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Windshield Survey
Kurt Freund
Ferris State University

Housing and zoning


Race and ethnicity

Elders and tribal leaders

Individual cars and

Nottawaseppi Huron

have modern one story

several tribal vans and

Band of the Potawatomi

homes with solar panels


to supplement electric
and propane gas.

Golf Carts/4X4 Gator to

drive elders around the

Open space

Service centers

Religion and politics

Pow wow grounds are

Community Center

Traditional Native

very open
Tribal grounds are in
mature forested creek

Bodwadmi Health

American Medicine



Government Center

Conflicts between


modern and traditional

Several Parks


Camp ground
Tribal grounds are in

Stores and street


rural forested area south

Firekeepers Casino

of Battle Creek and


North of Athens MI

Health and morbidity


No street people in this

Cardiovascular Disease


Tobacco Abuse

Bked O Mshik is the

Domestic Violence

general store

Signs of decay


Campground like space

Alcoholism and drug


for portable living.


advanced video

Suburban neighborhood

Domestic Violence

setting of modern single

story homes.
Park, volleyball,
softball, basketball

Apathy of traditional
values, customs and

Online website
face to face

Aspects of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Pine Creek Reservation that
Affect Health
Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and compromised cardiovascular health
are all linked to the genetic predisposition of Native Americans. The extreme health concerns
of indigenous populations of North America are considered directly relational to falling away
from the traditional eating patterns of Native American wisdom and the active lifestyles to
appropriate a balanced way of life, (Freund, 2013). These health concerns are considered

directly linked to reliance upon the use of processed foods as a staple source of daily caloric
intake. In a study on indigenous diets, before and after western influence, it was noted that
those who have taken the initial steps toward agriculture have significant increases in leptin
levels. Although leptin levels have not been recorded for other people eating traditional diets, it
has been widely reported that unless grains or refined foods had arrived, all bore remarkably low
incidences of Western diseases, including obesity (Spreadbury, 2012). The nurses role in this
community is to educate the people on the importance of traditional eating that is specific to a
Northern Native Americans body. Also is the incorporation of modern medicine for treatment
along with screening tools.
Community: A group or people sharing common interests, needs, resources, and environment;
an interrelating and interacting group of people with shared needs and interests,(Harkness &
DeMarco, 2012, p.175).
Community Health: The use of systematic processes to deliver care to individual people,
families, and community groups with a focus on promoting, preserving, protecting, and
maintaining health, (Harkness & DeMarco, 2012, p.9).
Caring for populations versus caring for an individual is determined by the focus of
patients specific needs that only they share versus a more wide spread need shared by other
members of their community. Congenital defects found in rare circumstances would be treated
as caring for an individual; however, if increasing members of a community show the same
defects then this would fall under caring for populations even if individuals were being cared for.
Healthy People 2020 Health Indicator

Tobacco Abuse Keep it Sacred: A Native American Awareness Program

Tobacco is considered one of the sacred medicines. It is to be used for prayer and to show
respect and gratitude. It is often held in the left hand and then laid down on the ground in similar
fashion as you would hand your grandmother something. It is only to be smoked on rare
ceremonial occasions. Many people, including first nation people, have abused this medicine
and this has brought diseases instead of blessings, (Bush, 2014).
A Keep it Sacred campaign is bringing this awareness to the Native American people.
In the 2013 Bemidji health report it was stated that, Healthy People 2020, the national health
plan that seeks to reduce health disparities, uses two environmental quality indicators:
1) Air Quality Index exceeding 100 and
2) Number of children aged 3-11 years exposed to secondhand smoke, (M, Hill, Cirillo,
& Allen, 2013).
Continuation of tobacco smoking for rare ceremonies is encouraged with the need of
community nurses to educate the importance of not triggering a relapse into daily habitual use.
Community nurses that respect tobacco use for those that can, without struggle, smoke tobacco
on occasion will be in a more useful position to be heard from those who find that they cannot
partake in smoking under any circumstances (COPD, asthma, lung cancer, former heavy smoker
Window into A Modern Northern Native American Day at a Pow Wow
Pulling into the Pine Creek Reservation 20 miles south of Battle Creek Michigan is like
driving into another world. People dressed in full traditional Native American regalia are
casually mingling with modern dressed people of Native American, European, African and Asian

