Weekly News Summary, November 8-14



Band shifts to virtual service delivery

Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin, in her November 13 video update, told Mille Lacs Band members that on November 12, the Band's Tribal Emergency Response Committee (TERC) held an emergency meeting and made the decision to transition the Government operations to virtual-service delivery for all Band government, health, and education services that can be delivered in a virtual environment. TERC unanimously agreed these safety measures are critical to protect our Band Members and employees from what is now an uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 Rest assured, the most critical services our Band members count on will continue to be provided. Please follow the link for contact information: https://millelacsband.com/news/band-shifts-to-virtual-service-delivery-for-government-health-care-education

Chief Executive sends congratulatory message to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris

Major news outlets on Saturday, November 7, declared that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would be the next President and Vice President of the United States — although Trump continues to claim the results were unfair. On Monday, November 9, Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin sent her congratulations to Biden and Harris: "The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe congratulates President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris on their election victory, and are excited to work with them. This is also a day of celebration because this is a profound moment in history. The glass ceiling is forever shattered and our little girls now know their dreams can come true. I'm excited for the day when I meet Senator Harris again and get to say, ‘Madame Vice President.’” For more election results, see https://millelacsband.com/news/election-results-minnesota-goes-for-biden-republicans-take-rural-districts

State sees surge in COVID-19 cases

Several new positive cases were confirmed in District I and District III of the reservation. As of Thursday, November 12, cumulative numbers since January were:

District 1 = 31 positive cases (up from 29 on Monday)
District 2 = 3 positive cases
District 3 = 10 positive cases (up from 5 on Monday)

167 community members are in quarantine because they have had contact with someone who has tested positive. Aitkin County saw an increase of 30 cases from Wednesday to Thursday; Crow Wing, over 200 new cases; Pine, 58; and Mille Lacs Count, 87 new cases in a single day!

Cases in the state and nation also continued to climb dramatically this week. The Minnesota Health Department Friday reported 5,552 newly confirmed or probable cases. Known, active cases topped 40,000 for the first time. There were 46 more deaths from the disease, the second-highest ever behind only Wednesday’s record of 56.

Please, if you don't need to travel, stay home, and if you are in public place, wear a mask and sanitize often. We all need to work together to slow and eventually stop the spread.

Band Assembly publishes Updated Laws of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

The Mille Lacs Band Assembly has shared a digital copy of the updated Laws of the Non-Removable Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians. A book version of the document will be published in coming months. You can find a link to the searchable document at https://millelacsband.com/news/band-assembly-announces-publication-of-updated-laws-of-the-mille-lacs-band.

Representatives provide Thanksgiving groceries to Band members

Band members from Districts I and II and the urban area were invited to pick up a bag of Thanksgiving groceries on Friday, November 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Grand Makwa in District II. District I Representative Wind and District II Representative Marvin Bruneau, in collaboration with Wewinabi Inc., provided a bag of groceries to complete Band members' Thanksgiving meal. "Even though we are unable to share a meal together, we wanted to make sure you could have a meal safely at home with your family," the representatives said. In lieu of the annual Fall Feast, Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures will provide turkey and pie for Band members at the same time and place. https://millelacsband.com/news/food-distribution-friday-at-grand-makwa

Band member named to Northland Foundation board

The Northland Foundation’s Board of Trustees has elected three new Trustees, including Mille Lacs Band Commissioner of Administration Baabiitaw Boyd. Tony Sertich, Northland Foundation President, said, “Baabiitaw, Roy, and Lori bring a terrific array of personal, professional, and community experiences to the Board that will serve the foundation and region well.” For more, see https://millelacsband.com/news/band-member-named-to-northland-foundation-board-of-trustees.

DNR wants Band member input on management plan

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, DNR is seeking input regarding our lands and other natural resources of importance to us as Anishinaabe. 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 

Reminder: Fall and winter events are canceled

The Tribal Emergency Response Committee (TERC) on October 27 announced the cancellation of in-person fall and winter events, including the Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures Fall Feast, District holiday parties, and the State of the Band Address. A notice signed by six Commissioners who are members of the TERC said the approaching flu season and lack of abatement of the COVID-19 crisis made the decision necessary. Click here for the complete notice.

Native Veterans Memorial opens on Warriors' Day

The National Museum of the American Indian opened the new National Native American Veterans Memorial on Wednesday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day — or as it's known at Mille Lacs, Warriors' Day or The National Museum of the American Indian will open the new National Native American Veterans Memorial Wednesday, Nov. 11. The moment will be marked with a short virtual message to honor the service and sacrifice of Native veterans and their families. The message will be on both the museum’s website and its YouTube channel.. The moment will be marked with a short virtual message to honor the service and sacrifice of Native veterans and their families. The message will be on both the museum’s website and its YouTube channel. Learn more at https://americanindian.si.edu/visit/washington/nnavm.


Band Assembly hosted a Pre-Band Assembly meeting on Tuesday, November 3, a regular Band Assembly meeting on Wednesday, November 4, and a work session on Thursday, November 5. Click here to view or download the entire update.


Chief Executive's video updates

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 – Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin provides a COVID-19 update for Band members. Due to the rapid increase in positive cases in the state, Governor Walz today announced tighter restrictions for bars and restaurants state-wide and new guidelines for other events such as weddings and funerals and even family gatherings.
COVID-19 is real and it is here. Please wear your mask, wash your hands regularly, and stay 6-feet apart from others.
Chief Executive Benjamin also briefly talks about the MIAC meeting held in Grand Portage this week with Lt. Governor Peggy Flannagan and Minnesota Commissioners. Please watch to the end for an important message about Warrior Day / Veterans Day which is tomorrow, November 11. Miigwech to all Band member veterans and to all veterans everywhere.

Thursday, November 12, 2020 – Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin provides a COVID-19 update for Band members. Band leadership is continually monitoring and evaluating the number of positive COVID cases on and near our reservation. Due to the continued increase of positive cases, Chief Executive Benjamin urges Band members to abide by the guidelines of Governor Walz, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control regarding gatherings, wear a face mask, and continue to wash your hands often. "While this is not the news we wanted to hear, this is the reality we are living in," said Melanie. Limiting gatherings is critical to stop the rapid spread. It will be difficult, especially during the upcoming holiday season, but we all need to do our part.

Friday, November 13, 2020 –

Mille Lacs Band member shares message for Warriors' Day

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 — Tony Pike is a proud member of the non-removable Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. He served in the United States Army and is a retired Iraq War Veteran. Today, he honors his fellow Veteran brothers and sisters who have served and are currently serving with a special message. Native Americans have always answered the call to serve with patriotism and a deep commitment to this country. According to the Department of Defense, more than 23,000 of the 1.2 million men and women on active duty in the U.S. military today are American Indians or Alaska Natives.
We honor not only our Native American Veterans, but all veterans. Let this Veterans Day/Warrior Day, serve as a reminder of the service and sacrifice of our brothers and sisters Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and All veterans, past and present. Miigwech for your service. https://youtu.be/hRGZ8DMu6f0


The November issue of Ojibwe Inaajimowin, along with many back issues, can be found at https://millelacsband.com/news/inaajimowin-archive. You can also find web versions of Inaajimowin stories as well as breaking news at https://millelacsband.com/news. The December issue will be sent out on November 24 and uploaded to the website by November 30.


Government offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26, for Miigwech Day.

Ceremonial Dance Dates

November 13–14: Darrell and Skip, Lake Lena
November 20–21: Lee and Mike, Lake Lena
November 27–28: Tim and Tom, East Lake
December 4–5: Bob and Zhooshk, Mille Lacs
December 11–13: Jim, Lac Courte Oreilles

Recovery Group Meetings

New recovery groups are meeting at the old District I Community Center on Fridays and Sundays: An NA meeting on Fridays at 6 p.m. and an All Recovery group on Sundays at 6 p.m. Contact Randell S. with questions at 650-273-2214.

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.


Current job openings with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe can be found at https://millelacsband.com/jobs. You can request information about jobs by emailing hr@millelacsband.com or calling 320-532-7460. To apply for a job, please submit an application, cover letter, and resume to the HR email by the closing date.

Current jobs include Early Learning Literacy Coach, SUD Counselor, District III Community Center Site Coordinator, and K-6 Paraprofessional at Pine Grove Learning Center. Check the website for more!

For openings at Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Hinckley properties or Eddy’s Resort, visit: https://grandcasinomn.com/careers.

For openings with Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, visit https://mlcv.com/career-opportunities.

For openings at Grand Market, Grand Makwa, Super Stop, Taco John’s, and East Lake Convenience Store, email sbayliss@grcasinos.com or call 320-532-8143. For openings at Grindstone Laundry or Crossroads Convenience Store, email enelson@grcasinos.com or call 320-384-4722. Applications are also available at the main receptionist desk of the Corporate Commission building at 700 Grand Avenue, adjacent to the Grand Casino Mille Lacs Events and Convention Center.


The Government Affairs Communications Team has been working hard to develop more options for Band members to receive important information from the Band. We would like to add your email to the list. The service is free and you can opt out at any time. To sign up, go to https://millelacsband.com/services/mailing-list.