Red Lake's Chairman Seki delivers State of the Band Address - P6
March 4, 2019
RED LAKE - On Friday, February 22, 2019, in front of a packed audience at the Red Lake Casino Event Center, Red Lake Tribal Chairman Darrell Seki Sr., along with Secretary Sam Strong and Treasurer Annette Johnson presented their reports on the Red Lake State of the Band.
Their reports are as follows:
Chairman Seki: Good morning Tribal Members, Guest, Tribal Council and Chiefs.
It's an honor and I am humbled to stand before you all to present the State Band Address.
I want to acknowledge Treasurer Johnson and Secretary Strong for their presentation.
MIIGWETCH to all Tribal Employees, Red Lake Tribal Membership, Tribal Council Members and Chiefs, Honor Guard, Royalty, Chief Greeting Spears, our Spiritual Advisor, Eyabay Singers, Rez Dawg, MC, all the guests, my staff Lilah, Barb, Heather, Hunter, the Red Lake Gaming Employees that were involved to set up this Conference Room, good job!! MIIGWETCH to my immediate family and relatives being present here today,
It's been seven (7) months since I was re-elected as your Chairman.
We have had difficult times since, due to drug related, alcohol, 4 deaths, drug overdoses, removals of non-members and banishment of Tribal members. Law Enforcement has done a good job to control the drugs entering our reservations, however it continues!
My Inauguration address in August last year spoke about unity, yet animosity, hate and constant bashing on social media continues. As Red Lake Nation membership, I ask you all to set aside differences and we all unite as a peaceful reservation amongst our people! Future generations that are here now need all membership to love and be friendly to one another! As Chairman, I face the same issues, all I want is to be your friend!
The theme today addresses that. Working together brings hope for the future! Let's all do it!! Before I start, I would like to have Eyabay to sing the Healing song for all of us here today, all membership wherever you are that has health issues, addiction, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression and all social issues. Please all stand that are able to.
2019 RED LAKE NATION STATE OF BAND ADDRESS
DELIVERY OF INFRA-STRUCTURE VEHICLES:
This past year, we were able to secure funding for several vehicles to be utilized for community infra-structure. Applications were submitted in fiscal year 2017 for vehicles necessary to enhance safety, health, and public service of our communities. The vehicles are a result of our relationship with the United States Department of Agricultural, and the commitment of the Red Lake Tribal Council.
The following is the list of new vehicles delivered this past year.
• 2 Ambulances – Red Lake & Ponemah (2 each);
• 1 Fire Truck – Red Lake & Ponemah;
• 1 Garbage Truck – Red Lake Solid Waste Department
• Solid Waste Equipment –
The Red Lake Solid Waste Department addresses all issues surrounding solid waste, garbage, sanitary and demolition landfills, transfer station, and recycling. The majority of the solid waste/garbage (500 cubic yards weekly) is transferred to a landfill near Hallock.
An application was submitted and approved to purchase two pieces of equipment for the transportation of solid waste to the landfill. One of the pieces is a bobcat telehandler utilized to load solid waste into the transportation trailers. The second piece is a new Floor Trash Trailer. This trailer enables the department to transport 118 cubic yards of waste per load to the landfill.
• Road Maintenance Department
The Road Maintenance Department is responsible for the maintenance and oversight of transportation infrastructure for the Red Lake Nation. The Department is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of 540 miles of roads. The heavy equipment inventory are used, aged, and in need of upgrades.
An application was approved to purchase two pieces of heavy equipment for the department, a new gravel/snow plow, and a front-end loader.
USDA CONSTRUCTION UPDATES:
This past year we initiated construction of – Red Lake and Ponemah Fire Halls; Ponemah Chemical Dependency Treatment Center; construction of the dialysis center begins this spring.
All projects were approved during 2017 allowing us to bid for all four projects together for the lowest bids. When final review of contracts was completed by USDA in 2017, the decision was made to hold off on construction until spring 2018.
Red Lake and Ponemah Fire Halls
The fire halls are approximately 70% competed and completion date will be in June.
At this time we are prefabricating the CD Treatment exterior walls in the Ponemah Fire Hall and erecting them on site throughout the winter. We want to erect the wood trusses and have that building fully enclosed in March so we can place the concrete slab and work on interior walls. The interior work in April – May and the exterior site work in June/August, with completion in September.
We will begin construction this spring and complete the facility by December.
SOLAR PHASE I UPDATE:
During 2018, we have been soliciting the support of investors to finance the solar power systems of the Red Lake Solar Project. It has been our goals since day one, to build and construct our solar projects without the Band incurring any debt and without using any funds from the general fund.
In phase one, Red Lake will install 15 megawatts (15 million watts) worth of solar panels to power the Nation's largest buildings. When complete, the panels will generate enough power to cover all power usage/loads in the tribe's three casinos, tribal college, government center, justice center and all schools. This includes addressing the financial needs for solar energy development, the addition of solar energy storage in smart battery systems, and acquisition of capital investors to finance Phase 1.
The fundraising has been successful, and a 70-kilowatt solar system is installed on the roof of the government center. The utility inspection and testing have been completed and the system has been generating solar power for the building for months.
