CHAIRMAN’S MONTHLY REPORT- OCTOBER 2023
Boozhoo, my relatives, friends, community members and all! The Leech Lake RBC Tribal Council is moving forward on a methodical agenda with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and the U.S. Congress. The Tribal Council members continue to work tirelessly in advocating for unmet need dollars for the Leech Lake Band and its People. As we continue to move forward, here is some of the news being reported to the great Leech Lake Nation.
- Onigum Head Start Program Invites Chairman Faron Jackson, Sr. for Pumpkin Carving – On October 19, 2023 Chairman Jackson, Sr. and his wife Laurel had been invited to the Leech Lake Onigum Head Start to share in carving pumpkins with our precious children. Chairman Jackson, Sr. had stated, “He had forgotten how much fun it was to carve pumpkins with the children. The smiles on their faces had lit up the entire room. My wife and I had been honored to share this community event with the children. We will definitely be back next year to share in the fun and watching the big smiles on our children’s faces with ear to ear grins.”
- Leech Lake Quarterly Meeting was Hosted by the Ball Club Community – On October 20, 2023 Chairman Jackson, Sr. had provided a brief quarterly report on the news, hot topics, and U.S. Congressional action items supported by the Leech Lake Nation. The Chairman’s office has made the enrollment criteria a top priority that needs to be addressed for our children’s future. In almost 9 years, the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Tribal Executive Committee has been trying to resolve the enrollment eligibility because it’s too restrictive. The MCT, TEC had passed Resolution 32-15 states, “…adult members of the MCT should be able to cast a ballot on the question of whether other Chippewa blood should be counted towards Tribal membership.” This would be a good starting point that could run in tandem with the MCT Constitution Delegation Reform’s process. It’s time, we count all Chippewa blood in the enrollment process.
On February 25, 2015 MCT Resolution 32-15 was passed with a vote of 11 for, 0 against, and 1 silent. The purpose of passing this resolution was to fairly count all Chippewa blood in enrollment eligibility. The MCT Resolution 32-15 had stated, “Minnesota Chippewa Indian Blood has been defined by the MCT TEC to be blood derived from one or more of the six constituent Bands of the MCT.” In July of 2023 at the MCT TEC Quarterly Meeting, we had a motion to implement MCT Resolution 32-15 that passed with a vote of 7 for, 4 against, and 1 silent. The purpose of this MCT Resolution 32-15 was to address the Wilder Research Report on population projections and methodology. The Wilder Research Report had a graph that showed Leech Lake’s population in 2013 was 9,244 enrollees and by 2098, the enrollment numbers would be 3,152 to 5,914 enrolled members. We are systematically losing our Leech Lake Nation and its children from being enrolled under the present MCT Enrollment Ordinance.
Finally, your Chairman’s position is simple, Leech Lake is a sovereign and an independent Nation that exercised those rights before a treaty(s) was ever signed or the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe existed. Leech Lake is not asking the other five (5) Bands to change their enrollment process. As the Chairman, we have the inherent authority to decide our enrollment criteria as a point of exercising self-determination.
- Leech Lake RBC Tribal Council has been Supporting the Cass Lake Indian Hospital Expansions & Improvements – On October 20, 2023 Chairman Faron Jackson, Sr. at the Ball Club Quarterly Meeting is requesting community support from the City of Cass Lake, Leech Lake enrollees to call or write their City Councils members to support the I.H.S. Expansion and Drive-thru Pharmacy. In recent years and going forward the Cass Lake I.H.S. in collaboration with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has made the expansion and improvement of the facility a high priority with goals of improving access, patient experiences and making this facility the first choice for quality healthcare for the Leech Lake Band.
- Chairman Jackson, Sr. Receives New Covid-19 Booster and Flu Vaccination Shots at Cass Lake Indian Health Services – On October 3, 2023 Chairman Jackson, Jr. and his wife Laurel had been vaccinated with the new Covid-19 booster and flu shots. Chairman Jackson, Sr. is cordially encouraging all Leech Lake Band members to make an appointment for their vaccination shots. This public service notice is especially for our loved ones that are older, with autoimmune health conditions and protecting themselves from illness. The Cass Lake I.H.S. had just received the new Covid-19 booster shots and ready for appointments.
- New Leech Lake RBC Tribal Council Donation Policy – The Leech Lake Administration and Tribal Council have been reviewing the Draft Donation Policy. The Policy statement is the LLBO Tribal Council will apply fair, consistent, and transparent processes when providing donations for worthy activities benefitting Tribal members, individuals or groups. Please feel free to request a copy for your review.
- New Leech Lake Solid Waste Price Increases – The Department of Public Works is recommending a price increase because of the high cost of fuel and dumping fees will be effective December 1, 2023. Please feel free to request a copy for your review.
Safety note, as we stoke up our furnaces for the cooler fall weather. Please check your filter for better efficiency with the operation of your furnace and you may save some money in the long run. A general inspection of the furnace, smoke stack positioning, and does the blower sound correct when operating. If not, contact a professional for service, like LLHA or LLBO Community Services Programs. Please be safe and take care!