Island organizations unite through UCCMM integrated service model

M’CHIGEENG—Over a dozen United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising (UCCMM) organizations and service departments from across Manitoulin gathered last Friday to declare their commitment towards seamless service for UCCMM community members. This is the most recent step in the multi-year effort by the UCCMM Tribal Council’s initiative called ‘Maamwi Nadamaadaa-Let’s Work Together.’

During the meeting, the various groups discussed the next steps of implementing the initiative and developing a strategy for how individual organizational processes can be turned into professional collaboration practices.

“Several organizations and service departments have already committed to working together by signing an official memorandum of agreement (MOA)—and now the critical next steps of implementation will start to unfold,” states a press release from Kenjgewin Teg Education Institute (KTEI), a partner in the project.

To date the following organizations and service departments have signed the MOA; the UCCM Anishnaabe Police, Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services, Ontario March of Dimes, M’Chigeeng First Nation Training Hub, M’Chigeeng First Nation Health Centre, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, UCCMM Justice Program, UCCMM Gwekwaadziwin Project, UCCMM Labour Market Project, UCCMM Lands and Resources and Kenjgewin Teg Education Institute.”

“The idea for an improved and integrated holistic service integration model was really inspired a number of years ago when the tribal council began hosting several conferences on community engagement and community mobilization,” explained Beverly Roy-Carter, director of business and training at KTEI. “Then, the opportunity for the actual implementation of such a service model presented itself with the approval of KTEI’s Anishinabek Identity, Mind and Spirit (AIMS) essential skills pilot program.”

The AIMS essential skills pilot program’s central component for success is the mobilization and integration of community service providers for long term program sustainability.

“Service providers in our UCCMM communities must now raise the bar yet again in service standard excellence; it is no longer effective or efficient for us an organization in our territory to work in isolation of one another,” commented UCCMM Tribal Council CEO Hazel Recollet. “We simply owe it to our community members to come up with new and better ways of providing the best service possible since we as organizations all have the same overarching goals of contributing to community health, wellness and prosperity.”

UCCMM Tribal Council Chief Joe Hare was present for the meeting Friday and commented to The Expositor that he was excited for the new integrated service model and the possibilities it could have for the future.

“The whole idea is to bring everyone together,” explained M’Chigeeng Chief Joe Hare. “One mind is not enough, we need many minds to work together to create the best future for the Island community. I think this quote from Chief Sitting Bull sums up our goal the best: ‘Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children’.”

Any organization or service in the Manitoulin area wishing to become part of the social innovation project or looking for more information is asked to call the UCCMM Tribal Council administration office at 705-377-5307 or KTEI at 705-377-4342.

Robin Burridge