Minneapolis- The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe held their regular Quarterly Meeting on Friday, October 11th, 2019, at the new location of the Leech Lake Twin Cities Office.
The Band purchased the new office space for $2.9 million earlier this year. Renovations were completed this month leading up to the grand opening of the new location on Friday. Tribal Chairman Faron Jackson who was present in Minneapolis for the official opening, said owning a building in Minneapolis is a huge step for the tribe.
“This is a historic day for our Urban Band Members, Twin Cities Office staff and our Tribe as a whole.” said Jackson. “Chi-Miigwech to all the staff who worked tirelessly to make this happen. The move from long-term renter to property owner will greatly benefit us all.”
The address for the new LL Twin Cities Office is 2438 27th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55406. Offices are located on the second floor.
Following a dedication of the building, Tribal Chairman Faron Jackson Sr. gave the opening remarks for the quarterly meeting followed by a financial report from Secretary-Treasurer, Arthur LaRose. The report features 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 January. All band members are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Division Director Report Summaries
- 122 new cases were filed between July 1st and September 26th.
- Tribal Court conducted 228 hearings during the reporting period.
- Judge Paul Day attended a University Minnesota Duluth ICWA collaborative meeting. Judge days attendance is part of a 5 year initiative to improve ICWA implementations.
- Tribal Court has an open house set for adolescence outpatient building, dates were not provided.
- 33 community youth attended the UNITY conference in Florida, July 2nd-July 11th.
- The 7th Generation Youth (Substance Abuse) Summit was held Aug 21-23rd at Northern Lights Casino. 75 youth participated in the 3 day event.
- Housing repaired 6 radon mitigation systems during the reporting period.
- Housing Inspected 30 radon systems during the reporting period.
- Department is involved with implementing new radon resistant construction into Leech Lake homes that are being developed in Prescott area.
- There were 211 units inspected during the reporting period.
Roads and Construction
- Construction on Mission Road NE has been completed.
- The Shingobee turn lane project is set to be complete at the end of September,2019.
- Survey and staking is taking place on Womack road, Flint road and Shingobee for needed construction.
- The Bena streets project has entered the planning/design phase.
- The newly developed Homeless shelter in District 3 is set to open November,2019.
- Tribal Development is coordinating with Census 2020 to assist with data collection for tribe.
- The capital improvement plan to address infrastructure needs, draft has been finished. The capital improvement plan will see to pre-determine development schedules and fast track infrastructure projects.
- The Tribal Veterans Memorial grounds opened June 6th, 2019.
- Tribal Development is working with early childhood for expansion of childcare services.
- Initial planning is underway to determine the feasibility of converting old Palace Casino hotel into an in-patient treatment facility. This project is overseen by Human Services A&D unit.
- The 2nd opioid response summit is to be held December 2019.
- Tribal Development remains in the planning stages for a new 5 million health division building.
- The S.Lake elementary has been condemned and will be removed for land redevelopment.
- Tribal Development is assisting in the development of a reservation transportation plan alongside: Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, Region 5 Commission, The Headwaters Regional Development Commission and as well as the state of MN through Regional Transportation Coordinating Council.
- Public Safety hired a crime victim advocate supervisor and an additional advocate for the Tribal Justice Center.
- The department also added an additional domestic violence investigator in collaboration with Women’s Services.
- In the reporting period there were: 43 arrests made, 5 firearms seized, $15,800 in narcotics seized, and $3000 of cash seized.
- The Leech Lake Police Department was given a compliance award given by the state of MN for “peace officer standards and training board.”
- The Department of Resource Management and Tribal Council met with the MN Department of Natural Resources assistant director to discuss the obtainment of land behind the Bena community center for band use.
- The DRM director has had a number of meetings with the Chippewa National Forest supervisor to discuss the band acquiring the Cut Foot Sioux ranger station, so the Inger community can build a c-store.
- The DRM director also met with the Corps of Engineer Colonel to set up future meetings regarding trust responsibilities surrounding bodies of water on tribal lands.
- The DRM department continues to work on the congressional bill to get back 11,700 acres of land from Chippewa National Forest which were acquired illegally.
- An MOU was signed with the Chippewa National Forest, Oct. 4th regarding future forest service management priorities. The tribe hopes to restore prior forest composition to back before destructive logging practices took place.
- 120,00 pounds of green wild rice were purchased from band members at $3 a pound, which put $300,000 dollars back into tribal member pockets.
- The DRM department has purchased wild rice furnishing equipment and a parcel of land. The department hopes to have a small wild rice processing plant running by next wild rice season.
- 63 new employees have attended orientation in the reporting period.
- 41 participants have attended training various training sessions in the reporting period.
- 21 total training sessions were held during the reporting period.
- The first draft of employee wellness policy has been created.
- The Leech lake Veterans program aided 234 veterans and 6 surviving spouses in obtaining the yearly veterans assistance of $300.
- The Lyman Losh transitional home/Bena shelter had 8 success stories where residents found stable employment and/or housing
- The car seat program assisted 67 families, and distributed 82 car seats during the reporting period.
- Health advisories were submitted for blastomycosis and lung damage in young people due to vaping.
- The Second Annual Leech Lake Days Warrior Obstacle was held and had 42 participants.
- Four schools agreed to have Teen Outreach Programming (Deer River, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, Bemidji Middle School, and Cass Lake ALC.) The program is only being held at Cass Lake ALC and Deer River due to lack of staffing.
- Patient benefit coordinators program have assisted with 74 community members with medical assistance and/or CAF applications during the reporting period.
- This past quarter, the food distribution program served 581 low income households. The program in total has 888 people being served.
- The old head start in Sugar Point is currently being renovated into a health clinic. The health clinic is set to open spring 2020.
- A healing walk will be held October 17th at the Cass Lake Boys and Girls Club.
- The TERO program continues to grow. TERO participants have been involved in the tribal homeless shelter construction, the IHS expansion, and the ECD health clinic Bluewater building in Bemidji.
- Temporary employment currently has 40 daily workers.
- TERO offered 2 flagger training during the reporting period.
- Education developed the cohort calendar for 2019-2020 for Ojibwe language.