Maternal & Childhood Programs Archives - ITCMI

Wiba Anung Partnership


Wiba Anung translates to “early star” in Anishinaabemowin and is a partnership between Michigan State University and the Inter-tribal Council of Michigan. The Wiba Anung partnership started in 2005 and involves expertise and collaborative efforts between researchers, parents, early childhood programs and staff, and elders in tribal communities. This collaborative relationship was formed to serve Michigan American Indian children and their families. Work from this partnership includes research, training, and information gathering that are essential for identifying strengths in tribal early childhood programs as well as areas of concern. This partnership is a strong advocate for effective data use that supports the health and well-being of indigenous children and families in Michigan. The work of Wiba Anung is a critical contribution to health equity efforts in the state. This relationship is rooted in regional Anishinaabe cultural contexts and is innovative in its contributions to scientific rigor by highlighting specific mechanisms by which cultural practices support children’s development.

Programs & Resources

History of Childhood is Sacred

Since 2012, ITCMI has been working with Tribes and Tribal Citizens across Michigan to erase the silos across services and programs that serve children 0-8 and their families. From community discussions to strategy innovation and implementation, everyone involved has been working to elevate the role of our early childhood providers, support parents and be more effective and efficient with existing resources in each community.

Healthy Start/Home Visiting

Learn more about Healthy Start and the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan’s Home Visiting Network.

Head Start/Early Head Start

Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development.

Honoring Our Children

The WKKellogg Foundation committed funds to identify Tribal priorities for children 0-8 in Education, Health, and Community Safety. This work included community discussions and family summits with tribal citizens from the 12 Federally Recognized Tribes in Michigan and in urban areas like Detroit and Grand Rapids. During this time, tribal families and leaders created a vision for children.

Notable briefs and presentations from this work includes: 

  • Michigan Native Children Report
  • 2012 (Final 2012 by David Cournoyer) -forwarded in the email.
  • HOC Planning Phase Report on website already
  • TBCAC Cultural Adaptation Article on website already
  • MCMCH GreatStart Sandbox presentation on website already
  • HeadStart digital story link

Tribal Early Learning Initiative (TELI)

Through supplemental Tribal Home Visiting funding from the Administration of Children & Families, a core group of early childhood providers and families from five Tribes (BMIC, KBIC, LTBB, LVD, NHBP) continued the work of HOC by strategizing to increase collaboration and integration across community services and programs for children 0-5 years. 

Historically, many of the various early childhood programs and services have worked in isolation. This effort focused on developing a more collaborative network. During this time, a Tribal wide Young Child Wellness Committee was formed with representatives from Tribal Home Visiting, HeadStart/Early HeadStart, and Child Care both at the Tribal, State and Federal level.


The TELI project identified a gap in mental health supports for children and in 2016 LAUNCH was funded by SAMHSA to better serve the cultural, social, emotional, physical, and psychological needs of youth ages 0-8. Aiming to reduce leadership and policymaking silos, the project seeks to foster collaboration between health care, behavioral health, early childhood education, social services, and other programs servicing Native youth and their families.

The Project Has 4 Goals

  1. Strengthen Tribal Communities through the promotion of resources grounded in community language, culture and teachings.
  2. Increase community workforce capacity to address child and family mental health.
  3. Strengthen systems integration of community programs that support child and family mental health.
  4. Increase community efforts to engage in public education and awareness activities.

Cedar Bath


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Home Visitor Resources

State Home Visiting


Tribal Home Visiting

The Partnership for Anishnaabe Binoojiinyensag

The Tribal Home Visiting Program Partnership for Anishinaabe Binoojiiyensag (PAB) project seeks to address persistent disparities in maternal, infant, and early childhood health and social indicators among the American Indian (AI) population through delivery of home visiting services. The project aims to expand the capacity of an existing network of services, furthering progress toward a comprehensive, high-quality early childhood system.

PAB Project Goals

  • Strengthen and further develop tribal-community based capacity to support and promote the health and well being of American Indian families;

  • Ensure the development of healthy, happy and successful American Indian Children and their families;

  • Expand the evidence base around home visiting in Native communities;

  • Support and strengthen cooperation and linkage between programs that service American Indian children and their families.