decent. It is hoped that people of all tribes and races of the world come to the ceremonies and are
invited. Tribal Police on all-terrain vehicles make their presence known. Signs clearly state No
Weapons, No Alcohol, and No Politics Allowed. Despite the signs and purposeful police
presence, an example of these in the next few hours is to be scene. Newly built community and
government centers show a modern successful image while surrounded by the rustic mature
hardwood forest. Giant pivoting solar panels give the sense of a modern self-sufficient society.
Greetings of relatives and friends fill the atmosphere. Asking how someone and their
family are doing is considered respectful. Elders are not looked directly in the eye. And if they
are carrying anything, asking to carry it for them is considered courteous. Consistent looking
after children and elders are important responsibilities for everyone around, not just immediate
Camps are centered on family ties. Many have one fire ring with several tents and often a
modern camper, RV, or pop up trailer around it. The closest camps to the Pow Wow arena are for
the Head Veterans and Dancers along with their families. Others are spaced out into the forest.
This portable town housing many visitors and tribal members can be erected and taken down
within an hour or less. Afterwards little sign is noticed.
The Arena in which the temporary lodging is surrounded by is a 50 yard wide circle with
a covered center gazebo structure that could hold 40 plus people arranged around several drum
circles. It is covered with freshly cut cedar branches. The entrance to the large arena is from the
East in respect to the Eastern direction. Everything around the arena has purpose and meaning.
The colors for each direction of the circle have a significant story to their place on the
medicine wheel. Those who are not accustomed to the traditions are directed by an arena

director to ensure that the Pow Wow is cared for in a respectful way. The Head Veteran will also
facilitate and even enforce discipline if blatant disrespect or physical conflict arises. It soon did.
Drumming groups are invited from as far away as Wisconsin for this Pow Wow. Paid
hundreds of dollars through donations of the people to set off their travel expenses, many drums
have marketed themselves and work Pow Wow circles through several states during the warmer
seasons. More traditional drums let their singing be motivated by the spirit of the people and not
money. The drum I sing on Sons of Three Fires is such a drum. The oldest elder singing, John
Bush, is on our drum. He is thought to know more old traditional songs then anyone alive. He is
often treated with very high respect. The other elder singing on our drum is Terry Chevez. He
was the former Head Chairman (Chief) of the tribe having this Pow Wow. His daughter, Donte,
is the Head Female Dancer of the ceremonies.
Im warmly greeted by the head of the Western Michigan chapter of the American Indian
Movement (AIM). He and I marched last year together in Grand Rapids Michigan to abolish
Columbus Day. He shared that someone on the council has blocked him from setting up his
booth to promote awareness of Native American supportive legislation currently being lobbied.
His smile does not hide that he is upset that he was invited to come down to this Pow Wow by
their committee, drove his RV down for the weekend, and now may not be able to stay. His RV
has the AIM logo on the side. He says he will shower their ignorance with love and prayer.
Handshakes, laughter, and hugs end the encounter for the moment.
Our singing is strong. Many people dance traditionally in clockwise formation around
the covered center structure we are singing under. Each drum is asked by the MC to sing a
particular type of song. The lead singer of each drum then brings the song out that he is led to
sing for that dance. People of all ages encourage each other through the songs and dance.

