The Lac du Flambeau Tribe announced Monday the hiring of Ryan Champagne as the tribe’s new state of emergency facilitator.
Champagne, in the newly-created position, will focus on maximizing the tribe’s human services resources, performing a strengths and needs assessment and ultimately developing a strategic plan to deal with substance abuse and other social issues on the reservation.
This past April, the tribe declared a “state of emergency” in response to a rash of deaths linked to prescription and new wave designer drugs. More specifically, the proliferation of prescription drug and synthetic marijuana abuse has been an area of great concern within the tribe.
Champagne has been working with at-risk children and families for more than 10 years. He has extensive knowledge of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and their interaction with indigenous peoples.
In Minnesota, Champagne was the Director for the Department of Family Services for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, where he helped to develop a nationally acclaimed “Tribal Wrap Around” program.
He has previously worked for various social service agencies and Tribal Nations, and served his own people as appellate justice for six years.
Champagne is best known for developing tribal programs that meet the unique needs of that particular community, while being self-sustaining and having measurable outcomes. Champagne previously served on the board of ombudsperson for American Indian Families and currently works with Red Road Leadership Consulting by providing training and consultation services to tribes.