The installation on the roof of the government center provided the perfect opportunity for Tribal member Robert Blake to begin operation of Solar Bear, his solar installation company. Solar Bear hired Tribal members to install the system, and for most, it was their first on the job training experience of working with solar. The solar panels and equipment were lifted to the roof in April, and the solar power system was assembled during June and July.
During August and September, the electrical wiring was completed. Through all of the testing process, the crew has continued to gain experience in troubleshooting and learning what it takes to make a solar power system operational.
Additionally, we have secured the investors to move forward with the installation of the solar equipment for Red Lake Casino and Red Lake Nation College. Negotiations are moving forward to acquire two to three million dollars to invest in the remaining Red Lake facilities.
SOLAR PHASE II UPDATE:
Red Lake Nation and Minnesota Power, have been working together to advance the energy initiatives, including solar energy, since 2015. The development has laid the ground work for a successful project, but without a party willing to purchase the solar energy, the project has not been able to move forward. We are confident that we will find a company to procure all our renewable energy from the Red Lake Solar project.
Actions to Date
• Red Lake and Minnesota Power started dialog on solar development 12/2015
• Tribal Council visited Minnesota Power in Duluth to lay the groundwork for the future collaboration 4/2016
• Entered into a Memorandum of Understanding between Red Lake and Minnesota Power highlighting mutual energy objectives. 6/28/2016
• With the goal of developing a 10-15 MW Red Lake Solar Project (RLS) on Red Lake Nation, Minnesota Power and Red Lake have accomplished the following technical development tasks.
• Identified suitable sites, with the preferred site being located near the south shore due to the proximity to highway 1 for transmission infrastructure.
• Minnesota provided a formal pricing bid into Minnesota Power's September 2016 Solar Request for Proposal. The project was not selected as there were lower cost alternatives available.
• Red Lake and Minnesota Power are continuing to engage in bi-weekly coordination meetings.
APPLICATIONS FOR FUNDING
The following is an itemized list of funding applications submitted this past year.
• Halfway House – An application was submitted to acquire the funds necessary to construct a new Red Lake Halfway House. The condition of our current facility is old, pieced together with multiple additions and expansions. Secondly, high substance abuse in our communities, contribute to a range of social problems including violence, delinquency, and mortality from suicide, alcohol, or drugs. The construction of this new halfway house facility will enhance and compliment the overall Red Lake Chemical Health Program.
The application requests funds to construct a new 11,665 square feet facility. The building will provide eight male and eight female rooms, open area rotunda, commercial kitchen, commons/dining area, office space, conference rooms, and storage areas.
But, most noteworthy, the facility will be a "Net Zero" structure. It will utilize the latest green energy technology, in conjunction with solar to achieve the net zero status.
• Government Center Garage/ Storage Facility – An application was submitted to request funds to construct a new garage/storage facility for our Tribal Government Center. The new structure is needed to provide storage, garage space for the maintenance vehicles, equipment, supplies and provide a small work shop for the maintenance department.
• Net Zero Pilot Projects – 8-Plex Elderly Units & Net Zero Homes
This past year we have developed a plan to assist in addressing the housing and financial needs of our elders. It is a pilot project and it consists of providing one 8-plex elderly unit in each of our four communities. The facilities will be designed as net zero to eliminate the heating, cooling, and electric monthly expenses for our elders. The facilities will consist of eight one-bedroom independent living units with a large common area for social functions. The common area will consist of a kitchen, bathroom, dining, and social area for socialization of tenants. All eight units will be handicapped accessible and an estimated cost of $2 million per facility.
Contact has been made with Minnesota Housing and other funding sources. They are most definitely interested, supportive, and excited about our pilot project. Not only excited as to what the potential the project has relative to Red Lake, but for all Tribes.
All Americans suffered under the recent government shutdown orchestrated by President Trump. The shutdown impacted tribes particularly hard, because through treaties and the governments trust responsibility, tribes receive federal funds to operate our government services in exchange for vast amounts of land we ceded.
During the shutdown, the government stopped paying what they owed us, which placed a severe financial strain on us, and threatened our ability to continue providing government services to our members. For some tribes the strain forced them to lay off employees and interrupt services. At Red Lake, my goal was to not lay off employees and to not interrupt services to our members. To help achieve this, we took steps such as restricting travel, delaying new hires, and restricting program expenditures. Program staff worked hard to ensure critical services, such as public safety, health services, and services to families and children including food stamps, food distribution, and TANF were not interrupted.
The shutdown impacted several critical USDA-financed Infrastructure projects, including two new fire halls, a dialysis treatment facility, and an opioid treatment facility. Construction was halted on the fire halls because subcontractors were not being reimbursed, and they had to stop ordering supplies and materials. This caused a ripple effect in our Infrastructure plans and will create delays and increased costs that will continue, further slowing much needed infrastructure and vital services such as fire protection, dialysis treatment and chemical dependency treatment.
So far we've weathered the start, but it will take time to recover from the reckless government shutdown. The shutdown and the way tribes were treated was a blatant violation of the federal trust responsibility and a breach of our treaties. Going forward, there needs to be legislation enacted to provide advance appropriations for tribes, especially IHS and BIA, which would ease the financial crunch during a shutdown. Holly Cook Macarro from Red Lake, is working with a team to enact such legislation for IHS first, then hopefully BIA. We appreciate her efforts.
