Community Meeting Held at Redby
Chairman's Meetings Scheduled in all Districts
The third gathering for the third round of Red Lake Nation Chairman's Community Meetings began at 6 PM, Wednesday, December 2, 2015, at 6 PM at the Redby Center in Redby. The meeting was well attended as some 70-community members joined Chairman Darrell G. Seki, Sr., Treasurer Annette Johnson, and Redby District Representatives to the Tribal Council, Allen Pemberton and Julius "Toady" Thunder.
The Chairman's Community meetings were recently held at Little Rock on Thursday, November 12, and Red Lake on Monday, November 22, 2015. The last meeting in this series will be held at Ponemah on Monday, December 7, 2015.
Staff representatives from tribal programs were present to provide information and get feedback from Redby citizens. They included Jerry Loud from Oshkii-maajitahdah (New Beginnings), Cheri Goodwin Director of Family and Children's Services, Harvey Roy of Red Lake, Inc., and Justin Beaulieu of Red Lake, Inc. Tribal Administrator Charles Dolson conducted the meeting. Most of the questions were directed at social services, education, public safety, and jobs.
After a drum song from the Little Bear Singers, Willie Strong offered an invocation and blessed a spirit dish. Chairman Seki opened the meeting, as is his manner, first in Ojibwe and then in his "second language" English. Other tribal council members and key staff also introduced themselves.
• A short report from Red Lake Schools Superintendent Anne Lundquist. The schools continue to form partnerships with New Beginnings, Red Lake College, Public Safety, suicide prevention, and others. "When the children thrive, the Nation thrives," she said.
• Loud reported on the education guidelines for EFC. Other initiatives include classes in welding in partnership with Arctic Cat, auto maintenance, and more.
• Seki spoke about drugs being brought on the reservation by non-members, and that drugs and suicide are a major concern for the membership, we need to work together. "Many of us are in denial, hope we wake up and see things are bad," he said.
• Extensive discussion was held on Public Safety with Investigator Kelly Brunelle fielding several questions.
• Goodwin talked extensively about out of home placement services. She also will be holding parenting classes and explained that we need a community "buy in." "I'm happy to say this administration cares about kids, Chairman Seki has asked many times, do I have enough staff and we are getting there."
• Seki spoke extensively about the Enbridge trespass and a bit about the negotiations the tribe is conducting. He drew applause when he said "if Enbridge does not negotiate in good faith, they can just shut off those lines and move them off our Rez." He also mentioned the development of trails, new retail centers, and "we want the east boundary back."
• Jobs & Community Development Facilitator, Eugene "Bugger" McArthur cited a litany of new jobs and Economic Development initiatives he's currently working on. They include; solar energy farm on 100 acres to provide electricity, income, and jobs for the band, new fire department buildings at Red Lake and Ponemah along with two trucks, two Chemical Health treatment facilities for women and men, and a half way house, a 12 unit dialysis center the tribe will manage, and a golf course at Seven Clans Red Lake which should lead to hotel and gaming floor expansion...and more jobs.
Other discussion items included; Temporary Assistance for needy families (TANF), housing, home invasions, starting a Neighborhood Watch, foster care, roads and infrastructure, and Elaine Johnson wants a fire station for Redby.
The next Chairman's Community meeting will be held in Ponemah at the Boys and Girls Club on Monday, December 7, 2015, at 6 p.m. (Note: change from originally scheduled December 9) Dinner will be served and everyone is welcome.