BENA– The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe held their Quarterly Meeting on Thursday, April 18th at the Bena Community Center. Tribal Chairman Faron Jackson Sr. gave the opening remarks followed by a financial report from Secretary-Treasurer, Arthur LaRose. The report featured financial data from both government and gaming operations.
A number of resolutions concerning enrollment were passed at the meeting. These resolutions included new enrollments, ineligible enrollments, and transfers to and from the band. New employees hired in the past quarter were also introduced and welcomed at the meeting.
Last on the agenda were presentations from Division Directors in attendance on their activities over the past three months, as well as time dedicated for audience members to address the council directly with their ideas and concerns for the band.
The Quarterly Meetings are held every three months on a rotating schedule between each district on the reservation. The next Quarterly Meeting will be held in July. All band members are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Division Director Report Summaries
- Paul Day and Gary Charwood met with the ICWA Collaborative group and special guest Jerry Milner head to children’s bureau for the federal government at the NLC, March 5th
- Tribal Court officials met with Deer River, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig and Cass Lake Bena schools to establish a chapter of the “United Nations Tribal Youth Council”(UNITY) at each school.
- 100 new cases were filed between January 1st through March 20th.
- Housing conducted 60 Radon Tests within the last quarter.
- Inspectors also conducted 237 unit inspections for substandard conditions, health and safety issues in the LLHA housing stock.
- The Modernization Department renovated 27 homes during this reporting period.
Roads and Construction
- Snow removal has been ongoing throughout the Reservation for the last Quarter.
- The Mission Road NE project has been extended until summer 2019.
- Surveying and staking has been occurring for ongoing projects such as the Prescott and Bena bike trail.
- The Tribal Development Housing Initiative has been developed to address the housing needs of the band in a strategic and cost-effective manner, the team behind this initiative will begin drawing up plans for potential apartment complexes across the reservation.
- Construction for the Cass Lake area Homeless Shelter will start this spring with a goal to have a facility open by August/September 2019. The shelter will be under the Human Services Division.
- Veterans Cemetery Project Site has been selected and secured on the Veteran Memorial Grounds. This will be the first Tribal Veterans Cemetery that will be located on an Indian Reservation in Minnesota. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has been awarded a Tribal Veterans Cemetery Grant in the amount of 3.3 Million on September 18, 2017, amount based on approved construction bid. completion date will be spring 2019.
- Planning and Grant proposal submitted and underway for the development and expansion of childcare services. Applied for ICDBG in the amount of $700,000 for aforementioned project.
- Planning underway for development of a new $5 million Health Division building, as the previous site was condemned.
- Community Services Emergency Home Repair Program
- Total Service Calls for Dist. I: 28
- Total Service Calls for Dist. II: 23
- Total Service Calls for Dist. III: 112
- Total Service Calls for Other Reservations/Programs: 4
- Total Service Calls for Rough Boxes: 25
- Completed the reinstallation of the activation hardware for sirens.
- Public Safety participated in interagency field deployment boom exercise.
- Hosted Hazwoper class
- Worked on population climate change vulnerability report
- Hired Taylor Humphrey, and Chad Ashford
- Recently awarded $719,962 to hire victim services staff to specialize in serving children, youth and families affected by crime. Part of this will be used to fund three additional Crime Victim Advocates.
- 2nd K-9 officer is going through certification, will be deployed in the next few weeks.
- Environmental staff negotiated an agreement with Enbridge pipeline company that Enbridge will remove line 3 that currently runs through the Leech Lake Reservation.
- DRM Director and Forestry Program Director have started an integrated resource management plan that will help all of the DRM programs work together to sustain the bands natural resources.
- Work continues to be done on congressional land transfer of 11,700 acres
- DRM has been assisting in the purchase of two points property.
- DRM has continued to work on developing a MOU with the Chippewa National Forest to address forest service management priorities.
- DRM met with new Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner
- Mental Health Professionals had a total of 834 client contacts for therapy and/or clinical consults in the last reporting period.
- 84 clients are currently in Leech Lake Opioid Treatment
- There have 866 approved applications for 2019 fiscal year for energy assistance.
- Tribal Referral has assisted with 192 completed applications for medical gas vouchers and and 173 medical checks.
- The car seat program assisted 44 families and 62 car seats were distributed this reporting period.
- Health Services started a teen outreach pilot program, that will eventually become school curriculum in 2019/2020 at Deer River, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, and Cass Lake schools. There have been talks to expand this curriculum to 6 other learning institutions.
- A staff member has been trained and licensed to be doula and breastfeeding consultant.
- The Tribal Statewide Health improvement partnership (SHIP) opened the Cass Lake ice skating rink.
- The LLBO boxing program is set to begin implementing training schedules across the reservation.
- Community Health Services assessment will begin soon to determine what services are needed.
- 20 people were hired for full-time positions through TERO.
- 18 Youthbuild participants have completed NNCER certification.
- The Native American Rights Fund will be visiting the reservation soon to present the first draft of the updated reservation education code.