Community Needs Assessment Will Need Your Participation
By Joe Morey News Editor
In December it was announced that Lac Courte Oreilles was preparing to launch the LCO Community Needs Assessment, a project that involved local field staff visiting randomly selected households within the boundaries of the reservation as well as tribal member homes off-reservation within Sawyer County to collect up-to-date, accurate information about our community members and their needs.
The project is moving forward, but due to the government shutdown, the hiring of a manager to coordinate the project has been postponed, according to Tribal Governing Board member, Rose Gokee. Another shutdown is looming on February 15, so the hiring will be put off until the shutdown is over, she added.
“This is a good initiative and we need input directly from the tribal community,” Gokee said. “It’s important to obtain that input directly from the community. It helps us look at housing, health care, elder needs and the needs of the youth. We need input to collect data for much-needed grant funding.”
The news release in December stated “All information collected will be strictly confidential and will never be used against you or your household. Your honest answers will enable the Tribe to more effectively help you and your families and strengthen applications for grants and program funding. Participating households will be eligible for raffle prizes and other incentives.”
The tribe has contracted with Big Water Consulting to facilitate the assessment. They are a consulting firm that empowers nonprofit, tribal and governmental clients to incorporate data and data mapping into their daily management practices in order to identify the needs of those they serve, target their programming, and monitor and evaluate the impact of these efforts, according to their website.
“At Big Water, we see the process of gathering and using data as a continuous cycle. After you have identified your data needs, targeted data collection leads to analysis in order to discover insights and takeaways. Then, a presentation of the data enables you to share what you learned with others. Finally, taking action based on the data is the last, vital step,” the website further stated.
Heather Bell is the research director for Big Water Consulting. She said LCO members and especially those living off the reservation in Sawyer County need to update their enrollment information in order to better support off-reservation data collection.
A public relations committee has been put together to work on the questionnaire and a logo for the assessment among other details. Committee members include Mark Montano, LCO Housing, Rose Gokee, tribal governing board, Nicole Smith, communications, Joe Morey, public relations, Clarissa Corbine, WOJB, and Jessica Wagner-Schultz, LCO College.
Look for more information about this critical effort, including employment and internship opportunities, in the coming weeks. Get involved. Be counted. Be heard.