Venders sell and trade around the outside parameter of the ceremonies. The pride of
each clan and tribe represented is displayed in the regalia, dance, beadwork, and songs shared.
Friendly competition is common. When John, along with are drum group, sings every other
drum group respectfully listens. Many of the songs he brings in are hundreds of years old;
unchanged by the assimilation of European influence. Johns people generations ago had an
episcopal priest who kept their small band of people from being relocated or sent to boarding
schools. His traditions therefore were not lost. Our drum helps bring them back to other clans
and tribes who were not so fortunate.
Conflict arouse at dinner. Several people were refused a meal. The head female dancer,
Terrys daughter, was one of them. They were respectfully stern with their discontent related to
the falling away from traditional ways of feeding elders, dancers, and singers. The tribal police
made their unwavering position clear while a council members daughter spoke up in discontent
for the lack of respect towards the elders and dancers. Politics became the primary scene at the
community center as traditional and recent modern policy changes conflicted. As the head of
police went to grab Terrys daughter in an effort to escort her out of the community center, the
other elder of our drum defended his daughter by placing himself in between them. She left. The
Head Veteran stepped in forcibly. He was clearly not in favor of the tribal polices actions.
John gave me a look and I went to Terrys side. I was to ensure his safety. This was
known without words. The police needed to show a strong presence to regain order. We left the
building. I walked with Terry down a foot path towards the arena. As we approached the arena
to pack up our drum, the new Chairman of the Tribe along with the Head of Police and several of
his officers confronted us. Respectfully, I knew my place was not to speak but to be silence
strength next to this elders side. They tried to take Old Terry. The new Chairman said he

wanted to speak to Terry alone. Terry said No, I want Kyle with me. I want witnesses to what
you are going to do and say. I dug my feet into the ground and stood strong by his side as Terry
and the Chairman began to speak.
Traditional principles or respect were lost in the chairmans stated motives in the denial
of meals to those who customarily have been given them. He felt justified in removing those
causing trouble even if they were the Head Veteran, Head Female Dancer, and now former
Chairman Elder Terry.
Terry replied, This is for the people you prick!!! If your father, my friend, was alive he
would be ashamed of you!!! You run this place like the gestople! The casino money has gone to
your head. This isnt progress if you cant love your people with whatever you gain!!!
The short stern conversation ended with Terry agreeing to leave his families reservation
and annual Pow Wow. Walking away, the New Chairman laughed and said to Terry, Get over it
Terry, you lost! I keep silent and walked with Terry towards the arena. We had a few Tribal
Police keeping a respectful distance behind us.
We packed up our drum. Other singers from the other drums shook our hands and gave
high respect to John, Terry, and I. Many began discussing if they were going to continue singing.
As we were leaving my friend from AIM excitedly came up to me and shared that the tribal
council was going to let him stay as long as he sells no shirts and does not set up his booth.
A Quarter of the people, including dancers, singers, and venders, soon left after us in
protest to the tribes new policies and strong arm tactics of those who were vocal of the modern
policies that went against old traditions and cultural courtesy. Conflicts between what is seen as
outdated and unnecessary gifts and courtesies and what is considered respect for the traditions
that keep Native American People strong is not always so public. There is good purpose in

keeping politics out of community events. Unity of the people in a welcoming way invites
growth, love and healing. Sometimes the sign makers forget to read what they display.


Anishinaabe Hunter-Gather Traditional Foods Pyramid. (2006). Retrieved from
Anishinaabe Center:
Bush, J. (2014, 06 21). Elder with the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of
Pottawatomi Indians Gun Lake Tribe. (K. Freund, Interviewer)
Freund, K. R. (2013). Cultural Food Comparisons. Ferris State University.
Harkness, G. A., & DeMarco, R. F. (2012). Community and public health nursing.
Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

M, A., Hill, K., Cirillo, A., & Allen, R. (2013). Bemidji Area Assessment of Tribal
Environmental Health Services. Retrieved from Great Lakes Inter-Tribal
Epidemiology Center :
Spreadbury, I. (2012, July). Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and
Therapy. doi:10.2147/DMSO.S33473