Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr., Delivers State of the Band Address

In his annual report to the people, Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr., recapped the Tribal Council's 2013 agenda, and presented future goals, aspirations, and plans for 2014.

An estimated 400 Red Lake members and friends of Red Lake nation the Annual State of the Band Address presented by Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr. The event was held at the Seven Clans Casino and Event Center on Thursday, February 27, 2011. The audience included Red Lake members from Duluth and the Twin Cities.

Do to the cold weather, the festivities began at 11:30 a.m. after a scheduled 11:00 a.m. start.

Smartly arranged around the perimeter of the event center lobby were informative displays of many Tribal programs., many of which had a variety of give-a-ways which were eagerly signed up for.

The program began with the entrance of the Color Guard, followed by Red Lake Royalty, dancing to the beat of the East Red Lake Singers. After the posting of the colors, there was an opening prayer by Eugene Stillday.

"It is my honor, and privilege to present to you on behalf of the entire Tribal Council, and seven Hereditary Chiefs, the annual State of the Band address and report to the people", began Jourdain. He then thanked spiritual elder Eugene Stillday for rendering the invocation.

Before introducing the Tribal Council and Hereditary Chiefs seated on the stage, Jourdain thanked veterans and families, the East Red Lake Singers and royalty, his family and staff. "Thank you Council for you hard work, and for the commitment, and sacrifice that you put forth for the Red Lake Nation as a whole, and our entire band membership", said Jourdain.

"I would like to thank the Tribal programs that are here with us today. As a tribal Council we appreciate what you do for our citizens. Your jobs are important ones, and we commend you on your dedication", he said. He then encouraged all to take a look around at the services displays in the lobby. "Our tribal programs continue to do a fine job. And for this we thank you. Miigwech," Jourdain concluded.

State of the Band Address below:

"A NATION ON THE RISE" Red Lake Nation State of the band address

Presented By Floyd Jourdain Jrl, Tribal Chairman, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians on February 27, 2014.

Boozhoo, fellow band members, Council, Chiefs, Veterans, and friends,

My name is Floyd Jourdain Jr, and I am the Chairman of the great Red Lake Nation, where sovereignty and tradition will always persevere.

It is my honor, and privilege to present to you, the Red Lake Nation annual report to the people.

"A Nation On The Rise" is the theme for this year's state of the band address because it signifies the growth of our nation, and the progress that we continue to experience as our tribe grows stronger.

Following in the footsteps of our ancestors is of the utmost importance to the Red Lake people. Our predecessors held true to the belief that everything we do in our brief time on this earth should be for the betterment of the generations yet to come.

We carry this belief, and the blueprint they left for us as we proceed to prepare a better future for us all.

It has never been about the here, and now for Red Lake leadership. We must always look to the future of our people, and prepare the best way we can to make a strong nation for those who will come after us.

We are a strong nation! A proud Nation! Let us never forget that. So with the guidance of our elders, and the blessings of the creator, let us move into the future together in a good way!

Strides

We have made great strides in education, constitutional reform, business development, and language preservation. This year our enrollment topped 11,500 members, and we continue to grow.

Our tribe is financially strong, and we have made wise investments that directly benefit you, the band members in the future.

Over the course of the past several months we have made much needed improvements at the Red Lake hospital. More housing developments are taking place as we speak.

Also, the new tribal college and government center will be a hub of activity this summer as workers construct a new facility that we all can be proud of.

The community of Littlerock will finally open the doors of a new community center this year, and much needed road, bridge and infrastructure projects will be completed as well.

Red Lake gaming will complete a beautiful new Seven clans Warroad casino/hotel that will provide much needed jobs, and increased revenue for the Red Lake Band.

There are many opportunities that are available to our band members, and positive things that are happening in our communities.

It is important that we recognize them, and the good people who work so hard to make them happen.

Miigwetch to all of you who work so hard to make a positive difference in people's lives!

As the report that many of you have on your tables shows! The Red Lake people are beautiful, and amazing! Yes, that means you!

Wah! Giiin itah wichige!

You make our nation proud!!

Challenges

But even with all the good things about our tribe, sometimes, it's hard to see the forest through the trees

When hard times over shadow good we tend to focus on the struggles that we see every day, and forget about the good things about our reservation, and our people.

Today I will talk about both.

I won't sugar coat anything here in terms of problems we experience as a tribal Nation. We all want the same things.

Safe communities, good schools, adequate health care, and jobs for our member's .these are just a few worth mentioning.