Most of our government services programs operate with funding from the BIA as part of the federal government's Treaty and Trust obligations. BIA funding has been insufficient to operate many of our programs, especially after Congress enacted Sequestration cuts several years ago. Despite these funding deficiencies, last year President Trump requested a horrible cut of $665 million for the BIA, by far the largest cut of any other Interior agency. The programs he cut the most were those that serve our children and families, and educate our youth. Last March, I asked Interior Associate Deputy Secretary Jim Cason how Trump could request such a terrible cut to Indian programs. His response was they had greater priorities, including flushing toilets and running water at national park restrooms. I and other tribal leaders rejected these comments, but this goes to show what we are facing as long as Trump is in office. Thankfully, this year and last year, our friends in Congress rejected all of Trump's cuts to Indian programs. We thank our friends in Congress, including Senator Tina Smith who sits on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and Betty McCollum who chairs the House Interior Appropriations Committee, for their support.
RED LAKE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
The department operates and manages its own Tactical Team (Emergency Response Unit) when serving high risk warrants and addressing high risk tactical situations such as armed or barricaded subjects and also has its own Dive Team for searching open and frozen water and body recovery, Search and Rescue for assistance in a variety of situations such as missing fishermen, hunters, lost hikers or for immediate response for injured individuals and has their own Drug Task Force for conducting and investigating drug related criminal activities.
In addition, law enforcement has participated in many community events such as "Cops and Bobbers" where officers take the kids out fishing and in the last event, there were over 120 children. Law enforcement also donated food to the Redby Spring Fling and did all the cooking. Conservation officers participated in the Red Lake Safety Camp where animal safety was taught, and also in Good Day Safety Camp where youth were taught the importance of water safety, including the wearing of personal floatation devices.
Law enforcement has also incorporated community policing in the annual performance reviews of officers and the department has implemented the community policy model (SARA) in the daily routine of law enforcement and has formed many community partnerships and organization transformation as necessary for a specific problem involving an analytical approach based upon crime and social and economic statistics and has worked with the community and other service providers to identify problems and concerns.
Crime Rates are improving in Red Lake!
It should be noted that for the last three consecutive years, the Red Lake Department of Public Safety has seen decreases in Part 1 and Part 2 crimes and an overall calls for service. In 2016, there were 663 Part 1 crimes reported, 645 in 2017 and a total of 504 reported in 2018. Part one crimes represent, homicides, manslaughter, rapes, robberies, serious assaults, burglary, motor vehicle thefts and arson and for the last three years these crimes have all been decreasing for each year. Just from 2016 to 2018, Part 1 crimes have decreased a total 21% meaning that serious crime calls in Red Lake are decreasing with each passing year!
Law enforcement is also seeing decreases in Part 2 crimes for the past 3 years as well, such as assaults, forgery, fraud, stolen property, weapon and sex offenses, DWI, Disorderly Conduct, child abuse and domestic violence. In 2016, there were 7,041 part 2 offenses, 6,749 in 2017 and 5,888 reported in 2018. Just in the last three years, there has been a 16% decrease in Part 2 crimes.
Calls for Services are decreasing each year!
Calls for service to community members is also decreasing! In 2016, Red Lake law enforcement handled 18,092 calls and in 2017, 17,970 and responded to 16,124 calls in 2018. Just in the last 3 years, calls for service dropped almost a total of 2,000 calls and this was also a 11% decrease.
War on Drugs
In 2018, Red Lake law enforcement has continued to educate community members and program providers about illegal drugs and has effectively used the Drug Task force to eliminate drug related activity and is constantly warning community members about devastating consequences of illegal drug use. The department has implemented several training sessions on drug identification at community events, casinos, Red Lake Schools and tribal programs and has partnered up with the State and Federal Task Force to prevent drug dealing in Red Lake and has been successful in several federal and state drug indictments.
Just the previous years, the Tribal Drug Task Force has never let up on drug dealers and in 2018 seized over 224 grams of heroin valued at $29,231 and 544 grams of methamphetamine valued at $70,761 and almost 1,000 grams of marijuana valued at $39,383 for a combined total of 1,768 grams or almost 4 pounds of illegal street drugs seized valued at $143,054. In addition, Red Lake officers served another 54 drug related search warrants in Red Lake communities and made a total of 358 drug related arrests and confiscated $37,390.78 of drug related cash.
The Drug Task Force has also been using confiscated funds seized and released from tribal courts from drug dealers to make donations to the annual Toy Drive, search and rescue operations, youth golf tournament, boys and girls clubs and has donated several bikes and helmets to tribal community events not to mention crime victim donations.
Law Enforcement is removing Non-Indian or Non- Band members from the Reservation for committing crimes
In addition, law enforcement officer have served numerous exclusion orders to those committing illegal crimes on the reservation who are non-members and also members from other tribes who are committing illegal crimes in Red Lake and with the assistance of the Tribal council also banished and removed tribal members who were poisoning tribal communities.
Although, many of these types of calls are still alarming and illegal drugs are still looming, the Red Lake Nation is on track towards improving the quality life and safety for Red Lake Nation community members and law enforcement is paving the way for a successful future.
Red Lake Nation Tribal Court
The 2018 Calendar year case volume has maintained a consistent pace as in previous years. A total of 1929 new cases were presented to the Court; 1284 Adult Criminal Complaints, 196 Juvenile Delinquency matters, 102 new Child Protection cases and 347 Civil Cases.
