Quarterly Meeting Held January 6, 2023 in Sugar Point

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SUGAR POINT – The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe held their Quarterly Meeting in person Friday, January 6th, at the Sugar Point community center.

Tribal Chairman Faron Jackson Sr. gave the opening remarks followed by a financial report from Secretary-Treasurer, Lenny Fineday. 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.

The band also announced their designation of proxy to inform the development of a national native american language resource center, Leech Lake band member Leslie Harper will hold this title and further consultation meetings with Harper will take place January 10th.

Last on the agenda were presentations from Division Directors in attendance on their activities over the past three months. For those who were unable to attend in person, a livestream of the event is available on the official Leech Lake Vimeo and Facebook page.

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 April 2023.

Watch the Quarterly meeting in its entirety here: https://vimeo.com/showcase/9872079/video/778632097

Division Director Quarterly Report Summaries

Tribal Court

  • 113 new cases filed in court, 277 hearings conducted this quarter.
  • Tribal staff traveled to Washington, D.C for the Supreme Court hearing on ICWA (Brackeen vs Haaland)

Education

  • TERO Office awarded $30,000 in funding from EEOC
  • The tribal education code is fast tracked to be completed this year alongside its implementation.

Health

  • WIC manager has retired as of December 15th, participants should contact their local county WICprogram until early February.
  • Drive thru covid and flu vaccines event was held in collaboration with IHS
  • Health Division sponsored a Seven Grandfathers teaching by JAmes Vukelich Kaagegaabaw.
  • Leech Lake and IHS received the national organization of the state offices of rural health award for their efforts to improve access to quality health care.
  • A Community healing walk is set to be held during the month of January 2023.
  • Holistic Health program is currently working on the American Indian Life Skills (AILS) development curriculum for CLBHS students. Implementation date is January 2023.
  • TCO elders advocate computers installed in the Twin Cities office.
  • EHDI has implemented grief support meetings in various communities that meet once per week.
  • Leech Lake food distribution served 228 households and 283 people, and 93 elder deliveries.
  • The elderly nutrition program has served 20,726 meals over the past quarter.

Public Safety

  • BIA grant for highway safety officers was renewed in the amount of $421,122.
  • Staff is participating in National highway safety initiatives.
  • Pets for life is extremely busy and had a larger number of animal intakes and serviced through the last quarter.
  • Officers are continuing with new MN peace officer standards per MN legislation.
  • LLTPD and other divisions have begun to host PHERT meetings to collaborate on resources to address fentanyl overdoses in the community.
  • Applied and received EMPG grant to repair sirens and obtain dive team equipment for LLTPD.
  • Applied and received a 1 year extension for HMEP hazardous materials training grant.

Resource Management

  • Awarded 216K of BIL funding for brownfields survey and inventory of contaminated sites on the Reservation.
  • Staff is working on official reservation Water Quality Standards (WQS) for Tribal council review in early 2023.
  • Work continues on St.Regis Superfund site with EPA on OU7 areas. Comments were submitted to EPA on August, 26, 2022.
  • In August of 2022, Cass County excavated and moved potentially contaminated soils on the superfund site and off site. Staff is currently working alongside LL Legal on a letter to issue a remedial plan to Cass County.
  • Staff hosted the EPA Regional Tribal Operations committee November 29-30. Event was attended in person and virtually.
  • Staff hosted MN Subcabinet on Climate Change for a tour of LL sustainability project.
  • LL hosted the State Tribal Relations training in October. The Interim Environmental Director participated and presented.
  • Work continues on Huber frontier project review. LL staff hosted a multi-agency federal MOU meeting to discuss the project.
  • New line 3 construction was completed in October 2021, off reservation. Removal of legacy line 3 within the reservation boundaries is currently being coordinated.
  • BIA identified an additional 4,362 acres of land for secretarial land transfer legislation. Work will continue on land transfer with newly identified lands.
  • DRM was awarded 250K via MNDOT for implementation of further EV infrastructure on Tribal lands, and to test use of electrical vehicles for the fleet.
  • Wildlife staff hosted the first youth event, “ma’iingan in the moonlight” for an overnight trip to Ely, MN.
  • Youth were able to explore what it’s like to be a wildlife biologist during trip to the international wolf center and the north american bear center.
  • Covid quarantine homes are set to be established in Districts I & II.

Human Services

  • LLBO has 6 transitional homes, all homes are currently being used by reunited families during their transition periods.
  • Leech Lake Behavioral Health is at a caseload capacity. Community members are recommended to see clinic mental health services through alternative area agencies.
  • Tribal referral has assisted with 185 medical gas vouchers, 186 medical assistant checks, 31 heat loans and 184 applications for emergency rental assistance and 102 re-certifications.
  • Energy assistance has logged, approved and denied a total of 721 household applications.
  • The Cass Lake Emergency Shelter program had a total of 49 individuals, and 23 family intakes.
  • On February 1, 2022 the Cass Lake emergency shelter program will be opening up to the public again and will be taking people at 5pm monday thru thursday and opening fridays at the same time for weekend duration stays

Legal

  • Legal Department is currently searching for an ICWA paralegal
  • Work with DRM and special environmental counsel Ogden Murphy Wallace on St.Regis superfund site is progressing.
  • Prince of Peace Lane litigation work continues as staff evaluate for potential settlement of access.Outstanding issues are expected to be resolved in January 2023.
  • The federal multidistrict opioid litigation is moving slowly but there are now Tribal government settlements that are being approved. Settlements with Johnson and Johnsons and three major distributors have been approved and will provide 2.3 million to LLBO for use in opioid addiction treatment, opioid interdiction, related child welfare issues and opioid abatement. Johnson and Johnson payments will be 585,600 in two payments. Distributor settlements will be 1.7 million spread across 6 years.
  • The MDL opioid cases settlements have resulted in Leech Lake receiving 5.8 million dollars in funds.
  • Legal continues work on opposing installation of the Huber OSB manufacturing facility.
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