WASHINGTON, D.C. – Red Lake Tribal
Chairman Darrell G. Seki, Sr., and Treasurer Annette Johson, along
with others met with members of the Minnesota Congressional
delegation on Jan. 28 in Washington, D.C. to discuss a number of
issues of concern to the Red Lake Band.
According to a tribal spokesperson,
Seki and Johnson met with Minnesota’s Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al
Franken. Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Moorhead, and Rick Nolan, D-Duluth.
Red Lake’s lack of criminal
jurisdiction over non-band members was the primary focus of the
visits with the Congressional delegates. Tribal officials said they
would like to have jurisdiction to prosecute non-members who bring
drugs onto the Red Lake Reservation.
“All Congressmen were shocked to
hear of our troubles with drug dealers and were very responsive to
the Band’s issues that were raised,” tribal spokespersons said.
"Sen. Amy Klobuchar even suggested that a tribal summit – to
include all of Minnesota’s eleven tribes – would be in order, to
discuss this and other topics of mutual concern to Indian Nations."
Seki and Johnson also met with the
Bureau of Indian Affairs Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn
(Chickasaw) about the BIA’s push to move funding from "one time
funding" to a grant-based approach, a move that the Red Lake
Band strongly opposes.
Other issues addressed by the Red Lake
delegation included Red Lake’s concern regarding insufficient funding
for tribal roads, specifically the calculation formulas used by the
federal government which allow tribes with smaller land bases to
receive equal or even more funding. The Enbridge Pipeline was also
PHOTO: Red Lake Chairman Darrell
G. Seki, Sr. and Treasurer Annette Johnson visit with U.S. Senator
Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. (Photo by Michael Meuers)