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Traditional Medicine

The Traditional Medicine Program, established in 1995, was the first tribal traditional medicine program in the United States integrated into a tribal health delivery system. It has become recognized and accepted within the tribal community and has served as a model for traditional medicine programs offered by other tribes.

Program Objectives:

  • Offer holistic Ojibwe traditional medicine services to meet spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional needs.
  • Offer services that meet the cultural and traditional beliefs of the clients.
  • Encourage and teach individual responsibility for one's well-being and health.
  • Support health education and disease prevention goals and participate fully in the Strategic Health Plan.
  • Facilitate the integration of traditional and Western medicine.

Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Traditional medicine procedures and ceremonial functions performed by traditional medicine practitioners providing consultation, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Provision of treatment with traditional medicines including plants, herbs, and/or specific ceremonies
  • Provision of healing sweat lodges as prescribed by a traditional practitioner
  • Seasonal Fasting and accompanying ceremonies
  • Cultural services such as giving of an Anishinaabe name, clan, and color identification
  • Referral to tribal clinics, substance abuse and mental health providers as well as other traditional practitioners and to healing ceremonies such as the Grand Medicine Society and the Big Drum Ceremony. 
  • Re-establishing rare plants and medicines onto tribal and private properties
  • Volunteer programs whereby community members assist in the planting, gathering and processing of traditional medicines.  Others have assisted with sweat lodges and other ceremonies. 

We provide these services to all members of federally recognized Tribes, Tribal households and families, all members of Tribal community.

Describe (if necessary) warning signs that may warrant a visit (example - Diabetes):

Traditional Medicine covers a broad scope of ailments and it’s important to remember that our primary focus is a holistic style of healing and wellness.  We focus on any issues pertaining to the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional status of patients and have a variety of methods used to treat each and a lot of it has to do with a healthy balance of all 4 aspects of holistic health.


Locations for this service:

Grand Island Chippewa Community Center
622 West Superior Street
Munising, MI 49862
Phone: (906) 387-4721


Hessel Community Health Center
3355 N. 3 Mile Rd
Hessel, MI 49745
Phone: (906) 484-2727


Manistique Tribal Community Center
5698W US Highway 2
Manistique, MI 49854
Phone: (906) 341-8469


Newberry Community Health Center
4935 Zeez Ba Tik Lane
Newberry, MI 49868
Phone: (906) 293-8181
Fax: (906) 293-3001


Sault Ste. Marie Tribal Health Center
2864 Ashmun Street
Sault Ste. Marie , MI 49783
Phone: (906) 632-5200
Fax: (906) 632-5228


Sault Tribal Health & Human Services Center
1140 N. State St. Suite 2805
Saint Ignace, MI 49781
Phone: (906) 643-8689


Providers who perform this service:

Gerard Sagassige
Gerard Sagassige is from curve Lake First Nation with family connections to Serpent River.He has been assisting with healing work for over 20 years. He is a Midewiwin Lodge Member and has worked with many teachers through this travels.

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