But, just like any other Indian community, or town in America, there will never be a shortage of challenges that we will have to face.

Issues

We continue to experience social issues like heartbreaking suicides amongst our people of all ages, and alcohol continues to be the number one killer of our people.

This past year the tribal council passed a resolution opposing the sale of alcohol to our people by border town liquor establishments that prey on our reservation members.

I don't know if it will do any good, or deter these businesses from selling alcohol to our Indian people. Probably not, but at least we made our voices clear.

The Red Lake reservation is a dry reservation. Liquor causes a lot of problems for our people. We are opposed to the sale of alcohol so close to our reservation borders, and on our tribal lands.

Drug Abuse

The flow of drugs both illegal and legal like prescription medication, heroin, and methamphetamine onto our reservation continues to cause serious problems in our communities as well.

At our annual drug and gang summit two weeks ago it was reported that because prescription drugs are become harder to get and more expensive, people are turning towards heroin as the next drug of choice.

Like other harmful substances, it is tearing families apart, and ruining lives.

That is why

This year's summit was dedicated to families. Everyone in the family is affected when loved ones are suffering from addictions.

Addictions are hard to overcome, but they can be beaten, and families can be healthy again if they support one another and we as a community support them.

Our public safety, public health, and treatment programs are continuously working hard to address these issues.

They continuously have to adapt to trends that affect how they go about helping our people.

Their jobs are daunting, and sometimes seemingly thankless, but we do appreciate the work that you do, and we commend you for your efforts.

Tribal Government

On a governmental level we continue to see deep cuts in Washington D.C. Cuts to Indian country that directly affect our tribe.

Despite our efforts in Washington and the efforts of President Obama we see our federal appropriations reduced, and resources becoming harder to come by.

This has a direct affect on the services we provide for our members.

Sequestration

I want to talk about sequestration for a bit. Pretty boring stuff to most of you I'm sure, but it is important to raise the issue so everyone is clear on where we stand this year, and possibly next with federal budget cuts.

The 2013 sequestration, which amounted to about a 5.2% cut to most federal programs, definitely impacted Red Lake.

Our BIA Self Governance programs lost about 550,000 dollars.

Red Lakes Comprehensive Health lost about 463,000

The Red Lake school district lost about 1.6 million in Impact aid funding.

Red Lake Head start lost about 75,000

Red Lake environmental protection programs lost more than 50,000

Red Lake chemical health programs lost 84,000

Fortunately we were able to manage these losses with minimal impact to services that band members receive.

With the threat of additional sequestration cuts looming in 2014, Democratic Senator Patty Murray, and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan who chair budget committees on both sides of the isle negotiated a deal last December to soften the impacts of sequestration in 2014, and 2015.

Based on their deal, in January Congress enacted an omnibus appropriations bill which included additional funding in 2014 which benefits many tribal programs.

Unlike 2013, in 2014 Congress did better than many of us expected in softening the blows from sequestration on tribes.

For BIA, 142 Million was added over the 2013 sequestration level. Congress included language requiring BIA to provide full funding for contract support costs to tribes.

For IHS, 303 million was added over the 2013 sequestration level. Congress included language requiring IHS to provide full funding for contract support costs to tribes.

Because Congress required BIA and IHS to provide full contract support cost funding (which will definitely help us), and also because the administration is taking the liberty to fund its own initiatives in 2014, BIA, and IHS will not be restoring many of the sequestration cuts imposed on us at the tribal level.

So, in 2014 things will be better than 2013, but we will not fully recover from the 2013 sequester.

We will continue to urge congress to provide additional increases in 2015 in order for us to recover from the 2013 sequester cuts.

Other Omnibus Appropriation Highlights include

Good news!

The 2013 sequestration cuts to impact aid, and head start were restored.

The Native American Housing Block Grant Program was not sequestered, so funding levels are the same as 2012.

The food distribution program received a $4 million increase, which replaces sequestration, and is actually an increase over 2012 levels.

Also good news!

The food stamp program lost about $ 4 billion because an increase provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was not restored. So, most families receiving food stamps will see a decrease of $30 to $40 a month.

But things could have been much worse as Republicans tried to impose a massive $40 billion cut to the food stamp program.

Self sufficiency

This is even more so why at home our leadership needs to embrace efforts to grow our businesses and put more Red Lakers to work.

Tribes everywhere are trying to break a dependency of governments and become more self sufficient.

