News Roundup, March 21-27


Treaty Rights anniversary is cause for celebration, education

On March 24, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Treaty of 1837, affirming Mille Lacs Band memberss and right to hunt, fish, and gather on the ceded land under tribal regulations. Today’s Mille Lacs Band members, like their ancestors, are committed to protecting and preserving natural resources. Read about the Treaty Day celebration and the 1837 Treaty Case at

Federal court hears arguments on status of Reservation

Judge Susan Richard Nelson of the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, heard oral arguments March 16 on the Mille Lacs Band’s motion for partial summary judgment in its lawsuit against Mille Lacs County. The Band filed a motion on February 1 asking the court to rule that the Mille Lacs Reservation created in the Treaty of 1855 remains intact. Mille Lacs County also requested a partial summary judgment ruling that the Reservation no longer exists. For details, see

Comments accepted on statute amendments

Band Assembly is accepting comments on proposed procedural rules and other amendments to Title 3 and has scheduled a public hearing for April 7, 2021, at 11 a.m. via Zoom. The public comment period for these proposed changes has been set at 15 business days. Written comments can be submitted to no later than 5 p.m. on April 2, 2021, with “Title 3“ as the subject. Band members and employees may also submit written comments in person to the District I legislative office. To participate in the public hearing, contact Legislative Affairs Director Brianna Boyd via phone at 320-630-8702 or via email at For the official notice and drafts of Title 3 amendments at Rules of the Band Assembly, see

U.S. sides with Band in lawsuit

The United States filed an amicus (“friend of the court“) brief on March 1 supporting the Mille Lacs Band’s motion for partial summary judgment in its lawsuit against Mille Lacs County. The U.S. motion requesting permission to file its brief, which was unopposed by the Band and the County, reads in part: “The United States respectfully requests leave to file the attached proposed amicus brief in support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment that the Boundaries of the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation, as Established in 1855, Remain Intact.“ To read the motion and the brief, see

Fourth part of Language Revitalization video series focuses on language and identity

The Aanjibimaadizing language revitalization initiative seeks to help Band members achieve wellness and self-sufficiency by connecting them with their language and culture. Aanjibimaadizing is working with Rosetta Stone to create an Ojibwe language app and has produced three monolingual books of stories told by Mille Lacs Band Elders. Part 4 in a series of videos shares some of the thoughts about the importance of language revitalization to individual identity. You can watch it at

COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance funds are now available

Aanjibimaadizing staff are ready and willing to help Band members apply for COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA), which helps renters who have fallen behind due to issues related to COVID-19. You can apply online at Applications are also available at any Aanjibimaadizing office or from a case manager or facilitator. You can also contact an Aanjibimaadizing case manager or facilitator to help you with the application. Learn more at

DNR hosts Zoom meeting on netting and spearing season

Join the DNR team on Tuesday, March 30th at 11:30am via Zoom to discuss this years Netting and Spearing season! Call our DNR office at 320-532-7439 to be added to our text alert system. Be prepared to share your name, cell phone number and cell phone provider.

To Join Zoom Meeting via Computer:
Meeting ID: 965 9295 9447
Passcode: 998659

To Join Zoom Meeting via Phone:
1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 965 9295 9447
Passcode: 998659

WEWIN Breakfast Sale is April 1

It's that time again! Mark your calendar and come and get a delicious breakfast while helping the WEWIN ladies!
WEWIN Breakfast Sale is next Thursday, April 1, from 7:30 a.m. until gone at the old District I Community Center. WEWIN, which stands for Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations, is a group of Native women committed to the following purposes: To strengthen and sustain tribal cultures for the benefit and destiny of the children; To educate about tribal cultures, the history of native people, the inherent rights we exercise for the good of our people and others, and of current issues that affect our well being; To promote honest dignified tribal leadership who reflect pride for those we represent; To support and encourage tribal leadership; To install a balance between service and solitude and between fulfilling responsibilities and devotion to loved ones; To express encouragement, understanding, and joy to others dedicated to following the guidance of our creator and serving our communities as role models.

Mark your calendar: Nay Ah Shing kindergarten roundup is April 21

If you have a child entering kindergarten next fall, come to Nay Ah Shing April 21 from 2 to 5 p.m. for the annual Kindergarten Roundup. Call the Abi Main Office to Sign Up: Phone: 320-532-4690 Address: 43521 Oodena Drive Onamia, MN, 56359.


Welcome, Silas!

