Annual Reports – SOTB 2021
There are two goals of Leech Lake Gaming:
• To provide revenue to assist in supporting Tribal Programs.
• To provide jobs to Leech Lake Band and community members thus enhancing the economic development of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.
Through planning and direction, Leech Lake Gaming provides both. As well as providing revenue and jobs, reinvesting in on our operations and maximizing the efficiency of operations ensures the longevity of both the revenue stream and employment opportunities.
COVID and Gaming
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Leech Lake Gaming experienced the first shut down of operations since beginning in the mid-1980s in March of 2020. Gaming operations remained closed until late June resulting in the temporary layoff of over 700 employees. During the shutdown, Leech Lake Gaming took the lead on COVID Food Security to get food out to the communities, ensuring safe food options during the pandemic. From the first deliveries last spring, working with Facility Management and local LICs, over 12,000 food boxes have been distributed throughout the reservation as well as the Twin Cities and Duluth.
Primary focus was placed during the downtime to develop a phased in Reopening Safety Plan was developed to mitigate as much risk as possible as gaming operations were re-established. Focus was placed on safety of guests and employees through advanced safety protocols developed by the WHO, CDC, MN Department of Health, the Leech Lake Health Division, and the LLBO Incident Management Team. Leech Lake Gaming properties focused and continue to focus on sanitation practices, masks, social distancing, and as well moved forward vaccinations as they became available, offering vaccine opportunities to all employees and as of late the guests that frequent our casinos. These efforts achieved zero cases of confirmed COVID transmission from guest to guest, guest to employee, or employee to employee to this point in time. Leech Lake Gaming continues to work through the phased reopening as progress through the pandemic improves so additional gaming and amenities can be safely reopened.
Leech Lake Gaming has been key in providing jobs to the Band and surrounding communities as well as revenue generation to assist in the funding of Tribal programs. Leech Lake Gaming has grown in revenue, job generation, and profitability since its inception in the mid-1980s. The goal of Council and gaming administration was to ensure that this would continue as the pandemic subsides. Leech Lake Gaming has reopened successfully phasing in operations as they are deemed safe and profitable and is now approaching pre-COVID revenue and in several months exceeding pre-COVID profitability. Leech Lake Gaming continues to be a center of the economic activity for the region. However, unlike private business, Leech Lake Gaming drives the community with its cash flow. It is also important to note that all furloughed employees benefits were continued without interruption during the shutdown and employees who have remained on furlough.
• Investment in the Tribal Community through allocation of funding to Tribal Operations and Programs.
o Each year Leech Lake Gaming contributes millions of dollars to the Tribe through direct allocation to the General Fund.
During the period around COVID, rather than generating revenue for distribution to the Band, the Band protected its investments by ensuring continued financial stabilization during the pandemic.
Since reopening operations, Leech Lake Gaming has once again become a revenue stream for the band with distributions beginning again this spring.
These funds provide substantial dollars to the general fund to assist in the operation of Tribal programs. The goal is to recover from the restricted operations and begin growth as quickly and safely as possible.
• Providing Employment of Leech Lake Band Members and the Community.
o Leech Lake Gaming normally employs over 1,100 people, of which approximately 500 are Leech Lake Band Members. Currently, approximately 900 employees have returned to work. Nearly 50% of all Leech Lake Gaming employees are Leech Lake Band Members and 64% of all employees are Native American.
o Over 70% of all directors and managers are Leech Lake Band Members.
o In a normal year, Leech Lake Gaming pays over $35 Million in Wages and Benefits. With the shutdown and phased reopening, the payroll will not reach those levels but will begin to approach pre-COVID numbers in the coming months.
• Reinvestment in Gaming Operations. The key to continued long-term profitability is the continued investment in the Leech Lake Gaming casinos. Each year, a substantial portion of operating income is reinvested in capital to ensure the continued profitability of gaming for years to come.
o Enhancements during Shutdown Leech Lake Gaming took advantage of the shutdown time to perform some needed upgrades and maintenance without affecting our operational flow. Casino carpet was replaced at both White Oak Casino and Northern Lights Casino and a major renovation took place at Northern Lights Hotel.
o Cedar Lakes Casino Hotel. In August of 2019, Leech Lake Gaming opened Cedar Lakes Casino. This has proven to be a positive revenue stream since the doors opened.
o Northern Lights Casino. Northern Lights Casino is nearing the end of its financing and is poised to profitably operate for many years to come. Taking care of the property and the customer base there will continue to pay dividends through reinvestment in our operations. The final planning phases of expanded RV accessibility is in its final planning phases with ground breaking expected this spring.
o White Oak Casino. White Oak Casino continues to provide a very positive impact on the financial position of Leech Lake Gaming. A feasibility study has been completed and infrastructure for the City of Deer River is expected to be completed in the next year which will allow for the consideration by the Band of possible expansion of this property.
o Small Businesses. Leech Lake Gaming, continues oversight of operational and financial performance of the small businesses to include Leech Lake Supply, Leech Lake Express, and Northern Lights Express has worked to enhance accountability and efficiency of the businesses. Several branding campaigns are in progress with the C-Stores becoming Marathon Gas and Che We Office supply being rebranded to Leech Lake Supply. Leech Lake Gaming is currently conducting a feasibility study to replace the aged Leech Lake Express (Che We) Store complex with a new facility next to Cedar Lakes as well as developing a game plan on the most effective role of Leech Lake Supply.
• Improved Efficiency. Leech Lake Gaming continues to strive to run operations as efficiently as possible.
o Focus on Cost-Controls. As we begin to open up from the pandemic, Leech Lake Gaming continues to focus on cost controls through enhanced efficiency, to ensure solid cash flow from operations to sustain operations and provide revenue to the Band.
o Reinvestment Analysis. Target reinvestment focusing on the guest experience. Items such as advanced promotions, appearance enhancements, etc. to increase the guest satisfaction with the gaming experience. There are several guest rewards programs in the final stages of development which will be released in the next year which will produce both cost savings and enhanced revenue through guest service.
