Program rewards, encourages saving

by Dave McMechan
Spilyay Tymoo

The Warm Springs Community Action Team recently received $294,750 in funding to help low-income residents.

The funds will be used to help residents save money in order to buy or rehabilitate their home, pursue higher education, purchase adaptive equipment to allow them to work, or start a new business.

The funding comes from the State of Oregon’s tax credit program that funds a statewide IDA Initiative which is administered by The Neighborhood Partnership Fund, an organization dedicated to helping low-income Oregonians improve their lives.

One of the goals of the program is to encourage participants to save money and develop financial assets, said Lonnie James, Managing Director of the Warm Springs Community Action Team.

This can be done through an Individual Development Account, or IDA, he said.

A person’s IDA account is used for saving, with the person’s own money matched, multiple times, by the fund.

The money from the Neighborhood Partnership Fund will be used to match funds a person deposits in his or her IDA.

For instance, if the person deposits $25 in savings per month (the minimum allowed amount), then the fund would add $75 for a total of $100.

The money accumulates for the purpose of purchasing or rehabilitating a home, or supporting the pursuit of higher education. The savings could be used for items such as a computer that would be needed as part of the education plan, said James.

The savings could also be used as the capitalization of a new business, he said.

The idea of the IDA, said James, “Is to teach financial literacy, instill and reinforce the habit of saving.”

The Community Action Team has recruited a couple of partners to start off. “Columbia River Bank is our initial financial institution partner, and they are excited to be a part of this,” he said. “They work with a couple of other fiduciary organizations, like WSCAT, in other areas of the state.”

The Community Action Team has been working with Eagle Tech, another initial partner, to provide the necessary training, through the Indianpreneurship program and courses such as “Building Native Communities” that is intended to be used by Natives because it is written to be relevant to our people.

To qualify for the IDA program, a person must have an income that is no more than 80 percent of the median income for the area.  That calculation is made on the adjusted gross income for the client’s household.  The cut-off for single people is $28,025 and goes to $52,850 for a family of 8.  Since this is adjusted gross income, all of the income adjustments are taken into account before determining eligibility – for example, “you can earn more than the cutoff and make the contribution to your 401(k) or retirement savings, and still be eligible if you fall under the cutoff,” said James. “On the other side, that big jackpot you win at Kah-Nee-Ta might serve to exclude you from eligibility.  Another exciting thing that happened this year in the legislature is that they authorized the program to offer these accounts to youth – so now, everyone from 12 on can access the program – there is no upper age limit, as long as you have income enough to save.”  

In implementing the program, the Community Action Team is planning to work with the Tribal Higher Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Housing departments, as education, small business development, employment and housing are goals of the program, said James.

The current grant is to support people that start this year.  There is a minimum saving period of six months and a maximum program saving period of four years.  Matching funds are limited to $3,000 per client per year and we figured we could support 35 slots in this initial year. 

If a person participated for the maximum of four years, and received the maximum match per year, they could add $12,000 to their savings.

The Neighborhood Partnership Fund for some time now has wanted to have a presence in Indian Country, said James.  “They’ve encouraged us to participate and really been supportive throughout the process.  But, one of the current concerns is that they’ve been too successful in getting this program going.  The Oregon legislature limits the funding from the tax credit program and that is starting to constrict the number of new accounts the system can support. We hope to garner monies next year to continue the program, but we will have to show that we can recruit and support these initial 35 slots and that the clients are motivated to take the savings lesson to heart.”   

The recent funding marks the first time that local residents will have access to help from the Partnership Fund through an organization based on the reservation.

“There were these same IDA accounts available through both NeighborImpact and HousingWorks based in Redmond, but they had some trouble in extending their programs all the way to the reservation because of the expenses related to training clients and administering the program,” said James.

“The Neighborhood Partnership Fund began in Portland 18 years ago, and in recent years has become more involved with residents of rural areas of the state,” he said.

The Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT) was formerly part of the Central Oregon Partnership, now called the Partnership to End Poverty.

