Elders Request Assistance with Yard Clean Up
By Joe Morey
Elder Council members Faith Smith and Mona Ingerson requested the LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) help with some elders who don’t qualify for lawn care assistance.
Smith said because elders can’t pick up their yards, the lawnmower service that LCO Elder Services contracts with won’t go in and mow if there is anything in the yard.
“Do we have a community service that could help such as Luann’s youth program,” Smith asked. The program she referred to is the Gwayako Bimaadiziwin program, or Living the Right Kind of Life, a new program at Lac Courte Oreilles that focuses on improving the lives of young Native men through learning their cultural identity and traditions. Luann Kolumbus is the director.
LCO Vice Chairwoman Lorraine Gouge said the LCO Conservation Department also has a youth program.
Chairman Louis Taylor asked why the elders don’t ask LCO Elder Services but Smith responded, “They do but if they can’t just go in and mow then the elder doesn’t qualify.”
Ingerson said the LCO Elder Council gets a lot of calls and they do help sometimes. She also said Koobie’s Coffee, which is owned and operated by the elders, uses some of their funds. Ingerson noted that neither organization can help with all of the requests.
“We need a plan B,” Ingerson said. “If Terrance Manuelito (LCO Elder Services Director) says it can’t be done, it shouldn’t end there. He should be able to recommend the elder go here to find help to get brush or tree removal done first.”
LCO Secretary-Treasurer Michelle Beaudin suggested contacting Luann to see if she can collaborate with Terrance.
Setting up an emergency fund to assist in these situations was also discussed.