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A spaghetti benefit dinner for Candace Dennis to help with medical and travel expenses is set for Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Moose Lodge in Munising.

Donations accepted for dinners, also featuring a bake sale and silent auction.

Please come join us! 

Sponsored by the Munising Tribal Health Center, Eden Lutheran Church and Moose Lodge.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - A regular meeting of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will be held at the Kewadin Shores Casino in St. Ignace starting at 6 p.m. on Feb. 21. The meeting will be preceded by “Matters Raised by the Membership” from 4 to 6 p.m.

Resolutions on the agenda are: Amended Partial Waiver; MIEA Delegate and MIEA President; MIEA Delegate Appointment; National Indian Gaming Association 2017; Authorize Contract Judicial Building; Approving Special Counsel Contract; Approving Contract Butzel, Long, P.C.; Approving Contract Plunkett Cooney, P.C.; Approving Special Counsel Contract Alexis Lambros; Approving Contract Frost Brown Todd, LLC; Budgets: GLRI Adaptive Management, Health Center - Medical/Nursing and Manistique Health Center; Amending Ch. 20: Co-Captain Regulations and Amending Res. 2017-20 - Ch.43 Tax Code (2).

Under new business is March 7 and 21 Meeting Change, and Board Concerns.

February 21 Resolutions.pdf

Benefit luncheon today, Feb. 14, for the Downwind family from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Sault Tribe Health Center. Soup and salad will be served for a minimum donation of $6. By donation bake sale, raffle items and 50/50. Money raised will be used to assist the Downwind family with medical and funeral expenses for Harlan Downwind. All support is greatly appreciated! Miigwech.

Raffle: 50/50 prize is 50 percent of all ticket sales. Tickets are $1 each. Drawing is Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 2:30 p.m. at the Sault Tribe Health Center, 2864 Ashmun St. in Sault Ste. Marie. Need not be present to win. Lic. #STR-003-17.

The following committees have vacant seats. Sault Tribe members interested in filling these vacancies should submit one letter of intent and three letters of recommendation from other members to Joanne Carr or Linda Grossett, 523 Ashmun St., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783. Call 906-635-6050 for any questions.

- Anishinaabe Cultural Committee - Two vacancies (men, four-year term)
- Cultural Screening committee - Two vacancies (four-year term)
- Great Lakes Conservation Committee - Three vacancies - large vessel (four-year term)
- Inland Conservation Committee - Three vacancies (four year term)
- Health Board - Two vacancies (four-year term)
- Higher Education Committee - One vacancy (four-year term)
- Housing Committee - Three vacancies, Unit I (four-year term), Unit II (four-year term) Unit V (four-year term)
- Election Committee - Six vacancies (four-year term)
- Special Needs/Enrollment Committee - Six vacancies (two-year term)
- Child Welfare Committee - Five vacancies (four-year term)
- Unit I Sault Elders Subcommittee -Two Regular, one alternate (four-year term)
- Unit II Newberry Elders Subcommittee - One regular seat vacancy, one alternate (four-year term)
- Unit II Hessel Elders Subcommittee -Three regular seat vacancies (four-year term), two alternates (four year term)
- Unit V Munising Elders Subcommittee - two alternates (four-year term)
- Unit V Marquette Elders Subcommittee - One vacancy (four-year term)
- (MIEA) Michigan Indian Elders Association - One vacant delegate seat, one alternate seat

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - A regular meeting of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will be held at Kewadin Casino starting at 6 p.m. on Feb. 7. The meeting will be preceded by “Matters Raised by the Membership” from 4 to 6 p.m.

Resolutions on the agenda are: two Partial Waivers; FY 2017 CTAS Grant; COLA Increase - Wage Grid; Head Start/Early Head Start COLA Increase; Schedule of Prevailing Wages; Litigation Support Funds CORA; Resolve Sault Tribe V. BCBS Litigation; Amending Ch. 43: Distribution of Tax Proceeds; under Budgets: ACFS - Sexual Assault Services, Education Head Start, Education Head Start Early Head Start, Family Spirit Program Grant, CDC Breast Health Grant, Budget Doc 003 Gov’t, FY 17 Capital Purchases Gov’t, Budget Doc 004 Enterprises, FY 17 Cap Purchases Enterprises; and Authority of the Chairperson.

Under New Business the board will consider Committee Request, Tribal Court Request and Referendum Petition.

February 7 Resolutions.pdf

Anishinabek Community and Family Services (ACFS) operates the Child Care and Development (CCDF) Program with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child Care. The CCDF Program supports lower-income families through child care financial assistance and promotes children’s learning by improving the quality of and access to early care, education and after-school programs.  

The CCDF Program can subsidize a portion of child care costs for eligible parents or guardians so that a parent can work or attend an approved educational program.

