ONIGUM– The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe held their Quarterly Meeting Friday, July 12th at the Onigum 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. Time was also dedicated for audience members to address the council directly with their ideas and concerns for the band.
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 October. All band members are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Division Director Report Summaries
● There were 154 new cases filed between March 21, 2019 through June 20th, 2019
● Associate Judge Amber Ahola has been working on truancy process/issues. She has met with staff from Governor Walz Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and the Northwest Juvenile Detention Center about creating a tribal advisory board for Northwest Juvenile Detention Center.
● There are ongoing projects throughout the Leech Lake Reservation in regards to educating and promoting the awareness of the crisis that is happening in our communities related to opioids.
● Planning continues for Youth Summit regarding opioid crisis, set to take place August 21st, 22nd, 23rd.
● 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 3-4 apartment complexes across the reservation, as well as duplexes.
● 546 wilder foundation reservation homeless surveys were completed. Survey results are expected to bring in funding to develop housing, transitional housing, and community supportive housing. Tribal Development is currently waiting on official release of survey report.
● Construction is under way for a homeless shelter in District 3, shelter is expected to open in September or early October of 2019.
● Tribal Development is coordinating with US Census 2020 to assist with data collection for band, as Native American populations are typically under represented.
● The Veterans Cemetery final completion and dedication was held June 6th , 2019. Closeout will begin on grant used for project.
● Community Services Emergency Home Repair Program
● Total Service Calls for Dist. I: 16
● Total Service Calls for Dist. II: 18
● Total Service Calls for Dist. III: 77
● Total Service Calls for Other Reservations/Programs: 1
● Total Service Calls for Rough Boxes: 20
● Snowshoe Hare habitat fieldwork completed, analysis of data expected to start soon.
● Information shared with various outlets regarding invasive species, in order to promote community awareness.
● Online story map is now available on the DRM website for band members to see the effects of climate change on the reservation.
● The orchard instillation collaboration project with Health Division continues. The blueberry planting at the Bena Community Center is completed, work will continue on Ball Club orchard following staff follow up. The Leech Lake Tribal College orchard is set to be installed July 8th.
● A Memorandum of Understanding with the Chippewa National Forest to address forest service management priorities is expected to be signed soon.
● Mental Health Professionals had a total of 650 client contacts for therapy and/or clinical consults in the last reporting period.
● Leech Lake Opioid Treatment program has launched a woman’s sweat lodge that will now occur twice a month, first lodge was held June 18th, 2019.
● Tribal Referral has assisted with 196 completed applications for medical gas vouchers and 215 medical checks.
• Steps have been taken to establish a dive team for the tribal police department.
• Red Cross award received for partnership with them
• Large scale drug bust occurred in the reporting period in the Prescott area
Roads and Construction
● The Mission Road NE project has commenced, paving is complete. Project is expected to be completed by August 2019
● Speed bumps have been installed in requested areas.
● Surveying and staking has been occurring for ongoing projects such as the new casino area, Onigum area, and Bena bike trail ect.
● Housing inspected 10 Radon systems during this reporting period.
● Inspectors also conducted 152 unit inspections for substandard conditions, health and safety issues in the LLHA housing stock.
● The Modernization Department renovated 73 homes during this reporting period.
● The car seat program assisted 65 families and 86 car seats were distributed this reporting period.
● There were 1463 registered participants for the annual memorial walk/run
● 3 nurses have become certified lactation consultants.
● Four schools agreed to have TOP programming as curriculum for after-school program (Deer River, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, Bemidji Middle School, and Cass Lake ALC)
● 225 students awarded funding for spring and summer session
● Grant for new childcare center in Cass Lake has been approved, the design process will start soon.