Contact: Ellen Quinn, Public Information Officer, 1-218-726-2621
Jail Volunteers to Receive Recognition Award
As part of St. Louis County’s Sesquicentennial year, the County is presenting a Volunteer Recognition Award to Native American Education Jail Volunteers on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 9:30 AM at the Duluth Courthouse as part of its regular St. Louis County Board meeting. Sheriff Ross Litman will present the St. Louis County Volunteer Recognition Award to Penny Wait and Jeff Tibbetts.
Penny Wait has been volunteering at the St. Louis County Jail since August 2002, using cultural arts and crafts to get women inmates to open up and talk about their issues. Every week the women sit around a table making Dream Catchers, talking about their dreams and what put them in the County Jail. This gives Penny, who works for Fond Du Lac Social Services & Victim Advocacy Services, a great opportunity to let them know what types of resources are available for them. Penny has A.S. in Law Enforcement and a B.A. in Criminal Justice.
Jeff Tibbetts started volunteering at the St. Louis County Jail in June 2004. Jeff leads a Native American Education Group called ”Gwekaanimad – The Wind Changes Directions” at the Jail. During the group the inmates may smudge and take part in a pipe ceremony. Afterwards there is a talking circle where each inmate is allowed to hold an Eagle feather, indicating it is his turn to share. The group then views educational videos or goes over a structured educational outline. The group has open discussion, with very thoughtful and insightful dialogue. Jeff also works for Fond Du Lac Social Services and has an A.A. in Human Services from Fond Du Lac Tribal Community College and is working on his B.A. in American Indian Studies at UMD.