Weekly News Summary for October 18-24


Get Out the Native Vote!

Election Day is November 3, but you can vote early through November 2. Native Americans make up 2 percent of the electorate nationwide — but a strong turnout from the reservation can sway elections for State Legislature, U.S. Senate, and even President. Many Mille Lacs Band voters will be able to cast a ballot for a Band member this Election Day, as well as for descendants and members of other tribes. Band member Virgil Wind is running for reelection to the Onamia School Board. Becky Clitso-Garcia, a Band employee who is a member of the Dine (Navajo) Nation, is also seeking a seat on the Onamia School Board. (For more about Becky, click here: https://millelacsband.com/news/becky-clitso-garcia-asking-for-your-support-on-november-3.)

In District II, Band employee and Turtle Mountain Ojibwe member Gaylene Spolarich is running for State House against Dale Lueck. A candidate for State House in District I, Cal Schmock, is a descendant of a Lac Courte Oreilles grandmother. He is running against Representative Sondra Erickson. Our recent election guide featured Band member Bradley Harrington, who is running for Mille Lacs County Board. See https://millelacsband.com/news/election-guide-sent-to-band-members. See your ballot at https://myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us.

Read more about registering and voting early: https://millelacsband.com/news/it-s-time-to-get-out-the-native-vote.

DNR Wants Your Opinion

Do you care about natural resources? Of course you do! That’s why the Band’s DNR wants your opinion! The Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRMP) was first developed over 30 years ago, and in order to update the plan and comply with grant regulations, we are seeking input from our community members. Our natural resources and the management of those resources are important not only to us now, but for our future generations to come. Please complete the survey online and feel free to provide additional feedback by calling our main DNR Headquarters at 320-532-7439. Miigwech! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/mlbdnrirmp.

Mille Lacs Votes TV!

The second episode of #millelacsvotes TV is now available. In this episode, Jamie Edwards has a conversation with special guests about why the Native Vote is important and encouraging everyone to vote in the upcoming election Nov. 3. #millelacsvotes https://youtu.be/XtxoO15CUjw

Aanjibimaadizing Moves to Former Clinic Building

Aanjibimaadizing has exciting news! We are moving to our District 1 office to the former Ne Ia Shing Clinic. Effective Monday October 26, 2020 our services can be accessed at 43500 Migizi Drive. Staff will continue to be available throughout this transition. We look forward to expanding our services and training opportunities with this new space. Case Managers can be contacted at the numbers below. Contact Gladys Sam at 320-532-7407 to schedule an appointment. Contact Rose Wind at 320-532-7554 for Intake. Click here for Case Manager contacts: https://millelacsband.com/news/aanjibimaadizing-moves-to-former-clinic-building.

Halloween Party in District I

Join the District I community on Saturday, October 31, at the OLD District 1 Community Center for an Outdoor Costume Contest! Everyone is welcome! This is an all ages event. Strict social distancing measures apply so please wear a mask.
Sponsored by: D1 Representative Virgil Wind. For questions please contact: Darla Roach at 320-532-7423 or Mikayla Schaaf 320-532-7426. See flyer below!

In-person Recovery Groups Starting in District I

Two new recovery groups will be starting up at the old District I Community Center this week: An NA meeting on Fridays at 6 p.m. and an All Recover group on Sundays at 6 p.m. Contact Randell S. with questions at 650-273-2214. (See flyers below.)

Many recovery meetings are also held via Zoom conference during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Monday night Migizi meeting ID is 856 8473 0121, and the password is 56359. The Wednesday night Red Brick meeting ID is 895 631 97923, and the password is 56359. The nightly Zooming Towards Recovery code is 601-532-2869, and the password is zoom800.

Turkey and Pie Giveaway

Due to the ongoing concerns of the pandemic, MLCV is canceling the in-person Fall Feast this year out of the care and concern for this community. In place of an in-person event, each household will receive an MLCV Turkey & Pie coupon to redeem at either Grand Casino Mille Lacs or Grand Casino Hinckley on November 13, 2020. Watch your mailbox for that coupon – exclusively for Band members.

The giveaway will be held Friday, November 13, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand CAsino Hinckley. At Mille Lacs, go to the south side of the Events Center, between Grand Casino Mille Lacs and MLCV Headquarters. In Hinckley, go to the outside of Ballroom Five, near the main hotel entrance.

You won’t need to get out of your vehicles, just drive up to your preferred location and we’ll take care of the rest. Turkey and pies will be given out on a first come, first served basis. See below for the flyer.

Legislative Updates

The Mille Lacs Band Assembly is meeting via Zoom conference on Wednesdays and for work sessions on other days. For a summary of this week's meetings, see https://millelacsband.com/news/band-assembly-weekly-update-october-19-23.

Join our email list

If you would like to receive news summaries and other important notifications from the Mille Lacs Band, sign up at https://millelacsband.com/services/mailing-list

Chief Executive's Video Updates

Monday, October 19, 2020 - Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin provides a COVID-19 update for Band members. She sends a message that the number of positive cases in counties near the Mille Lacs Reservation and across the state continue to rise. With that she adds a reminder that wearing a mask, social distancing, and regular hand-washing can help prevent the spread of the virus. She also mentioned the upcoming cabinet meeting and the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe meeting happening this week. In addition, she also mentions a radio interview she took part in that aired on Native Roots Radio on Saturday, October 17.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin provides a COVID-19 update for Band members. Results of the coronavirus antibody tests have been sent to those who participated. Health and Human Resources stated 650 individuals were tested in the Mille Lacs Band Reservation areas resulting in nine individuals who tested positive for having the coronavirus antibodies. Chief Executive Benjamin stated the Legislative Branch has posted a draft statute for public comment that would establish a Revisor's Office within the Mille Lacs Band government. The comment period for the proposed legislation closes on November 4. The draft can be found on the Band website at https://millelacsband.com/news/comment-period-open-for-draft-revisor-s-office-statute. As the snow began to accumulate, Peter Nayquonabe, Assistant Commissioner of Administration joined Chief Executive Benjamin to update on the snow removal plan for the season. https://youtu.be/VFwnkjpG7oA

Inaajimowin Online

If you missed the October issue of Ojibwe Inaajimowin, you can download it here: https://millelacsband.com/content/8-news/inaajimowin-archive/2010-inaajimowin.pdf.

You can also read online versions of stories at https://millelacsband.com/news.


Warrior’s Day (Veteran’s Day) will be celebrated November 11. Government offices will be closed. Say “Miigwech” to an ogichidaa or ogichidaakwe in your life!