Native American Elders Program (NAEP)

The Native American Elders Program is a program that exists to serve Native American Elders in the West Michigan community who are in need of food, fellowship, and connection. Many of the elders who attend this program are not able to be connected to their tribes and who have experienced disconnect or separation because of boarding school and/or adoption issues. Amongst our elders, many tribal nations are represented including: Keweenaw Bay, Grand Traverse Bay, Ho Chunk, Saginaw Chippewa, Cree Algonquin, Gun Lake, Bay Mills, and even Canadian nations. Elders of any tribe or nation are encouraged to attend to help foster relationships amongst fellow elders.

During the school year (Sept - May) meals are served every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 am to 1pm in the Northlawn United Methodist Church fellowship hall located on the lower level. Elders can park and enter in the south entrance of the building (1157 Northlawn St. NE in Grand Rapids) and come to receive a nutritious meal created by fellow elder, Suzi Day of the Little Traverse Band of Odawa Indians.

If you need transportation to the Senior Meals program or want to learn more, please contact Program Director Rhonda Loonsfoot (Dine'/Pueblo) at 616-724-5716 or

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Besides offering weekly meals and fellowship, PaWaTing provides these important resources for Native American elders:

  • Blood pressure and blood sugar screenings periodically, in partnership with Calvin University nursing students.
  • Information on housing, jobs, counseling, addiction treatment and other services, through regular visits from Dept. of Human Services and Native American Community Services staff;
  • Access to pastoral care and counseling, prayer and spiritual support, and hospital and nursing home visits, upon request.

How to Support the Native American Elders Program

Are you interested in volunteering, offering a service, or connecting an elder with NAEP? Contact our Program Director, Rhonda Loonsfoot at 616-724-5716 or

To donate financially to this pivotal ministry for our community, click the button below for secure giving:

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(Under the menu options on the giving page, select the Native American Elders Program)