Overall, Gaming continues to generate significant revenue for the Band. Gaming continues to focus on recovery from the pandemic and re-establishing businesses and growth. Commitment and reinvestment by the Band in capital/construction projects will ensure the revenue stream continues into the future thus enhancing the economic position of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Housing Authority was formed by the Leech Lake Reservation Business Committee on September 1, 1963 (Ordinance 63‐01) and has been in existence for over fifty‐seven (57) years proudly serving the people of Leech Lake. The Leech Lake Housing Authority is governed by an elected Board of Commissioners comprised of six (6) community members. Terms are four (4) years with two (2) members being elected from each district to represent the constituents residing within each district. The Board of Commissioners develops policy for the administration to utilize in the day‐to‐day operations of the Leech Lake Housing Authority. The Leech Lake Housing Authority Board meets at the administrative offices at 3:00 pm on the first (1st) and third (3rd) Thursday of each month to conduct business.
The current elected Leech Lake Housing Authority Board of Commissioners is as follows:
• Terri Goggleye, Chairperson and District II BOC member
• Evelyn “Evie” Brown, Vice Chairperson and District III BOC member
• Petra Rodriguez, District I BOC member
• Amanda Youngrunningcrane, Secretary/Treasurer and District I BOC member
• Shawn Monroe, District II BOC member
• Leonard “Jess” Headbird, District I BOC member
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Housing Authority’s mission statement is to develop affordable homes and housing opportunities for Native American Families on the Leech Lake Reservation; to provide efficient and sensitive services that lead to self‐sufficient tenants/ homeowners and healthy and safe communities.
The Leech Lake Housing Authority (LLHA) administrates 1937 Act HUD Low Income housing rental stock, Mutual Help homeownership units, RBC Acquisition units, and Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units. These programs, while providing housing to over five hundred and seventy‐three (573) families, cannot meet the current need of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe tribal members. The LLHA’s various housing programs are accessible to interested families via an application process with a point component for our waiting list for applicants who cannot be served immediately at the time of application. Currently, the LLHA has on average over four hundred and sixty‐two (462) applicants on our waiting list.
In November 2018, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Housing Authority was notified of successfully obtaining funding equating to just under $8,000,000 from the Minnesota Housing in the form of Tax Credits for a new thirty (30) unit single family development know as Leech Lake Homes VIII. During the highly competitive application process, Minnesota Housing received sixty‐three (63) applications for $41.1 million dollars in tax credits. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Housing Authority also received $331,082 of additional funding for its Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines through its Affordable Housing Program (AHP). The AHP is a competitive grant program through the Federal Home Loan Bank system that awards grants and subsidized loans to support affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities. Housing authorities use the extra subsidy to lower or eliminate the need for tribal funding in the developments.
Leech Lake Homes VIII will consist of twelve (12) single family two‐bedroom units, ten (10) single family three‐bedroom units and eight (8) single family four bedroom units. The lots are approximately two (2) acres in size and wooded. The construction methodology will consist of energy conservation, green, and high efficiency mechanical technologies. Leech Lake Homes VIII is being developed just west of the community known as Prescott, which is located approximately five (5) miles south of Cass Lake, MN. Currently, all archeological, historical and environmental site reviews have been conducted. All lots have been surveyed and the architectural and engineering design work has been completed. Twenty‐six (26) lots have been cleared and grubbed, and the remaining four (4) lots will be done after road restrictions have been lifted this spring. Seven (7) foundations have been completed, and the homes set upon their foundations. The other twenty‐three (23) homes have been constructed, and are being stored off‐site at the manufacturer’s facility. We anticipate the project starting back up after road restrictions have been lifted this spring. The development is scheduled to be completed and occupied by the fall/winter of 2021. Residents will have access to the Leech Lake Tribal Transit, which has fixed routes and dial‐a‐ride options, for transportation to work, school, shopping, services, appointments and more. Other amenities near the development include a grocery store, discount store, restaurants, gas stations, tribal government center, police and fire services, a hospital, schools, community centers and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe’s Cedar Lakes Casino.
The LLHA received $1,220,179 in COVID‐19 relief funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Native American Programs (ONAP). This funding was utilized to provide job preservation, direct public health assistance, and lessen economic impact.
The LLHA applied for the COVID‐19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) grant from Minnesota Housing, and we were awarded the amount of $184,000 for housing assistance payments to help prevent eviction, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners.
Through our partnership with the MN Tribal Collaborative, we have received an additional $135,000 from Minnesota Department of Human Services for the funding of case management and direct services targeting homeless persons under the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant. The SOR program offers Case Management and other housing‐related services to individuals and families who are homeless or doubled‐up, and that have a household member who has used opiates. The Opioid Response Case Manager has experience in working with people with opioid use disorder, whether or not it has been diagnosed through a Rule 25 assessment. The goals of the program are to help clients find and maintain housing, reduce the harm from their use and associated behaviors, and help people get into treatment when they are ready. The program also offers these supports to people currently in treatment for opiate use.
The LLHA applied for the Emergency Services Program (ESP) grant and were awarded $20,000, and we also applied for Emergency Services Program COVID‐19 grant and were awarded $57,000. Both of these grants assist families and single adults by providing emergency shelter through hotel/motel vouchers through the LLHA available vendors; but limited and not to exceed 1‐3 days/nights per qualifying clients and utilized under extreme circumstances. Along with vouchers, the ESP Program provides emergency food through the LLHA Pantry, hygiene supplies, and also assists with any transportation or costs to places of shelter as needed.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) informed the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Housing Authority of its award of $31,800 regarding the renewal application submitted for the Tribal HUD‐Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program. VASH provides rental assistance and supportive services to Native American Veterans who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, living on or within the Leech Lake reservations service area. Selection for the Tribal HUD VASH program will be based on the applicant’s eligibility, such as veteran’s status and homeless or “at risk” status, and will be targeted toward those most in need, such as veterans who are chronically homeless, unsheltered, and in need of case management services. Case management will be intense with an emphasis on independent living skills and employment/educational goals; behavioral health and primary health issues; chemical dependency treatment; and domestic violence counseling and parenting support as appropriate. As the recipient of the voucher program, the Leech Lake Housing Authority (LLHA) can assist the Veteran with the financial means needed to keep them housed. We provide this financial assistance directly to landlord partners on an ongoing monthly basis. The participating Veteran will pay 30% of their income or $125.00, whichever is greater. If the tenant has no source of income, LLHA will pay the full fair market rent to the landlord partner. What this means for the landlord partner is guaranteed cash flow in the form of monthly rental payments. On behalf of the Veteran, LLHA can also pay the deposit needed to move in.
