Election season gearing up for April primary Bois Forte Reservation

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Bois Forte
 NETT LAKE, MINNESOTA - March 2012                                                               VOL. 35 NO. 3                                        

Election season gearing up for April primary
“Only votes talk. Everything else walks.”                      the vote during the primary, that person is declared                    As in past elections, each candidate was offered
                                                               the winner and the position will not be voted on                        the opportunity to include a statement in this issue
That quote, attributed famed TV newscaster Dan                 during the General Election.                                            of the Bois Forte News; see pages 2-6 to learn what
Rather, concisely sums up the reason to vote: it’s                                                                                     the candidates have to say.
the only way to make sure your voice is heard.                 The candidates
                                                                                                                                       How to vote
Bois Forte Band members will elect two Reservation             Six candidates are vying to replace District I
Tribal Council members this year: the Chairman,                Representative Cathy Chavers, who is not running                        There will be voting stations for the Primary and
and one of the two District I Representatives. The             for re-election. They are Gordy Adams, Jr., Karlene                     General Elections in Vermilion, Nett Lake and
Primary Election will be held Tuesday, April 3 and             D. Chosa, Robbie E. Goggleye, Rhonda Hoagland,                          Minneapolis.
the General Election is set for Tuesday, June 12.              Travis Morrison and Ray E. Villebrun, Sr.
                                                                                                 To vote by absentee ballot, send your request to
There are six candidates running for each open The six candidates for Tribal Chair are Gary W. General Election Board P.O. Box 23, Nett Lake,
position. After the primary, the top two vote getters Adams, Marty J. Connor, Tracey Dagen, Stan MN 55772. For more information, call the RTC
for each position will advance to the General J. Day, Gary W. Donald, and Kevin W. Leecy office at call 218-757-3261 and ask for the General
Election. If any candidate wins 51% or more of (incumbent).                                      Election Board.

Bois Forte celebrates Karen Drift’s love of language, learning
On February 8th Karen Drift got up at 6:30 a.m.,               early years, but over time, the kids’ behavior mistakes in front
showered and got ready for work. Then         her              changed. Now, the little ones seem less restless of people.
husband reminded her that she’d retired the day                and more teachable, to me,” shares Karen.
before! Once a teacher always a teacher and that’s                                                                    Years ago, Karen
a good thing for the people of Bois Forte.                     Anyone who knows Karen knows that she is made homemade
                                                               always eager to introduce the traditional Ojibwe l a n g u a g e
Karen Drift retired from thirty-nine years of                  language to anyone who will listen. “Though recording, on her
service in the Head Start program where she                    learning the language can be started at any time, I cassette      player,
taught and nurtured hundreds of area children. She             find it’s easier to teach it to kids under eight years for her own kids.
has seen the program grow, change and move…                    old. They are quicker to pick it up and it seems to She played them
literally. “When I began out at Head Start we were             stick with them better,” shares Karen.                 for a friend who
located in the Baptist Church, then we moved to                                                                       suggested that she
the DNR building, then the former Community                    Preciously, Karen introduced a little Ojibwe might record them
Center, from there the Boys & Girls Club location,             vocabulary to the infants and toddlers, but it got professionally.
and onto where we are now, a good space in the                 to be too much with her responsibilities at Head They called John
new Nett Lake School, reminisces Karen. “That’s                Start. She wishes she could have spent more time Banks in Mountain Karen Drift plays a vocabulary
a lot of packing and unpacking.”                               with them, as she recalls that even the babies in Iron and traded game with Mya Goggleye
                                                               highchairs seemed to light up when she entered the wild rice for studio (standing) Nazhoni Connor and
“I have also worked alongside countless teachers’ aids         room and spoke native words like Boozhoo.              time.    The idea Vincent Day.
and under sixteen Directors (two men, the rest women).                                                                stalled there for
Four of the Directors have been Native Americans               When Karen taught teens, in summer school, she’d a year and Karen almost gave up on it when Rose
(including the current one). I personally found there is       hoped to find them more proud and motivated Berens encouraged her to see it through. Rose made
a real added-value in that,” stresses Karen.                   to learn their language but she admits that the some calls. When she contacted Keith Secola he said
                                                               older the learners the more self conscious they he would help with it.
“Boy, do I remember school being noisy in those                can be when practicing, concerned about making                                        (cont. on page 6)

                                        BOIS FORTE NEWS P.O. Box 16 Nett Lake, MN 55772 • • Visit us! MARCH 2012
Page 2 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

District I Representative Candidates
                           I, Gordy Adams, Jr. am         Education Committee (LIEC),              American                                  Hello,
                           announcing my candidacy        Indian Advisory Council (AIAC).
                           for the Bois Forte –                                                                                        My name is Robbie E.
                           “District I” position.         I believe that I have a lot of good qualities and                            Goggleye. I am 33 years
                           This decision was made         strengths. My beliefs are traditional. I value our                           old and have 3 children,
                           with consultation with         language, culture, heritage I will work to preserve                          Darnell (13,will be 14 in
                           family,      friends,    and   this way. I was taught by my elders to treat others                          March), Cade (11), and
                           supporters.      I    firmly   the way you want to be treated with respect for all.Mya (4). I am engaged to Nikki Irving. I have
                           believe that the timing is     I will protect our wild rice. I want to make sure all
                                                                                                              lived in Nett Lake my entire life. I worked 13
                           right for new leadership       of our children learn their language and culture so years in Housing and 1.5 years in Facilities for the
Gordy Adams                with past experience in        that seven generations from now they will know      Tribal Government Buildings. I have been active
                           this important role. This      what it means to be Anishinaabe from Bois Forte.    on the Bois Forte volunteer fire department for 5
position is crucial for the continuity of progress,                                                           years and the Bois Forte ambulance for 1 year. I
growth, and defense of our sovereignty. In order          I’ve always been involved with community and am also active in youth sports. I coach baseball
to continue on a forward path, we must have               community youth in various ways. I taught culture and assist high school basketball.
leadership that possesses these skills, knowledge,        classes for Native youth and worked at a Native
and business sense to ensure our path to self-            American adolescent group home as a counselor. You may have heard these promises over and
sufficiency is maintained. Anything less is a             I organized Powwow dance classes and helped over in all campaigns. The question is how will
step backward! I believe in honesty, fairness,            for the past 3 years with the Bois Forte youth I get these completed if elected as 1 of 5 council
integrity, and transparency, as the membership            language/cultural immersion camp.                   members? I would like to make it publicly known
deserves. Experience is vital to this position and                                                            now that I intend on forfeiting my salary and plan
is a requirement in order to speak publically, give       I have excellent communication/speaking skills to hopefully put salary into programs that need it.
testimony, and lobby at all levels of government          and my college education, training and experience I would keep my current position as the Facilities
(county, state, and federal). My past experience is       in counseling have taught me ways to formidably, Maintenance Manager and attend meetings and
broad and filled with the necessary requirements          yet with positive balance and harmony, work with conferences as needed. I was always told that you
to fulfill the rigors of this position.                   individuals and groups including the committees lead by example.
                                                          and boards I serve on. I am not afraid to speak out
I have great ideas and plans for this Reservation,        for struggling Band Members. I will bring these I would like to focus on:
and with your support, we can accomplish                  skills to the Tribal Council and together we can
improvement on these goals: Jobs, Education,              work effectively for the good of the Band.          · Youth-Working with local high schools on getting
Housing, Health care, Natural Resources,                                                                      in trade programs in the class (mining, carpentry,
Economic Growth, Business Diversity.                      I will target opportunities to provide tribal electrician, etc.). Opening our kid’s eyes to new
                                                          employment for our graduates through mentoring experiences so they may have a better idea of what
We must have experienced leadership to defend;            programs and internships for our college students they would like to do for a living, before they start
Gaming, Treaty Rights, sovereignty, anti-Indian           within our Tribal Government.                       living.
legislation, and etc. We must follow through with
promises made to our people; I will stand for our I will make a deliberate effort to challenge the                · Housing-I would like to see more focus on single/elder
people, our children, and especially our elders!    status quo and make a positive change within                  apartment complexes, also more houses in general.
                                                    our reservation tribal government including
With your support we can accomplish many things accountability to Band Members. I will lead with                  · Elders-I would like to help to make sure that
that will once again make us a very proud and noble integrity and Band Members are my top priority, on            there are and continue to be programs that help all
people! Vote for Gordy!! Vote for Progress!!!       and off reservation. I will work to secure funding            of our elders.
                                                    for an urban office in the Duluth area to provide
                                                    services to off reservation Band Members. I will              · Public Safety-I would like to ensure that all of our
                        Boozhoo, I am Karlene actively seek Band Member input for our direction                   volunteers have up to date training and equipment.
                        Chosa, I am announcing and expand upon current programs and resources
                        my candidacy for District to better serve our growing needs for the people.               If you have any questions or concerns that you
                        1 Representative Bois                                                                     would like to address anything or would if you
                        Forte. I am the oldest I will be involved and committed 24/7 to                           would just like to know something about me,
                        daughter of Lester & working for the good of the people and to face                       please feel free to contact me at the following:
                        Karen Drift. My husband difficult issues such as gaming, escalading debt,
                        is Donald Lester Chosa Jr., homelessness, unemployment, healthcare for our                        Cell: 218-750-4449
                        we have six children and elderly, financial transparency for Band Members,                        Home: 218-757-0110
Karlene Chosa
                        two grandchildren. We protection of treaty rights and to ensure voting for                        Email:
                        have been foster parents 100% of 1854 payouts.                                                    Facebook
to 10 children. I was raised here in Nett Lake. I
worked as the Chemical Dependency Supervisor Miigwech to the people who donated to my
and Counselor in Nett Lake. I currently serve on campaign fund raiser held on February 11. Chi
the Nett Lake School Board, the Local Indian Miigwech for your support on April 3rd Primaries.                                                        (cont. on page 3)

