Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Four Groundbreakings Held in Red Lake

Dialysis Center, Chemical Dependency Treatment, Red Lake & Ponemah Fire Halls

Four groundbreakings for new tribal facilities began at noon on Monday, April 30, 2018, at the large field in front of and near the Red Lake Hospital. Three of the groundbreakings happened near simultaneously. The new Red Lake Dialysis Center, connected to the hospital through a corridor, and new Chemical Dependency Treatment Center, will be built just south of the Red Lake Hospital; The Red Lake Fire Hall will be built across the street within eyesight. Tribal leadership and members then traveled to Ponemah for a 2 pm groundbreaking for the new Ponemah Fire Hall.

After blessing the field, Spiritual Leader and Hereditary Chief Greeting Spears offered and invocation. Then Eugene "Bugger" McArthur, Jobs & Community Development Facilitator, who is largely responsible for fulfilling the wishes of the tribal council on the projects, acted as emcee. He explained the projects and the process.

Donning hard hats and golden shovels, members of the tribal council, medical and public safety personnel, each person taking part threw three shovels of dirt: one for each of the new facilities.

McArthur then introduced Red Lake Chairman Darrell G. Seki, Sr. "A dialysis center is sorely needed, as many dialysis patients have to go to Bemidji or other communities, now they can do their process back here on our reservation."

Noting the length of time that had been dedicated to making it all happen, Seki thanked the tribal council for working to make these services possible, and thanked many others less visible, who worked hard and supported the efforts of the council. He reminded everyone that these things are not done by one person, that we all need to work together to make a better nation.

"Finally, we have everything in place and it's a reality that these four projects are underway," Seki said obviously pleased. "Both the treatment and dialysis center are going to create employment, and also it comes with two fire halls. It was frustrating to wait, but we've finally got the word to go and here we are. Red Lake's future is looking bright."

McArthur introduced Tribal Secretary and Hereditary Chief Darwin Sumner. "The treatment center that we have here today has been a long time coming because we were basically using old residents houses, and we've added new additions on to them but over time, they've just taken a lot of abuse."

Sumner called the day a momentous occasion. "This ceremony today displays our commitment to address some of the needs of our people. We continue to move forward to address chemical health issues while also improving our infrastructure."

Roman Stately, Jr., district representative for Red Lake, and retired Fire chief, was pretty happy about the new fire departments. "This is a good day for the people of Red Lake. The tribe's new facilities will meet national standards to better facilitate response time and preventive activities."

The architect for the four projects, Erik Wedge of DSGW Architects in an interview answered a question on timelines. "We anticipate a nine-month construction schedule for all the projects. We're looking forward to improving the health safety and welfare of the citizens of Red Lake with these four facilities"

The four projects have been made possible thanks to the USDA Rural Development Loan Program. Kathy Luepke, an area specialist with USDA Rural Development said later in an interview, "These buildings are old. This is a big project for the community, to get funding for four buildings like this. The fire halls are very badly needed, and the treatment center, the biggest of the four, will be a real boost for the tribe. With the high rate of diabetes among American Indians, the dialysis center will mean less travel and be more convenient for tribal members in need of this service."

New Red Lake Dialysis Center

A new state of the art dialysis center will be constructed next to Red Lake hospital and will be connected to it via a corridor. It will be owned and operated by the Red Lake Nation. It will provide approximately 10 jobs and provide additional revenue for the Band. The Band will utilize its partnership with the University of North Dakota to hire a dialysis doctor to oversee and administrate the operation of the facility, which will have space for 12 patients.

The Tribe received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development program to construct and purchase the necessary equipment for the center. Income derived from the services offered by dialysis center and third party billing, will pay for the facility.

Red Lake Nation Chemical Dependency Treatment Center

Construction will begin soon on a new Red Lake Nation Chemical Dependency Treatment Center. The new treatment center will be a 20,136 square feet facility, designed to provide 16 beds, and serve both men and women. The new building will be built near the hospital in Red Lake. The facility will consist of the following:

• 16 beds/rooms for clients

• Two large circular therapy/group rooms

• Fitness Room

• Craft Room

• Office Space

• Intake/assessment Room

• Small Theatre Room

• Two Living Rooms

• Dining Room

• Kitchen

• Shower and Sauna Rooms

The mission of the Red Lake Chemical Health Programs is to enhance the well being of all Red Lake Tribal Members through alcohol and drug abuse prevention, education, intervention, and treatment. All programs are based in our Anishinaabe culture and philosophy to strengthen the minds, bodies, and spirits of the members, families, and communities.

The Tribe received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development program to construct the new treatment center. Income derived from the services offered by dialysis the treatment center and third party billing, will pay for the facility.

New Red Lake and Ponemah Fire Departments

Construction will begin soon of new Red Lake and Ponemah Fire Departments. The tribe's community fire departments are responsible for providing fire suppression, prevention, inspections, safety education, and investigate all suspicious fires. It is imperative that the tribe's facilities meet national standards to facilitate better response time and preventive activities. Public safety provides the foundation needed to build the required infrastructure for a community and a nation.

The Red Lake Fire Hall will have four stalls for fire trucks, four smaller stalls for other vehicles, training room, gear room, offices for dispatch, fire chief and assistant, and fitness room. Ponemah will have one stall for their fire truck, training room, gear room, and office space for the fire chief and assistant. Comprehensive Health will also provide garage space for six transportation vehicles, four bays for the ambulance center and a fitness room.

Acquired funding for the purchase of two new fire trucks

The tribe has also ordered two new fire trucks to serve the community areas of Ponemah and Red Lake with adequate fire safety and protection for the people. Both grant funds and finance were acquired to make these purchases. Delivery is anticipated for mid-summer.


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