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Health
WPR: Great Lakes tribes receive $1M for tobacco efforts


"Efforts to stop tobacco abuse in several of Wisconsin’s tribal communities just got a boost. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has awarded $1-million to help five Native American tribes quit the habit.

The money's being given to the Great Lakes Intertribal Council (GLITC). GLITC representative Teresa Barber is program director of the Wisconsin Native American Tobacco Network. She says smoking rates and tobacco-related illnesses are both very high in “Indian Country”, because many native people mistakenly assume it’s part of their tradition. Barber says native people do honor and respect tobacco, and at one time used it for medicinal purposes. But traditionally, it was never inhaled and it wasn’t laced with chemicals.

“We would use it for prayer and ceremonial use as opposed to inhaling it and being addicted to it," says Barber.

GLITC says the $1-million from the CDC will be a huge help, because normally the group works with $152,000 a year, for all of its 12 member tribes in Wisconsin and Michigan."

Get the Story:
Wisconsin tribes get major funding to curb problem smoking (Wisconsin Public Radio 4/20)
Audio: Tribal communities receive $1 million for smoking cessation efforts (Wisconsin Public Radio 4/20)