BOIS FORTE NEWS                                                                                                                                           MARCH 2012
                                                                                                                   Page 3 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

                                 Boozhoo,              Bois Forte Public Works Road Maintenance crew.       unbiased view. Your consideration in voting for me
                                                                                                            as District I Representative is greatly appreciated.
                                 My     name     is    I am aware of the great responsibility involved I will not take it for granted.
                                 Rhonda Hoagland.      in being a Tribal Council Member and I am
                                 I would like to       willing to dedicate my time to representing our Please remember to vote April 3rd! Thank you!
                                 introduce myself      people. I can assure you that if elected as District
                                 as a district one     I Representative, I will strive for the best for all Ph: (218) 757-3314
                                 representative        tribal members. I promise to listen to the people of Cell: (218) 780-5642
Rhonda Hoaglund
                                 candidate.            Bois Forte and make decisions that will benefit the Email:
                                                       tribe as a whole.                                    Address: 9596 Hwy 65, Nett Lake, MN 55772
I am a dedicated and hardworking individual; I am
currently a skilled union laborer I was fortunate      I am fair, honest and not afraid to stand up for
enough to work some on our new reservation             what is right and just. I believe in equality, open         Aaniin. Hello. I am once
tribal government building I also worked on the        government, transparent decision making and                 again asking for your
new water pipes and hook-ups for the new homes         peaceful fairness.                                          support and your vote for
at the entrance to Goofys landing. Before joining                                                                  District I Representative
the clerical field for many years (secretary- There are many topics that I would address. Here                     in the Primary Election
receptionist).                                are just a few:                                                      held on April 3, 2012. I’ve
                                                                                                                   always held the people of
I attended business courses at Mesabi Range • Salaries of council members should be public                         the Bois Forte Band in the
Technical & community college.                information. If elected, I will introduce a resolution               highest regard; I’ve worked
                                              to publicize this information.                         Ray Villebrun in several capacities during
Although at the present time my trainings are                                                                      the course of my life and
mainly in construction which I do at the MN • Evaluate salaries of commissioners and council enjoy seeing the results of my efforts benefiting
laborers training center.                     members and make adjustments if necessary.             the people.

This will be my second time running for the            Savings from these modifications may by used to My past experience serving as your District I
district one representative. I have profound beliefs   create a new Duluth office so band members can Representative and as DNR Director for Bois
in my traditional morals. I am tremendously            have access to services closer to their home.     Forte has given me vast knowledge that I will use
proud of who I am. I also feel ones beliefs and                                                          to protect our Natural resources. I will make our
morals makes someone who they are. I am Rhonda         Currently the Minneapolis Urban office offers wild rice market one of my top goals, with Nett
Hoagland.                                              monthly meetings with Bois Forte Commissioners, Lake producing wild rice year after year we can
                                                       flu shot clinics, Ojibwe language classes, etc. I expand marketing of our rice around the country as
Would sincerely value your vote. Miigwetch.            would like to see the same for Duluth.            well as over seas. Paying our pickers 4.00 a pound
                                                                                                         for their green rice is not out of the question.
Rhonda Hoagland                                        • Look into the “at will” issue and see if we can
                                                       give the employees more protection from political Doing this will ensure we have a stockpile of wild
                                                       games.                                            rice to preserve our market.
                                                   • Make major purchases (including businesses)             Improving our Housing will be another priority.
                        I would like to take this with proper review and discussion to include band          Replacing our old housing units must be done and
                        opportunity to introduce members.                                                    will be done.
                        myself as a candidate for
                        District I Representative. • Provide services and benefits that are equal and        Our Elders need to be better taken care of, their
                                                   fair for all members, including those members who         health care must be improved.
                        My name is Travis live out of the service area. All members should
                        Morrison, son of Francis get the assistance that will improve their quality          Our Language and our Heritage must be learned
Travis Morrison (Cisco) Isham and the late of life.                                                          by our young, This is critical for the future of the
                        Daniel E. (Danny Boy)                                                                band. I have many other topics to discuss, but
                        Morrison Jr. of Nett Lake. • Ensure there are enough police officers to              cannot include in this ad. I would love to speak to
I grew up on the Bois Forte Reservation and have cover Vermilion and Nett Lake to provide 24/7               you about them, if you have questions, suggestions
lived there most of my life. My wife Teri and I protection.                                                  or comments, you can reach me at 218.757.0083.
have been married for 12 years and have four boys,                                                           Miigwech.
Trevor (10), Sean (7), Steve (6) and Scott (3).    • Establish classes for both youth and adults
                                                   on tradional spearing, netting, winter camping,
I graduated from Orr High School in 1991 and trapping, firearm safety, etc.
from Central Lakes College (Staples, MN) in 2000
and have worked in the construction field for the You may have other concerns that I am unaware of,
past 12 years. I am currently employed with the but if elected, I will listen to all and represent an                                          (cont. on page 4)

MARCH 2012                                                                                                                                 BOIS FORTE NEWS
Page 4 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