The Court refers youth to Healing to Wellness Court which acts as a team to improve school attendance and helps connect them with needed counseling and support. Programs are now focusing the efforts of the Family Drug Court to provide supportive services to pregnant mothers and new families in order to prevent babies being born addicted to opiates.
The Court has ordered 497 Rule 25 Chemical Dependency Assessments for adults involved in the Adult Criminal Court system. Meetings have been held with appropriate stakeholders and a new program has been proposed with Chemical Health to offer inmates housed at the Criminal Justice Complex an outpatient treatment program to access during stints of incarceration.
In July 2018, the Court began implementation of a new revised Child Protection Tribal Code to improve the overall process of these matters. A revised Juvenile Delinquency Code is being developed in cooperation with various Tribal Programs and Service Providers.
The goals of the Tribal Court Program are to continue its active involvement in the TIWAHE Initiative. It is through TIWAHE that the Court is able to provide a staff member to work closely with FCS to present their case on behalf of the Red Lake Band. A Public Defender assigned specifically for the Parents/Guardians whom are involved with these cases. Lastly, the Court is given the ability to provide Guardian Ad Litems whom are a voice for the children and allow an independent third party viewpoint to provide judges with recommendations that are deemed to be in the best interest of the child/children involved with these cases.
The Court shall continue to develop new strategies to address the needs of those individuals who are experiencing dependency issues through improved screening and identification of person suffering from addictions causing them to reoffend in hopes preventing repeated offenses or the frequency of re-offenses.
RED LAKE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH SERVICES
Red Lake Comprehensive Health Services provides health care and services to our band members, their descendants and to other federally recognized Indians living on or near the Reservation. They work together with the Red Lake IHS Hospital employees to provide the best possible health care to the people.
JOURDAIN PERPICH EXTENDED CARE CENTER
Our Nursing Home, The Jourdain Perpich Extended Care Center is in good condition. We have 25 tribal residents. Their biggest challenge continues to be staffing. They need Nursing Assistants. To fix this problem the Tribal Council hired a Nursing Assistant Instructor to work at the Nursing Home to train local nursing assistants. The 80 hour course curriculum was developed and approved by the Minnesota Department of Health. Comprehensive Health Services, Jourdain Perpich Extended Care Center and Oshkiimaajitahdah worked in collaboration to make this possible. Oshkiimaajitahdah has built a brand new nursing assistant classroom and skills lab complete with all the necessary equipment at their site in Redby. The first classes begin February 25, 2019. JPECC also obtained state approval to be an approved nursing assistant training site.
The Behavioral Health Team in the schools had a total of 7,739 encounters with children promoting healthy lifestyles. They provided help to 107 students who contemplate suicide, 122 safety plans and took care of 11 suicide attempts. The EMT's provided care to 42 individuals that had attempted suicide in 2018.
THE OPIOID CRISIS
2018 Local Opioid overdoses were down by 7% compared to 2017. Our hospital records show that there were 69 total suspected overdoses, this means an unresponsive patient that was proactively treated with narcan. 52 of these cases were confirmed to be related to opioid overdoses in 2018. The EMTs responded to 43 suspected opioid overdoses, the police responded to 21, the fire department 2 and 3 community members. 261 narcan doses were administered in 2018 which resulted in 52 saves.
RED LAKE HOSPITAL
The New Red Lake Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care Departments will be open for business in April 2019.
SCHOOL DENTAL PREVENTION PROGRAM
Red Lake School Dental Prevention staff delivered preventive dental treatment to students at St. Mary's Mission School, Red Lake Kindergarten center, Red Lake and Ponemah Headstart, Red Lake Middle School, Ponemah School, Red Lake Elementary School, Tribal Immersion Program and Day Care. The staff had 3063 child encounters providing preventive dental treatment, Sealants, Fluoride Varnish Treatment and Oral Health Education.
RED LAKE FAMILY & CHILDREN SERVICES
2018 was a very busy year for Family & Children Services. We continue to build our relationship with our community-as we are a community service organization. We are here to help and work with our families. Our system is not meant to remove children from their parents, our system is meant to provide culturally specific services and family preservation for our families. We all need to remember that our children and elders are sacred.
As of March 1, 2018, we are now the lead agency for Elders/Vulnerable Adult Case Management. Our members and anyone residing on our homelands that's eligible now have a choice of receiving services the way they've had for the past decades-from Beltrami County or now thru Red Lake Family & Children Adult Services. Basically, we can provide waiver services thru the State System just like a county-true sovereignty.
These are classified as service programs that our members are entitled to, run by Red Lake Nation for our members.
We also our now certified thru Minnesota Department of Human Services to provide Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services-the first time a Red Lake Nation program has been certified. We currently have two ARMHS workers and one Adult Mental Health Case manager. Our goal is to provide culturally specific programming to our members. We've been working with Red Lake Nation Behavior Health Team for referrals and also our child welfare case managers.
We will be implementing phase two of our strategic plan-Money Follows person Tribal Initiative. Strategic plan phase one we interviewed 121 elders/vulnerable adults and 30 directors and practitioners. All of the services we provide for our adult unit is driven by our strategic plan. Red Lake Family & Children Services will be presenting the results of phase one to our elders at their upcoming elders gathering. Strategic plan part two will consist of:
• Capacity Building-Elderly Maintenance, PCA oversite, MN Choice Transition, Adult Foster Care Licensing, Adult Day services, Safety and Security-medical alert and community security for our elders.