“We were spun off from the partnership last year, and although we’ve continued to work with them on programs in the region, we’ve become more focused on what we can do in Warm Springs for our own community members,” said James.

“In addition, we’ve recently received our official recognition of tax-exempt status from the IRS and had another large grant come to us from the CDFI Fund of the Treasury Department. We’re continuing to try and build support for these programs that are intended to help people in the long term.

“Our Board has spent a number of years focused on fixing what we think of as gaps in our local economy,” said James. “We’ve worked on the Uniform Commercial Code, sponsored free tax return preparation, done outreach for earned income tax credits, help get the community library started, supported the implementation of the summer and winter work shuttles to Kah-Nee-Ta and Mount Hood Meadows, and generally just been here trying to help where we can.”

The WSCAT office is located in the Family Resource Center and has local people on the board to help provide guidance.

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VOCS to host men’s support group

A men’s support group will begin meeting in January at the Victims of Crime office.
Upcoming weetings will be on Feb. 17 and March 17. Times are from 6-8 p.m. For more information, or if you have any questions, feel free to call the Victims of Crime office at 541-553-2293.

Reawakening at community center

The Warm Springs Community Wellness Center and the Recreation Department are hosting the Reawakening gatherings.
Carol Sahme, the Recreation Arts and Crafts coordinator, has scheduled the gatherings through May. They begin at 5:30 p.m. at the community center.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22 and on March 1 the gatherings will be about ribbon shirts, taught by Jeanine Kalama.
On March 8 and 15, the event will feature twining corn husk bags, taught by Kelli Palmer. Further topics will be announced.
Recreation Arts and Crafts is also hosting sewing circles on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:45 p.m. in Carol’s room.
For more information, call Carol Sahme at 541-553-3243.

Locked-in event slated

Looking for a place to let your children safely run loose for hours and hours? Bring them to the Lock-in slated for March 5--postponed from a date in February.
They'll release a ton of pent-up energy with a variety of activities, including games, crafts, sports, music and dancing, and other fun.
During the event they'll also learn ways to avoid drugs, alcohol and other unhealthy activities, according to organizers.
Children in grades K-6 will have the run of the community center from 5 p.m. -10 p.m. and those in grades 7-12 will be there from 11 p.m.-7 a.m. 
Late hours are chosen because those are the hours when teens get in trouble and have run-ins with law enforcement.
Up to 200 youths are expected to attend.
Call 541-553-3205 for details or to volunteer. The Prevention Coalition is the group organizing the event.

Not too late for flu shot

February is a peak month in the flu season and there are recently reported cases in influenza in Central Oregon.
Vaccinations are the best way to prevent getting the illness and we encourage everyone over the age of 6 months to make sure they have had a flu shot this
Warm Springs Clinic still has flu vaccine available. Flu shots are available at many areas in the Warm Springs Clinic.
Community Health Nurses available for children and adults. For appointment with Community Health Nursing call:  541-553-2640.
Pharmacy department available for adult immunizations no appointment needed. 

Mini Penny carnival is on Feb. 15

Turn over those sofa cushions and gather up every penny.
The Warm Springs Community Center Social Hall will be the location for the Mini Penny Carnival.
This family event will be from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15 and will offer activities everyone can enjoy. Every offering will cost just one cent per
Community Center staff and ECE Head Start are organizing this family night out.
For details, call Carol at 541-553-3243.

CPS seeking art work

April will be Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Children’s Protective Services is seeking artwork from youth ages 2-18 to commemorate the month.
The theme is “child abuse prevention,” and the winner will have his or her artwork on all CPS advertisements, T-shirts and flyers for one year.
The deadline to submit artwork is 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1. Artwork can be turned in at the CPS office on the campus, 1109 Wasco St.
For more information, contact Minnie L. Wallulatum, family preservation coordinator, at CPS, 541-553-3209.

