Candidate Essay: Faron Jackson Sr.

Chairperson Candidate: Faron Jackson Sr.



Boozhoo Honorable Leech Lakers, I am humbly asking for your support to continue the great work that we started together in 2016, 2020, and into 2024.  We have experienced great success in rebuilding our Nation but more work needs to be done.  As we continue the journey together, a great many challenges still face us.  My campaign platform on where we started and the plan for the future as we move forward.  I will be brief on proposing an Economic Stimulus Package, past accomplishments, our current state of affairs, and future planning.

BACKGROUND:  Laurel and I have been married for 46 years, five children, five adopted children, 25 grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and a licensed foster parent for over 31 years.  I had attended Twin City Occupation Industry Center and Dunwoody Institute, retired from Xcel Energy after 31 years, worked at Honeywell for 7 years, serving as your Chairman for almost 8 years, and voted MCT TEC Vice-President.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS:  As we all know, its next to impossible to find support or positive outcomes without the help of other governmental entities.  What have we gained by being friends with the Minnesota Governor, MN Legislature, the President of the U.S., and Congress.  Here is why its so important to have established and grown those relationships will be explained in our success today and in future plans.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Since the1800’s, we had been told that the possibility of getting our land back wouldn’t happen in our lifetimes.  In 2020, Leech Lake’s illegally taken land in the amount of 11,760 acres has been returned.  In 2023, the MBL surveyor had identified another 4,362 acres that had an illegal secretarial transfer and U.S. Senator Smith had introduced bill S.F. 616.  Our ancestors and elders had a vision to see our lands returned was not forgotten but we bravely told their stories.  Below are priorities the people shared and the elected leaders responded:

* In 2017, opened the Shingobee on the Bay & Casino.

* In 2018, a new Community Center in Onigum.

* In 2018, a new $12 million Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School.

* In 2019, a new $50 million Cedar Lakes Casino & Hotel.

* In 2020, LL was dealing with the Covid-19 Pandemic.

* In 2021, LL Market was created with the purchase of Teal’s Market.

* In 2021, LL receives approximately $80 million in Covid-19 funds.

* In 2022, S. Lake Community Center renovations completed.

* In 2022, Chairman & RBC approve a new minimum wage of $15.00 dollars.

* In 2023, MN Governor’s bonding bill of $24 million for 3 LL Wellness Centers.

* In 2023, MN Governor approved $35 million in aid for the 11 Tribes.

* In 2023, LL awarded $18.7 million Broadband Grant.

* In 2023, MN Indian Scholarship program awarded $6.3 million.

* In 2023, Anji-Be-Mah-Diz Recovery Center awarded $850,000 dollars.

* In 2024, Private Landowner returning 360 acres to LL ownership.

* In 2024, LL awarded $1.5 million Tiwahe Project grant.

* In 2024, LL opens 20 bed Woman’s Treatment Recovery Center.

* In 2024, LL was awarded $3.5 million USDA grant for a wild rice plant.

* In 2024, LL RBC creates $40 million Tribal Reserve Fund.

ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE: In 2021, we had received an infusion of $80 million in federal funds through the Covid-19 Recovery Funds for Tribal Governments.  These Covid-19 funds had been used to fund gaming & the administration for over 2-years.  During that time, we had been able to save on not spending any of the LLBO General Funds.  As of January 9, 2024, the RBC created by res. the $40 million Tribal Reserve Fund.  Why now, we have high inflation, electric disconnect notices, families can’t find employment, and putting food on the table.  We will recommend to the RBC for an Economic Stimulus Package in the amount of $1,500 for Adults and $500 for under 18 yrs in their trust account.

FUTURE PROJECTS & PROPOSALS: In a lifetime struggle for our grandchildren and kids, the debate to include a process for them to be enrolled.  In 2015, we had passed MCT Resolution 32-15 states, “other Chippewa blood…” and re-approved in 2023.  In 2023, the MCT, TEC had approved MCT Res. for implementation.  In 2024, we will be introducing a LLBO Res. that shall implement MCT Res. 32-15 for Enrollment Eligibility.  We must take a final stand on the idea of self-preservation by honoring our sovereignty and being an independent Nation that existed before the MCT or a Treaty.  Here are other ideas that Leech Lakers expressed as being important:

* Treatment Programs that includes the circle of continuum care and located at Home.

* Food Sovereignty that continues the planning for a Buffalo Farm.

* LL Wellness Center funding for a bigger facility located in Cass Lake.

* Restore funding that was cut from the Youth Programs & Activities.

* Addressing the ICWA Law out-of-compliance with MN Commissioner & Counties.

* Supporting I.H.S. Plan for a Drive-thru Pharmacy & Lobbying for an Orthodontist.

* Presenting a proposal for local business purchases, i.e. White Oak Suites or Y Bottle Shop.

* Restore funding for other LLBO Divisions & Programs.

* Establishing a list of priorities to present to the MN Governor & U.S. Congressional leaders.

CLOSING STATEMENT: We have a solid track record of supporting the community gatherings, the LIC’s, the Pow Wows, and the Band members activities. When the people spoke, the Chairman’s vision of building a Nation that serves our people became the highest priority.  We had walked a long journey together; we took on the Huber Logging Giant and won; we had fought for the ICWA Law in the U.S. Supreme Court and won; and we have the biggest challenge in front of us—moving forward the new priorities of the Leech Lake Nation.  The seven Grandfather teachings will guide all of us as we work together.  Support Chairman Faron Jackson, Sr. with the honor of being your Chairman in 2024.  Mii-Gwetch!