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Elders Spoke - We Listened:

Changes Coming to Elders Program

Jul. 10, 2017

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Did you hear the news? Positive changes are coming to our Elders Program! Our elders voices are honored and valued always but we recently took steps to recognize the new Elders' Council as an official advisory body for our agency. A regular meeting schedule is planned that will make two way communication between elders and the SIHB Executive Leadership Team more effective on an ongoing basis. Some of the changes the Elders' Council requested SIHB make include:
  • More traditional programming and cultural crafts
  • A change in meals provided by United Indians
  • More opportunities for field trips
  • Grocery bags so they don't have to wait in food bank lines
  • More ways to interact with youth (story telling, cultural teaching, visiting, etc.)
  • Improved physical meeting space
  • Bingo should stay the same!
We listened to the wisdom and needs our elders shared. In many ways,  our SIHB leadership team members are on the same page regarding the kinds of changes needed for our elders. Our response plan includes multiple steps. First, we are temporarily closing the Elders' Program for 1 month - during July only. We will reopen the Elders' Program on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. This will allow us to renovate the Elders' space to (a) maximize the floor area, (b) make the space more inviting and (c) be better suited for communal gatherings. In addition, we are planning on making the following changes to the Elders' Program in keeping with our Elders' requests.
  • We will hire another Traditional Health apprentice with experience in cultural programming and working with elders. This person will develop a program calendar focused on culture and traditional health activities.
  • Future collaborations between the Youth Program and Elders' Program will enable more intergenerational experiences to enrich everyone's lives.
  • We have discontinued the lunch service provided by United Indians. We are working together with Chief Seattle club to best meet the needs of our elders together. Chief Seattle Club recently expanded their food program to include warm lunches. Since many elders typically enjoy Chief Seattle Club's breakfast they can now stay there to enjoy lunch too. Our program at SIHB will continue to provide snacks and drinks.
  • We will work on redirecting resources to provide elders with grocery bags.
  • We are not changing anything about BINGO! Prize donations are always welcome too!
These are just a few of our planned changes to the Elders' Program. Now that the Elders' Council has formed we expect ongoing improvements to continue. We love and respect our elders with our whole hearts, bodies and minds. We look forward to making their program the best fit for their needs on an continual basis.

Stay tuned closer to August for more information about a grand reopening of the Elders' Program and their space.

If you have any questions or comments about these changes please reach out and contact:

Annette Squetimkin-Anquoe, Traditional Health and Community Services Director by email or (206) 324-9360 ext. 2114