MILLINOCKET, Maine — In honor of National Rural Health Day, Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness was awarded a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Community Facilities Emergency Rural Health Care grant was announced Thursday morning at the Center for Wabanaki Healing and Recovery in Millinocket.
This funding was made available through the emergency rural health care grants programs through the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan Act. The organization said the money will go toward supporting the center in continuing to address regional health care issues.
Lisa Sockabasin, co-CEO of Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness, said she appreciates this recognition and support from the federal government.
"One of the things that the federal government recognizes with this gift and many others is that centering our indigenous culture in our healing is not just tolerated it is celebrated," Sockabasin said.
Rhiannon Hampson, USDA Rural Development Maine State Director, said this funding is a, important piece of the equity and justice work that needs to be done.
"They put forward an amazing application," Hampson said. "That's why they were funded, because it's a worthy project, because it deserves to happen and then our team here in Maine worked really hard with them to make it come true."
November is also Native American Heritage Month, which is dedicated to the exploration of the heritage and culture of Indigenous People.
The Center for Wabanaki Healing and Recovery provides treatment and recovery needs for those struggling with substance use disorder within its communities.
Sockabasin said this funding will help them to continue expanding the work they do to help heal their communities.