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Community Profile: Great Lakes Inter–Tribal Council, Inc., Wisconsin

Tobacco Use Prevention

No Smoking sign on a building
“WE NEED TO RETURN TO OUR TRADITIONAL WAYS AND PROTECT OUR PEOPLE FROM COMMERCIAL TOBACCO.”
— Teresa Barber, Program Director, Wisconsin Native American Tobacco Network
Additional Resources

For more information, please visit

www.glitc.org

“IT'S GREAT TO BE ABLE TO PLAY BINGO WITH MY FRIENDS WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT THE SMOKE AND ITS EFFECT ON MY HEALTH!”
— Red, tribal member, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc.

Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) is an initiative designed to make healthy living easier by promoting environmental changes at the local level. Through funding awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010, a total of 50 communities are working to prevent obesity and tobacco use—the two leading preventable causes of death and disability.

Community Overview

Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc. is located in north-central Wisconsin and consists of 12 American-Indian member tribes with a total of 41,326 tribal members. Five of these tribes are coming together to tackle commercial tobacco use. Tobacco use rates are higher for American-Indian populations, as compared to all other races and ethnicities in Wisconsin. Tobacco use among youth is a particular concern, as American-Indian students in Wisconsin reported smoking within the past 30 days at higher rates than their counterparts. Further, while more American-Indian students in Wisconsin are exposed to secondhand smoke than students of other races, fewer were taught about the dangers of tobacco use when compared to peers of other races.

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Community Successes

If healthy options are not available, then healthy living is not possible. With the support of the CPPW initiative, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc. has implemented a variety of changes throughout the community to make healthy living easier.

To decrease the prevalence of obesity, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc.:

  • Transitioned sections of the Legendary Waters Resort and Casino, including the hotel, restaurant, and event center, to be smoke-free. This policy will impact approximately 16,000 employees and patrons by protecting them from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
  • Established Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College's campus as smoke-free.
  • Established that as of January 1, 2012, all campuses at the College of Menominee Nation will be smoke-free.
  • Developed guidelines to ensure that all St. Croix Tribe's buildings and grounds, excluding the casino, are free of secondhand smoke. Since October 1, 2011, this effort has included the tribal center, health clinic, college, food distribution building, police station, and fire department, as well as construction sites and community centers.

(The list above is a sample of all activities completed by the community.)

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Restaurant Protects Workers and Patrons from Secondhand Smoke

The War Bonnet Bar & Grill, a popular restaurant and bar located on the Menominee Indian Reservation, is now smoke-free. This policy change protects more than 4,500 workers and customers from the dangers of secondhand smoke and demonstrates a shift in attitudes about commercial tobacco use. The Menominee Tribe is a member of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc., and this decision has served as an important catalyst for other smoke-free endeavors the Council is pursuing.

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Leadership Team

The leadership team includes high-level community leaders from multiple sectors, who have the combined resources and capacity to make healthy living easier. Members of Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc.'s leadership team are key agents for change in their community. The leadership team includes representatives from the following organizations:

  • Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc. Family Health
  • Great Lakes Inter-Tribal
  • Epidemiology Center
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Health Center
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal
  • Governing Board
  • Menominee Indian School District
  • Menominee Indian Tribe
  • Menominee Tribal Clinic
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Red Cliff Community Health Center
  • St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
  • Stockbridge-Munsee Community
  • Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center
  • Wisconsin Native American Tobacco Network
  • Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Center
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