Red Lake to Distribute $5.5 Million to Enrolled Members
Distribution to Take Place December 17 and 18
Communities surrounding the Red Lake Indian Reservation may get a multi-million dollar economic boost soon when monies from the Red Lake “Permanent Fund” are distributed this weekend to Red Lake Tribal members. Each enrolled member, on and off reservation, will receive $500 for a total distribution of more than $5.5 million.
To the greatest extent feasible, the Red Lake Tribal Council is encouraging it’s members to maximize the economic benefit of this “emergency distribution” by spending funds at businesses owned by the Band or Band members, or that employ significant numbers of Band members. Many of those dollars (distributed to Red Lake members living on or near the reservation) are likely to eventually find their way to Bemidji and surrounding communities.
Last year about this time, $200 was distributed to all enrolled Red Lake members. This year, the Tribal Council moved to distribute $500 because of the drying up of “stimulus funds” coming out of Washington, and the poor economy.
Distribution funds are one result of a relatively recent multi-million dollar settlement agreement with the Federal government over mismanagement and other wrongs with respect to the Band’s land, resources, trust funds, treaties, and agreements going back more than 100 years.
A “Permanent Fund” was established by the Band from the judgment, which at the time was unprecedented from the Court of Federal Claims to a single Indian Tribe. The Permanent Fund was created to provide a permanent source of growing revenues for the Band’s present and future generations. Interest money earned from the settlement fund is to be used for reforestation, program shortfalls, and for member distribution.
On Reservation members will pick up their checks at three locations at Red Lake, Redby and Ponemah on Saturday December 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday December 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Checks for Off Reservation members will be mailed out on Friday December 16, 2011.