The LLHA was awarded $75,000 for the Homeless Youth Act (HYA), which assists young adults up to ages of 25 that are at risk transitioning from out‐of‐home placements, currently or previously homeless, youth experiencing abuse & neglect, conflicts with parents due to alcohol or drug dependency, parents that have mental health concerns, or disabilities, and youth runaways. Outreach is completed by handing out information, referrals, and services through the HYA Program. Some services we assist with and refer out are: helping families with unifications, conflict or mediation counseling, assist in obtaining temporary emergency shelter, assistance in obtaining food, clothing, medical care, or mental health counseling. We also educate and refer clients out regarding violence, sexual exploitation, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy. We try to engage the youth with referrals to other agencies, assist with education, employment and living skills. We provide referrals for aftercare services, and specialized services for the highly vulnerable. Transitional or Supportive Housing: We assist youth that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless find and maintain safe, secured housing. The program can also provide rental assistance in providing homeless prevention, host home expenses, and assist with any other related supportive services.
Mission Statement: “Ganawenjigeng Miinawaa Naadamaageng”
We, the members of the Leech Lake Department of Public Safety, are committed to excellence in law enforcement and dedicated to the people, traditions, and diversity of our community. We will provide service with understanding, response with compassion, performance with integrity and law enforcement with vision.
The Leech Lake Tribal Police Department is located in the Tribal Justice Center. We currently have 50 employees, 30 of those are sworn police officers.
These are some of the specific service areas we are focused on:
Human/Sex Trafficking Investigations
Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault
Meth Awareness & Investigations
Crime Victim Advocate Services
K9 Division (vacant)
BIA Highway Safety Officer Enforcement
Casino Gaming Officer Enforcement
Animal Control, Pets for Life Partnership including work with our partners on wellness and spay/neuter events for our Leech Lake Communities
School Resource Officer(s)
Emergency Management & Response for the Leech Lake Nation
Tribal Police answered 7,508 calls for service during the 2020 calendar year. This is a decrease from 10,452 calls in 2019. We believe this decrease was attributed to Covid 19 Pandemic. In 2020 Leech Lake Tribal Police Narcotics Investigators executed twelve (12) drug related search warrants specific to residencies and vehicles. Officers seized sixteen (15) firearms, approximately $12,763.00 of cash was seized, which investigators believe is tied directly to the sales and distribution of illegal drugs sales.
Approximate Total of Seized Drugs – 2020
*Street value approximately $149,000.00
Crystal Methamphetamine – 1381.43 grams
Processed Marijuana -1630.67 grams
Heroin/Fentanyl – 23.72 grams
Powder Cocaine – 1.8 grams
Gabapentin Prescription Pills – 43
Continue with on-going efforts to strengthen our relationships within communities and with our Law Enforcement Partners at the County and State.
Our Crime Victim Advocacy Program continues to provide advocacy services. With the recent pandemic it has limited in person contact and substantially limited a response. Some responses included zoom meetings etc. One of our multi-disciplinary teamwork of SMART teams in Beltrami and Itasca that have MOU’s and informal participation in Cass counties SMART team. We continue to have active participation by officers and advocates in SARRT/DARRT.
Emergency Management Hazmat training will be conducted on the reservation utilizing a grant from the Department of Transportation- this is to address threats identified in our Commodity Flow Study of Hazardous Materials transported through the Leech Lake Indian Reservation and create more first response capability if a release of hazardous materials occurs on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation.
ALICE(Alert. Lockdown. Inform. Counter. Evacuate.) Training will be made available and required for the entire organization. This will empower, educate, and protect our employees and constituents in the event of an active threat incident on, in, or around any of our Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe owned facilities.
In June 2021,Leech Lake emergency management will participate in a exercise with MN Chemical Assessment Team, National Guard, and Indian Health Service in a hazardous material release scenario.
Emergency Management will assess our community centers for emergency preparedness as well as active threats and in cooperation with Leech Lake Building Security, Facilities Management, and Leech Lake Tribal Police we will establish a functional security system developed with the purpose of protecting the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe’s community assets and enhance the safety and security of all constituents and employees that utilize our facilities.
Renewed Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Investigator and new Transcriptionist.
Renewed Bureau of Indian Affairs Highway Safety Grant employees 2 HSO’ and Data Clerk.
Policing during Covid -19. In light of these challenges in order to serve the traditional public safety function Law enforcement practices such as stops, searches, and arrests have taken a backseat to not creating a substantial risk of infection for police, suspects, and community members alike. Except in cases where the failure to stop, search, or arrest a suspect creates an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury to police officers or others. Stay-at-home orders should not be enforced through arrests; instead, police should give oral or written warnings whenever possible, and the police role should focus on public education and connecting citizens to essential services. We have had to implement best practices for Personal Protective Equipment, Social Distancing and answering calls for service via phone vs in person responses when applicable to name a few of the challenges. The Police Department has also provided a supportive role to the Leech Lake Incident Management Team of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe by delivering Food Boxes and Meds to Elders as a result of the Elders Care Hotline established. Our Community Service Officer and Community Outreach Program Manager also delivered animal resource supplies such as dog food and cat food in collaboration with food box deliveries etc.
Food Box and Medical Deliveries March 2020 – March 2021
Public Assist Special Detail
March 2020 0 1
April 2020 72 1
May 2020 29 1
June 2020 44 1
July 2020 71 0
August 2020 24 0
September 2020 20 0
October 2020 16 0
November 2020 13 1
December 2020 13 3
January 2021 10 0
February 2021 13 0
March 2021 1 0
Total 326 8
Grand Total of both 334
The Leech Lake Tribal Police Department will continue its proactive approach to protecting the community. We continue to seek the public’s help with obtaining information to crimes in the area. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Police Department is committed to a loyal partnership of public service, the prevention of crime and the preservation of the peace, safety, and order within the Leech Lake Reservation. We are proud to serve our communities!
Since the Covid 19 pandemic has had an impact due to shortage of staff on administrative leave our accomplishments are limited in scope.
The Wage & Salary pay scale has been approved by the LLEO RTC.
The Human Resources Networking team has had a significant alteration of meeting on a monthly basis and had been suspended for the time being. Now that we have Zoom capability, we will begin those regular meetings in the near future.