Initiatives like Constitutional reform, and our corporate development commission RLINC, are working hard to strengthen our local economy, and build a strong governmental structure immune from bad business practices, and political interference.

In the report you have received you will see for yourself that our businesses are turning around, and this is attributed to professional management and oversight by band members with qualified business backgrounds who the Tribal Council has entrusted to create jobs for our people.

It is a process that will take some time, but we are starting to see positive results, and millions of dollars in business debt that has existed for many years is being wiped out.

We all know what happens when businesses start to show profits. They begin to grow. And when there is growth in business, that's when the jobs come.

Our band members deserve to make an honorable living. By putting in a good days work, and taking home a well deserved paycheck to their families.

Our goal should be to break a cycle of dependency on the federal government that has held tribes in its grip, and under its thumb for far too long. Economic self sufficiency is something we all should strive for.

I envision a day when we as a tribe we will no longer have to grovel, and beg the federal government for what they promised our ancestors in treaties, and agreements in the first place!

Other tribes are creating jobs for their band members. Why not us as well? Let's give our band members some pride. Let's break the dependency on governments that rob us of our pride, and self worth!

Let's continue the progress we have made by building our economy, and investing wisely in projects, and programs that directly benefit our members, and their future.

In your packet you will see a financial report on our permanent trust fund derived from our forestry settlement. This is where the money comes from that you receive every Christmas. As you can see our investments have grown in excess of 71 million.

So don't ever let anybody tell you that our tribe is broke. If they do, show them this.

This is just one small part of the tribes overall total budget and assets.

This is another example where wise investing, and expert management has been able to grow this permanent fund.

This is all of our money!

If we continue to invest wisely and look towards the future, someday hopefully we will not have to hinge our hopes on Washington bureaucrats who hold the purse strings of federal appropriations.

We have to build our own thriving economy on the reservation where every band member who chooses to work will someday have that opportunity.

Gaming will not be around forever. We must continue to diversify into other areas of business.

We have to build up our tribal businesses, and support small business people.

When they succeed our economy will thrive because we are keeping our hard earned dollars at home and circulating through our own communities instead of letting our hard earned money flow directly into our border towns.

By also supporting our own Tribal College we will produce the professional level managers, and experts to run our programs, businesses, and tribal affairs in the future as well.

These are worthwhile endeavors.

All of this is achievable in our lifetime!

Trespass/Removal

We continue to remove from our tribal lands non members, and non Indians that commit crimes against our people. They ignore our laws, and inflict abuses against our women, children, and families.

We have a duty to protect our communities and our tribal lands! We have the inherent right to determine our own membership, and to decide who occupies our territories.

This is not only acknowledged by the United States of America in treaties, but it is Tribal Law!

With the passage of the violence against women's act, tribes will have the ability to hold accountable, and charge those non Indians that commit crimes against our Indian women.

This is a good thing! It's a start.

Ideally, we would like to charge all non Indians who come into Indian country, committing crimes against our band members, but Congress prohibits that.

Tribes throughout Indian country are demanding that this change!

Hopefully soon this too will become a reality.

In the meantime, we reserve the right to remove from our tribal lands, and businesses those who commit crimes against our people.

We welcome our visitors, neighbors, guests, and anyone else who is respectful of our people, our laws, and our lands.

All others caught trespassing, and committing crimes against our people will be banned from the Red Lake Nation, and escorted off of our tribal lands!

Health Care

Health issues related due to Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes take many of our people before their time. Fortunately many of these sicknesses are preventable. Lifestyle changes are hard to make, but we continue to encourage healthy lifestyles amongst our people of all ages.

Although we have a long way to go, and there is always room for improvement, we continue to increase our efforts at better health care for our band members.

Minnesota Congresswomen Betty McCollum who sits on the Senate committee on Indian affairs appropriations committee recently visited the Red Lake reservation.

Being her first visit to Red Lake she was amazed at how much is going on at Red lake and the services available.

She commented on the improvements at the Red Lake hospital, and that she had visited many communities in Indian country, and most have nowhere near what Red Lake has in terms of healthcare for their band members.

The majority of them have no hospital at all on their tribal lands.

We all know that things can be better, and we don't deny that more improvements can be made.

I want to assure you that we will continue to improve upon the services that we already provide at the Red Lake Hospital, and the Ponemah clinic.

Walleye Recovery Project

In October of 2013 The Red Lake band of Chippewa received special recognition for our Walleye restoration project by the Harvard University's Honoring Nations Program.