• Build and strengthen youth relationships with Elders/Vulnerable Adults
• Develop social avenues for Elders/vulnerable adults
• Establish program matching elders to families for mentoring, coaching and guiding in parenting and traditional practices.
• Assessment of urban members and members of their households-setting up culturally competent services. Our goal is to mirro the services we have available on our homelands to our urban members.
*Please visit their Adult Services booth for more information.
Child Welfare Case Management, we continue to have one of the highest out of home placements in the State. Our agency was modeled after a dominant society way of doing child welfare. Historical Trauma also plays a key role in why our numbers are so high. We are now focusing on family reunification and reunifying our children with their parents. We know from history that our children love their parents no matter what hardships went on in their homelife. With that said, we are working with our Red Lake Nation Public Safety Department, Red Lake Nation Courts and Red Lake Nation Substance Abuse Program on reunification efforts. The majority of our cases are open due to substance abuse issues. We've just updated our juvenile code-the first time our juvenile code has had a major upgrade since 1988. Red Lake Nation does not have terminating parental rights "only in extreme cases" in our juvenile code, at any time a parent can petition the courts for their rights back. We do order temporary legal custody to relatives. We've also added grandparents' rights to our code, a grandparent can petition the court for visitation of their grandchildren.
• NATIVE STAND-Teaching our youth culturally relevant healthy decision -making curriculum designed to enhance and promote positive native youth. We have get-togethers 2 x a week at the Red Lake High School Cultural room.
• Working with the University of MN Duluth on a training plan for staff and also updating all policies and procedures to reflect Red Lake Nation traditions and beliefs.
• Continuing to be in planning phase for Red Lake Nation Child Welfare Initiative-goal is for phase one this year and fully implemented in year 2020. This will release Beltrami County of being financially responsible for our children in out of home placement and allow our agency to deal directly with Minnesota Department of Human Services.
• First tribal program in the State to have a relationship with Bridging.org Bridging is a non-profit organization that provides gently used furniture and household items to families at a cost of $60.00 per home. We helped furnish approximately 34 homes with a retail value of 84.000 dollars. Our families who we've delivered much needed household items to have been very thankful and appreciative. The children's look in their eyes is priceless to our staff. We are instilling hope and pride into our family's homes.
• We have good health TV programming in both of our buildings. We also have a pinball machine-all ages have been enjoying playing a game or two. All part of our efforts to be a community service organization and be a more user-friendly program.
• We now are a certified public health clinic and have a Registered Nurse on-site. The goal is to help our clients thru educational sessions and work on harm reduction for our members that are having issues with opioids. We've started a group class at our Senior Apartment building focusing on health-related topics.
Our main goal is for us to provide intergenerational programing for our community. Family & Children Services is looking forward to changes within the Federal System-Families first act-this act will greatly benefit the way our nation does child welfare and the way the whole nation implants their services as well.
Lastly, we will be implanting our new name: Ombimindwaa Gidinawemaaganinaanig-Lifting our Relatives up (Of course with Chairman Seki approval)
OSHKIIMAAJITAHDAH - 2018 Highlights
• Opened a Bemidji TANF office (Bemijigamaag) serving 85 Red Lake Nation families.
• SNAP Merit certified to determine eligibility for all SNAP clients in our service area.
• Our SNAP program is currently serving 530 cases
• Starting our 4th year of our TANF program serving 771 Families.
• Received the DHS Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Award
• Created a partnership with Bemidji District 31 to have a presence in the High School.
• Red Lake CAP office moved to Oshkiimaajitahdah
• Family Court moved to Oshkiimaajitahdah
• Record Number of Summer youth participation (94) – 15 were offered full time positions
• Providing 110 scholarships per semester – In North and South Dakota, Kansas and as far away as Hawaii
• Added additional Supportive services for the Red Lake Nation in an attempt to streamline services.
• Graduated 3 level 1 Welding classes – 22 students
• Graduated 1 level 2 class - 7 students
• Finished our first CDL course with the Teamsters Union – 4 graduates received their CDL license
• Signed a MOU with the Teamsters Union to provide CDL training on the Red Lake Nation.
• Finished construction of our Certified Nursing Assistant training Center – 1st. class Feb 25th 2019
• We still have 6 individuals working at Artic Cat
• 80% of Red Lake citizens working on the Fire Hall projects in Red Lake.
• Provided Narcan training for 75 individuals
• Vocational Rehab provided 57 individuals with employment
• Vocational Rehab provided 75 individuals with Emergency assistance
• Opened a new Daycare center in Red Lake
• Oshkiimaajitahdah Daycares maintains their 3 star rating from "Parent Aware"
• Daycare serving 35 families
• Created a new Wellness program collaborating with Chemical Health and our cultural program.
• Started the process to open a TANF office in the Mpls area
• Launched a new Adult Basic Educational program (GED) adding two new license Instructors.
• Started construction on a new manufacturing facility for future manufacturing contracts.
• Transferred 150 child support cases from Beltrami County
• Started the process for developing a new WORKFORCE ACADEMY
RED LAKE CHEMICAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
The Red Lake Chemical Health Programs strives to reduce harm caused by alcohol and drugs.
