UPDATE: Meeting times have changed due to a scheduling conflict at the Northern Lights Event Center. The meeting will start at 10:00 AM on December 18 instead of 12:00 PM and on December 19 the meeting will end at 3:00PM instead of 4:00 PM. Miigwech
All MCT Band Members living in the vicinity of the Leech Lake Reservation are encouraged to attend this important meeting regarding the Constitution of the MN Chippewa Tribe.
This meeting is part of an ongoing effort by the Tribal Executive Committee (TEC) of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT) to engage the public in discussion regarding potential constitutional reform.
The meetings are being facilitated by the Native Institute (NNI) of the University of Arizona, with support from the Native Governance Center. Each tribe can also designate a co-facilitator to assist in planning and conducting the event on their reservation.
The purpose of these meetings is to allow individuals to attend and express their concerns with the present Constitution as well to present their ideas for a new or revised Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Constitution. Each meeting begins with a strategic thinking exercise where participants are asked to finish this statement: “I want my (grand) children to live in a tribal community where …”. By the end of the two-day meeting participants will have generated a list of suggested changes to the Constitution, Tribal Government structure and any other issues they choose to address. All of the results and findings from each of the meetings will be compiled and delivered to the MCT-TEC by the Native Nations institute.
At a special meeting on June 29, 2017 at Northern Lights Casino in Walker, the TEC voted to schedule these informational meetings. Leech Lake Chairman Faron Jackson said, “It seems bizarre that we have to operate under a constitution that was designed by the federal government.”
The current Constitution was adopted by members of the six MCT Bands as part of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Several TEC members and others in attendance at the special meeting stressed that it is out of date and was created by the Bureau of Indian Affairs — not by tribal members.
The Constitutional Convention Informational meeting for the Leech Lake Reservation will be held, December 18 from 10am to 4pm and December 19 from 8:30am to 3pm, at the Northern Lights Casino Event Center (see Day 1, Day 2). All MCT Band Members and interested persons are encouraged to attend.
Other upcoming meetings also have been scheduled. In Minneapolis on December 14 &15 at the InterContinental Hotel in St. Paul and in Grand Portage on January 22 & 23 at the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino. More info on those meetings are available here.
Meetings have previously been held on Mille Lacs Reservation in August, White Earth Reservation in September, Bois Forte Reservation in October and most recently on Fond du Lac Reservation in November.
If you are unable to attend any of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Constitutional Convention meetings, you may send your comments to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Attn: Jane Bruce, P.O. Box 217, Cass Lake, MN 56633, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the MN Chippewa Tribe
The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT) consists of the Bois Forte, Fond Du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and White Earth reservations. The MCT was created in 1934 and formally recognized by the Secretary of the Interior in 1936. It serves as a centralized governing body for the six tribes, representing an estimated total population of 41,000 Native Americans.
The Tribal Executive Committee (TEC) is composed of the Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer from each of the six member bands. The TEC selects from within the group a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer for two-year terms. The remaining officials act as board members.