Fond du Lac Band awarded for pandemic actions

The tribal band's social services program recently received a Pinwheels for Prevention Award.

Fond du Lac social services employees gather for a photo with the Pinwheels for Prevention Award. (Photo courtesy of Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa)

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa was recently recognized by Minnesota nonprofit FamilyWise Services for care offered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to its website , FamilyWise Services is a lead agency for child abuse prevention and home to Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota following its 2020 merger with Minnesota Communities Caring for Children.

In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention month, the company awarded 18 Minnesota agencies and programs with a Pinwheels for Prevention Award during the month of April.

Among the recipients was Fond du Lac's social services program, which was recognized "for providing Circles of Security and Positive Parenting classes to parents virtually throughout the pandemic to accommodate parents’ busy schedules."

Throughout the past year, the program has shifted to virtual learning sessions in order to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.


According to a news release, the courses taught lean heavily on the Circles of Security Parenting Group and Positive Indian Parenting curriculums, with a central focus on understanding child development and utilizing inherent parental strengths, such as cultural wisdom passed on from previous generations.

"Parents and caregivers are protecting our community's most valuable resource when they acknowledge that children deserve our love and respect," Fond du Lac Social Services Coordinator Tawny Smith-Savage said. "Children can't stand up for themselves and so we need to stand with them so they can thrive."

While Fond du Lac hopes to resume some in person activities in the future, Smith-Savage said it is likely that online courses will remain a prominent part of the program.

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