The CCDF Program is also responsible for developing and regulating quality child day care homes on trust lands. Some financial assistance may be available to start up a licensed child day care home on trust land.

Please call (906) 632-5250 with any questions about the CCDF Program. Applications can be obtained at any ACFS Office (Sault, Kincheloe, St. Ignace, Munising and Manistique) or online by visiting www.saulttribe.com/membership-services/acfs.


ACFS – Sault Office                                       

2218 Shunk Road                                              

Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783                  

(800) 726-0093                                                 

(906) 632-5250


ACFS – Manistique Office               

5698 W. Highway US 2                                 

Manistique, MI 49783                                 

(906) 341-6993              


ACFS – Munising Office

622 W. Superior Street

Munising, MI 49862

(906) 387-3906


ACFS – St. Ignace Office

1140 N. State Street, Suite 2805

St. Ignace, MI 49781

(906) 643-8689

Understanding the Tribe’s harvest activities over time helps the Inland Fish and Wildlife Department comprehend our impact on the fish and wildlife populations. Accurate harvest statistics are important for several reasons. First, we need to ensure the sustainability of our harvest for future generations. Second, we need to ensure our members have the opportunity and ability to harvest fish and wildlife to sustain their families and their way of life. Lastly, but certainly not least, accurate harvest statistics are vital to protect the tribe’s treaty right in the face of constant opposition.

Harvest reports are mandatory and the earlier IFWD receives them, the more accurate our annual harvest statistics are. Accurate harvest data is the cornerstone of protecting the tribe’s treaty rights and the resources they depend on.

Harvest reports should be filled out for the 2016 season. Some seasons, small game and trapping do not end with the calendar year. In these cases, please report harvest that takes place on a 2016 permit. Here is an example: snowshoe hares harvested in January 2017 should be reported on the 2016 harvest report. We ask that you report your fishing activity using the calendar year. Harvest reported on the Inland Harvest Report is for inland lakes and streams only.

Fish caught in the Great Lakes, including the St. Mary’s River, Munoscong Bay, or Bay de Noc, should not be included on this report.

Harvest report forms can be obtained by contacting the IFWD or online. To acquire it online go to the Sault Tribe Web site saultribe.com. Under membership services click on Natural Resources, from this page click on “For application please click here.” It can be printed out and mailed in to the address below.

The harvest report is due Feb. 1 and can be turned in or mailed to 2428 Shunk Rd. Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783. Harvest reports are mandatory. The IFWD thanks you for your cooperation and we hope you have had a safe and successful 2017 hunting season.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - Michelle Ribant, state of Michigan’s Director for 21st Century Learning, presented what she called “remarkable” data to Joseph K. Lumsden Anishinaabe School teachers and paraprofessionals on Jan. 16. She compared JKL socio-economic status data with the state of Michigan’s. Ribant found that, overall, JKL economically disadvantaged students are 50 percent better prepared than state students. The data shows that JKL’s economically disadvantaged students are not academically disadvantaged at JKL.

The K-8 school is a Bureau of Indian Education grant day school chartered by Northern Michigan University. Located on Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians trust land, JKL has over 500 students with 61 percent Native American enrollment.

Ribant used Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) scores in English, math and social sciences. M-STEP is a test designed to gauge how well students are mastering state standards. In every subject and every grade, JKL’s economically disadvantaged students were better prepared, with more students in the advanced level of the subject.

Michigan is facing a difficult problem. The state’s economically disadvantaged students are on a different trajectory than those who are not economically disadvantaged. They are at the lowest levels of academic achievement without the proficiency to move on, and the state doesn’t know how to change that. At the same time, JKL is “making strides and changing lives,” said Ribant.

Ribant started with third grade English language arts. At JKL, 15 of percent non-economically disadvantaged students and 18 percent of economically disadvantaged students were at the lowest end of achievement - pretty even. In the state, 15 percent non-economically disadvantaged students and over 40 percent - almost three times as many - of the economically disadvantaged students are at the lowest end of achievement. Also at JKL, twice as many economically disadvantaged students are in the advanced level as opposed to the state.

As Ribant compared more classes and more subjects, the same pattern kept emerging, with similar good results for JKL and similar not-so-good results for the state. Somehow, said Ribant, JKL programming supports economically disadvantaged students to steer away from the trajectory set in the state.

People want to know what you are doing to elicit this kind of response, Ribant told the group. She asked them why they thought JKL was doing so much better.

JKL staff across the room brought up a number of factors:
- Teachers take the time to work closely with students. The students are making great strides with these academic services.
- Relationship building is practiced all day, every day.
- Teachers use a multilevel approach to teaching that covers different learning styles.
- The Anishinaabe culture of respect and traditional teachings is woven into the school’s daily routines.
- They will use a full education remedial team with the teacher, paraprofessional and support services.
- JKL has created a sense of belonging, community and team.
- Community services are also emphasized: “If they don’t have shoes, books, crayons at home we make sure they get them.”