Tribal Chair Candidates
                       My name is Gary Adams                                  My name is Marty J.                                         Boozhoo, my name is
                       and I am running for                                   Connor. I am announcing                                     Tracey “Junie Strong”
                       Chairperson of the Bois                                my candidacy for Tribal                                     Dagen and I live on Lake
                       Forte Reservation. I am a                              Chairman for the Bois                                       Vermilion Rez. I am
                       recovering alcoholic with                              Forte Reservation.                                          running for Tribal Chair
                       36+ years in recovery.                                                                                             because our people
                       I am an honorably                                Due to the limit of space                                         deserve       leadership
                       discharged veteran and                           available for this article, I                                     that is responsive to
                       served in the U.S. Army.                         will focus on some of the                                         their needs. With your
                       I have a Bachelor’s of                           more important issues that                                        vote, I can deliver an
                                                                        have been brought to my             Tracey Dagen and
Gary Adams             Science Degree from            Marty Connor                                                                       administration that 1)
                       Bemidji State University. I                     attention by Band Members            her children Orion Makes decisions based
                                                      and his daughter
am currently in retirement status and live with my                     in a more detailed campaign          and Arielle                  on your voice 2) Has
                                                      Nazhoni          letter after the candidates
wife on Lake Vermillion.                                                                                                                 visible decision-making
                                                                       are ratified.                        processes and 3) Promotes more accountability from
I worked in the Human Service field for over                                                                its leaders and workers. I also promise easier access
30 years in Private, State, University, and Tribal    My goals are to maintain positive communications      to visit with Tribal Council representatives, because
programs. I created the outpatient C.D. programs      with fairness, honesty and respect to all the band    transparency and communication are two important
on Bois Forte, with Phase II aftercare components     members by listening and trying to resolve any issues tenets of my campaign.
(all billable services). I helped formulate and       that any band member may have. The emphasis
served as Director of Bois Forte Human Services       would be for Elderly and Community input.               As Tribal Chair, I will make the social and
program. Served as Program Director for an                                                                    economic welfare of our Band members my
extensive research project with the University of     My main goal would be to reduce the Chairman’s number one priority. My passion is evident in
Ames Iowa and Lincoln Nebraska. I worked my           salary and establish a paid community service my service on educational and cultural boards/
last 3 years as counselor supervisor for the Bois     program that would benefit unemployed Band committees in our community. My skills stem
Forte Reservation.                                    Members. More detailed information will be forth from my business knowledge (Moorhead State
                                                      coming in my campaign letter.                           -Business Administration) and human relations
Research shows, the largest contributing factor to                                                            experience (Fortune Bay Resort Casino).
social problems on our reservations is the abuse of   Communication is has been an issue that is always
alcohol/drugs. Our children’s abuse of chemicals      mentioned during election year. The current Council I explain how I will use my background to work
gets younger with every generation. From crime        receives monthly reports from the Commissioners, around the issues that are important to you on my
to homelessness we show an overrepresentation.        if elected I would have these reports published in Facebook page: Tracey Dagen. You can also call
Research suggests that Historical Trauma and          the Bois Forte News, and posted on the Bands (218-753-4021) or email (
Unresolved Grief need to be resolved or we will       website. I would also submit detailed reports on
continue to suffer from these ongoing problems. I     business trips made, and how it impacts the Tribe. Among the core issues are:
have a plan that will help resolve these concerns.    I would also push for a quarterly financial report
                                                      that is broken down and easier to understand.           • Protection of Indian gaming
I have a vision and if elected I’ll focus on a                                                                • Fiscal responsibility
strong diverse economic development effort by,        There are many more ideas I would like to present • Easier access and incentives for higher education
Partnering with educational institutions to support   to you, such as:                                        • Anishinaabe language and cultural revitalization
training and professional learning. Expand Human                                                              • Fair and competitive employment
Services Systems. Develop a C.D. Treatment and        • Tribal Personnel Policies • Healthcare • Education • Business expansion and opportunities for
recovery complex. Explore other projects like         • Job Training • Casino Board of Directors • private business owners.
a small pellet plant, increase Law Enforcement        Culture / Language Preservation.
systems with containment capabilities, explore                                                                I appreciate your support and vote for Tribal Chair
building a youth detention center, these are          I would like to wish all the candidates the best in 2012.
attainable examples which can and will provide        all their campaign efforts.
numerous good paying jobs.                                                                                    Please VOTE TRACEY DAGEN!
                                                      If there are any concerns and ideas that you would
I support the Blood Quantum issue to prevent any      like to see addressed in future letters, please do not Donations Welcome
further elimination of Our Band Member’s Children     hesitate to talk to me in person; call me at (218) 757- Tracey Dagen Campaign Fund
with ¼ or more Biological Ojibwe Blood from being     3485; by mail: 4638 Indian Point Road Orr, MN Embarrass Vermillion CU
eliminated from the North American Continent.         55771; or by e-mail: P.O. Box 433. Tower, MN 55790

I will not put my wants and desires over the needs of I would appreciate your vote in the upcoming                  DAGEN FOR A DIFFERENCE!
the people. An honest open effort will be given. I will Primary and General Elections.
increasingly seek advice and work closely with the
Elders Committee on all matters that impact the Tribe. Respectfully, Marty J. Connor
Your vote and support will be greatly appreciated. Feel
free to contact me at 1-218-248-0736.

BOIS FORTE NEWS                                                                                                                                    MARCH 2012
                                                                                                                         Page 5 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

                         My name is Stanley (Stan)                                My name is Gary W.                                        Boozhoo,
                         Day and I have decided                                   Donald and I am a
                         to ask the people of Bois                                candidate for the position                              It has been a pleasure to
                         Forte Band to elect me                                   of Bois Forte Reservation                               serve and represent the
                         to serve as the Chairman                                 Tribal     Chairman      in                             people of Bois Forte. I
                         of the Tribal Council.                                   the    upcoming      tribal                             am formally announcing
                         I will list some of the                                  elections. The people of                                that I am seeking another
                         outstanding and pressing                                 the Bois Forte Band have                                term to continue the
                         problems of great concern                                requested for me to run                                 progress we have started.
                         to our cultural survival                                 to make major changes                                   Soon you will receive
                         and well-being. These           Gary Donald              to our tribal structure to       Kevin Leecy            information on my plans
Stanley Day             items are on the short list                               benefit the band members,                               and initiatives for the next
for immediate attention if I am elected:                 children and the future of our homeland.                  term, but today I want to explain where we have
                                                                                                                   been and my position on the election process itself.
• Leadership to provide opportunities to expand        My priorities as an elected leader are too numerous
our health and welfare lobbying options that are       to list them all individually at this time. If elected my   During this election cycle I make a commitment
currently not being met (water quality standards,      first priority will be to meet with the elected leaders,    to you that I will remain steadfast to the issues and
pharmaceutical coverage for our people in the Twin     (Tribal Council) to formulate new plans for the next        not get off track with negative politics nor will I
Cities and Duluth etc) Build temporary centralized     4 years. We will establish committees consisting of         condone bad behavior of others associated with
osmosis filtration systems wherever needed.            band members who live on and off the Reservation            me, including family members, to participate in
Other tribes and bands form or join consortiums        to represent the Bois Forte Band. The finances of the       negative campaigning.
for expanded lobbying power to achieve this.           Fortune Bay Resort & Casino will be reviewed and
                                                       a new Board of Director’s will be created to do their       It is a disservice to the people of Bois Forte who
• Curtail spending on big tickets items until our fiduciary duty to protect and be accountable for the             want to make an informed decision about the future
debt is substantially reduced.                         Casino revenues. They will be required to make a            of their government to be inundated with pessimistic
                                                       monthly report to the Tribal Council.                       and unconstructive rhetoric. We as a people are
• Provide more assistance for our people in the                                                                    better than that and you deserve a leader who carries
surrounding areas.                                     Another priority will be given to honor the people’s        a positive and consistent message throughout.
                                                       request to abolish the Executive Directors position
• Generate business opportunities though immediately, this will be done by an executive                            A campaign message is a promise. Although you
investments, joint ventures and acquisitions on a order signed by me, as the Chairman of this band.                will hear a lot of promises in the coming weeks,
broader scale to alleviate the burden on gaming as                                                                 you need only to look around to see that promises
our sole source of income.                             Tribal Sovereignty will not be misinterpreted               become reality; new roads, convenience stores,
                                                       anymore. It will be used to protect our people from         health and school expansions, Boys & Girls Club,
• Devise ways for our communities to become more being abused. The “at will” State policy will be                  housing, government and community center, urban
productive by searching for ways to end the age old reviewed by a committee of band members and                    office building, etc.
quarrels, feuds and grudges that divide our relatives. changed to benefit our employees, instead of being
                                                       used to fire them.                                          There are also realities you can’t see; increased
• The main threat to our survival is not teaching our                                                              educational opportunities, burial funding,
children our language at a fast enough rate (The The people have requested to reduce the salaries                  emergency assistance programs, elders trip funding,
government is closely monitoring our progress).        of the Tribal Council and the Commissioners                 more language classes, better partnerships with
                                                       immediately, to a more sizable realistic figure to          State and Federal programs and elected officials,
• Adopt recognition of our Elders Council with a form coincide with the current budget and the economy.            synergy, efficiency and productivity.
of legal advisory status. The wealth of knowledge Put a cap on the salaries until the economy of
from their experience is a tremendous resource and our Reservation improves. No more huge annual                   More of our people are working than ever before
should be honored in the traditional way.              ‘bonuses’ will be given to the council members              thanks to building and trades construction and
                                                       and their commissioners. The commissioners title            training, increased native employment goals at
Respectfully Submitted,                                will be deleted and changed back to being directors         Fortune Bay and Tribal Government offices and
                                                       of each program.                                            small business loan programs which provides
Stanley Day                                                                                   (cont. on page 6)    financial and technical assistance for new business
                                                                                                                   and inventions.                    (cont. on page 6)

                     Gary Donald and Kevin Leecy’s statements are continued on the next page.
              Their campaign committees paid for additional room beyond the free space allotted
                                             to all candidates.

