News Roundup, March 1-5


Video illustrates link between language and culture preservation

“The goal of language revitalization is not just a novelty to learn a second language that is really cool,” Baabiitaw Boyd, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Commissioner of Administration said. “It’s about giving people the inherent tools that were intended for them so they can process life, so they can process grief and loss, and so they can anchor themselves in what was intended for them spiritually.” Part III of the Language and Culture Series presents speakers describing the importance of the Ojibwe language. Joe Nayquonabe Sr., a Mille Lacs Band Elder said, “I heard a scholar talk once and he said, ‘when you talk English, you think English. When you speak Ojibwe, you think Ojibwe.’”

Rental assistance available through Aanjibimaadizing

Are you experiencing past due rent and utilities bills related to the COVID-19 pandemic? Emergency funding is now available through the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program administered by Aanjibimaadizing. Funds are available for rent and rental utilities only. Applications are being accepted beginning March 1, 2021, through December 13, 2021 at 5 p.m. Apply online at Applications are also available at any Aanjibimaadizing office or from a Case Manager or Facilitator. Contact Tammy Moreland at (320) 292-1942 or email at Due to the number of calls this program could receive, you may need to leave a message. Calls will be returned within 48 hours. For more information, see

Mask order extended until May 31

Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicole Anderson issued Commissioner’s Order 20-04 on March 1 extending the requirement for individuals to wear masks or cloth face coverings in Mille Lacs Band government facilities and Band-owned businesses until May 31, 2021. For more information, see or read the order here.

New Pine Tech courses coming to districts

Aanjibimaadizing is excited to offer Career and Professional Development Courses in partnership with Pine Technical & Community College and the State of Minnesota Pathways to Prosperity Grant. Courses offered this spring include ServSafe Training, Parenting Piece by Piece, Office Basics, Certified Nursing Assistant, Commercial Driver's License, and Automotive Technician. All class dates, times and locations are subject to change due to COVID-19. Class sizes are limited. Sign up today! Participants must apply with Aanjibimaadizing and register at least two weeks in advance. To register for classes or for more information, contact Karen at 320-362-4139 (call or text) or (email). For more information, see The course catalog can also be found online at

Memorial tributes shared through website, newsletter

Beginning March 1, Band member families are invited to share memorial tributes to loved ones who have passed away for publication on the website and in the Ojibwe Inaajimowin. Mekweniminjig — Those Who Area Remembered — will be published in the newsletter beginning in April and can be found on the website at If you lost a loved one this year and would like to share the information with the Mille Lacs Band community, send the obituary/tribute along with a photo if desired to to be included on the website and in the next issue of Ojibwe Inaajimowin.

Treaty Rights Day virtual celebration

As part of a series of events commemorating our Treaty Rights victory, several raffle drawings are planned for Friday, March 19, at 11 a.m. General Raffle: All MLBO members eligible. One entry per person. Zoom Participation Raffle: Join our harvester Zoom meetings to be entered. Daily Zoom meetings will be held from 11:30 – 12:30 on March 15, 17, 18. One entry per meeting. Treaty Rights Photo Raffle: Submit photos of you or your family members harvesting from this past year to be entered. Unlimited entries per person. Kids Raffle: All youth are eligible to enter. Some raffle prizes include: spearing/netting packages, fish cleaning package, Traeger grill package, cooking package, food preserving package, Mille Lacs fishing package for youth, yeti cooler and more! Scroll down for more on the general raffle and youth raffle.

Treaty Rights photo raffle

GLIFWC announces summer internships

The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) is pleased to announce available internships for its 2021 GLIFWC Summer Internship Program. Through this internship program, college students will work one-on-one with their GLIFWC mentors in various divisions and learn about necessary coursework, college degrees, and trainings which result in gainful employment in a multitude of careers, including natural resource and stewardship careers with tribes. Also, interns will participate in a multitude of traditional Anishinaabe cultural events and learn about the importance of treaty reserved rights to the Anishinaabe people and their history in preserving these rights.

