PETERSBURG, Wis. (WXOW) - Michael Day is this month's recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service.
He serves as a Native American Advisor to Wisconsin colleges and Wisconsin prisons.
As a youth, Michael was mentored into the spiritual Native American practice by Lakota Medicine Man Henry Crow Dog.
Today, people come from all over to meet him and to attend his monthly prayer ceremony that takes place in a sweat lodge.
"All you have to do is ask for help and I'll help you. I'll do the best I can," said Michael.
Michael is a respected elder of the Ho-Chunk Nation. He is also a sanctioned spiritual teacher.
Barb Schaeffer attended one of Michael's sweat lodge ceremonies.
"I had autoimmune issues. I had two failed spinal surgeries and I was in chronic pain. I was on 600 pills a month," said Barb.
Today, Barb is healthy and says she owes it all to Michael and his work here in this sweat lodge.
"It was the most profound life experience I've ever had," said Schaeffer.
Michael learned early on about service above self. The lesson was given to him by his grandfather using an ear of corn.
"He said look at this. There's a red one, there's a white one, there's a black one, there's a yellow one. We're here together," said Michael.