MARCH 2012
                                                                         k                                                                        BOIS FORTE NEWS
Page 6 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

Tribal Chair Candidates
(Gary Donald cont. from page 5)                        At the TEC (Tribal Executive Committee) level, I          (Kevin Leecy cont. from page 5)
                                                       will help to formulate a plan to update the Minnesota
Educated and qualified Band Members who were           Chippewa Tribe’s Constitution (Ordinance No.              It is hard to believe that we have accomplished
dismissed in prior years, will be given first priority 1-80). In 1980, the TEC proclaimed itself as the          most of this through the worst economic conditions
for the top positions as they become available.        only body with the legal authority to interpret the       since the great depression - Imagine what we can
New positions will be created due to the changes       MCT Constitution. This constitution clearly states        accomplish together as we move forward in a
which are going to be made. Band members will          that all decisions made by the Band’s governing           positive social and economic climate.
be given a chance to provide for their families        body “shall be final”. Until this is updated, it is the
and to establish their residency on the reservation    law of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and it needs          To move forward we need to stay on course on a
so they can become eligible to run for the tribal      to be followed.                                           proven path. Now is not the time to change course
council positions as they become available in the                                                                into the unknown or fall asleep at the wheel. I have
near future.                                           Another antiquated document which will be revised,        the drive, determination and experience to steer us
                                                       are the rights for all enrolled band members who live     in the right direction on a proven path.
A professional Economic Development Planner off the reservation to have a voice. They should be
will be hired to start the process of improving the given the full right to sign petitions for the removal       I humbly ask for your support and commitment to
infrastructure and bringing in new grant money. I will of any tribal council member who violates the             vote so we can keep moving forward!
personally assess the homes of the elders, disabled constitution, band by-laws and the code of ethics.
and the band members who are in need of home                                                                     Kevin
repairs, so the council can apply for grant money to Gary W. Donald-Candidate for Bois Forte
either fix up their homes or build new ones.           Reservation Tribal Chairman

(Karen Drift cont. from page 1)                      1963, she married Lester Drift, who had also been Elder women at the Community Center where
                                                     raised in a traditional Indian family. In fact, he she learned a lot about beading and improved her
It took 6-8 months, but Keith came to Nett Lake was born in Nett Lake, right across the road from language skills.
and went back to Arizona and worked on it until where they now live.
the recordings were ready. The RTC provided                                                             In 1973, her sons Mark and Pete were three and
funding to get it made and reproduced. In 2007, After Lester graduated from high school they four years old, ready to enter early schooling, so it
the CDs were made available to everyone who move to Cleveland so he could take a three month was a natural choice for Karen to begin work at the
attended the State of the Band.                      welding course as part of an Indian relocation nearby Head Start.
                                                     program. After two years away, they returned to
                              So where did this Minnesota and settled in Duluth where Lester Over the years she started to get more training.
                              love for the Ojibwe worked as a welder for Quad Iron. Karen worked First her GED, then her Child Development (CD)
                              language come from? for Fingerhut, in the Mail department preparing ads credentials which were renewed every 5-6 years,
                              “All the way back, for distribution, on the night shift from midnight most recently in September of 2011. Now Head Start
                              “Karen laughs. In the to 8 a.m. It was in Duluth that they started their requires an Associate Arts (AA) degree in Child
                              winter of 1946, Karen family, Karleen, then Lester Jr. (who passed Development in order to continue working there.
                              was born at the Indian away in 2008) eventually moving to Nett Lake
                              hospital in Cloquet and adding sons Pete, and Mark, daughter Farrah Karen plans to fill her new free time with friends,
                              to Annie Strong and rounded out the Drift household.                      cooking, baking, and making crafts. She especially
                              Amos Geshick. Her                                                         enjoys creating little cradle boards and moccasins.
                              mom worked as a                                                           As soon as Spring arrives she is eager to plant both
                              domestic for a non-                                                       vegetables and flowers. She is also helping raise,
Karen Drift and the Head      Indian family, in                                                         her youngest, Farrah’s four children Larissa (16),
Start students.              Virginia, taking care                                                      Tyler (10), Kara (8), and Anthony (7 years old).
                             of their children. She
came home on the weekends.                                                                              Her granddaughter Larissa was 9-years old when
                                                                                                        Karen recorded the language CD. Larissa can be
Karen’s grandparents were Rose Beargrease and                                                           heard proudly talking in Ojibwe alongside her
George Strong, Anna and Charlie Geshick. She                                                            Grandma. Karen teaches her grandchildren the
was raised on the Nett Lake reservation by Rose                                                         language by speaking with them in it on evening
and George. Ojibwe was spoken at home as it was                                                         and weekends. She also encourages them to sit in
Rose’s sole language and George spoke primarily                                                         on traditional ceremonies.
Ojibwe and some English.                             Karen and Lester have been married for 49 years.
                                                                                                        When you see Karen congratulate her for her years
She started school in Nett Lake and then went on Karen currently boasts 23 grandchildren, 12 great- of dedicated service in the field of education and her
to Orr. At that time, most local young people were great grandchildren with four more on their way! commitment to keeping Ojibwe language alive in our
educated through the 10th grade and could later After moving back to Nett Lake, Karen worked as community and beyond. Karen’s language learning
pursue their GED. That was Karen’s track. In an assistant cook; then she started working with games and CDs are still available upon request.

BOIS FORTE NEWS                                                                                                                                       MARCH 2012
                                                                                                                         Page 7 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

Harvard grad student interview Elders                                                                                        Happy March
on repatriation for thesis                                                                                                  Birthdays, Elders!
We’ve all heard the adage, “It is better to give than
to receive.” When it comes to the often touchy                                                                           Cheryl Jensen           2-3
subject of Indian artifact repatriation many Native                                                                      Eugene Goodsky          2-5
Americans feel that they have given enough; not                                                                          Isabelle Strong         2-5
so with Bois Forte.                                                                                                      Mary Porter             2-6, Leech Lake
                                                                                                                         Karen Drift             2-6
Although Band members, in consultation with                                                                              Lucille Morrison        2-11
Bois Forte Museum staff, assertively pursue their
                                                                                                                         Janet Thompson          2-15
right to try and reclaim culturally significant items
held in US museums; the Band is not beyond                                                                               William King            2-22
sharing their related knowledge base with those                                                                     Happy Belated Birthday to
sincerely interested in their collective wisdom.                                                                    Elders Jim Anderson and
                                                                                                                    Norma Johnson, both born
Such is the case with Sandra Dong, a Harvard Sandra Dong presents a birch bark artifact to Elder                    on Valentines Day.
student, who was pursuing a Masters of Liberal Mary Strong for review in this photo taken during a
Arts in Museum Studies. When Bois Forte sent a 2004 visit to Harvard’s Peabody Museum.
delegation to Harvard’s Peabody Museum in 2004,
Sandra had been working there for ten years already them so willing to share their knowledge. I also              her thesis which is available for viewing at the Bois
but she was about to experience something special. appreciate the professional and culturally sensitive           Forte Heritage Center and Cultural Museum. And
                                                        way their Museum operates,” Sandra reminisces.            although she interviewed more people than those
“I met Bill Latady [Curator of the Bois Forte Museum]                                                             thanked by name in its pages, (as some wished to
and Elders Vern Adams and Mary Strong who had So in the summer of 2010, Sandra contacted Bill                     be quoted anonymously) Sandra believes that the
received a grant to look at materials in our collection Latady and Museum Director Rose Berrens asking            final compilation of her research is all the more
from the Great Lakes, including items that might have if she could return to the reservation to conduct           readable and relevant for having been infused with
had their origins at Bois Forte,” shares Sandra.        interviews. Not long afterwards, in December of           comments from the generous members of the Bois
                                                        2010, Sandra braved bitterly cold temperatures and        Forte Band of Ojibwa.
After submitting their claim something interesting record snowfall to spend two and half days asking
happened. Peabody representatives were extended questions, listening, and unearthing stories from                 Sandra would he happy to make her writings
an invitation to come to the Reservation to better Elders, artisans, spiritual seekers and Spiritual              available to those interested. She may be reached
understand the cultural context of the claim. So Advisors alike. The resulting work is included in                by email at
in August of 2005, Sandra and a few colleagues
made their way to Northern Minnesota.