Secretary-Treasurer shares career opportunity in financial industry

As the Band moves forward into an era in which it manages its own investments, the Office of the Secretary-Treasurer is pleased to announce that the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation is hiring two junior investment analysts and is holding one position open for an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. If hired, the employee will work for the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation, not the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. The hiring window for the junior investment analyst positions will be open on the career section of the Foundation’s website ( from March 11 to 25. Interested Band members are encouraged to apply via the Foundation’s online hiring process. Although the web link will not be available until on or around March 11, the link will be published on the Legislative Branch Facebook page at that time. For more information, see

Celebration of Life baby baskets

District I Representative Virgil Wind would like to honor our new generation by gifting a baby basket. Baskets will include some necessities and items for your newborn baby. Parents receiving baskets must be an enrolled Mille Lacs Band member residing in the District I area. Please contact the D1 Office at (320) 532-7423 to inquire about details on getting a baby basket.

Mark your calendar: Spring cleanup begins April 17

With the warmer weather coming up the snow will begin to melt in your yards and you may suddenly find items you completely forgot about that have been buried beneath the snow since last fall. It happens to us all! It is time to think spring and start thinking about the Mille Lacs Band Annual Spring Clean-up! So mark your calendars and think spring!
Mark your calendar with the following dates: District I — Saturday April 17 through Monday, April 26; District II and IIa — Saturday, May 1 through Friday, May 7: District III: Lake Lena and Hinckley — Saturday, April 24 to Friday, April 30. More information coming soon. Think Spring!

March Public Health Newsletter focuses on nutrition

Our Public Health Department shares a lot of good nutritional advice, ideas for keeping our kids healthy, and a healthy stir-fry recipe. Click here for the newsletter:

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Online Films and Panel Discussion Featuring Indigenous Women Leaders

Vision Maker Media (VMM) is marking its 45th anniversary in 2021 with a yearlong celebration of free “commUNITY” events, including thematic online film screenings, online virtual programs, and more. To celebrate Women’s History Month in March, VMM will launch its first online program of 2021, a community-themed online film streaming event, titled “commUNITY: Herald Native Women.” All March programs are free and open to the public but registration is required. The March celebration will include a program of seven films — two short and five feature-length documentaries — all produced and/or directed by women, and a panel discussion organized in partnership with Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO). "Making Matriarchs – Indigenous Values-Based Leadership Development,” a panel discussion featuring four Native women leaders, will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, March 16, at 7 p.m. CST. For more, see or


Monday, March 1, 2021 — Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin informed Band members about a COVID Vaccination clinic this Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon at the new Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic in District 1 for community members 18 years of age or older. If you would like to be vaccinated you must call 320-532-4163 before noon on Tuesday to be vaccinated. She also announced GLIFWC summer internships and a new position for a Band member seeking a career in the institutional investment industry through the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation. Assistant Commissioner of Administration Peter Nayquonabe discussed the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) grant that will pay for rent, back rent, and rental utilities (such as electric, propane, natural gas, and internet) for up to 12 months during the time frame of March 2020 to December 2021. Aanjibimaadizing will be administering the program. Mortgage payments and home owner utility payments are NOT eligible. There will be an online application process beginning this week. Watch for more information coming soon. If you have questions, please call 320-292-1942. President Biden addressed NCAI virtual conference last week stating he is committed to working closely with Indian Country. The new administration has already appointed 20 Native Americans to various positions within the federal government.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 — Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin provided Band members with a COVID-19 update along with other important news. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness (CRC) Month. CRC is the second most common cancer among Indigenous people, and is the second leading cause of cancer death. There will be meeting of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe on Thursday, March 4. It will be available via Zoom. New Classes coming up for Band members with Pine Technical and Community College in partnership with Annjibimaadizing include:Certified Nursing Assistant, Commercial Drivers License Class A or B, Automotive Technician, Computer Basics, and Business Computer Applications. Watch for specific details and for more information contact Karen at 320-362-4139 or email . A new Aanjibimaadizing Language Preservation video has been posted to the YouTube Channel. As a reminder, Treaty Rights Day celebration will be Friday, March 19. There is a really nice poster inserted in the March edition of the Inaajimowin newsletter provided by GLIFWC in cooperation with our DNR. I hope you all have a chance to take a look at it. It is huge and suitable to hang on a wall.

Thursday, March 4, 2021 — Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin provided a COVID-19 update as well as other news for Band members. To date, 837 individuals have been vaccinated with at least 1 dose, and 647 have been fully vaccinated. The COVID Emergency Rental Assistance grant funds are available for rent and rental utilities only. Applications are being accepted now through December 13, 2021. For more information, see A food stand at the Grand Market today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. is a collaborative effort between the Men’s Empowerment Group and the Women’s Healing Circle to promote community wellness. They are selling brats, hotdogs, chili and chips with drinks and baked goods. The Treaty Rights Virtual celebration will be Friday, March 19, with four exciting raffles for all Band members at 11 a.m. See above for more information.


