Tribe cites the assistance Governor and State provided Manistee area to ensure safe drinking water
Published January 19, 2016
MANISTEE, MICHIGAN – The tribal government of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians announced today that it is offering prayers and financial assist to the people of Flint who are facing a catastrophic water crisis.
In a letter to Governor Snyder’s office, MEDC and state Emergency Management officials, the tribe has taken an initial step of assistance by authorizing a $10,000 donation to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office to assist in their recover work. The tribe contacted Genesee County Emergency Management Manager Chris DeVriendt to discuss how it could help with the response effort.
Little River reiterated their commitment to addressing the importance of water quality as a historical teaching of the Anishinaabek people. Water is a gift from our Creator and without it, we cannot live. Culturally, we understand that water is the most critical part of the cycle of life and it is the key to our relationship to all life on our Mother Earth.
“This is a time when Michigan residents need to come together to assist the people of Flint in any way we can,” said Tribal Ogema Larry Romanelli. “The Tribe is thankful for the support the Manistee community received from the Governor, state and federal authorities to ensure safe drinking water for the future by rebuilding our communities wastewater treatment facility. The least we can do is pay it forward and assist our Michigan neighbors.”
The water plant tower in Flint, Michigan
The tribe extended the offer to the Governor’s office and authorities following the move over the weekend by President Obama with his honoring of Governor Snyder’s request for a formal Disaster Declaration for Flint. This declaration brings full federal support to help the Flint residents deal with the crisis.
Little River has taken steps to ensure their own water quality issues in Manistee with their investment in construction and expansion of their wastewater treatment facility last year. Already, Manistee Township is part of the project and expansion to serve other communities is being discussed at this time. This extensive project was a joint government effort with MEDC, the USDA, local units of government and the Governors’ office support.