“I recall appreciating the structure. We met in
                                                         Bois Forte history in brief
a casino conference room and I remember how              By J. Kay Davis (               others from so much travel and work. It will be a
impressed each of us were by the turn-out, how                                                                    small business endeavor as well, to help cover the
many people were willing to take time out of                                 I have been arranging all of my      costs of duplication of the files, and postage, etc.
their lives to talk with us,” recalls Sandra. “I                             research materials of my own,        The reason I even mention it now, is that though
work with many groups from all over the United                               collected by years of private        it will be yet another small business endeavor for
States. The entire repatriation process at Bois                              contracting for so many firms,       me, I wanted to also be able to keep in touch with
Forte was so well organized. It is clear that the                            states, and groups petitioning       those of you who have asked me over the years to
larger community is involved, not just in their                              for Federal Recognition as           tell stories or genealogies of their families. I will
efforts towards repatriation, but in the success of                          an Indian Tribe. As my age           continue to do that, assuming you contact me, but
their museum overall.”                                                       increases, I find staying home       henceforth, copying costs and mailing costs will
                                                         J. Kay Davis        more and more inviting. Thus, I      be your responsibilities.
Usually when Tribes repatriate, communication stops                         have decided to put the file titles
there. The National Museum doesn’t know what             of research on line over the internet under my own  I will continue to keep the motto, “If we don’t
happens to the transferred collections since there are   website. I will continue to use the advice given by know who we are, we can’t be successful in our
so many tribes and they operate in different ways.       the elders of our Tribe, to commit to Privacy all   lives.” We, at Bois Forte have a wonderful past
                                                         materials that contain member names.                history. It is my hope that you know who you are
The last part of Sandra’s master program was a                                                               by now, and share that with those you work, play,
thesis related to museums. She wanted to write           In doing so, I have found that my files are live with.
about repatriation and to research how Bands work        numerous. They may be of use to other researchers
with repatriated articles. “Of course I thought of       of Indian Tribes, and knowing how hard I worked Until Next Month, when more of our history will
Bois Forte because I’d met the Elders and found          to acquire the research I have, felt it may prevent be evidenced here.

MARCH 2012                                                                                                                                       BOIS FORTE NEWS
Page 8 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

Youth & Education
Update from the Superintendent                                                                                Young Bois Forte
                    The Nett Lake School has
                    the most caring and amazing
                                                     in the success for students. Of course, we want
                                                     our students to be prepared for and do well on the
                                                                                                              filmmakers’ work
                    students. During the month
                    of February, we ran a Pennies
                                                     assessments and consistent attendance will give
                                                     students every opportunity to meet the expectations      shown in Minnesota
                    For Patients fundraiser.         on the assessments. However, more important
                    Pennies For Patients supports
                    children and their families
                                                     than doing well on an assessment that is given
                                                     once a year, we want the students to be prepared
                                                                                                              and abroad
                    who are diagnosed with           for and do well in life. If your child needs to be       Every year, the In Progress workshop in Nett
                    leukemia and lymphoma.           gone, please send a note or call Beth, our secretary,    Lake teaches young people how to use graphic
                    Our goal was to raise $200.      to let her know why your child is absent. If a note      arts to tell stories. Their work has been featured at
and Principal Rae At the time of writing the         is not sent or a phone call not made, the absence        the State of the Band, and now Bois Forte stories
Villebrun         article, our students have         is automatically unexcused. Seven or more                are being heard across Minnesota and the world.
                  brought in over $300. Thank        unexcused absences is considered truant. Most
you to our wonderful students and parents!           of the absences are due to reasons that would be         As far as Finland
                                                     excused so, please keep us informed.
Students in 3rd-6th grade will be taking their                                                                In January, two Bois Forte filmmakers were
Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments III for          When you get time, please check out our new              featured in Skábmagovat, the indigenous peoples’
Math in March. There is a change this year in        website at We are very           film festival, in Inari, Finland. Along with films
the testing format for schools that choose to use    excited about it and the information that it will        about the Sámi people, who are native to that
the new format. Nett Lake will be using the new      provide our families. All of the district policies and   region, films made by other indigenous peoples
format, which allows students to take the MCA        handbook can be found on the website. You will           in more than 15 languages were screened.
III-Math three times between March and May. If       also find minutes to the School Board meetings
they meet or exceed the expectations when they       from July 2011 to present. At some point, minutes        Among those films was White Washed by
take the March assessment, they will not need to     from previous years will also be available. Another      Caytlyn Isham , billed as, “A poetic video about
take it in April. If they don’t meet or exceed the   important communication tool will be an updated          skin privilege, cultural identity and what it means
expectations in March, they will take it again in    calendar to keep you informed of events that will        to be Anishinaabe as experienced from the heart.
April. The students will have a final opportunity    be taking place.                                         Savannah Parisien’s film I Am Anishinaabe
to take the assessment in May. The MCA II-                                                                    was also shown; festival organizers described
Reading will occur one time in April for the 3rd-    Important dates to remember: March 23rd-End              it as, “A portrait of a girl from the Bois Forte
6th grade students. The 5th grade students will      of the 3rd Quarter; April 5th, 6th, and 9th-Spring       Reservation in Minnesota whose strong sense
also be taking MCA-Science in April.                 Break-No School; April 13th-Conferences-No               of identity comes from tribe and family. Stock
                                                     School.                                                  footage from the 1940’s, combined with family
Consistent attendance in school is a key factor                                                               photos and video, shows how the traditions of
                                                                                                              her small village continue.”

                                                                                                              At the Capitol and around the state

                                                                                                              Another recent In Progress project collected
                                                                                                              stories from young people in the Strong and
                                                                                                              Isham families for a video about the valued
                                                       Head Start Director Christina                          relationships that exist for those that call the
                                                          Bloom and parent Simona                             reservation home.
                                                         Benner helped deliver the                            The video is now part of the exhibit Why Treaties
                                                        flowers Head Start parents                            Matter: Self Government in the Dakota and
                                                        sold for Valentines Day as a                          Ojibwe Nations that was on display at the state
                                                                 fundraiser.                                  Capitol in January and will travel throughout
                                                                                                              Minnesota in 2012. The exhibit was created to
                                                                                                              help Indians and non-Indians better understand
                                                       The proceeds of the flower                             the role that treaties have played and continue to
                                                      sale will be used to fund the                           play in all of our lives. It is the result of a historic
                                                                                                              partnership among the Minnesota Indian Affairs
                                                      Head Start Graduation in May.                           Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and
                                                                                                              the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum
                                                                                                              of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

BOIS FORTE NEWS                                                                                                                                       MARCH 2012
                                                                                                                    Page 9 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

Tribal Gov’t News & Reports
Looking out for your best interests                                                                             No trash talk about
Dr. Hawk and his staff always put the patient first
                                                                                                                Bois Forte’s new
Bedside manners. It’s a phrase some people use      “Diabetes and heart disease are currently our
when describing their health care provider and
those two words are synonymous with Dr. Ray
                                                    biggest ongoing health concerns,” he said. “I
                                                    emphasize through medical visits, letters, phone
                                                                                                                curbside pick-up
Hawk of the Bois Forte Clinic.                      calls and lectures that something can be done. It           By Tara Geschick
                                                    is not some mystical Indian destiny that has given
However, trying to let the talented doctor know them a medical problem.”                                        We’ve all heard the saying, “Up, Up and Away.”
that’s how he’s viewed is met with much resistance.                                                             Well band member Tara Geshick is touting a
Instead, the Nebraska native would rather talk Instead, Dr. Hawk and the staff encourage healthy                slightly different version in “Up, Out and Away.”
about how he and his staff share a common goal life styles for all patients that come through the               Last year Tara become Bois Forte’s Environmental
of providing quality health care for all Bois Forte doors of the Nett Lake and Lake Vermilion                   Services Manager and has spearheaded curbside
band members.                                       Clinics. By doing so, that means the well being of          pick up, which includes recyclables.
                                                    Bois Forte band members will always come to the
                                                    forefront for Dr. Hawk.                                     “This program has been in the planning stages
                                                                                                                for quite some time and we are eager to get
                                                      “Everyone who knows me knows I am not one to              the word out that curbside pickup of trash and
                                                      shun accolades,” he said with a smile. “But the           recycling is now available, on a weekly basis,
                                                      entire staff at Bois Forte Medical Clinic and the         in all residential areas: Nett Lake, Indian Point,
                                                      dental office deserves a round of applause (for the       Sugar Bush, Palmquist, and Vermilion. We are
                                                      jobs they do).”                                           asking residents to gather UP their trash and
                                                                                                                recycling, put it OUT on the curb and we will
                                                      About Dr. Ray Hawk                                        take it AWAY.