“Community support, a culture of learning and inclusion,” summed up Ribant, and a strong culture of academic achievement, she added.

Ribant acknowledged that JKL’s results were not perfect, but, she stressed, they are manageable. Overall, 40 percent of state’s economically disadvantaged students are at the lowest level of academic achievement, compared to less than 20 percent at JKL. That’s a manageable number, said Ribant. Whereas at the state, there are so many, it is not manageable.

“You are making getting out of poverty possible for these students,” said Ribant. “Congratulations. This data is really good. The reversing trend quite remarkable.”

Michigan’s director for 21st Century Learning, Michelle Ribant, oversees the Office of Educational Technology and Data Coordination and is responsible for implementing the state’s online learning graduation requirement, the Michigan Educational Technology Standards (METS) and accomplishing the eight goals of set forth in the state board’s Educational Technology Plan. The office also serves in the vital role of encouraging and coordinating the use of data to drive decision making in schools and at Michigan’s Department of Education.

DOI also requests further information

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has agreed that the Sault Tribe’s trust land applications for the City of Lansing and Huron Township are mandatory under the Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act but has asked the Tribe for more evidence to show the proposed parcels qualify under the act.

In a Jan. 19 letter to Sault Tribe Chairperson Aaron Payment, the DOI said it “will keep the tribe’s applications open so that the tribe may present evidence” to support that the parcels of land meet federal legal requirements. Payment said the tribe “remains absolutely confident in our legal theory and committed to pursuing the success of these projects." He said the tribe will decide how to respond to the Jan. 19 letter “in the very near future.”

In June 2014 the tribe filed applications to take land into trust in downtown Lansing and in southeast Michigan’s Huron Township. The land in Lansing will become the location of a new gaming resort first proposed by the tribe and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in January 2012. The land includes two parcels totaling about 2.7 acres at Michigan Avenue and North Cedar Street adjacent to and near the Lansing Center, the city’s convention and events facility.

The tribe anticipates the land in Huron Township, totaling 71 acres at 36181 Sibley Road and I-275 southwest of Metro Airport, will also serve as a gaming location. The scope of the gaming project in Huron Township will be determined by an economic impact study.

A 1997 law passed by Congress called the Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act (MILCSA) requires the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to approve the trust land applications. The tribe used revenues from its “Self Sufficiency Fund” to purchase the lands. The MILCSA states that “[a]ny lands acquired using amounts from interest or other income of the Self-Sufficiency Fund shall be held in trust by the Secretary for the benefit of the [Sault] Tribe.”

“The law is clear: the Secretary is required to accept these parcels in trust,” Payment said. “It is a clear, plain-language legal argument. Our tribe is within federal law and our legal rights to pursue these opportunities to create thousands of new jobs and generate millions of dollars in new revenues that will benefit our members, the people of Lansing, public school students in Lansing, the people of Huron Township, and the entire state.”

Three federal court developments cleared the way for the tribe to file the applications:

On Dec. 18, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Sault Tribe had the right to pursue approval of its Lansing casino.

On May 27, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a somewhat similar case that the state of Michigan could not block the Bay Mills Tribe from opening a casino on land not part of its gaming compact with the state. Also in 2014, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette withdrew from the U.S. Supreme Court a lawsuit that effectively blocked the filing of the applications.

Payment said the Huron Township land is a “perfect casino location,” with easy access to I-275, I-75 and Metro Airport. The land already includes a large, unfinished building that could easily be converted to gaming use and tribal offices. The casino would create jobs and generate revenues to provide services to tribal members who live in Metro Detroit.

The 125,000-square-foot Lansing casino would create 1,500 permanent jobs and 700 construction jobs. It would also generate revenues the City of Lansing would use to fund the Lansing Promise Scholarships, a program to fund four-year college scholarships for graduates of the city’s high schools.

The tribe said both casinos could feature either Class 2 or Class 3 gaming. Class 3 gaming includes electronic and table games normally associated with most large casinos (slot machines, poker, blackjack, craps and roulette). Class 2 gaming is typically defined as games of chance such as bingo, pull tabs and others. To casino customers, many electronic Class 2 games look and play just like traditional slot machines, even though they are not.

It’s that time of year again - I-500 race week is Jan. 30 through Feb. 4, 2017 - and the race needs volunteers!

I-500 Chairman Ric Federau said you don't need to be a racer to be involved in the I-500. Being a total volunteer project, anyone can express interest to help in many ways. "We would be honored to have interest from Sault Tribe members and employees to contact the I-500 and become a part of the I-500 family of volunteers,” Federau said.

Those interested in volunteering can get involved by visiting the I-500 website at http://i-500.com. Click on the "contact us" link and reach out to the I-500 volunteer committee.

© 2017 - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY