News Roundup, March 28-April 3


Secretary-Treasurer provides video update

Secretary-Treasurer Sheldon Boyd provided an update to Band Members on live streaming, new procedural rules, the HEARTH Act, investments, and more. He praised the Legislative staff for their productivity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and listed a number of accomplishments during the last year, including publication of Band Statutes, Legislative Orders, revision of Statutes, creation of new Rules for the Band Assembly, and development of a Revisor's Office.

TERC letter updates restrictions for gatherings

In a letter to Band members and employees, Tribal Emergency Response Committe (TERC) Commissioners provided an update on restrictions for indoor and outdoor gatherings. The new guidelines allow for additional social and public gatherings, but the TERC Commissioners remind us that the majority are still not fully vaccinated, and they emphasize that with new variants of COVID-19 circulating, individuals should continue to wear masks, maintain social distance, and wash hands regularly. For the full letter, see

WEWIN Breakfast Sale

The women of WEWIN — Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations — hosted a breakfast fundraiser on April 1 at the old District I Community Center. Miigwech to all for their time and effort, and to Val Harrington for the photo.

DNR hosts online spearing/netting meeting

Commissioner of Natural Resources Katie Draper presented the 2021 Spring Harvest Guidelines to about 50 Mille Lacs Band harvesters who joined a Zoom meeting on March 31. Commissioner Draper went over the basics of the 1837 Conservation Code, summarized netting and spearing regulations, gave an overview of the 2020 harvest, shared some changes for this year, and took questions from harvesters. For more on the meeting, see For spring harvest guidelines, see

District I vaccination clinic is April 7

Call before noon on Monday, April 5, to make an appointment!

Band and community members featured in Minnesota Women's Press

In an article titled "Invisibility in the Silence of Grief, Loss, and Rage," Nicole Anderson, Mary Sam, Dana Skinaway-Sam, Kate Kalk, David Sam, and Mikayla Schaaf shared powerful stories about the devastation that occurs when a relative is missing or murdered, and they called on community leaders to break the silence and support those impacted by violence. For the full story, see Band member Tania Aubid, who has been a central figure in the Line 3 protests, was also interviewed in the publication about her work as a water protector:

Aanjibimaadizing seeks bids for seasonal videos

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Aanjibimaadizing Department is requesting bids to complete four (4) videos that are a minimum of thirty (30) minutes in length. There would be a 30-minute (at minimum) video completed for each season; summer, fall, winter, and spring. Some examples may include Ricing, Sugar Bush, Gathering, Fishing Activities, etc. The examples of activities provided are not exclusive and the vendor may choose any and all activities that they feel represent Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe seasonal activities. The videos should be targeted at the age range of teens to young adults. For details, see

Language revitalization video highlights book project

A new video ( describes the production of monolingual Ojibwe books through a collaboration between Aanjibimaadizing, Mille Lacs Band Elders, Ojibwe language scholars and students, and the Minnesota Historical Society. In the video, Anton Treuer, Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, sums up the book project in one sentence: “If we are to develop literacy as a support for fluency, then we need a pile of books.” The books will add to the tools teachers use for Ojibwe language instruction and revitalization. As Dr. Treuer says, “A book is powerful. It can last for hundreds and hundreds of years.”

U of M offers Ojibwe language classes at 90 percent off

The University of Minnesota has secured a grant from the Mellon Foundation to make possible a 90 percent discount on Ojibwe and Dakota language courses in the American Indian Studies department. Guest (non-degree seeking) students can take ONE language class per semester at this 90% discounted rate on tuition and fees. Enroll through the College of Continuing And Professional Studies (CCAPS), Register for the course, send a copy of the bill to (, and the American Indian Studies department will pay 90% towards the ONE language class. Students will pay the remainder of their bill by the appropriate due date. Language courses are available for remote (online) learning; students need a computer, headphones, microphone, fast internet, and a quiet place to learn.

Ojibwe language classes available from Culture Language Arts Network (CLAN)

Registration is now open for Level #1 and Level #2 Intro Ojibwe 12 Week Courses. Note: These classes are work intensive and are taught at a college level. Sign up only if you are a serious student and will finish the course. To sign up for Level #1 Intro Ojibwe, register at To sign up for Level #2 Intro Ojibwe, go to Registration will close once each class reaches a maximum capacity of 200 students. These classes will require you to use a Gmail account to sign up because these classes use Google Classroom. If you don't have a Gmail account they are free and can be created in a couple minutes.