                                                      Dr. Ray Hawk was born in Winnebago, Nebraska.             “We studied the Nett Lake and Vermillion
                                                      He is the oldest of 9 children. He has six children and   transfer stations and determined that it’s more
                                                      9 grandchildren. His wife’s name is Jody, and she had     cost effective and convenient to go to Cook,”
Dr. Ray Hawk                                          three children of her own before meeting Dr. Hawk.        shares Tara. “We are actually collecting more
                                                                                                                garbage than was being disposed of in the land
“My staff has been a reason for our success in       He went to a Catholic Indian Boarding School in            fills. We’re expecting this to only increase as
managing the ongoing health care of the Bois         Nebraska. He was in the U.S. Navy from 1973 to             more neighborhoods learn how simple it is.”
Forte people,” said the personable Hawk, who has     1976. He went to the University of South Dakota
been working for Bois Forte for 30 years. “I have    as chemistry major and was later selected to attend
learned to manage good people. Sometimes you         the Physician Assistant School in Gallup, New
just have to stay out of the way.”                   Mexico. After graduating in 1981 with five years
                                                     of federal service, Dr. Hawk took a job with East
In other words, don’t micro-manage and have trust Range Clinic in Virginia, who had a contract with
in the people that you work with will make the the Bois Forte Band.
right decision for your patients on a day in and day
out basis. By using that philosophy Dr. Hawk and
his staff have made great strides in treating Bois
                                                      “My staff has been a reason
Forte Band members over the past three decades.       for our success in managing
“I have emphasized to my staff that we are here for   the ongoing health care of
the patient,” said Dr. Hawk, who manages the Nett
Lake Clinic and spends time seeing patients in the
                                                         the Bois Forte people,”                                James Ryan and Milo Villebrun are the Environ-
Lake Vermilion sector. “Not the other way around.”

Dr. Hawk said he is grateful for the opportunity to
                                                                            a                                   mental Services team who handle the weekly solid
                                                                                                                waste and recycling pickup.
                                                                                                                Residents who squirreled away trash until there
work for the Bois Forte Band, especially with the     He said he was drawn to the medical field when            was enough to justify a trip to the Bois Forte
$12 million investment made in the new school,        he was a corpsman. However, it wasn’t until a             Transfer Station are relieved. Those who needed
dental and health clinic in Nett Lake and the plans   tragedy took the life of his mother, who was killed       to locate someone with a truck every time they
to reinvest in the Vermilion clinic to provide the    in a motor vehicle accident.                              had something to haul away are elated. Those
best possible medical care. And in this day and age                                                             concerned about the environmental impact of
of increasing medical challenges facing Native        “There wasn’t a satisfactory response team,”              neighbors burning garbage on their property are
Americans, those investments are ones that will       recalled Dr. Hawk. “(At that time) I decided I would      breathing a sigh of relief.
pay dividends over the long haul.                     try not to allow that to happen to anyone else.”
                                                                                                                                               (cont. on page 10)

MARCH 2012                                                                                                                                   BOIS FORTE NEWS
Page 10 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

Tribal Gov’t News & Reports
Credit Union update
                     By Nikki Pieratos               need we are performing the due diligence to prove     A significant number of respondents were also
                                                     that we have the capacity to manage them (in our      interested in business and home loans, which we
                      Hi, it’s Nikki again with a policies and in our software capabilities).              are not allowed to service right away due to the
                      Credit Union update, which                                                           complex regulatory burdens associated with these
                      a number of you requested at Nearly half of respondents want to apply for            types of loans.
                      this year’s State of the Band. personal and auto loans. We used this information,
                      Thanks again to the 200 coupled with the dollar range of loans and income            However, we recognize the exigency of these
                      people that visited our booth that you reported, to project what our expected        products in our community and we are partnering
Nikki Pieratos        and signed the community number of personal and auto loans will be (as well          with existing organizations to provide the training
                      support sheet for future as the average term and dollar amount).                     and application preparation to qualify for these
financial education and business development                                                               loans elsewhere.
programs!!!                                          However, many people indicated that they were
                                                     not ready to take on these loans right away. For      I will speak more to the exact financial products
Our last update was in July, where I shared some example, 53% reported that poor credit or lack            and services we plan to offer in next month’s
of the November 2010 Survey results with you. of a credit history is a financial obstacle. To help         edition of the Bois Forte News. Thank you for
However, many still want to know how they were prepare our members, we are developing a Credit             your continued interest!
used to develop the financial products and services Builder/Repair Program that will involve concrete
we intend to offer.                                  steps to improving the creditworthiness of future     Nikki Pieratos can be reached by email at
                                                     borrowers.                                   or by phone at
First of all, nearly 40% of survey respondents do                                                          218-757-3261, extension 192.
not currently have savings or checking accounts. Moreover, we are also creating a financial literacy
The National Credit Union Administration does curriculum that will address the array of topics
not usually allow new credit unions to have that you were interested in, i.e. Managing bank
checking accounts right away, but due to the great accounts, financial planning, investing, etc.

(Curbside pick-up cont. from page 10)               So the next time its trash day just think, “Up, to see if they were being cognitively impacted from
                                                    Out and Away” and you’ll be living greener and lead exposure. She made use of a saliva/cortisol
Environmental Service is a division of the healthier. The planet thanks you.                           testing system and developmental testing procedure
Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Area                                                            called the Bailey Scale which evaluated their
team members include: Jane Villebrun as the About Tara Geshick, Bois Forte Environmental developmental stages against the national average.
Lead Outreach and Education Coordinator; Milo Services Manager
Villebrun and James Ryan each serving as Solid                                                         After her divorce, Tara moved back up north and
Waste Technicians; and new employee Tonya As Environmental Services Manager for Bois began working odd jobs. She was employed by
Connor working in the Indoor Air position.          Forte, Tara Geshick has worked her way up Fortune Bay providing maintenance, plus a job
                                                    through the ranks making a career of what others clerking at the Post Office and another flagging
This is an expensive program to run given fuel may refer to as rank - trash.                           on Hwy 65 during reconstruction and resurfacing
costs, labor involved and dumping fees. So how                                                         projects, holding all three positions at the same time.
much is this going to cost consumers; less than “Needless to say, when I was growing up in Nett
you may think…water and sanitation customers Lake, I never imagined that I’d spend so much “While working for Fortune Bay, I learned about a
will receive one fee for water, one for sanitation, time thinking about trash, but I couldn’t be more position opening up in Environmental Services and
one for solid waste. Those with property on the pleased about it.” smiles Tara.                        was encouraged to apply,” recalls Tara. Her experience
reservation pay $20 to St. Louis County in lieu of                                                     fell nicely in line with what Darin Steen [the Former
taxes (for solid waste only).                       Tara is the daughter of Ron and Marilyn Geshick. head of Environmental Services] was looking for.
                                                    Her maternal grandparents are Eugene and Tara was hired as an Environmental Technician and
Many coordination meetings went into making Angeline Whiteman. Her paternal grandparents then as Environmental Health Specialist and worked
curbside pick-up a reality. The Utility Board and are Charlie and Annie Geshick. Tara attended her way up to Environmental Manager.
the RTC needed to give their approval, public Orr High School, married, and began raising her
meetings were held in Vermilion and Nett Lake children Jordan, Marissa, and Alexa.                     “The best part of this job is also its greatest
to update the community. Now the goal is to get                                                        challenge. In this field there is always more to learn
more people to recycle more of what they buy. Its In time, she moved to the Twin Cities were she which means lots of training meetings, workshops,
simple really…tins and plastics go together; glass lived almost a dozen years. She worked for the and travel. But I love it; this is the right place for
and paper each stay by themselves. Trash and University of Minnesota, on a five year research me. I am happy to be here and proud to serve the
recycling are collected on the same day and routes project, studying lead and its effects on children. people of Bois Forte.”
are being reworked to allow for new homes and She was stationed in the Phillips neighborhood
families moving in and out of the area.             where she tested kids from 6 months to 5 years old

BOIS FORTE NEWS                                                                                                                                MARCH 2012
                                                           Page 11 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

    Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Finance
    Corporation First-Time Homebuyer
             Education Class
        Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
            The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Building
          15542 State 371 NW, Cass Lake, Minnesota

      First-time Homebuyer Education is a requirement of
    the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Finance Corporation for
                      qualified buyers.

      Please reserve your spot in this class with Cindy
   Beaulieu at 218-335-8582 extension 150 or cbeaulieu@

        No Childcare is provided so please make other

       Nett Lake Powwow

    The Midwinter Powwow was held in
  Nett Lake the weekend of February 17 - 19.

