters included Randy Grinnell, Dep. Director, Management Operations, Indian Health Services (IHS), Thomas Pack, HHS Intergovernmental Affairs, Dennis Romero, Dep. Director, Office of Program Services, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Kevin Meeks, Area Director of Oklahoma Area IHS, and Charlene Red Thunder, Area Director of Aberdeen IHS. Other summary presentations from HHS and federal partners were also on tap for today.
To conclude the day’s activities, a presentation called a Prairie Band Potawatomi cultural experience is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will feature some tribal elders and youth.