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Zaagiibagaa Healing to Wellness Court

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $900,000)

The Lac du Flambeau Tribal Community is experiencing a significant threat to the public safety of the residents as a direct result of disproportionate alcohol and drug abuse in combination with behavioral health disorders. Both, alcohol and other drugs and behavioral health problems mean that recidivism is almost a certainty unless serious interventions are available. The data provided by the Lac du Flambeau Police Department confirms the high rate of documented crimes/arrests and mental health issues resulting from addiction to narcotics and other drugs.  

The severity of the current situation, i.e. the affects of pandemic isolation, relapse and restricted services combined with the influx of licit and illicit drugs and the associated mental health issues brought on by active addiction; necessitated that the Lac du Flambeau Reservation community change their approach to these issues. To that end, this proposal focuses on using an organized and coordinated community policing process that includes a close partnership and coordination between the Zaagiigabaa Healing to Wellness Court (ZHWC) and the Lac du Flambeau Tribal Police Department..

The ZHWC provides an opportunity for non-violent offenders who have problems with addiction to alcohol or drugs, multiple arrests and a high criminal risk determination by the Department of Corrections, to participate in a very different program of recovery. The unique component to the ZHWC treatment plan includes Native American culture and values in the programming provided to participants.

While this PA 3 proposal requests support for staffing and training, it also proposes three unique approaches to collaboration with the Tribe's Family Resource Center. First, this proposal seeks to increase sustainability for the ZHWC by collaborating with the Family Resource Center to become a FQHC qualified satellite clinic. Second, in response to the current competitive environment of hiring clinical staff, this proposal includes sharing a co-occurring therapist between the ZHWC and the Family Resource Center. Third, this proposal includes direct billing insurance and/or Medicaid for ZHWC therapy groups that will be held collaboratively at the Family Resource Center.

The ZHWC also proposes to broaden collaborations with local organizations to provide after-hours pro-social activities such as NA, AA, cultural activities like beading, game nights and peer support. In addition, this proposal includes culturally appropriate training like Red Road to Wellbriety and Medicine Wheel, which are dependent on the participant's phase of the program; as well as a well-structured after-care program incorporating evidence-based curriculum including Positive Indian Parenting, life skills and financial management.   

The Lac du Flambeau Tribe's  PA 1 community policing proposal, combined with the proposed PA 3 coordinated efforts with the  Zaagiibagaa Healing to Wellness Court, Family Resource Center and the myriad of other community and regional partners, will ensure that the Tribe can reduce the illicit drugs and associated mental health issues that together have created a serious public safety issue on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation.

Date Created: September 21, 2022