MARCH 2012                                                                     BOIS FORTE NEWS
Page 12 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

Bois Forte Small Business Corp.
Bois Forte participates in                                                          Online ordering now
Estate Planning Project                                                             available at the
                                                                                    Nett Lake C Store
Bois Forte will join in the Minnesota Indian Estate Planning Project
through the Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) and the Indian law firm of                No waiting. Fresh, hot food will be
Swanson, Drobnick & Tousey, P.C. The Managing Partner in the firm,                  available for pickup when you order
Heidi Drobnick, a Bois Forte Tribal member.                                         ahead using the link from the Bois
                                                                                    Forte website. Order ahead and avoid the ‘crunch at lunch’. To order
The Project arose out of the need in Indian Country to reduce land                  online, visit and click on the Nett Lake store icon on the
fractionation on trust land and to implement the new American Indian                left side of the homepage.
Probate Reform Act of 2004 (AIPRA) which allows individual Indian land
owners to decide who will inherit their trust land and personal property.           Tired of turkey and venison? Try our new delicious
                                                                                    broasted chicken. We are regularly adding more lunch
The first phase of the Project is to provide a number of educational seminars       specials.
on how to decrease trust land fractionation, the benefits of having a will and
what can be accomplished by making out a will.                                      Enjoy a 10% discount on all orders placed online!

The law firm of Swanson, Drobnick & Tousey will be presenting a short
power point on estate planning at the Elders’ Meeting in Vermillion on
March 12, 2012. The dates and times of other seminars will be posted on
the Website and around the Nett Lake and Vermilion residential areas.

For more information please contact the law firm at 651-739-9615.

                                                                                 Survey needed for Blood
                                                                                 Quantum change
                                                                                 The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe is currently negotiating with an outside
                                                                                 research organization that will assist in the development of a Tribal Enrollment
                                                                                 Survey to be sent to enrolled members this Spring.

                                                                                 The enrollment survey is intended to capture information on what other Tribal
                                                                                 ancestry exists within MCT enrollees as well as provide options for changing
                                                                                 the current enrollment criteria.

                                                                                 The MCT encourages its Tribal members to make their voice heard on this
                                                                                 important issue and participate in the upcoming survey. The survey results
                                                                                 are an essential step in the change Bois Forte is seeking to amend the MCT
                                                                                 Constitution on Blood Quantum.
                                                                                   b                                   b

BOIS FORTE NEWS                                                                                                                                   MARCH 2012
                                                                                                             Page 13 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

Community News & Announcements
March activities at                                John K. Whiteman
the Urban Office                                   John K. Whiteman, 72, passed away Tuesday,
                                                   February 14, 2012 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical
                                                                                                     MN, and Shannon (Carl) Hartwig of Blaine,
                                                                                                     MN; 8 grandchildren, Daryl (Jenny) McKenna
Language Table                                     Center, La Crosse, WI.                            of Rosemont, MN, Jonathan McKenna, Jessica
                                                                                                     Whiteman, Nicole Whiteman-Schauer, Alexander
The popular Language Table will meet every         He was born December 27, 1939 to John and Whiteman-Schauer, John Whiteman, Emanuel
Monday in March. The fun begins at 5:00 with a     Margaret (Benner) Whiteman in Nett Lake, Whiteman, Summer Blackhawk; 5 great
Potluck dinner followed by classes led by Dennis   Minnesota. He graduated from Orr High School grandchildren, Roy Cervantes, Alexis Cervantes,
Jones and Rick Gresczyk.                           in 1957. Following high school, he joined the Nehomah Whiteman, Aye-va Whiteman, and
                                                   Navy. When he returned home from the military, Gabriel McKenna; sister, Elizabeth Gonier of
Everyone is welcome. Bringing something to share   he married Patricia Hinman in November of 1964 Crystal, MN; brother, Ronald Whiteman of Little
at the Potluck is encouraged, but shouldn’t stop   in Orr, MN. In 1967 he trained to become a Heavy Falls, MN; many nieces, nephews, relatives and
anyone from coming. Wiidookodaadidaa ji-nitaa-     Equipment Operator at the Staples Area Vocational friends.
ojibwemoyang- Let’s help each other in learning    School, Staples, MN. In 1968 he joined the Local
Ojibwe!                                            49 International Union Operating Engineers; in He was preceded in death by, parents, John
                                                   2003 he retired from Carl Bolander and Sons. and Margaret; sister, Florence Barto; brothers,
Monthly Meetings                                   In 2007 John and Patricia built a home in Black Eugene, Wally, and Billy Whiteman and daughter
                                                   River Falls, WI to spend their retirement years.  Rachelle McKenna.
There will be no monthly meeting in March. The
next monthly meeting is scheduled for April 11.    John was an avid outdoorsman for most of his         Services will be held Friday, February 17, 2012,
Two Tribal Government Commissioners will be        life John enjoyed moose hunting, deer hunting        from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., at the Andrew
scheduled to come and report in order to provide   and fishing, gardening, working on his house, and    Blackhawk American Legion Post, Black River
you with more information in a shorter time.       spending time with his grandchildren.                Falls. There will also be a time of gathering after,
                                                                                                        with a dinner to be served.
The April meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a   John is survived by his wife, Patricia; daughters,
ceremony and dinner followed by the meeting.       Muriel Schauer of Black River Falls, Samantha
                              (cont. on page 14)   Whiteman (Bradley BlackHawk) of Moundsview,

MARCH 2012                                                                                                                            BOIS FORTE NEWS
Page 14 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

Community News & Announcements
Teaching kids the importance of voting
Tips for Bois Forte adults                                                                                                    Happy Birthday,
Former broadcast journalist Mary Jane McKittrick        vote via absentee ballot, show your child the form
                                                                                                                               Lelan Leecy!
has written a new children’s book titled Election       and explain how important it is to make sure your
Day. McKittrick makes a powerful argument about         vote counts.                                            22-years old on March 27th
the importance of educating youth to vote when
she writes, “I think children need to be shown how      • Connect Laws to Their Lives – Children may not
the democratic process works and how people can         have a frame of reference for how a law is passed,
make changes locally and around the country by          but they encounter government in action practically
raising their voices and availing themselves of         every day. When there is road construction on                      Happy Birthday,
their rights as citizens in a free and democratic       the way to school, it represents tax dollars being
society. More than that, I think parents should be      spent to improve the community. When a new                          Izaiah Stone!
more conscientious about teaching the importance        playground opens, or old equipment is replaced
of voting from a young age, so that it is a right       with new equipment, it can be traced back to the
and an action that kids look forward to taking.         local government. When they see campaign signs
Our power in the voting booth is the single most        all around during an election cycle, it’s another
significant individual power we wield as citizens       opportunity to explain what it’s all about.
and it’s a right that many around the world don’t
possess. We should teach our kids to value it and       • Don’t Talk Politics, Talk Issues – Politics can be
to use it wisely.”                                      boring for kids, and they may not have a frame of
                                                        reference for it. But issues, like whether the school
So what can Bois Forters do this election season        year should be longer or why they take standardized
to teach kids the importance of voting? McKittrick      tests at school, can be discussed easily because it’s
suggests the following:                                 relevant to their lives. Ask questions like “Do you
                                                        think it’s fair that the rules are this way?” or “If
• Vote – It’s difficult to teach your child about the   you could make the rules, what would you do?” It
election process if you don’t vote. You should          will get them thinking and caring about democracy
make a point to vote, and when age-appropriate,         and their role in it.                                            3-years old on March 27th
bring your children with you when you do. If you

A Minute with Millie                                                                                            (Urban Office cont. from page 13)