I, along with Secretary Cook, Redby Representative Alan Pemberton, and Red Lake DNR Biologist Pat Brown traveled to Tulsa Oklahoma where we accepted the award at the National Congress of American Indians annual convention, and tradeshow.

Out of 120 tribes to receive this prestigious honor, the Red Lake band was chosen among the top three examples of successful tribal governance and sovereignty in Indian country.

The other two honorees were the Archie Hendricks, Sr skilled nursing facility and Tohono O'odham Hospice (Tohono O' odham Nation of Arizona) and the Citizen Band Potawatomi Nations Constitutional reform project.

Please bear with me as I share with you what was submitted by the John F Kennedy school of Government regarding the Red Lake Walleye recovery project. It is worth refreshing our memories about this historic effort.

Honoring Nations

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa have long depended on the fish that live in Red Lake, the sixth largest body of fresh water In the United Sates. Both the waters and the Walleye of the lake are central to the Red Lake Band people, its history, economy, and culture.

But by the mid -1990's, the Walleye population had collapsed from over-fishing. Taking drastic, but necessary measures, the Band negotiated a consensus arrangement with local fisherman and state and federal officials to ban fishing in the lake.

Over a ten-year period the fish recovered at an astonishing rate. The tribally led Red Lake Recovery Project now determines when, how, and who can fish the historic waters from which the band claims its name.

The Native Nations isolated, rural reservation encompasses over 825,000 acres of land and water, including 85% of Red Lake.

For centuries the Band relied on its namesake lake for its cultural lifeblood. Regarding it as a gift from the creator, generations of Red Lake Chippewa relied on the lake's fish, primarily the Walleye as their main source of sustenance.

Fishing is a cultural and economic pillar in the community, providing Band citizens with a sense of purpose, identity, and independence.

In the mid-1990's, the Lake's walleye population collapsed. Years of over- fishing rooted in practices begun in the early part of the 20th century were the cause of this dramatic decline.

World War 1 food shortages had prompted the establishment of a commercial fishery on Red Lake, one of the largest freshwater operations in the U.S. for decades.

It employed static, nonscientific harvest quota for walleye and did little to regulate numbers.

The Red Lake Fisheries Association (RLFA), a cooperative of the bands commercial fisherman, also failed to control the number of citizens setting gill nets on Red Lake.

Cooperative members routinely asked for quota extensions, which regardless of the Lake's biological status, were always granted.

On the States side of the lake, scores of non-Indian fisherman consistently exceeded their walleye catch limits.

And, in addition to this officially sanctioned harvest, many Indian and non-Indian fisherman were active participants in a flourishing black market, driven by soaring walleye prices.

Estimates suggest that unofficial takings doubled the annual legal harvest of walleye.

Altogether, the lack of enforcement by, and communication between the managers on both sides of Red Lake encouraged rampant overfishing.

These conditions led numerous Red Lake citizens to seek a living commercial fishing.

The Red Lake Fisheries association saw its membership surge from 200 to 700 by the early 1990's and its documented annual harvest top out at 950,000 pounds.

By 1996, however, the RLFA harvested only 15,000 pounds. The Red Lake walleye had been pushed to the brink of extinction.

Witnessing the rapid decline of the walleye, the Red Lake Band government responded with a multi-pronged plan that included scientific study, state of the art data collection, monitoring, and analysis.

The plan also involved collaboration with the RLFA to end tribal citizen walleye fishing until the stock could recover.

To decrease non-Indian harvests, the band entered into formal agreements with the state of Minnesota. These efforts were supported by enforcement strategies to ensure compliance.

The Chippewa fisherman made the ultimate sacrifice to save the walleye. In 1997, in response to evidence presented by the tribal government about the future of fishing on Red Lake, the RLFA voted by an overwhelming margin to discontinue all commercial gill net fishing.

The fisherman agreed that giving up their livelihoods in the short term which they did even in the absence of subsidies was the only way to save the walleye.

If they continued fishing, they would lose not only this cultural resource but also future income.

A year later, the band prohibited all substinence fishing by hook and line.

Having lost their main source of income, many fishermen were forced to look elsewhere for work, selling their boats and gear.

The bands' significant investment in generating scientific data about the lake's biological health provided its fisherman with the necessary background to make informed decisions.

The investment also empowered the tribe to take its message to non-tribal governments. At first, the State of Minnesota was uncooperative, since the Band jurisdiction extended only to 85% of the lake.

