On Thursday, September 27th, the Bizhkiki Wellness Center held their open house, which has been dedicated in honor of the late Harold "Bizhiki" Frogg.
The old woodcrafters building on Highway B has recently been renovated and now is the home for the LCO Behavioral Health, CCS, Long Term Waivers and the Gwayako Bimaadiziwin Project.
Vice Chair Jason Schlender opened the ceremony with a few words on behalf of the LCO Tribal Governing Board.
"This is a beautiful building and it is going to provide many services for this community," said Schlender.
The Waadookodaading school was invited to sing the welcome and honor song for the ceremony, and Dr. Michael "Migizi" Sullivan came to give the invocation before the tobacco pole was placed in front of the building. Migizi talked about the importance of using tobacco (asemaa) as an offering to prayers.
"My hope is once this tobacco pole goes up, it gets utilized and it should be on the shoveling list," said Migizi. "Those that work here should put their tobacco there. Pray for the people your helping and everyone that comes here should utilize that pole as well."
Migizi humbly explained that he is not a spiritual leader, he is just a young man that paid attention to elders and managed to pick up the language as a result. One of those elders was Harold "Bizhiki" Frogg and his lovely wife Wanda.
Diane Sullivan shared some heartfelt words about Harold and Wanda. Diane told a few stories about the time she spent with him and brought many people to tears.
The tobacco pole was then placed in the front of the building. Respected elders Marie Basty, Diane Sullivan, Thelma Nayquonabe and Lori Rice tied the ribbons and feather on the pole. Waadookodaading youth then placed the tobacco pole in the ground.
The tobacco pole will now be there for all community members that may come there for services and healing.