The Partnership for Anishinaaabe Binoojiiyensag project began in 2013 supporting home visiting services in six tribal communities and one urban Indian area. The 7 tribal partners who began implementation of the program include (1) the Bay Mills Indian Community, (2) Nottawaseppi Band of Huron Potawatomi, (3) Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, (4) Lac Vieux Desert Indian Tribe, (5) Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, (6) Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Potowatomi Gun Lake Tribe, and (7) the American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan.

The Partnership for Anishinaaabe Binoojiiyensag project began in 2013 supportiIn 2013/2014 with funds supported by the State of Michigan, the program expanded to included 3 additional tribal partners (1) the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians,(2) Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, and (3) The Grand Traverse Band of Odawa Indians.

Then in 2014/2015 the Ingham County Health Department’s Native American Outreach
Program partnered with ITC of Michigan to become part of the PAB project.

Combined, our programs provide home visiting services through 9 tribal, 1 urban partner and 1 County Health Department with a service area spanning 49 counties in Michigan and reaching over 400 families per year. Services are provided for prenatal families and families with children age 0 through 5 yrs. (Two additional tribes provide home visiting supported by HRSA Healthy Start funding up to age 2 yrs.)

Coordinated Services

Collaboration is important to our programs at Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan. Within the ITC Maternal Health and Child Service Division this can be seen specifically between The Tribal Home Visiting program “Partnership for Anishnaabe Binoojiiyensag” (PAB project) and the “Maajtaag Mnobmaadzid – The Start of a Healthy Life” Healthy Start program. These two programs within ITC have joined forces as individual pieces of an overall, inter-tribal network of programs and services coordinated by the Inter-tribal Council of Michigan in partnership with Michigan tribes. The two programs as one,-are often referred to by staff as the “Healthy Start- Family Spirit” home visiting program. The development of the Healthy Start-Family Spirit Home Visiting program is one key aspect of our comprehensive, coordinated early childhood system with both programs using the Family Spirit curriculum as a basis for providing home visitation services. In addition the programs share client-friendly referral procedures, using common assessments, collection of common data elements, cross-training of staff, and cross-program case management/case conferencing. This allows for a seamless transition between programs for home visiting clients.

Location & Contact Information

American Indian Health and Family Services
4880 Lawndale St, Detroit, MI 48210
Healthy Start/Family Spirit office: 313-846-6030 ext. 1300.

Bay Mills Indian Community
Ellen Marshall Memorial Health Center
12140 W. Lakeshore Drive, Brimley, MI 49715
Healthy Start/Family Spirit office: 906-248-8360

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians
Benodjenh Center
2605 N. West Bay Shore Dr., Peshawbestown, MI 49682
Healthy Start/Family Spirit: 231-534-7650

Hannahville Indian Community
Hannahville Health Center
N15019 Hannahville B-1 Road, Wilson, Michigan 49896
Healthy Start (serves up to age 2): 906-723-2544

Ingham County Health Department
Native American Outreach Program
5303 S Cedar St, Lansing, MI 48911
Jaclynn Lloyd: 517-272-4130

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
Donald A LaPointe Health & Education Center
Keweenaw Bay Department of Health & Human Services
102 Superior Avenue, Baraga, MI 49908
Healthy Start/Family Spirit: 906-353-4546

Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Lac Vieux Desert Child Development Center
23950 Choate Rd., Watersmeet, MI – 49969
Family Spirit: 906-366-7018

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Mina Mskiki Gumik Health Services
1250 Lears Road, Petoskey, MI 49770
Healthy Start/Family Spirit: 231-242-1614

Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi Indians
MBPI Health & Human Services Department
2880 Mission Dr.
Shelbyville MI 49344
Healthy Start/Family Spirit: 269-397-1760 x 1110

Notawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians
Northern Health Center Southern Health Center
311 State Street S.E. 1474 Mno-Bmadzewn Way
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Fulton, MI 49052
1-888-662-2808 269-729-4422

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
Pokagon Health Center
32652 KNO Rd. ,Dowagiac, MI 49047
Healthy Start/ Family Sprit: 269-462-4406

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe
Nimkee Memorial Wellness Center
7070 E. Broadway, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
Healthy Start (Serves up to age 2): 989-775-4629

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Sault Tribe Health & Human Services
2864 Ashmun, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
Healthy Start/Family Spirit: 906-632-5200 ext. 23201 or ext. 23150