The Office of Tribal Government (OTGR) is housed within the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Under the leadership of Director Stephanie Birdwell, OTGR works with tribal leaders to develop positive relationships with American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments.
OTGR staff members actively participate in meetings, conferences, dedications, and summits impacting American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans throughout the nation. On Friday, November 4, 2011, I attended the Connecticut Wartime Service Medal Ceremony honoring Veterans of the Mohegan Tribe. The ceremony was held at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center. Robert Soper Sr., Chairman of the Council of Elders for the Mohegan Tribe, presided over the ceremony that was hosted at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center in Uncasville, Connecticut. Chief Lynn Malerba provided a blessing for the ceremony and Tribal Chairman Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum provided remarks, as well as I on behalf of Director Birdwell. Dr. Linda Schwartz, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, presented two certificates of appreciation and specifically honored 15 Mohegan Tribal Veterans for their military service, one of which was awarded posthumously.
Erika D. Moott is the Tribal Government Relations Specialist for the Eastern Region for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Her region covers Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
During Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September, the American Red Cross emphasizes the importance of a diverse blood supply to help meet the needs of those with sickle cell disease – the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S.