The Education Division Director, Laurie Harper, had invited Human Resources to a team meeting with MN DOT employees to include their HR recruiting specialist. This was to establish a link for supporting their employment recruitment efforts with the LLBO. In conclusion, MNDOT, the LLBO Education Division and Human Resources will help MN DOT recruit more professionals and entry level positions to its department. LLBO HR will post their open positions in the jobs summary.
The training department has reviewed and implemented changes to the orientation presentations. We limited the time frames to two hours to accommodate social distancing and safety protocols for reducing COVID 19 exposure potential. We will adjust to twice a day for new employees as needed. Training for Divisions, Departments, Programs, will restart as time allows in the near future.
Our Administration Employment Specialist has started the requisition process for divisions staffing needs.
Our Administration Administrative Associate has been recalled to work. Due to the anticipated work involved in bring new hires on board and alleviating the work load for the Administrative Manager the time needed to process new employees will help lessen the time needed.
Solid Waste Department
Transfer Station & Recycling Center
Office Manager/Billing Specialist
Office Assistant/Billing Assistant
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe provides the use of five transfer stations located in Inger, Ball Club, Bena, Onigum, near Cass Lake, and Ten Lakes Township site. Leech Lake Solid Waste operates a program and service for the Leech Lake People, programs and services, and paying customers. The mission of Solid Waste is ‘Protecting Mother Earth’. In addition, the Leech Lake Transfer Station located on highway 371 in partnership with Cass County Environmental Services provides a free recycling center to all residents, summer visitors to Cass County, and Leech Lake Band Members. Solid Waste will provide curbside garbage pick-up on a weekly basis for a $20-dollar monthly fee for Leech Lake Band Members and all other non-band members living within the reservation boundary. The fee is waived for Leech Lake Elders and handicapped band members that complete an application and provide the necessary verification forms. The general public must purchase a garbage punch card from Teal’s or Solid Waste for $20-dollars and that’s for 36 bags of garbage, curbside garbage pick-up is $20 dollars per month that has a weekly schedule, demo is $15 dollars a yard, tire rate is $5 dollars per tire, and roll-off demo container rentals are available year around. The Leech Lake DPW/Solid Waste Department is located at 6250 152nd Street, Cass Lake, MN 56633. The Solid Waste Department can be contacted at (218) 339-5289 or Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe website under Department of Public Works web page and select Solid Waste.
Tribal Roads – Construction and Maintenance Department builds and maintains roads throughout the Leech Lake Reservation. There are currently 120 miles of roads that are maintained, which entails plowing and sanding during the winter months and grading, mowing, crack sealing, and brushing the during the summer. Tribal Roads is also tasked with the construction of roads. The department completes engineering work for surveying, planning and designing of new roads as well as older roads that are in need of rebuilding. The program often works in cooperation with other government agencies such as, counties, cities, townships and the State of Minnesota to complete projects. The program has a government to government relationship with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribal Roads is funded through the Federal Highway Administration, program dollars can only be spent on road maintenance and construction projects.
During the spring and summer of 2020, construction was completed on Portage Housing, Old Bena Housing and Jenkins Road. Construction was started on Bena Streets and Flint Loop/Savage Road, these will both be completed in the summer of 2021.
Tribal Roads had entered into a Cooperative Agreement with Cass County Highway Department in 2020. For the reconstruction of Cass County Road #136, also known as the Sugar Point Road we have contributed 50% of the construction costs for this project.
Upcoming projects for construction in the spring and summer of 2021 include the completion of Flint Loop and Savage Road as well as the Bena Streets.
Construction of the Womack Road (Phase I) will be completed this summer, this project is almost ready to be advertised for construction. The Cass Lake Bike Trail is another project that will be done this year, it is currently in the finalizing stages. Townline Lake Area Road will be constructed this year.
Project priorities are determined through a 4 year that is approved by the Reservation Business Committee.
The Tribal Development Division mission and goals are to carry out its responsibilities and mandates in a manner that fosters and encourages long-term, holistic and sustainable development within the territory of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe with the goal of protecting and maintaining our Anishinaabe way-of-life now and seven generations into the future.
Tribal Development has three departments. Economic & Community Development; Information Management: Grant writing, research and data management, technical writing; white papers, informational reports; Capital Improvement/ Infrastructure development.
Administration priorities adopted by (Resolution 00-55) (1999) are Social Problems, Land Issues, Housing, Jobs, Education, Capital Needs/Improvements. These are the main priority areas but include many subcategories.
This past year from March of 2020 during the start of this global Covid-19 pandemic many of our band operations moved to a reduced workforce to keep people at high risk protected while maintaining essential services. Tribal Development continued to keep critical projects and goals on track and staff took active roles in Incident Management Team (IMT) and in securing grant funding for various divisions and programs as well as funding that came through the CARES Act and other pandemic response funding sources.
The response to this pandemic has been the work of the Incident Management Team (IMT) made up of multiple Band divisions and departments as well as various agencies including Indian Health Service. IMT along with our communities deserve a very big thank you for the great effort that all played in keeping our elders and vulnerable safe during this pandemic. We know that we also lost people and we share in the sadness and grief related to lives lost.
Continuing setting our future
To address the priorities and issues the administration set long range planning as critical for our future. To facilitate moving the Band forward the RBC adopted a more “semi-permanent” Administrative Plan (Resolution NO. 2019-025), that will provide continuity between administrations to ensure ongoing coordinated, integrated, and orderly governance by the Band. The administrative plan is integrated with the Planning Ordinance (Ordinance No. 2017-001) that mandates development and adoption of Band General Plans for orderly allocation and use of Band resources including land and other resources for housing, facilities, and services with a view to securing the physical, cultural, economic and social efficiency, health, education, and welfare of the Band and our communities.
Work in each one of these areas is already being done by the various divisions and programs. Some of the General Plans being worked on by Tribal Development with other divisions and programs, and outside entities through 2020 included:
· Comprehensive Land Use Plan
· Transportation Plan
· Emergency Management Plan
· 20 Year Housing Plan
· Capital Improvement Plan
One of the primary goals for 2020 was continuing the work to address the housing shortage. This included doing the planning for developing the full spectrum of housing needed across the reservation communities. Another goal is having our people trained in the construction trades, creating good paying jobs building the housing, this will keep money circulating in the tribal economy rather than exporting money off the reservation.