Proud parents Jon Houle and Brooke Sher, with baby Silas, were gifted a baby basket from District I Representative Virgil Wind. Silas Charles Houle was born February 10, 2021. The basket included some necessities and other items for their newborn baby. District I Band members who have a newborn (0-2 months) and would like a baby basket are welcome to contact the District I office at 320-532-7423 to inquire about details.

District I Rep. Virgil Wind shares video update

Representative Wind shared his love of spring and hope for light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Men's and women's groups will be cleanup up the parks in District I. Opening of the new community center is in the works in collaboration with the Executive Branch, with policies and procedures in development. A District I Community Meeting will be held at Grand Casino Mille Lacs on April 28 at 5 p.m. with a meal provided. Seating will be limited and social distancing protocols in place. The District I office will also be providing opportunities to learn about and participate in netting and spearing. Band Assembly is on track to start live streaming in June. Virgil invites Band members with questions to contact Darla at 320-532-7423. ( text:Click here to view the Representative's video.)

Secretarial Order establishes numbering system

Mille Lacs Band Secretary-Treasurer Sheldon Boyd signed Secretarial Order 92-21 on March 12, 2021, establishing a numbering system for future Orders and recognizing as expired all previous Orders that did not specify expiration dates. The Order states that several different numbering systems have been used for Secretarial Orders since 1982, that several orders cannot be found, and that most do not contain expiration dates as required by Title 3 of Mille Lacs Band Statutes.

Find weekly updates and more Legislative news at


Tuesday, March 23, 2021 — Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin provided a COVID-19 update for Band members, along with a brief summary regarding the Treaty Rights celebration of last week.

Thursday, March 25, 2021 — Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin provides a COVID-19 update for Band members and reviewed the Band's response to the pandemic over the last year. Chief Executive Benjamin urged Band members to continue to exercise caution and practice good safety measures as the state moves forward to loosen restrictions. Chief Executive Benjamin also discussed the GLIFWC Summer internship program has extended the application deadline. The application information is available at Click on "Employment." To watch the video, go to


The April issue of Ojibwe Inaajimowin is in the mail and will arrive in Band members' mailboxes soon. You can also find stories from the current and previous newsletters at, including:

April 2021 Message from the Chief Executive
Senator Smith says relief bill contains largest-ever payment to tribes
Ellison hears boundary comments

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

Judges question whether Line 3 is needed
The celebration over, Deb Haaland now faces a long to-do list at Interior
Rounds, Smith lead bipartisan push to repeal outdated laws against Native Americans
Wisconsin tribes criticize wolf hunt that exceeded quota
In win for Fond du Lac, Army Corps suspends wetlands permit for Polymet copper mine


Pine Tech partnership brings new courses 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. The courses being offered are ServSafe Certification, Parenting Piece by Piece, Office Basics, Certified Nursing Assistant, Commercial Driver's License, and Automotive Technician. For more information, see or contact Karen at 320-362-4139 (call or text) or

Last week's updates from the Chief Executive:

Monday, March 15
Tuesday, March 16
Thursday, March 18


Among the new job postings this week: Main Receptionist, Mental Health Program Director, K-6 Paraprofessional-Pine Grove Learning Center, Family Tree Specialist, Enrollment Intake Specialist, Administrative Assistant to Enrollments , Part-Time Elder Abuse Program Case Aide, Chemical Dependency Counselor Aide (Part-Time On Call), Alternative Learning Center Teacher, Assistant Teacher DII, Community Health Representative DIII, NASS Bus Driver, Chemical Dependency Assessor, Technology Specialist II, Cultural Resource Specialist, DIII Community Center Site 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.


Get ready for spring cleanup!

With the nice weather the last few days, you may have a touch of spring fever. There may be a return to winter soon, but why not take advantage of these moments of warmth and begin your spring clean-up!? The Mille Lacs Band Annual Spring Clean-up event will be here before we know it. Please see the flyer for full details.

See flyers below for information on other upcoming events

How to access Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Services

The Substance Use Disorder Department (SUD) would like to remind people to call: (320) 532-7773 to schedule Rule 25 / Comprehensive Assessments and SUD Services. During this time requests for services have continued to increase, and please leave a message if your call is not answered immediately when calling. Miigwech for your patience, as we are in the process of hiring additional staff to cover the increased requests.

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. ”The Rez” NA meeting meets in person (with social distancing and masks required) on Fridays at 6 p.m. at 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