For Immediate Release: Support for Native Elders

March 15, 2020

Title Track and the Native Justice Coalition are partnering on a campaign to support elder care in Native communities amid the COVID-19 epidemic. All money raised will go toward Elder care programs and the safe delivery of non-perishable food to Native Elders in need in the northern lower Peninsula, in coordination with Elders’ Meals Program with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Elders Program at Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and the Elders Department at Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. This effort will serve a large portion of northwest and west Michigan from Emmet to Kent County. Tribal communities cover different service areas and some overlap.

“The Native Justice Coalition works primarily in our rural and remote Anishinaabe communities in Michigan. Access to resources is limited in many of our communities. Our people have significant distances to travel to access these resources which often may be racist or discriminatory to them. Some of our Elders live in extremely underserved areas like Manistee and Baraga Counties. While tribal communities may become overwhelmed with the COVID-19 epidemic, we want to make sure we can fill in to assist Elders, disabled, and other community members who may need extra support during this time. We must do our part to keep our communities and people strong.” -Cecelia LaPointe, Founder and Executive Director of Native Justice Coalition

“COVID-19 is a stress test for the resilience of our communities. We must be in the practice of supporting those most vulnerable at all times. This virus is particularly dangerous for Elders and it is a fact that Native communities are disproportionately underserved. Your support of Native Elders is work for cultural healing and justice.” – Seth Bernard, Founder and Executive Director of Title Track

“One of the most important principles of indigenous culture is the care and reverence we show our Elders. As some of our most treasured community members it is essential that we provide for their good health, safety, happiness, and well-being. Through helping to ensure Mno Bimaadziwiin (a “good life”) to our Elders during trying times, we define our success and heart as a people.” -Holly Bird, Native Activist and Lawyer, Title Track Board Member

For MI residents who are interested in offering additional help here are several mutual aid volunteer resources:

Grand Traverse County Mutual Aid

Grand Traverse Band Mutual Aid

Mutual Aid of North West Michigan Facebook group

Indigenous SE Michigan Mutual Aid

To donate to the Support for Native Elders fund, please select that option from the donation dropdown menu.