Over this last year we maintained our focus on housing development. We are drafting a 20-year Housing Plan for the Reservation. We have a housing shortage (lack of housing stock in general and affordable housing in particular) across the whole spectrum of housing including shelters, transitional, low income and market rate. Our housing study shows there is a need for 2000-4000 low income houses on and near the reservation over the next 20 years. More research is needed to identify an exact number of market-rate housing units needed, but at least 3,000 non-low-income units are needed over the next 20 years.
In 2020 the Leech Lake Development Corporation (LLDC) started to operate. The LLDC coordinates with and in partnership with LLHA so there is no duplication of efforts and no competition for funding. It doubles our housing development capacity. It was created under our Title 8 Business code in 2010 and chartered by the Tax Commission in 2012. It is owned by the Band and has a board. It is based on the Ho-Chunk Inc model used to successfully address their housing crisis. It will serve as another housing entity for the Band for housing development with a focus on market rate and workforce housing, increasing housing opportunities for Band members.
EDA Project- Completing a US Economic Development Administration (EDA) Feasibility Study for a Housing/Construction workforce program with the Tribal College.
This study is paid for through a 200k grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The study is nearing completion at which point we will submit a phase two implementation grant for the development of the program for around 10 to 15 million dollars. Region 5 Development Commission (R5DC), which is the regional representative for EDA, is partnering on the EDA project with us.
The Feasibility Study scope of work will determine if a vertically integrated workforce program on the reservation would be successful. It will as all the necessary components needed already exist; a young & available tribal workforce, a huge unmet need for affordable housing, a local Tribal College willing and able to participate in developing and implementing training programs, and a supportive tribal government. The study will verify the financial long-term financial stability of this initiative and collect data and potential partnership(s) input and that adheres the project aligns with the Bands strategic objectives. Basically establishing the need for a trained construction trades workforce needed for long term sustainability of the program and that jobs will be available for graduates.
• Determine the financial feasibility of starting a tribally owned and operated workforce training facility including a feasibility study establishing the market demand for affordable workforce housing including possible supply chain business expansion opportunities that add economic value for Band members.
• Provide analysis of several models of financing for tribal members to be able to purchase a home.
• Recommend development sites for housing areas that is served with the needed infrastructure including water and sewer services.
• Provide an analysis of branding opportunities for tribally constructed small houses for sale on and off reservation.
• Documentation with detailed demonstration that LLBO has the financial capacity and staffing plan to operate and sustain the workforce program.
• Expansion of existing LLBO resources and programs at the Leech Lake Tribal College.
• Curriculum plan for program.
• Attraction plan of how students will afford and graduate from the program.
• Job placement plan of students graduating from the workforce program.
• Presence of necessary unique resources, community support or partnerships.
• Advisory plan of how LLBO seeks private sector industry expertise to inform curriculum.
• Determining the necessary partnerships with local, regional and statewide workforce training partners.
• Author practicalities of how this program can be a national demonstration project
• Performance plan that includes how the workforce program will measure and track success. Specifically, the plan will identify the performance measurement data collection points and from whom (such as from students and community) and when data will be collected, where it will be stored and how it will be reported. The performance plan will detail lead responsible parties for setting performance goals of the program, monitoring performance, approving and revising the performance plan measures (listing members of any oversight or policy board).
• Providing an initial design and concept plan showing the conceptual floorplan and cost estimated for facility. Providing a cost and design analysis for the necessary equipment, site development and structure for the new workforce training facility.
Additional work completed in 2020
Tribal Development coordinated with the U.S. Census 2020 to assist in the data collection of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. There were many obstacles due to the COVID Pandemic and it cancelled many live and in-person events but the efforts were successful in getting information out for the Census campaign. Radios ads and interviews were done to assist with spreading the word, yard signs were put out in strategic locations to bring attention to employment opportunities, and when our Gaming operations opened up, TD coordinated a three-day event called “Census Day’s”, which hosted enumerators at each of the (3) casinos. We continued the effort to host enumerators at the casinos in the following weeks. Overall, it was a successful operation and Census will be releasing the final numbers to the public by Summer 2021.
Food Systems Planning
Developing a food system here on the Leech Lake Reservation has been the focus of Tribal Development over the last few years and various planning activities have assisted with the development. LLBO is by all definitions a food desert, by which, members have limited access to affordable and nutritious food options. Addressing this is an important step towards healthy living for its members. Below we list the projects and ways we are trying to address the issue.
As an update, Tribal Development has recently submitted for grant funding ($300,000) to assist with the planning and implementation of a Farm Scale Deep Winter Greenhouse designed by the University of Minnesota’s many partners. Along with a greenhouse, a youth development component was written into the grant to develop a curriculum. This Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG) extends the growing season substantially by using passive solar panels to heat the ground beneath as well as the forced air system inside. Tribal Development submitted an idea and was selected as a finalist for the proposal stage to the annual U of M RSDP projects advisory group to identify specific needs for the development of the greenhouse project.
A Request for Proposal (RFP) was developed and released to the public during the fall of 2020. In the RFP, it incorporated identifying food systems including local and regional sources to help address food inequities and food security for LLBO. LLBO needs to create a sustainable food system for its members and surrounding communities to address a high rate of health disparities, many of which are dietary related. By definition, the Leech Lake Reservation is a food desert, so one of the goals is to increase availability of quality foods at affordable costs, and reduce commuting times for our more rural areas to purchase basic food needs. In order to build an economy, LLBO needs to reduce or stop the flow of resources from leaving the reservation. Tribal Development evaluated many firms and made a recommendation based on the firm’s expertise in food systems. This feasibility study will be completed by the end of 2021.
Eggs and Fresh Produce
Tribal Development developed a partnership and contracted with the Amish Community in Fertile, MN to provide fresh grown produce to be distributed to the LLBO communities. The Amish also continued to provide Fresh Eggs during the summer of 2020 and increased production to fulfill the needs of our community. TD collaborated with Second Harvest and our LIC pop-up events, provided produce to Leech Lake Food Distribution, and offered some of our LLBO programs fresh produce. Overall in 2020, roughly 30,000 pounds of produce was distributed and over 5,000 dozen fresh eggs were handed out. We will continue to provide this to our communities by renewing the farm fresh produce contracts and the egg contract. Additionally, we have added meat to our distribution variety.
Food Related Infrastructure
Tribal Development noticed a need for cold storage, freezer storage, and transportation early-on. As a result, TD purchased close to 1,000 square feet of cold storage and freezer storage, and to address transportation, TD purchased a refrigerated box truck to haul produce from the Amish community and to assist with distribution at events around the Reservation. Look for the new truck this season.
Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
This is a priority and a draft has been completed and committee members were identified. The plan identifies construction, facility, infrastructure needs and sets on a development timeline. By setting them on a priority system and a development schedule it gives the band time to identify and secure funding sources, as well as to prioritize limited band capital resources. The CIP committee members began meeting late 2020 to begin the official processes that were developed and review new/old projects in order of priority. Any and all new projects will be presented to the committee for review and prioritization. This includes existing facilities, equipment purchases, land purchases, etc.
The Heavy Equipment Program had a busy year with a variety of large projects. The following report lists the milestones for the program. The first milestone completed was the Stony Point demo. We demoed two cabins and three trailer houses for the purpose of turning the site into a recreational swimming beach for the public. We loaded the demo and the demo was hauled to HOSS Pit in Walker, MN. The work that was requested has been completed but there is a possibility that we may have to go back to do some more clean-up of the site at a later time.
The second project that was started was the new housing road in Prescott. We stumped and grubbed the site, and hauled the debris to the housing site. Then in March of 2021, work was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reservation had to lay-off six of the seven employees employed with the program. The one employee left on staff was kept on due to any emergencies. Of the six employees that were laid off, three returned to work on July 6, 2020 and the two others returned the first week of August. We still currently have one employee, who has not been working due to COVID-19.
When work resumed in July, the next project that was completed was the demo of the Anishinabe Legal Services building in down town Cass Lake. The demo was hauled out by the Leech Lake Solid Waste program to Hoss Pit in Walker, MN. We then dug the basement and hauled in fill. We were then called back to dig in the trench for the gas line and to haul in more fill. This project generated $16,809.00 in revenue for the program.
The next project was the Onigum beach site. We grubbed and cleared the site, then hauled the debris to the 8 pit. We then put in culverts and hauled in fill sand to place on the culverts. We still need to go back at a later date, to build up the road and haul in Class 5. T This project brought in $40,000.00 in revenue for the program.
The department also contracted and completed work with the U.S. Forestry Service. We entered into a Road Project Agreement, and decommissioned the Ten Lake Impoundment back to its natural state. This project generated $2966.70 in revenue for the department. After this project was completed we returned to complete the work requested for the new housing Flint Road in Prescott.
The next step in the Housing Flint road project was to haul out all the debris from the housing site to Storlie’s Pit. This took approximately three weeks with 5 drivers on staff. Then we hauled in 37 loads of Class 5 to the site, for Tribal Roads, then ditched and leveled site. This project generated $110,297.50 for the program.
The final milestone that was completed this year was the S. Lake Community Center expansion project. We grubbed and cleared the site and hauled the debris to Anderson Pit in Deer River, MN. Then we hauled 1608 yards of fill sand from the Anderson Pit to the S. Lake site. The site was then compacted and brought up to grade. Our program spent approximately one month in S. Lake completing this project. We expect to bring in $46,783.00 in revenue from this project.
To summarize, although our year was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were still able to complete many large projects for the year. We are anticipating a busy season for the upcoming year as we will be starting by completing constituent requests that we weren’t able to complete this past year. We are also pleased to announce that our program came in under budget, and we are on track to meet our projected program fees for the year.
The following narrative is being submitted on behalf of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe-Duluth Office. The Duluth Office has been open 7 years and 2 months as of March 13, 2020. The following report will show our activities and services over the past 2020 calendar year. Of 563 individuals who live in the service area or use the office’s services, around 366 (65%) are LLBO enrollees, 50 (9%) are non-enrolled descendants of enrollees, and 83 (15%) are neither but live in households with enrollees. Among enrollees, over 15 are veterans of U.S. armed services. The counties we service, or have serviced, are St. Louis, Carlton, Pine, & Lake counties, as well as Douglas County, WI. *All of these stats are based off the database we have created over the years, so the numbers are as accurate as we’ve collected.
Extraordinary/Elder Assistance forms, Funeral Assistance Program Acceptance form, Enrollee Address Update/Name Change forms, Faxing/copying/printing services, Resource referrals, Job search tools, Computer/phone use, DeBahJiMon newspaper, Information of upcoming events, Scholarship applications/information, Outside referrals, Processing voter registration and absentee voting applications.
Details about Services
The Leech Lake-Duluth Office officially opened in January of 2014 with one staff member working directly with band members. The Duluth Office is located within the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO)-Gimaajii Building. We assist Duluth, and surrounding area, band members with emergency/elder assistance for those who qualify. This process consists of assisting with filling out the appropriate paperwork, faxing to the Tribal Assistance (TA) office in Cass Lake, and connecting them with TA staff, as needed. We also help band members seek employment whether its searching for available/open jobs or helping fill out applications.
The Duluth Office services are limited but we do have a great resource guide for outside referrals, if needed. Many band members in the area cannot afford a personal phone, nor have access to a computer, so we allow them to use our office phone or computer if necessary.
When it is available, we have the DeBahJiMon newspaper for any band members to take for updates on events and other matters in the Cass Lake area. We try to give area band members information of upcoming events within the Leech Lake Reservation or within the Duluth area, whether they be hosted by Leech Lake or other organizations. When it comes to election time, we assist with voter registration, absentee voting applications, polling places, running candidates, or simply mailing out applications/absentee ballots.
There is one staff member in the Leech Lake Duluth Office who is a registered Public Notary who notarizes legal documents to band and non-band members in the area at no cost to them. Some data may be missing due to the staff member welcoming a new baby and being out on maternity leave. Lastly, we can connect you with the Leech Lake Education department if a band member is seeking additional information regarding scholarships, grants, or other applications/information.
Every year, we collaborate with the Duluth LIC (Local Indian Council) on putting together a Summer picnic, Annual Youth Valleyfair Trip, Thanksgiving gift card/wild rice distribution, Tax Rebate Check distribution, a Winter gathering and the Annual Youth Valleyfair Trip. The Summer Picnic is an event we have for kids and their families where we have painting activities, interactive games, prizes for games played, and a meal. An event that we love to host/assist with is the Annual Valleyfair trip for LLBO youth. We rent a bus or van, gather kids who have signed up and send them to Valleyfair for a day of fun, free of charge. The Thanksgiving distribution consists of a Duluth Office staff member and an LIC member handing out 1 Super One gift card and 1 pound of wild rice to each Leech Lake enrolled household in the Duluth and surrounding area. Tax Rebate Check distribution is the busiest time of the year where we hand out around 200 checks to enrolled members over the age of 18. Any remaining checks are mailed out within the following weeks. Our last big event, that we have every year, is our Annual Winter Gathering. At this gathering we have a large feast, distribute toys from the Marines Toys-for-Tots, as well as a drawing for door prizes. Our goal is to make sure everyone walks out with a prize/gift and hope they all had a great time.
