Representatives from Osage Nation Visit SRPMIC

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Representatives from a variety of government offices at the Osage Nation made a two-day peer-to-peer visit to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on April 4 and 5 to learn more about the ins and outs of how the SRPMIC functions. The group included Osage Nation staff in the areas of social services, behavioral health, financial services and public safety.

The group began their visit at the Family Advocacy Center, where Child Protective Services manager Landon Goodwell gave them a tour.

After that, Joseph Remitera, director of Health and Human Services, led a tour of the medical facilities at the River People Health Center. The final stop of the day was the SRPMIC Tribal Court.

The next day, the group sat down with SRPMIC President Martin Harvier, Vice-President Ricardo Leonard and Assistant Community Manager Lena Jackson-Eckert. Harvier and Leonard took turns telling the group about the history and customs of the Community and answered questions from the visitors. One of the issues discussed was how tribes obtain funding for certain medical services and ambulatory care facilities.

Amy Shackelford, Indian Child Welfare specialist for the Osage Nation Social Services Agency, said that she and her fellow representatives appreciated the opportunity to get to know the Community better.

Shackelford noted that Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care in the United States, according to their website, works closely with both the SRPMIC and the Osage Nation.

“[Casey Family Programs] felt that the model of how [the SRPMIC] has set up the Social Services program, as well as the legal system and behavioral health program … everything’s tied together to make the experience and the outcome better for their members,” said Shackelford.

“We really would like to take that model home and implement that,” she continued. “Our system now is very siloed, and what we’re wanting to do is break that down and make it easier for a family to get through our system. What I’ve noticed is at the SRPMIC, everything is member centered.”

After the meet-and-greet, Harvier and Leonard handed out commemorative bags to the group with items that represent the Community.

To round out the day, the group visited the Way of Life Facility to see what services it offers to Community members of all ages to help them stay active.

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