Reach out for mental health services

In times of uncertainty or when we don’t feel safe, our mental health may suffer. At times, you don’t recognize that your mental health is suffering. You might feel more on edge than usual, irritated, hopeless, or sad. You might feel more upset with others or want to avoid any reminders of what is occurring. For those who already struggle with your mental wellness, you might feel depressed or anxious, or you may lack motivation to carry out your daily routine. If you are struggling and feel alone, or you have any questions, please reach out to the MLBO Mental Health Department crisis phone line at 320-674-4385. Contact Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic at 320-532-4163 for any questions and to make an appointment with a therapist.

Substance Use Disorder Department is here to help.

Do you have questions about assessment requests, treatment services, or Peer Recovery/Case Management services? Please reach out to the MLB SUD Department at (320) 532-7773 or
If you have any questions or need help regarding Harm Reduction Services including the MAR Suboxone Program, needle exchange and medical services, please contact Ne Ia Shing Clinic at (320) 532-4163.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

The Band's Victims of Crime Program and Family Violence Prevention Program recognized April as Child Abuse Prevention Month by wearing blue on April 1. National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. If you have questions or need to report an incidence of child abuse, contact one of the following: VOC Advocate, 320-362-0734, 320-362-1416, 320-362-1398; VOC Program Coordinator (cell) 320-364-3568 or (office) 320-532-7865; FVPP Administrator (cell) 320-630-2499 or (office) 320-532-7793; Women’s Shelter, 320-495-3514; 24-hour Crisis Line, 1-866-867-4006. For more information about child abuse, see

Trading Post has two job openings

There are two job openings at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post. The Sales Assistant II position "exists to serve a lead role in facilitating gift shop sales, providing high quality customer service, and maintaining the overall museum store environment." The Sales Assistant I position "exists to provide excellent customer service in the Mille Lacs Trading Post by assisting guests with gift shop purchases, including online orders, as well as assisting with the daily maintenance, stocking, and upkeep of the store." Click here for the Sales Assistant II opening and here for the Sales Assistant I opening.

DNR offers traditional medicine clinics

Todd Mikinaak Smith, Traditional Medicine Facilitator, will be available to see individuals on Thursday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mille Lacs Band Cultural Grounds wigwam in District I at 43504 Timber Trail Road, Onamia. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Dan Wind at 320-674-0588. Social distancing protocols will be In effect.

Vision Maker Media celebrates anniversary, marks Earth Day with free program

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. PBS and the Cherokee Nation Film Office are sponsors of VMM’s 45th anniversary events. In April, VMM’s first environmental-themed program will acknowledge International Earth Day with a month-long community-themed online film streaming event, titled “commUNITY: Environment is Sacred,” and a panel discussion. The April programs are free and open to the public but registration is required. “commUNITY: Environment is Sacred” is a program of six films, featuring themes of water, energy, Indigenous food and health. The themes highlight important environmental issues that have a direct effect on Native lands and an Indigenous philosophy for the world to better understand. The films will be available April 1-30 for worldwide online streaming 24/7 at


Find weekly updates and more Legislative news at or


Monday, March 29, 2021 – Chief Executive provided a COVID-19 update for Band members and extended an invitation to Band members to apply for various commissioner positions. Under Band laws, the terms of our commissioners are four years. Commissioner terms end on June 30, and these positions are appointed. The Chief Executive nominates someone, and it is up to the Band Assembly to either approve or reject the person. Chief Executive Benjamin is considering three commissioner positions: Commissioner of Education, Commissioner of Health and Human Services, and Commissioner of Natural Resources. If you are a Band member interested in one of the three positions, email a cover letter and resume to by Monday, April 5 – one week from today, explaining why you are interested and why you believe you are the best person qualified for the position. Please see the video for the qualifications necessary for these three positions.


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

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


The April issue of Ojibwe Inaajimowin is now available for download at You can also find stories from the current and previous newsletters at, including:

Treaty Rights Day celebration moves online
U.S. sides with Band in lawsuit
Pine Tech partnership brings new courses to districts

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

A Native American should fill Haaland's congressional seat
The art of Carl Gawboy
Marchers protest Line 3 in Duluth
Red Lake Nation College receives accreditation
Fond du Lac, Carlton County partnering to vaccinate public against COVID-19


Among the new job postings this week: Early Education Cook, Early Ed Maintenance Worker, Health Screener (2 Positions),
Chemical Health Counselor (HHS/Four Winds Lodge), Staff Attorney. 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.


Elder food distribution is April 14-15

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.

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

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.


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