Each year, we host different trainings for band members to gain knowledge in areas they may not be able to obtain elsewhere. Trainings we have hosted are CPR & First Aid and Narcan/Naloxone training/awareness given by Leech Lake EMS Ambulance Service. Training fees are covered by the LLBO Duluth Office so, each training is free for band members who like to attend. We hope to host more trainings, in the future, for band members in the area.
Typically, two times a year, we have Leech Lake Tribal Enrollment come to print tribal Identification cards for band members. IDs are printed for those whose ID’s may have expired or for those who may have lost theirs, for a small fee. The Tribal IDs are government issued and can be use in lieu of a state ID.
The biggest unmet need we have, in the Duluth area, is housing or assistance for those who are homeless. We do have outside referrals for local programs but those spaces are very limited or unavailable due to the increasing number of homelessness and/or lack of funding. Another unmet need is bus passes and/or gas vouchers for band members to be able to get to work or medical appointments. Lastly, one of our other unmet needs is emergency assistance to those who don’t qualify for LLBO Tribal Assistance. We hope to find more or better programs to help meet these needs in the future.
2020 Yearly overview
The year for 2020 was rough with the pandemic happening right in the beginning. As for the Duluth Office, we were unable to work at normal capacity due to the extremely high risk. The staff had begun to work from home, with minimal resources but able to receive phone calls and assist with emergency assistance applications. Also, by the office being closed for in person communication, we were unable to host our annual events such as our Winter gathering but were still able to give gifts through the Marines Toys-4-tots. We have also worked with the Duluth Local Indian Council (LIC) on giving out food boxes, Target gift cards along with face masks, and Wal-Mart gift cards for kids K-12. We are planning on an elders’ gift bag distribution as well as continuing food box distributions. At this time, there is no official re-open date for the office but we hope everyone stays safe, healthy, and Masks up so we can re-open as soon as possible.
The Leech Lake-Duluth Office’s mission is to obtain more services for our Duluth, and surrounding area, constituents to utilize. Within the coming years, we hope to have an ICWA program, Elder Services, homelessness program, more in-office resources to lower the amount of band member referrals to outside resources, host more trainings, host more events and be able to provide as much as possible. Being off the reservation, we don’t have access to all of Leech Lake resources but we are working on increasing the services in our area to make things easier for our people all around.
Leech Lake Duluth Office Staff
Office: (218) 481-7412
Cell: (218) 269-4882 *Call during regular business hours 8:00am-4:30pm, Mon-Fri
Fax: (218) 481-7413
The Leech Lake Twin Cities Office (LLTCO) New building has been open for a year and a half. There are Six Departments in the building: Administration, Indian Child Welfare Act (IWCA), Health, Legal, Behavioral Health, and Facilities. We serve Leech Lake enrollees who reside in the 7- county metro area: Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Carver, Scott, Dakota, and Anoka Counties.
We’re approaching the one-year mark since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. Working from home, wearing masks, socially distancing- It may come as a surprise that it’s been almost 12 months since the way we live our lives changed seemingly overnight. Northing about 2020 was normal, certainly worldwide, but specially here in Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan area. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Twin Cities Office operated under an emergency declaration for most of the year with very few staff. Our office door was locked. People were encouraged to make appointments or call front desk for assistance. Community events were cancelled. Students were learning from home. Telehealth was implemented. Curbside deliveries and drive thru food distributions were introduced to us all. Violent riots, fires, looting and civil unrest had an impact on our community. Then the boarding up of businesses and uptick in crime occurred. American Indian Movement (AIM) members along with neighbors and community members united to protect the Leech Lake Twin Cities Office. Curfews were declared in the City of Minneapolis, if that’s ever happened before. I haven’t found anyone who remembers it. It was an extraordinary year and it has been a challenge. One of the upsides to this pandemic is “Wiidookodaadiwaa” they help each other.
During the pandemic unrest people in the community had very little access to grocery stores because they had been closed or destroyed during the riots. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Council was the first tribe to send down food and water to support community needs. Chii-Miigwech! Also sent down were pandemic emergency supplies, gift cards, 1,150 food boxes, toilet paper, 10,000 masks and much more. We partnered to provide access to perishable food through Division of Indian Work (DIW). We distributed 650 backpacks with school supplies in them. This was a collaboration with St. Paul Indian Education and Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.
The Leech Lake Tribal Enrollment office came down twice last fall. The provided 200 tribal ID’s to enrolled Leech Lake Band members. Just in time for folks who needed IDs to get out and vote. But also due to pandemic restrictions access to state ID’s had been challenging as the process could take up to two months to receive one.
TOYS FOR TOTS
This is an annual joint collaboration with the Marie Corps and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Twin Cities Office. Approximately 200 families were served this year. We are happy to assist in the distribution of these items for the families and especially the children.
HATS AND MITTENS DONATION
This year we received donations from two different sources to supply approximately 1000 hats, mittens and scarves to folks. Many of these were distributed at drive thru distributions and during the Toys for Tots distributions in December.
WOZUPI TRIBAL GARDEN
We received plants and seeds from Shakopee Tribal garden but due to staff shortages and unrest in the community the garden did not do very well. We did share some of the plants with band members and they were very pleased. We hope to see this come together as planning initiative was already started for the coming year.
We had identified the need for a refrigerator early on in the pandemic once the drive thru food distributions were initiated and we received perishable food. St. John Hopkins University School of Medicine bought us a new commercial refrigerator in late fall. We plan to utilize it for future programming.
In July and August 2020 we helped elder’s, disabled and veteran’s apply for extraordinary assistance. We opened up the downstairs lower back of the building for band members to apply. The office assisted band members with filling out applications.
COVID 19 STIMULUS EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND
We worked to publicize the COVID 19 Emergency Relief Assistance to Leech Lake Band members and often assisted band members in applying.
