Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians announces hiring of new staff members

1 year ago

HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians have announced the addition of three new staff members to their team.

Robbin Brewer and Sakoya Blackwell have joined the HBMI’s Health Department as social work case managers, while Linda McCord has been brought on as a licensed clinical social worker.

The Tribe has also welcomed Joseph Cyr as the new communications director for HBMI.

“These employees are all coming into newly created positions,” Tribal Chief Clarissa Sabattis said. “They all come with a wealth of knowledge, and I’m excited to see how that will enrich the departments that they work within.”

Blackwell is a Maliseet Tribal citizen and has worked for the Tribe in the past at the Health Clinic, Vocational Rehab, and most recently at the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocacy Center. 

“Sakoya has proven to be a wonderful advocate and I feel that she is a great fit for her new role,” the chief said.

She resides in Houlton with her significant other and their two daughters. She is eager to begin connecting her clients to helpful services and resources.

Brewer received her mental health rehabilitation technician/community certification (MHRT/C) in 2018 and has been working in the case management field ever since.

“I truly enjoy being able to help people reach their personal goals and be a support person for obstacles that come up along the way,” Brewer said. “I believe that every person is unique and I do my best to develop individual plans that address the needs of the person and their families.”

As a case manager, Brewer’s role is to help people through this process and advocate for the needs of the individual.

“Systems and services can be difficult to access with confusing paperwork, long wait times, and denial of services,” she said. “I am a fierce advocate and will always fight for the rights of individuals especially those with mental health needs”

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Brewer moved to Maine in 2002. She resides in Houlton with her husband and two of her children. We have a total of four children and one grandchild. 

When not working, Brewer enjoys spending all of her time with family and also enjoys all things outdoors – especially fishing and hunting. 

McCord has been in agency and private practice for over 20 years and has provided contracted services for our Tribal community for several years. She works with individuals, couples, and families. 

McCord specializes in trauma, co-occurring disorders, grief and loss along with most mental health problems. She also provides the option for faith-based counseling. 

Cyr joins HBMI after a nearly 30-year career in journalism. Most recently, he served as the assistant editor/photographer for the Houlton Pioneer Times, Star-Herald, Aroostook Republican and News and St. John Valley Times, as well as a reporter for the Bangor Daily News.

He holds a degree in business administration from the University of Maine at Presque Isle and is an avid photographer, having won numerous statewide awards for his writing and photos in newspapers.

As part of his new position, Cyr will be responsible for developing communications plans for the many grant projects currently in the works. He will also be responsible for communications initiatives for all tribal departments, as well as handling the tribe’s social media presence on various platforms. He will be the tribe’s public relations point person for local and statewide media.

“I am thrilled to join the HBMI family in this new position,” Cyr said. “The Maliseets have a wealth of stories to explore and I am looking forward to learning as much as I can about the local tribal community to bring those stories to a wider audience.”

Cyr is a native of Houlton, where he lives with his wife Charity and daughters Isabel and Olivia.