Band members contribute to video on slowing the spread of COVID-19

The Mille Lacs Band and two of its members participated in a video by the Arrowhead Regional Public Health and Tribal Health Departments including Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties together with the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe. Amelio Merrill and Derek Smith appeared in the video along with students from around the region.

Emergency Management Coordinator recognized for participation in rescue

In cases of cardiac arrest, seconds matter. According to the American Heart Association, fewer than 8% of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of the hospital survive. The quick response by Mille Lacs Band Emergency Management Coordinator Monte Fronk was a critical piece in the team efforts that included complete strangers, Mille Lacs Band and Mille Lacs County and local paramedics/EMTs last August that resulted in saving the life one man on a rural highway last August. For the story, see This positive ending to this story reflects on the Community Risk Reduction efforts of the Mille Lacs Band. Watch this emotional reunion story now and a full story in an upcoming issue of the Inaajimowin. Knowing CPR can save someone’s life. CPR classes are offered by Emergency Management on an on-going basis. To find out more information on how to sign up for the next available class, call or text Monte Fronk at 320-362-0435 or email


Among the new job postings this week: HHS Building Maintenance Manager, HHS Client Access Specialist, HHS Clinical Lab Assistant, Early Ed Head Start Health & Safety Specialist, Chemical Dependency Counselor Aide, Certified Nursing Assistant (DIII), Elder Home Care Coordinator, Assistant Cook, Ge-niigaanizijig DII Youth Mentor DII, DII Early Ed Assistant Teacher, Four Winds Licensed Practical Nurse (Part-Time), DIII Program Administrator, Family Services Youth Transitions Coordinator. For more, see

You can request information about jobs by emailing 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.

For openings at Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Hinckley properties or Eddy’s Resort, visit: For openings with Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, visit For openings at Grindstone Laundry or Crossroads Convenience Store, email 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 March issue of Ojibwe Inaajimowin has been sent out and can also be downloaded at You can also find stories from the current and previous newsletters at, including:

Band member wins competitive arts grant
Sherraine White — First run on the corporate ladder
Ge-Niigaanizijig language program


You can find links to stories from around Indian Country at Among this week's headlines:

Tribes ask Walz to pause Line 3 during legal appeal
Nurse honored for saving retired fire chief's life during roadside cardiac arrest
Pipeline workers among those arrested in sex-trafficking sting
UMN researcher collaborates with tribes working toward smoking cessation
Leech Lake vaccine rollout expands to include non-tribal community members


Elder Food Distribution March 17 and 18

Treaty Rights Day

Treaty Rights Day will be celebrated on March 19 in commemoration of the U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming our rights to hunt, fish, and gather under the 1837 Treaty. Government Offices close at noon. Stay tuned for information on the virtual celebration hosted by the Department of Natural Resources. See the flyers above and below for information on raffles.

Ge-Niigaanizijig language classes with Memengwaakwe

Ceremonial Dance Dates

Recovery group meetings
Most recovery meetings are 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 Thursday Wellbriety meeting ID is 966 0395 9591, and the passcode is 944772. The nightly Zooming Towards Recovery code is 601-532-2869, and the password is zoom800. NOTE: ”The Rez” NA meeting starts at 6 p.m. at a new location: the old Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic, 43500 Migizi Drive.

Meetings for Urban Band members in recovery are held on Zoom Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and Fridays at 6:30.

SUD Department offers grief support
A Community Grief Support Group meets Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. via Zoom. Meeting ID: 950 0668 4301. Passcode: Support! Contact Allison at 320-630-9243 or

Free streaming of movies by Native women
Vision Maker Media is marking its 45th anniversary with a yearlong celebration of free commUNITY events, including thematic online film screenings, online virtual programs, and more. The Cherokee Nation Film Office is a sponsor of the 45th anniversary events. In recognition of Women's History Month in March, Vision Maker Media presents “commUNITY: Herald Native Women,” a showcase of six films offered for free 24/7 streaming all month at For more information, see


The Government Affairs Department, which is in charge of communications with Band members, is compiling a list of email addresses so we can send news summaries and breaking news updates to Band members. To sign up, go to