Secretary/Treasurer Sheldon Boyd’s goal of building a Revisor of Statutes Office took a big step forward with the August 12 hiring of Hanna Valento as the up-and-coming Legislative Staff Attorney. Hanna will be working under Chief Legislative Counsel Christine Jordan to continue revision of the Band’s statutes.
Sheldon came into office in June of 2018 with a goal of creating a Revisor’s Office dedicated to the task of updating old statutes and writing new ones.
In August of 2018, Sheldon, Christine, and Chief Communications Officer Val Harrington traveled to St. Paul to visit the office of the Minnesota Revisor of Statutes. Deputy Revisor Sandy Glass-Sirany, a White Earth Band member, also visited Mille Lacs to share her experience in the office.Band Assembly members are seeking to increase transparency and make the legislative process more accessible to Band members, and the creation of a Revisor’s Office will help them accomplish that goal.
The Legislative team envisions the Mille Lacs Band Revisor’s Office offering assistance not only to Band Assembly members, but also to Executive Branch employees, commissioners, and Band members, who are all welcome to propose legislative changes and find a sponsor in the Legislative Branch.
"The lawmaking process is open to everybody," Sheldon said. "We want to create an environment that assists the three branches as well as individual Band members in proposing legislation."
Following her passion
Hanna grew up in Forest Lake and attended the University of Minnesota Duluth before completing her undergraduate degree at the U of M’s Twin Cities campus. She graduated from Mitchell Hamline School of Law this spring and took the state bar exam in July.
She said attorneys always say they hated their first job, but Hanna was not comfortable with taking a job she knew she wouldn’t like. "I wanted to wait and find a job I was passionate about," said Hanna.
Hanna has always been interested in public policy, and she’s always wanted to make a positive impact. She sees her new job as a way to do that, and she also looks forward to learning about Ojibwe culture.
For now, Hanna is getting up to speed on Band Statutes, the MCT Constitution, and other Indian law topics. She has been attending Band Assembly meetings to observe tribal government in action. "That puts everything into perspective," said Hanna.
Christine is pleased to have Hanna on board. "We are ex-cited to have Hanna join the Legislative Branch as we build our Revisor's Office. Her dedication, passion, and talent will help further the efforts of our branch to craft clear and concise legislation to meet the needs of the Band."