Regional and Local Briefs

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RED LAKE NATION CANDIDATES FILE FOR

ELECTION

RED LAKE, Minn. – More than 30 Red

Lake candidates filed for seven seats on the nation’s council by the

close of filing on March 15.

Positions up for election on May 14

are four district representative and three council officer positions,

including tribal chair, secretary and treasurer.

After completing and passing a

criminal background check, the candidates will be certified as

candidates in April. The May 14 election may also include a possible

run-off election to be scheduled 60 days after a counting and

challenge period is complete, potentially in late July or August.

A candidate receives a majority of 50

percent plus one, they will be declared winner, however if a

candidate does not reach a majority of votes, the run-off election

will be formally scheduled.

Tribal chair candidates include: Floyd

“Buck” Jourdain, Kathryn “Jody” Beaulieu, Ron Lussier and

current tribal treasurer Darrell G. Seki, Sr. Incumbent Don Cook, Sr.

filed for reelection as secretary, along with candidates Rochelle

"Chelle" Kingbird, Judy Roy, Sam Strong and Jim White.

Among candidates for treasurer were

Michael Barrett, Annette Johnson, Lee Lussier, Jr., Glenda J. Martin

and Cheryl Schoenborn. Red Lake will have a new treasurer in May

because of Seki’s candidacy for chair.

Little Rock Representative William

"Billy" Green did not file for reelection, triggering an

election for that district. Those filing for that seat include,

Adrian Lee Beaulieu, Katherine "Spears" Dudley, Christopher

Jourdain and Robert "Charlie" Reynolds. Tribal council

candidates for Ponemah District include incumbent Gary L. Nelson, Sr.

and challengers Clifford C. Hardy and Eugene Perkins.

Red Lake candidates include incumbent

Roman “Ducker” Stately, challengers David F. Desjarlait, Deanna

K. Lasley, Donovan M. May, Roberty L. May, Martin “Mott”

Parkhurst and Robert “Bob” Smith.

Julius “Toady” Thunder seeks

reelection as the Redby District representative with challengers John

W. Dudley, Matt Sayers, Clayton Van Wert and Thomas "Jambi"

Westbrook.

LAC DU FLAMBEAU TRIBE AND CITY OF

SHULLSBURG REACH DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENTS

SCHULLSBURG, Wis. – The Lac du

Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and the City of

Shullsburg have approved the Intergovernmental and Development

agreements for the tribe’s proposed off-reservation casino resort

complex in Shullsburg.

The Tribe’s plans for the 20 acre

project were officially unveiled at a Public Scoping Meeting in

Shullsburg in August of last year. Plans include the construction of

a casino, hotel, event center, campground and sportsman’s club. The

projected impact of the proposed $132 million project includes 600

permanent jobs, 800 construction jobs, and associated payroll and

purchasing impacts. The Tribe is currently assisting the Bureau of

Indian Affairs in the preparation of a draft Environmental Impact

Statement, the completion of which should be published later this

summer.

For the past several months, the Lac

du Flambeau team, led by casino project manager Duane Chapman, and

the Shullsburg team, led by Mayor Tom Lethlean, worked to draft the

documents. Upon approval of the project, the city will receive an

infrastructure down payment and annual impact payment of 2 percent of

the project’s net profits. The tribe will receive municipal services,

city improvements, exclusivity and ongoing governmental support for

the application process.

LEECH LAKE TO RECEIVE $4 MILLION

HOUSING GRANT

WASHINGTON – Minnesota Eighth

District Rep. Rick Nolan announced March 20 that the Leech Lake Band

of Ojibwe received a $4,022,585 housing grant.

The grant, part of the Indian Housing

Block Grant program, will fund eligible affordable housing

activities, including new construction, modernization, rehabilitation

and crime prevention safety.

“These funds will ensure that

members of the Leech Lake Band will be able to build tribal housing

held to the highest modern standards of safety and efficiency,”

Nolan said. “Though Native Americans make up only 1 percent of our

nation’s population, they account for more than 8 percent of our

homeless. These funds will make proper ,modern housing available,

both now and in years to come.”

COUNTY OFFICIAL DELIVERS ULTIMATUM TO

LCO CAMP

HAYWARD, Wis. – The head of the Iron

County Forestry Department says the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of

Ojibwe isn’t doing enough to remove its harvest village project in

the Penokee Hills and said the sheriff should evict them.

The day after the band announced it

was moving most of its camp and not allowing any of its people to

stay more than the 14-day camping limit, Iron County Forestry

Director Joe Vairus said that isn’t enough.

The Band’s Harvest Education Learning

Project spokesman Paul DeMain said they’re chopping through deep

snow and ice to remove equipment and rotate people to private

property. He’s meeting again with Sheriff Tony Furyk, who says for

now, the action by LCO is reasonable. He said they won’t remove

everything though, so their two administrators have a place to stay.

Vairus says he’ll push for action

against the band if it doesn’t remove everything from public forest

land. Meanwhile, tribal officials are asking the Department of

Natural Resources for a scientific research permit to allow them to

stay there. Vairus said even then, they can’t camp there beyond 14

days.

CASINO TECH COMPANY FIGHTS TRIBES AFTER

BANKRUPTCY

KING OF PRUSSIA, Penn. – Money

Centers of America, a firm that manages electronic payments for

gambling casinos, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in

federal court on March 24 while it fights two former clients, the

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Company director Christopher M.

Wolfington said his firm plans to stay in business. However, the

company appealed a $5.6 million court order to repay the Corporate

Commission of the Mille Lacs Band and is fighting sovereign-immunity

claims by the Ho-Chunk Nation. Wolfington asserts that the latter has

used the legal move in an attempt to prevent his company’s appeal

from prevailing in a dispute over $4.8 million.

Federal judge Richard H. Kyle in an

opinion in his Minneapolis courtroom in February noted that Money

Centers had contracted with the Mille Lacs Band in 2009 to distribute

cash to casino patrons and that the tribe had cancelled the deal in

2012, leaving Money Centers owing the tribe $5.6 million. The tribe

sued and in September the court granted the tribe summary judgement

on a breach-of-contract claim; litigation is continuing.

The Ho-Chunk dispute also covers cash

the tribe expects back from Money Center, as well as a cancellation

fee Money Center has said the tribe owes the company.

AIM COFOUNDER CALLS FOR A RENEWAL OF

THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION

CASS LAKE, Minn. – In a press release

on March 17, American Indian Movement co-founding member Dennis Banks

called for a rejuvenation and reinvigoration of the organization,

nationwide.

In the release, Banks asserted that

AIM had not had a national meeting since 1981 and enumerated several

issues that he felt were pressing for the group’s action. Those

issues included the Keystone XL pipeline, states’ non-compliance with

the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Native American Graves

Protection and Rehabilitation Act.

Although individual tribes like the

Cherokee Nation and several Lakota tribes in South Dakota have made

strides toward addressing some of those issues, the release indicated

that AIM be more active in engagement. In addition, the release

called for the organization to be active on health issues, alcohol

and drug addiction and called for an international gathering of AIM

families, chapters and support groups at Green Bay, Wis. in October.

Banks also called for elder and youth

groups to be fostered by the organization, creating senior advisory

groups and for all AIM officials to be retired at the age of 60 and

transitioned into the advisory group.