Eagle Watch turning 16

Eagle Watch will mark its Sixteenth Anniversary on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26-27.
Eagle Watch, co-sponsored by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, happens at Round Butte Overlook Park.
The event features live birds of prey, Native American dance presentation, tours, raptor education programs, raptor identification contest, prizes and more.
For information call 541-923-7551 ext. 21; or visit:
With the tribes, Eagle Watch is sponsored by Portland General Electric, and the Crooked River National Grassland.

Wing Dress class coming up

Children’s Protective Services is sponsoring a Wing Dress class from 8:30 a.m.-12 noon, and from 1-4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25. All material provided, but bring your own lunch.
This is for youth from birth to age 18. “Please help build our culture back up in our youth,” said Minnie Wallulatum, family preservation coordinator at CPS. For information, call her at 541-553-3209. Sponsors are CPS, the Tribal Court Youth Prevention program, and Culture and Heritage.

Culture classes return

The latest series of culture classes begins Feb. 28.
Wasco language courses are on Mondays. Warm Springs language courses are on Tuesdays. And Paiute language courses are on Wednesdays.
Classes are held on those days from 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the basement of the Education Building.
First hour of each class focuses on language and the remainder of the time is spent highlighting tribal history, culture and practice.
Classes are open to community members and employees, and are also considered an alternative sentence some defendants can take in service to the
The goal is to help guide these tribal members to be a positive part of the community--as is tribal tradition.
The attendance of defendants is monitored and attendance is confidential.
Attending all three language sets also is encouraged because it offers full perspective about all tribes by offering information about Wasco, Paiute and Warm
Springs traditions.
Each series lasts eight weeks. While subsequent series are educationally progressive, teachers will adapt to the needs of newcomers.
Well-behaved children are welcome.

Cancer support group forming (meeting date and location changed) 

The Native People's Circle of Hope is a coalition of Native American cancer support groups in Alaska, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Arizona, Montana and nationwide affiliates.
The group's goal is to help support local cancer survivors and those who are affected by this life-changing disease. They try to provide hope, help, support, education and advocacy for cancer survivors.
Warm Springs chapter will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 15 in the Museum at Warm Springs. Hope is to meet once a month. A meal will be served. Contact Rosanna Sanders at 541-553-1417 or 541-460-2382.

Baby, this event is for you

The Sweet Heart Baby Fair and Family Photo Shoot will be from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the Community Center Social Hall.
There will be door prizes and a light meal.
Janet Bissell, the tribes' maternal child health nurse, will answer questions. And sign up for Baby College, an upcoming event that will focus on baby brain development.

Festival of Arts contest

Festival of Nations, an arts and culture festival co-hosted by Warm Springs and the city of Cascade Locks, will be held in Cascade Locks this September.
The festival is seeking poster designs by tribal youth.
This year’s theme is: “What Does the Gorge Mean to You?”
The winner will win a $50 gift card, two ski lift tickets for Mt. Hood Meadows and a framed copy of their poster. The deadline is next Friday, Feb. 18.
To enter, send a hard and electronic copy, along with your name, age, grade, tribe, and a short narrative of your entry, to either Margie Tuckta, Festival of Nations, P.O. Box 1240, Warm Springs, OR 97761. Or email:
Or to Rebecca Gandy, Festival of Nations, PO Box 487, Corbett, OR 97019. Or email:

Carb counting series

Nutritionist Linda Porter is offering a series of educational presentations entitled “Carbohydrate Counting”.
Meetings will be held on Thursday, February 17, 24, and March 3 for a total of three classes at the Kitchen Conference Room at the clinic.
This is a series which will total three hours of education.  Participants will get the most benefit from attending all three meetings.

Museum hosting sweetheart luncheon

The Museum at Warm Springs will host the Sweetheart Luncheon from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 14 at the museum kitchen/education room. Cost is $5.
The spaghetti lunch includes choice of salad or veggies, garlic bread, cupcake and punch. Delivery orders are welcome (must be order of five or more and will cost $6 each).
Tickets for the Valentines Raffle Drop will be available during the luncheon. What is a raffle drop? Buy as many tickets your sweetheart desires, choose any raffle item or items, and drop one or all of your tickets into the jar of the item you want to win. (Need not be present to win.)
For more information, call the museum at 541-553-3331.

