SAIL gets $654k grant to develop living services for UP Native American communities

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - An Upper Michigan nonprofit is getting a federal grant to improve its cultural competency within the five tribal communities across the U.P.

SAIL, Disability Network of the U.P., announced Tuesday that it has been awarded a three-year grant totaling $654,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living (ACL) to develop independent living services for Native American communities around the U.P.

SAIL seeks to improve their understanding of needs of Native Americans living with a disability and to improve access to independent living services.

Sarah Peurakoski, Executive Director of SAIL states, “We are extremely excited to have this opportunity to learn more about the needs of the Native American communities in the Upper Peninsula. SAIL is grateful for the federal grant award and has committed to engaging and learning about the various cultural aspects of each tribal community around the U.P.”

As a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, SAIL provides a variety of programs and services to individuals living with disabilities that include peer support, information and referral, advocacy, school to work transition, independent living skills support and transition to community based living. SAIL supports individuals with disabilities to gain and maintain independence in everyday living and encourages them to become active members of communities that are accessible for all. Located in Marquette, MI, SAIL serves all fifteen counties of the U.P.

SAIL is currently seeking two qualified applicants with a degree in human services to support this program. Preference will be given to qualified candidates of Native American decent and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

“We intend to gain understanding of the needs of Native Americans living with a disability and focus on providing our five core services by hiring staff that are knowledgeable about tribal communities. Ultimately, as a human service organization, we look forward to building relationships and partner with tribal members and their families in ways we have never been able to in the past,” stated Kristin Williams, SAIL Native American Services Coordinator.

The job posting for the SAIL Native American Advocate position can be found by visiting the SAIL website: or the SAIL Facebook page. All applications must be turned in by November 30, 2018 by 5:00 p.m.

For more information about SAIL or the Native American Services program, please contact Kristin Williams, Native American Services Coordinator, or call 906-228-5774.

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