But being certain of its methods and scientific conclusions, the Band knew the walleye population was in trouble.

The tribe recognized that in order to establish sustainability it needed to approach the lake as a whole, single ecosystem as opposed to two bodies of water separated by a jurisdictional line.

The band again approached the state, even though there was no pre-existing relationship, and proposed a fish restoration partnership.

Dialogue with Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources followed, and a historic agreement was signed in 1999.

Working in conjunction with the bands established natural resource policies, the intergovernmental agreement prohibited walleye fishing in Red Lake's state waters, mandated strict regulation of the moratorium on both sides of the lake, and established a multi-partner technical committee to develop and manage the walleye recovery effort.

The technical committee is composed of scientists from the band, state, bureau of Indian affairs, and the University of Minnesota.

Relying on mutual respect, shared science, and consensus decision-making, the committee aggressively implemented an unprecedented restoration plan that incorporated massive fry stockings; stringent enforcement of the fishing ban; and comprehensive data collection to track the quantity, maturity, diversity, and natural reproduction capability of the walleye population.

In a true demonstration of cooperation, the Band and the State agreed to equally share the cost of the restoration.

The partnership with Minnesota did not stop at recovery. While the agreement was set for ten years, there are renewal opportunities.

The agreement specifically spells out the importance of future management of walleye on a sustainable basis.

The technical committee will continue to meet on a regular basis and fishery assessments will be conducted indefinitely.

The solid working relationship of the technical committee has helped break down barriers between the Band and State.

Both are committed to a common goal to do the right thing for a natural resource that benefits all.

Many experts, citing the failure of past walleye recovery projects, doubted the effort could succeed given the lake's immense size and jurisdictional complexity.

The technical committee, aware of the many challenges it faced, estimated it would take 10 years for the Red Lake walleye to rebound to a naturally reproducing, self-sustaining level.

By allowing the scientists and policy makers to base decisions on sound biological principles, rather than economic or popular measures, the effort has far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations.

In just 7 years, the walleye rebounded from an all time-low of 100,000 to approximately 7.5 million, including several years with strong classes that indicate the stock is healthy.

Deemed as one of the most successful inland fishery recovery in North American history, this resurgence prompted the band to reopen Red Lake to substinence, and sport fishing in the spring of 2006, years ahead of schedule.

The Red Lake Walleye Recovery Project demonstrates how tribal governments, in addressing problems of cultural, social, and economic importance, can also significantly strengthen their sovereignty.

This recovery effort restores the promise of cultural continuity, economic means, and pride to the community. The walleye have returned to Red Lake and the Band intend for them to stay!

Technical committee members.

Fishers-RLFA

A NATION ON THE RISE

The report in pictures that all of you will receive entitles "A nation on the Rise" will show a vibrant Indian nation that has so much to offer.

I can stand up here all day and tell you about all the good things that are happening with our nation, but instead it's better to show you, and remind you about how much we have to be thankful for.

Don't ever let anyone tell us that our Red Lake nation is a bad place, and that our people are not good people.

We have a rich history, a vibrant culture, and a flourishing reservation.

Our lands are intact, and our tribe is strong! We are a proud sovereign Indian Nation. We are the Red Lake nation!

Moving forward

People ask us all the time, what is the tribe doing to build a stronger, healthier community, grounded in history, language and culture.

How are you improving upon education?

What are you doing for our youth, and elders?

What are you doing to preserve Ojibwe language, and culture.

What are you doing to improve health care?

What are you doing to create jobs, and strengthen our economy?

What are you doing to strengthen tribal government?

How are you addressing issues of drugs, and alcohol?

What alternatives are you providing to our youth, and elders?

How are you instilling native pride in our people?

How are you promoting healthy lifestyles?

How are you strengthening our nation?

This report will show the efforts of a community that is doing just that.

We hope you will find it useful, and enjoyable.

I would to thank the Tribal Council staff, programs, businesses, and community members that contributed to this report to the people.

This is a beautiful report that shows the strength of a nation.

It shows pride.

It shows culture.

It shows tradition.

It shows laughter.

It shows success.

It shows hope.

It shows dreams.

It is the faces of our people.

It shows our strength as a nation.

It Shoes a nation on the rise.

So let's rise up!

Let's rise to the occasion like our ancestors did!

We are a nation on the rise!

We are the Red Lake Nation!

Miigwetch!!!

 

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