COVID 19 VACCINATIONS, TESTING, AND QUARANTINE
The Leech Lake Twin Cities Office partnered with Native American Community Clinic, Indian Health Board and Leech Lake Health Division to find ways to get people tested and vaccinated. We assisted with resources and referrals for testing locations for band members. We assisted in the distribution of 200 vaccines.
We also provided food box and mask delivery for band members who needed to quarantine.
WEX WORK EXPERIENCE TRAINING PROGRAM
We have three WEX employees working at Leech Lake Twin Cities Office through the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Urban office. Since to the pandemic we have experienced a rise in the need for cleaning along with staff shortages. This is a great resource for us to work together with and employees experience more training in different areas.
AVIVO TRAINING CENTER
We had Five Leech Lake band members and Two Leech Lake descendants participate in AVIVO career center’s program through a free scholarship training during the pandemic.
The Leech Lake Behavioral Health TCO satellite clinic has been providing professional and culturally-based mental health services for IHS eligible band members living in the metro area. We have had to work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic providing Teletherapy visits.
We have a Leech Lake Twin Cities Office Facebook page to inform urban band members about issues and activities relevant to community members. We hope to get the office open and for walk ins after the trials when it’s safe enough to reopen. It has been a challenging year. We look forward seeing everyone again and plan to offering programming in the office soon. Our Annual Fall picnic will occur in early September at Richfield Veteran’s Park. For more information: call (612) 729-0554.
URBAN CHILD WELFARE
The Urban Child Welfare Program operates a satellite office in the Twin Cities area for the Leech Lake Child Welfare Department. Case Management activities are provided by the Urban Welfare Program in coordination with the surrounding county Social workers. The role of the Urban Child Welfare Program is to advocate for the needs of the Leech Lake children while in foster care, provide support for families to reunify with their children and ensure the counties are following the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
NEW AT URBAN CHILD WELFARE
Early Invention for American Indian Families (EI-AIF) Maajishkaa
This grant is designed to serve 120 Leech Lake Families living off the reservation in Minnesota. Through culturally specific early intervention, outreach and support services to American Indian families, child maltreatment will be prevented, and the number of American Indian children Minnesota child welfare system will be reduced. Families eligible for the EI-AIF Services will be identified through community referrals and/or self-referrals. To be eligible for services, families need to meet requirements. For more information, call (612) 721-0331.
URBAN OFFICE FUNCTIONING IN CORONAVIRUS
As the world changed, so did child welfare. Coronavirus protocols have taken quite a toll on staff and the operations of Leech Lake Child Welfare, but it all hasn’t been a bad thing. Although we did feel disconnected from families we were able to connect in different ways. Child welfare had to adept just as the families did. Masks, washing hands repeatedly, videoconferencing on different platforms. We have added staff and have had some time to teach them and let them grow in their new positions. We have had an opportunity to gain some training for staff that didn’t have the opportunity prior to COVID 19. We are ever hopeful to continue to engage our families and help our children find their way back to their families.
Our Mission is to establish a fair and effective justice system incorporating Ojibwe culture and values; to protect the rights of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe people; to preserve natural and Band resources; and to promote peace, health and public safety within the Leech Lake Reservation.
Major Accomplishments for 2020
The Tribal Court went through some challenging times this past year. In January of 2020, when the Band’s internet system was hacked, we lost access to our case management system. Our case management system is web-based. The loss was devastating. We had to go back to manual entries on paper to keep track of cases and hearings. We now have over a year of cases and hearings that must be entered into the case management system when the Band’s new network system is brought online. However long this takes, we are up for the challenge and look forward to getting back on track.
At the beginning of the pandemic in March, we identified our critical services and cases, which included our Child Protection cases, Orders for Protection, Harassment Restraining Orders, custody disputes and guardianship matters. The Court also held emergency hearings in other cases when necessary. We continued to maintain operations throughout the pandemic in 2020 – as we found new ways to deliver judicial services to the Band members. For example, on March 25th, 2020, the Court issued 2 Administrative Orders. ADM-20-01 order permitted Court Administration to serve documents electronically. ADM-20-02 order permitted the filing of documents via electronic means.
The Bamenim Program was shut down a few short months, until its’ program manager was brought back to work in August of 2020. This program is a strength-based, client-centered, family-focused model, grounded in Anishinabeg values and culture, guided by the 7 Grandfather Teachings, the Four Hills of Life, the Four Seasons of the Year, and the Four Phases of the Wraparound Principles of National Wraparound Imitative. Gary Charwood was able to come up with ways to continue to offer his services in a safe manner.
Up until late fall, Chief Judge Paul Day, was our only Judge, he worked remotely but was critical in maintaining our daily operations. Conducting hearings, reviewing and issuing OFP’s, HRO’s, and attending meetings/trainings through Zoom.
In September, the court welcomed, David Harrington as a Deputy Judge who comes to us with 20 plus years of experience as being a 9th Judicial District Judge and in November, we hired another Deputy Judge, Rebecca McConkey-Greene who has extensive knowledge in the Child Protection/ICWA field. It was at this time, we decided to address our backlog cases. These were cases that were continued due to the pandemic. At this point in time, we are through most our backlog cases, while there’s still some Child Support and Housing cases, most others have been addressed.
Despite being in the midst of a pandemic, our numbers for the year do not differ much from previous years.
New cases Filed: 313
Child Protection: 29 Appeal – 0
Family Cases: 126
Traffic Cases: 23
All other Cases: 12
No. of hearings held:
The Court conducted 919 Court Hearings in 2020.
The most numerous case types filed in 2020 were Orders for Protection, Harassment Restraining Orders and Guardianship of Minors.
The Court collected $13,010.65 over the last year in filing fees, fines and miscellaneous fees. (e.g. attorney registration fees, certified copies.)
In 2020, the court submitted a funding request to the Bureau of Indian Affairs; we received one-time funding in the amount of $ 316,861. This was used to cover attorney contracts/public defenders; wage and fringe for our Court Security, a Deputy Judge, training/travel money for Judges to attend Domestic Violence Training, office supplies, Guardians Ad Litem and an upgrade to our Court Recording System.
Our 2020 operating budget was approximately $776,024 (Direct funding is $561,904; Self-Governance budget is $24,000; and, CTAS PA3 $ 190,120)
Respectfully submitted by Paul Day, Chief Judge.