                                                                                                                Candidate Forum
By Millie Holmes
                                                                                                                Band members in the Twin Cities are hosting a
                      Welcome spring. Yay! Dancing, doing cartwheels (which I couldn’t do while                 Candidate Forum for community members on
                      cheerleading. Don’t understand that at all). And going out looking for the first          Tuesday, March 23 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. at the
                      green, listening for the first crow. Ahh. Spring. This year, my brother is going to       Urban Office, 1308 East Franklin Ave, Mpls.
                      get the garden in. He set it up last fall.
                                                                                                                All candidates for RTC District I Representative
                      There were gardens back in the day. Heehee. Even though I knew what they were,            and Tribal Chair have been invited. Food will
                      I hadn’t had a lot of experience with them. Then, I went to my ex’s mom’s. He             be served at 5:00 and the Band members will
                      volunteered us to pick some fresh green beans. Of course, I said I would. Lo and          be invited to submit written questions that the
                      behold, I had to have him show me what to do. After that, I didn’t mind picking           candidates will answer between 6:00 - 7:00. The
Millie Holmes
                      them. Same thing with shelling: had to watch first. Fresh garden produce. Just            Candidate Forum is a grass roots event organized
                      don’t ask me to can. Home Ec was enough. Freezing is about all I’m good for.              by Band members living in the Twin Cities. The
                                                                                                                event is not sponsored by the RTC or the Urban
And hazelnuts. And warmer weather. Walking around the lake shore. Might                                         Office.
even get my second pair of shoes. Fresh air. What is it about spring that
makes the clouds look different? I like to watch them, moving about where                                       Elders Days
the wind blows. My friends and I would watch them and each see different
things.                                                                                                         March 27 will be the first of two days in 2012
                                                                                                                devoted exclusively to our Elders. Beginning at
Some people talk about signs, omens, portents in the clouds being                                               11:00 a.m. activities, storytelling and food will
superstitious. I imagine the Creator putting on a show just for me. I rarely                                    help make these dates a good gathering for all
see the same thing twice. And I feel happy, content, whenever I take the time                                   elders in the Twin Cities area.
to watch the show. Same thing at night, watching the stars. Isn’t life grand?

BOIS FORTE NEWS                                                                                                                                     MARCH 2012
                                                                                                                 Page 15 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

Robert Strong, Jr.                                                               Humor contribution helps
                     Robert Strong Jr., (Magee-Macoons) 77, of Nett
                     Lake, passed away Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 in the
                                                                                 scholarship fund
                     Cook Nursing Home.                                          A $50 donation to the Bois Forte Scholarship Fund was made in the name
                                                                                 of Band member Bob Cook of Michigan for a joke he submitted to the Bois
                    He was born in Nett Lake on March 5, 1934 to Robert          Forte News.
                    Jenery Strong Sr. and Annie (Goodsky) Strong. He
                    was a lifelong Nett Lake resident. Robert had been           Bob’s name was drawn from a group of readers who sent in contributions for
                    an employee of Diamond Match Company for many                the newspaper’s humor box. If you have a funny story or joke to share with
                    years. He enjoyed making dream catchers and had              readers, see page 16 for the monthly deadline and address on where to send
Robert Strong, Jr.  made hundreds of them. He was a former Spiritual             your contribution.
                    Advisor and Medicine Man and was a Host Drummer
and Drum Keeper for the Bois Forte Band. Robert taught native language           Your entry doesn’t have to be original. Cartoons or a description of a good
at several community colleges and had given talks about native ways.             laugh you had from something on TV, the internet or from a friend, coworker
                                                                                 or family member.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Woodenfrog Strong; son,
Bruce Smith; and siblings, Russell Strong, Wesley Strong, Nora Berlien,          A drawing will be held from among those who send in materials. A donation
Izola Shouts, Ruth Unger, Thelma Dziuk and Maureen Daly. He is survived          to the Bois Forte Scholarship fund will be made in the name of the winning
by sisters, Hazel Strong of Cloquet, Dorothy Strong of Nett Lake, Betty          writer at the end of each year.
Amitrano of Ely, Loretta (Axel) Holmes of Nett Lake, June Osborne of
Ely and Edith Bouges of Minneapolis; grandchildren, Amanda Smith,
Mary Smith, Jessica Smith and Branden (Arlana) Smith; and 54 nieces,
nephews and cousins.

Visitation will begin at 4 PM Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Nett Lake
Community Center, where Traditional Tribal rites will be at 10 AM
Thursday, Feb. 16. The spiritual advisor will be Gilbert Smith and the
assistant spiritual advisor will be Gene Goodsky. Burial will be in
Woodenfrog’s Cemetery, Nett Lake. Funeral arrangements are with Mlaker
Funeral Home of Cook.

Age to Age participants go
snow tubing
In January Bois Forte Health and Human Services Age to Age Program, in
collaboration with MCH-New Lives, Tobacco Prevention, and Chemical
Health Programs, hosted a Snow Tubing event at Giants Ridge for the
communities of Nett Lake, Vermilion and surrounding areas.

Nett Lake School provided school bus transportation for this event. It was
a fun day of snow tubing along with food and drawings for the community
members. More than 75 participants attended this event which included tribal Elders, adults and youth. The day consisted of two hours of snow tubing with
a feast of pizza, fruit trays, and hot chocolate and prize drawings for everyone.

Bois Forte Age to Age is a community intergenerational program funded by the Northland Foundation that
provides monthly community events. In February the group worked on beading projects. Each gathering
is a chance to engage families and community members in positive social interaction projects where new
friendships are formed and community members learn from each other.

Bois Forte Age to Age along with other divisions of our Health and Human Service Department collaborate
to provide events that will bring generations together from the eldest to the youngest. Our goal is to provide
these fun events for our community members to help encourage and promote healthy lifestyles within our
family and communities.

Upcoming events include a swimming and pizza outing in March and the annual Easter party in April.
If you would like more information on the program, contact me at 218-757-3295, ext. 278 or

MARCH 2012                                                                                                                             BOIS FORTE NEWS
Page 16 • Bois Forte News • March 2012

                                                                                                      Road naming committee formed
                 Candidate Forum                                                                      Mii gwech to the community
                                                                                                      members who volunteered to
  Band members living in the Twin Cities will once again
                                                                                                      serve on a committee to help
  be sponsoring a Candidate Forum on Thursday, March 8                                                develop names for the roads
  beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the Urban Office located at 1308                                          in Nett Lake. Karlene Chosa,
  East Franklin Ave, Minneapolis.                                                                     Jane Villebrun, Kevin Strong,
                                                                                                      Sidney Adams, Tracey Dagen,
  Candidates for Tribal Chair and District I Nett Lake                                                Alan Sam, Carol Burr, and
                                                                                                      Josh Villebrun are the new
  Representative are all invited and will have an opportunity
                                                                                                      members who will work with
  to talk to the audience and Band members will ask questions                                         Tribal Council Representative
  of the candidates. Sharon Day will serve as moderator as she                                        Raymond Toutloff and Planning and Community Development staff member
  did at the Candidate Forum held for the 2010 Election.                                              William Whiteman.

  This is not an RTC or Urban Office sponsored event. The                                             According to Bill, “The committee will develop a policy for naming roads in
                                                                                                      the village and ultimately suggest names that the RTC will select.” Bill will
  Candidate Forum is being organized and hosted by volunteer
                                                                                                      provide the committee with guidelines that have been suggested for creating
  Band members. If you have questions, please contact Sharon                                          a policy. Examples of the guidelines include: keep the name as simple as
  Day at 612 -721-0253 or                                                       possible; don’t use the name of living people; try to incorporate physical
                                                                                                      features of the area in the name such as Lake Drive or Pineview Drive.

                                                                                                      The Committee will begin meeting in late February or early March and hope
                                                                                                      to have their work completed by the summer construction season. If you
                                                                                                      would like more information, contact Bill Whiteman at 218-757-3261.
     The Bois Forte News

                              The Bois Forte News (BFN) is published monthly by the            Deadline for                              Tribal Council
                           Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. The BFN encourages submis-             April issue:
                           sion of articles, guest columns, community announcements                                                          Kevin W. Leecy
                            and photos. There is a $10 charge for personal announce-                                                                 Chairman
                             ments. Contributions are subject to editing for grammar,               March 9
                             length and malicious/libelous content. BFN will attempt                                                     David C. Morrison, Sr.
                             to include all material submitted by Band members and                                                             Secretary/Treasurer
                            guests. Multiple contributions from the same source may
                                                                                          Submit material to:
                                                                                                       Bois Forte News                       Cathy Chavers
                              be excluded or rotated to future issues to insure equal                                                         District I Representative
                                                                                              1101 Sibley Memorial Hwy. #507
                             access to all. Paid ads are accepted. Visit www.boisforte.
                                                                                                      Lilydale, MN 55118
                                         com for rates and insertion order.                                                                 Brandon Benner
                                                                                           651-260-2420 phone; 651-452-1640 fax
                                                                                                                                             District I Representative
                             The BFN is distributed for free to Band members and is
                                      available to others for $10 per year.                                                                    Ray Toutloff
                                                                                                                                             District II Representative

BOIS FORTE NEWS                                                                                                                                                           MARCH 2012

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