Shop for your Sweetheart

Find that special unique gift or simply make a purchase to get out of trouble with your beloved on
Monday, February 14, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Community Wellness Center Social Hall.
First come, first serve vendors (one table per person).
For more information and sign-up, call Carol at 541-553-3243

Simnasho powwow this weekend

The Thirty-Fourth Annual Lincoln’s Birthday Powwow will be held at the Simnasho Longhouse this Friday through Sunday, Feb. 11-13.
Candidates for Powwow Queen are selling raffle tickets in an effort to raise funds.
The powwow Grand Entries are Friday evening at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. For drum contest information, call Mackie Begay at 541-553-9230. For one-man hand drum information, call Kyle Queahpama at 541-553-6908.
Vending booths are already filled.

Extension in Redmond hosting series on successful farm management

Oregon State University Extension in Redmond will present “Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management Series,” beginning in January.
The course will provide beginning specialty crop and livestock farmers with tools and knowledge to manage the biological and financial risks of farming.
Participants will assess their farm enterprise and gain the ability to develop a whole farm plan. The class dates are Wednesdays, as follows: Jan. 26; Feb. 2, 16 and 23; and March 2 and 9. Times are from 5-9 p.m. Classes are held in the Deschutes County Office in Redmond.
There will be a farm tour on Saturday, Feb. 12.
For information, contact Dana Martin at 541-548-6088, ext. 7957.

To dancers and cooks

Kah-Nee-Ta will be holding two meetings to discuss the 2011 schedule for its summer salmon bakes. The resort is asking tribal members interested in cooking and dancing to attend one of the two meetings.
The meetings are set as follows in the HeHe Room at Kah-Nee-Ta:
Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 10am; and Saturday, Feb. 19 at 9 a.m.
There are chances to discuss the 2011 salmon bake season, and to fill out all necessary paperwork. In order to be on the 2011 salmon bake roster, individuals must attend one of these meetings. Refreshments provided. For more information, please call Heather Cody, convention services coordinator at 541-553-1112, ext. 3436.

Help CPS make wards comfortable

Child Protective Service employees need to make things comfortable for tribal youth under their care—and immediately after youths move in to foster homes. Donations of money are welcome, but must go through a specific tribal delivery procedure. Call CPS at 541-553-3209 for details about how you can help these tribal youths.

Weekly Washat attendance strong

Weekly attendance for Washat Sunday School is around 100 people, organizer Jefferson Greene said.
“We are renewing our ways that have survived through the generous hearts and souls of elders.”
Families and individuals who are new to Washat are invited to attend and learn more about services.
“Through the Washat, we humbly seek the wisdom that survives within us as a community in relation to our creator.”
Washat Sunday School is held every Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Agency Longhouse, prior to services.

Canoe family looks to build cedar canoe

The N’Chi Wanapam Canoe Family is seeking help from artists who may have the knowledge to build a cedar strip canoe.
The team plans on participating in the 2011 canoe journey, beginning once again at Celilo.
For more information on you can become involved, please call the Museum at Warm Springs at 541-553-3331.
Or visit the museum’s website: 

Food handling training dates slated

Anyone who sells food or works with food needs a card that shows they completed training on how to safely prepare and handle food.
Classes will be held on the Warm Springs Reservation for people who want to earn their food handling credentials. The certification test will be administered there.
The next class on the reservation is later this month and will be held from 2-4 p.m. in the Clinic Atrium.
Here are the dates for the single-day  training  sessions at the clinic:
Feb. 10, March 16 (new date), April 14, May 12 and 26; June 9, 20, and 23; July 14, August 10, Sept. 14, Oct.11, Nov. 9, Dec. 6.
Call 541-553-4943 for details.