The Red Lake Chemical Health Programs offer adult co-ed inpatient treatment, halfway House treatment, 3 adult outpatient programs, medicated assisted treatment, and co-ed adolescence inpatient treatment.
In 2018 the Red Lake Chemical Health staff completed 919 CD assessments, utilizing Red Lake Chemical Health's programs and 42 outside agencies for treatment services.
In 2018 Red Lake Chemical Health sponsored 18 community wide events as part of prevention for the Red Lake Nation with a total of 3,424 participants in attendance.
In 2019 Red Lake Chemical Health Program plan to implement an outpatient at the Red Lake Detention facility and looking forward to strengthening medicated assistance, peer support and care coordination portion of the program that is grounded in the Ojibwe cultural and spiritual strengths. The Red Lake Tribal Council and Red Lake Chemical Health program looks forward to the opening of the new treatment center.
RED LAKE HOUSING AUTHORITY
Construction was completed on a new 35 unit project.
• 23 of the units will be located in the Red Lake District and 12 in the Redby District. Funding for this project came from Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the State of Minnesota, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, IA, Capital Magnet Fund from the Department of the Treasury and the Housing Block Grant for the Red Lake Band. Total cost of the project is 7.5 million.
The Red Lake Housing Finance Corporation entered into 1 new home loan, 2 loans for rehabilitation of existing units, sold 9 rental or foreclosed units and transferred 38 units under Contract for Deed.
For Beltrami County outside of the reservation, 50 families received Rental Assistance and Security Deposits, 5 units were subsidized with ongoing rental assistance in Conifer Estates, 5 units for Park Place and 2 families received down payment and closing cost assistance.
There was 12 private wells, 9 Well Abandonment, 53 community water connections, 7 mound systems, 2 drain fields, and 14 Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Systems for Arsenic Removal were completed under the Indian Health Services Contract.
Ogaakaaning Enterprises is currently working on completion of the store project. We are expecting Grand Opening of the new Red Lake Retail Center in June, 2019. The new Retail Center will be 26,803 square feet and will include a fuel station with C-Store, a Laundromat, and Subway restaurant. Red Lake Builder's, Inc. is the General Contractor of the project.
Ogaakaaning Enterprises just completed a Strategic Planning Session where we discussed with the Board and General Managers a 5 to 10 year plan for the overall company. The Tribal Council also contributed to the Strategic Planning for Ogaakaaning Enterprises. During this meeting, the Board approved the creation of Red Lake Government Contract Services, Inc. where we will be qualifying for contracts through agencies of the federal government as a disadvantaged business enterprise certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The overall goal is for this company to eventually become our revenue stream that will allow us to start business ventures that will create jobs for the community and provide resources for the Tribe.
Possible new ventures include, currently in development stage:
• Government Contracting
• Partnering with Economic Development on Hemp production
• AIRBnB company at the Northwest Angle and possibly Upper Red Lake
• Long-term Plans:
• Home Building and renovating
• Tobacco manufacturing
• Real Estate Development and Investments
• Fuel Mixing and Gas Distribution
We also have a public relations plan for the year where the CEO will provide a press release to the community on a quarterly basis that will provide information on what the company is currently working on and updates on each of the enterprises. This will be published in the Red Lake Newsletter, our website (ogaakaaning.com), and Red Lake Net News. We are also planning on having an Annual Event each summer for the community that will include games for the kids and also activities for the adults, details coming soon.
STATUS OF THE ENBRIDGE LINE 3 PROCEEDINGS
Red Lake continues to oppose the Line 3 pipeline proposed by Enbridge, which has been working its way through the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission permitting process. After a lengthy contested case proceeding, the Public Utilities Commission recently granted two permits which are necessary for the project to proceed: a certificate of need, and a routing permit. Red Lake is currently in the appeal process, challenging the Public Utilities Commission's decisions because they did not properly consider the impacts to the Band's off-reservation Treaty ceded territories and the Band's important water resources.
Enbridge failed to prove that there is a demand for the crude oil it intends to ship through the new pipeline, which is required by applicable law. Instead, the company relied on the interests of Canadian oil shippers who have no interest in protecting our off-reservation ceded territories and water resources. Also, Enbridge failed to demonstrate that the Minnesota region needs this pipeline to meet our future oil demand. In fact, most of the crude oil would flow through Minnesota to supply other states and countries. We are hopeful the Court of Appeals will uphold the clear language of the applicable law, which intends to ensure that a project with this high degree of environmental impact serves the needs of our Band members and other citizens in the region, rather than the financial interests of foreign corporations and countries.
Currently, Enbridge transports 2.8 million barrels of crude oil each day through the Mainline pipeline system that passes through our off-Reservation Treaty ceded territory. The two refineries in Minnesota, both in the Twin Cities, process a combined total of 400,000 barrels of crude oil when they are operating at full capacity. The remaining 2.4 million barrels each day is sent through Minnesota to out of state markets, and increasingly to the Gulf Coast where the crude is sent by super tanker to the global oil market. Clearly, the risk that Enbridge currently has placed on us through the Mainline system does not even serve primarily the local, or even the regional need for crude oil. Instead, through the new pipeline proposal we are being faced with the prospect of even more risk as a result of greater volumes of crude oil for the sole purpose of getting the Canadian shippers' crude into the global market. We have argued that this risk is unacceptable, and that the applicable laws require the Public Utilities Commission to place greater weight on the protection of the human and natural environment over the global business interests of foreign crude oil shippers; and that the applicable laws require consideration of the crude oil demands of the Minnesota region, not the global market.
Recently, I had telephone calls with Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan about the state's participation in the appeals that we are now involved with. The Governor and Lt. Governor were very open to Red Lake's position on Line 3 pipeline, and they agreed to support Red Lake's positions in the pending appeals by formally joining the appeal as parties. I am very pleased that the Governor and Lt. Governor took this position in the face of all the pressure that Enbridge has been putting on them to permit the construction of the pipeline as soon as possible.
RED LAKE GAMING ENTERPRISES
Red Lake Gaming Enterprises is proud of the economic impact that gaming has provided for tribal members. At the end of 2018 the Seven Clans casinos employed 727 employees. Red Lake member employment rate at each site are as follows:
• 85% employed at Red Lake
• 63% employed at Thief River Falls
• 20% employed at Warroad
• 63% employed at Corporate
Total revenue for 2018 is down slightly by .8% or $431,808 compared to last year, Red Lake Gaming was able to reduce other expenses to realize a net income of $3.9 million ($113,772 less than 2017). During 2018, Tribal Distributions totaled $4,847,941, a 24% increase from 2017.
2018 brought some changes to Seven Clans Casinos.
In April and May of 2018, the three Casinos converted their Slot Accounting Software to Casino Table Trac. This was met with many challenges and staff have been working through those challenges to continue to provide our patrons with the customer service that they have come to rely on. With this upgrade, we also had to upgrade the technology that the software needs to operate on.
In July 2018, a $7.1 million complete Hotel and Lobby renovation was done in Thief River Falls. This remodel showcases the Red Lake Nation 7 Clans and photographs that are from the Red Lake Indian Reservation.
Throughout 2018 the current slot machines at Red Lake and Thief River Falls are undergoing an update on the bill validators in order to accommodate the new currency standards. This project should be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
In addition to the Hotel Renovation and Slot upgrades, $1.1 million was invested in other capital improvements and purchases, including: surveillance upgrades, building improvement, machinery and vehicles.
In September, Red Lake Gaming entered into a contract with Blue Stone Strategy Group to provide an assessment of the Casinos Operational Efficiency. We are currently working with them in order to provide improved cash flow, assist in developing a better marketing plant, assist in becoming more efficient through organization and labor restructuring, and assist the organization with business development.
During 2019, Thief River Falls is upgrading the Water Park, which is scheduled to be completed by mid-second quarter. All three Casinos will be working with gaming vendors to update the slot floor with new games and conversions. We will continue to work on staff development and training at all levels to enhance the job skills of our employees.
Red Lake Gaming looks forward to continued success as we focus on business development.
I am pleased to inform you that this past week, the Red Lake Gaming Board approved the implementation of a cash flow improvement plan and organizational modification for the Casinos in order to properly plan for the upcoming gaming and entertainment competition that will be up and running soon.
The Gaming Board and Executive Team have taken on the challenge of implementing an efficiency improvement plan for all Red Lake Nation Casino properties. The plan is anticipated to take nine to twelve months and, if done properly and adhered to, it is expected to provide an overall cash flow improvement of potentially $7 million annually. The plan includes the following objectives:
• Initiating a cash flow improvement which will focus on creating savings from Marketing costs, operating expenses, and Corporate overhead costs so that the Casino operations can continue to provide contributions to the Red Lake Tribal Government for ongoing much needed services to the community.
• Revise the Marketing Plan for 2019 to include a scale back of Freeplay over time, focusing on reorganizing the Players Club tiers to create more player value, and targeting allocation of marketing funding to each casino to conduct local marketing events.
• Updating the Casino's organizational structure to reduce duplication of work, streamline decision making, and improve reporting to stakeholders. The modifications will reset the responsibilities between the Corporate offices and Casino in order to uncomplicated oversight and provide more casino management accountability.
• Human Resources and Labor must be addresses to stay competitive, so we will work to revise the attendance and absentee and absentee policies to create more workforce reliability which has a direct impact our ability to provide quality customer services. Employee training will also be modified to improve job skills and create consistency between our properties.
• The Gaming Board and Executive Team is committed to reviewing opportunities to improve business development and player satisfaction by exploring the options to replace our current slot machine product for new machines.
I am confident that the approved efficiency improvement plan will help assure that the Red Lake Nation's Casinos generate much needed revenues and continue to provide a great gaming customer experience!
Throughout the next nine to twelve months of the Casinos' efficiency and modification implementation, there will be regular updates to the Community regarding the progress made on this challenging opportunity in order to prepare for new competition that is soon approaching.
RED LAKE NATION YOUTH COUNCIL
2018 was good year for The Red Lake Youth Council from Representing Red Lake at the Minnesota Tribal Youth Gathering Conference and attending the UNITY conference and Exchanging culture and idea's and bringing them back to Red Lake to teach kids at our conference and being involved with the community and schools doing more activities and spread more positivity throughout the future of the Youth of Red Lake and a special to our Officers of the Youth council severing with Leadership Honor and Respect.
Matt Antone as president, Larry Vanwert Jr as Vice President and Brandon Howard as Treasurer.