Adults needed as 4-H volunteers

The Warm Springs Extension Office is actively recruiting community members to volunteer. The time spent helping young 4-H members can be short or long.
Any skill is sought -- as long as it can be taught to a young person who can enjoy doing it for life! This could include projects that are based in natural science, expressive arts, family and consumer sciences and, of course, animal sciences.
Some volunteers may be subject to a criminal background check.
Contact the Warm Springs office at 541-553-3238. Ask for Merle Kirk or Jon Gandy. Or call the Jefferson County office at 541-475-3808.

Shoo away the flu with one shot

Flu shots are widely available to tribal members now. The immunization covers H1N1 and the two likely seasonal strains of the virus.
Parents should watch their mailboxes because they'll be getting information about upcoming flu shot clinics at schools. Other people, however, can get shots from 1-4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in Pod A.
IHS is immunizing by appointment for people who can't come during those hours. Call 541-553-1196 and ask for Nursing.
Flu shot clinics are still being planned. People who have ideas for locations can call Community Health, 541-553-1196.

Crisis support available around the clock

Warm Springs Community Counseling continues to offer 24-hour crisis support to tribal members.
During overnight weekday hours and the weekends, calls made for crisis support go to Police Department Dispatch, 541-553-1171. Dispatchers will take your name and telephone number and notify the crisis worker. The crisis worker will them call you to provide help.
Call 541-553-3205 during office hours, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for crisis assistance Mondays-Fridays. And always call 911 in an emergency.

Vital Stats ID schedule

This is the schedule for getting your tribal identification card from Vital Statistics:
Mondays and Wednesdays: 8-11:30 a.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 1-4:30 p.m.
ID cards are $10. Paper copy IDS, $3.
One dollar for copies of birth certificates, Social Security cards, court orders, etc.
No checks or credit. Cash only.
Call 541-553-3252 for details.

CPS seeks foster families

Children’s Protective Service of Warm Springs seeks local families to provide a safe, temporary environment while their parents work toward reunification.
Requirements include:
Living in a home where everyone age 18 and older could pass a background check;
Having a valid driver’s license and current vehicle insurance (and ability to show proof);
Completing a fingerprint card with the police department.
Call Child Protective Service for details, 541-553-3209.

Legal Aid moves office, changes number

Legal Aid has moved its new office to the white, single-wide trailer at 1106 Wasco St. The telephone number has changed to 541-553-2144.
The number printed in the Spilyay back in June no longer applies because of the department’s move to the trailer.
Legal Aid provides legal criminal counsel and representation to tribal members in the Warm Springs Tribal Court.
The court receptionist at the Warm Springs Tribal Court also can take messages for Legal Aid.
The department reopened in June after more than a year of closure.

Mountain View Hospital recruiting volunteers

Mountain View Hospital recently launched its volunteer program, Give.
The hospital district is seeking individuals interested in volunteering as greeters at the hospital. The hospital plans to have greeters available 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The volunteer shifts would be in four-hour increments and involves greeting visitors courteously and directing them to their destinations.
The hospital is also seeking volunteers for its auxiliary thrift store, located at 59 N.E. Fifth St., Madras.
These volunteer positions would be to perform retail functions such as cashier and stocking shelves. The auxiliary thrift store is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
All volunteers must be over the age of 16 and must sign a service agreement.
If you are interested in becoming a Mountain View Hospital volunteer or would like more information, please contact JoDee Tittle, 475-3882, ext. 5097,

Supplies 4 Schools helps local school children 

Mountain View Hospital, in partnership with Mid Oregon Credit Union, continues to collect school supplies for local school children.
Community members may drop school supplies off at the outpatient registration entrance of Mountain View HospitalCash donations are also accepted and will be used toward the purchase of new school supplies.
This year’s Supplies 4 Schools ensures that all children have a sense of belonging and readiness for school.
Commonly needed items include: high school or middle school backpacks, spiral notebooks, pencils, graph paper, college ruled paper, glue sticks, colored markers, colored pencils, 4 oz. bottles of white glue, school supply boxes, pink erasers, bottles of hand sanitizer and 2-3" binders.
For more information or to make a cash donation, please contact Joan Anderson of Mountain View Hospital at 541-460-4016. Email:


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