The Skills they learned from being on Youth Council helped them to conduct and Lead to what Youth council it is today sharing and bringing up community issues to the youth to help recognize and discuss the problems we the Youth face today.
This year we're expanding our growth as a youth council and teach the new members what we are as a Youth group as we focus on Spiritual Pride in Our Culture dignity and Respect
And we the Youth Council want to give a Special Thanks to Our Community and the schools for working with us and the Tribal Council for giving us the Support as we reach new high goals every year.
RED LAKE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and PLANNING:
The Red Lake Economic Development and Planning Department has been busy working and collaborating on a variety of projects.
They are currently working on a variety of community buildings such as the Red Lake Community Center, the Redby Community Center, and an expansion to the Ponemah Round House.
Economic Development is also working to increase food sovereignty and access to healthy and affordable foods through a collaborative effort with Gitigaanike Foods Initiative and Ogaakaaning Enterprises. One major goal of this collaboration is to incorporate indigenous foods into the Waasabiik Ojibwemotaadiwin Immersion Program. Through this collaboration EDP is also planning for expansion of community gardens, farming projects, and a buffalo farm.
Economic Development and Planning is also working to create Coordinated Care Agreements and Partnerships with various healthcare providers across the state to expand the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians into the healthcare industry and maximize our third party billing revenues. The revenues generated can be used to increase the wellbeing of our members through a variety of projects and programs.
In addition to the above listed projects Economic Development is also working to update and develop an array of plans including: a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, a Solid Waste Managemnet & Sustainability Plan, a Land Use and Transportation Plan, a Culture and Language Revitalization Plan, and a Strategic Plan with the help of all of the Tribal Department and Programs.
Economic Development and Planning is also in the initial planning phases for the following projects: Hemp, School Gardens, and Low Barrier Housing.
Economic Development and Planning continues to work with the Constitution Reform Initiative to gain feedback from the community as a new constitution is drafted, reviewed by the community, and eventually approved.
Economic Development and Planning is also excited to announce continued dedication to preserving our Ojibwe language by working to provide additional community resources and access to language tables and events. Through our Waasabiik Ojibwemotaadiwin Immersion Program we are continuing to work with youth to develop their language skills.
Economic Development and Planning is excited to continue exploring various opportunities that will promote job creation, workforce development, industrial expansion, and self-sufficiency.
RADIO STATION PROJECT
February 2015 was the beginning phase of the Red Lake Nation Radio project – The Red Lake Nation was taking advantage of a 2010 FCC initiative called "Tribal Priority" which gave Tribal Nations an opportunity to establish and own radio stations. After four years of working with several Federal agencies on February 15, 2019 the Red Lake Nation received their tower registration and construction permit to build a class C-1 Radio Station on 105.3 MHz channel. We are in process of finding a call sign that will match our future needs. This radio station will bridge a lot misconceptions and miscommunications between our neighbors. It will also enhance our local communication within our communities. It will additionally assist in economic development and complement our established enterprises. Our goal is to be broadcasting by early 2020 – Stay tuned to Red Lake Nation Radio.
RED LAKE NATION WORKFORCE ACADEMY
Oshkiimaajitahdah, Ogaakaaning (Red Lake Inc.) and the Red Lake Nation are changing the Economic Development through Education". The vision is to create a premier Educational Campus to meet the needs for all of Northern Minnesota. Red Lake will be partnering with Industries to train individuals the exact way each Company would like their new employees training. The Workforce Academy will utilize the Red Lake Industry plant to train all construction trades – it will build on all of our existing training facilities – Welding Technology – Certified Nursing Assistant (Healthcare) – Commercial Driving Licensing training – Manufacturing. Finally an Alternative Energy training facility unlike any in the country. The future is exciting... stay tuned – there's more to come!
RED LAKE SCHOOL DISTRICT #38
In the past year, the Red Lake School District has continued to build relationships with students, families and community in support a learning environment that is reflective of the Red Lake Nation. We are currently working with the "Youth Coalition" to find positive options for our youth to participate in when they are not in school.
In pursuit of this goal we are beginning the process of creating mission and vision to carry the school through the next 10 years. The district would like to invite all families, elders, community members and representatives of departments to share with us their hopes and dreams for the children of Red Lake Nation. We will hold meetings to gain information on multiple occasions, watch the school message board and website for more information.
The district continues to educate students, families and staff about Ojibwe Culture – The school provided many culturally focused breakout sessions for the January 21 professional development day. The numerous cultural session were staggered in order to have more opportunities for staff to attend. We continue to add culture links to the language website to allow teachers and community to have access to cultural knowledge.
This district continues to have discussions with teachers and staff on how to integrate culture into the core curriculum: match, science, language arts, etc. We are approaching it from bottom up where teachers have discussions on how to integrate culture into the core curriculum. We are planning seasonal experiential learning activities for students and teachers to experience and take back into the school to incorporate into the core curriculum learning.
The District has also been fortunate to receive funding to complete several building projects such as the Elementary Complex connection, Ponemah's Safe Schools funding, Federal funds to fix the roof at Red Lake Elementary. These construction, Ponemah's Safe Schools funding, Federal funds to fix the roof at Red Lake Elementary. These construction projects will not only improve the school facilities but they will create employment for many Red Lake Band members.